The Billiken Teacher Corps

Good news from my alma mater, Saint Louis University. reports:

Since before the Civil War, when the Sisters of St. Joseph opened a school to teach freed and slave girls, the Catholic Church in St. Louis has made education of the poor and African-Americans a priority of its mission.

Even after the school was closed and the state Legislature in 1847 outlawed teaching reading and writing to African-Americans, the sisters in defiance opened a school in St. Vincent's DePaul parish.


St. Louis University is carrying on that tradition with a new program called the Billiken Teacher Corps, says John T. James, director of St. Louis University's Institute for Catholic Education. The university hopes to attract highly motivated, intelligent, compassionate and faith-driven young people to teach in urban Catholic schools, he said. Most of the teachers will be in elementary schools.

Read more about the Billiken Teacher Corps at the SLU website. The mission appears similar to what the University of Notre Dame has done with its ACE program: to give support to inner city Catholic schools and to develop great teachers in the process. 

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