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I’m a single parent of three girls and I teach at a public junior high school. My oldest is going into first grade and my twins are in preschool. In the town where we live, school is in session year-round. Before or after school care programs are not offered and my kids are not allowed to come to school with me, which became a huge problem during the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Malachy and the school where I teach were the only schools offering in-person instruction last year, so I knew I had to make it work at St. Malachy for my oldest. Besides the childcare issue, I knew St. Malachy would offer her a good education. They really push for excellence and instill good values in their students.

I applied for a tax credit scholarship last year for my daughter to attend Kindergarten at St. Malachy and did not receive one, so I really had to pinch pennies to afford it. For a moment, I thought we might have to move back in with my mother. I pulled the kids out of extracurricular activities that cost money, like swimming, and my sister was able to watch the twins, so I didn’t have to pay for full-time daycare. But it was worth it since St. Malachy went above and beyond during the pandemic. They supplied PPE to families, provided Chrome books when students could not attend in-person instruction, and teachers delivered worksheets to our homes.

When we received a scholarship for my daughter to attend St. Malachy this upcoming school year, it was a huge relief. I’ll be able to afford to send my twins to preschool, so they’ll get the education jump-start and socialization they need. Plus, my daughter was thrilled to be able to tell her friends and teachers at St. Malachy that she will be back next year. She loves it, and the small class sizes and values they instill have made all the difference.

As a teacher in the area, I knew if my daughter attended the local public school, she would have just been another kid in a classroom. That’s why I wrote to my legislator about the importance of the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Being a one-income household, it has been a financial challenge to send my children to the best possible school. This program needs to continue so that all qualifying families can apply and find a school that best fits their needs and values.

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