A visit to the library at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic School is a trip to a cozy reading area that serves as a foundation for children's dreams and aspirations.
"The nice thing about a school this size is you kind of get to know the students," said Marguerite Hajjar, president of its Home and School Association . She also works two days a week in the library, where she started as a parent volunteer. Through her involvement, Hajjar has come to know the needs of the school's 120 students and their families.
"I like this school because there's a level of diversity you don't always see in private schools," said Hajjar. "It gives the kids an acceptance of others because they've always been surrounded by people from other places."
Because of its high achievement level with a diverse student body, it has been named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. But the award does not insulate the school from monetary concerns. Like most other schools, it holds many fundraisers for various needs, including smart boards, computer room equipment and nursing services.
"That's one of our big things, nursing services," said Hajjar. "We spend money to fill in what the city doesn't provide."
Hajjar feels a responsibility to make improvements for future students and parents, much in the same way she's benefitting from the foresight of others. For example, there was no library and far less technology when Hajjar's son Gregory, now 15 and a sophomore at Trinity Catholic High School, was at Our Lady Star of the Sea, which son Jonathan, 10, and daughter Lily, 5, currently attend.
"Because my kids are so far apart in age," Hajjar said, "I get to see the benefits of all the investments."
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