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Press Release: Third Annual Aviat Lecture to Feature Director of Nativity Educational Centers
Date: 8/20/2004

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Third Annual Aviat Lecture to Feature Director of Nativity Educational Centers

Center Valley, Pa. (August 20, 2004) - The third annual Aviat Lecture on Catholic Education will be held at 7:30 p.m., Monday, September 13, in the Kresge Lounge of Billera Hall at DeSales University. The guest speaker will be Father Jack Podsiadlo, S.J., director of the Nativity Educational Centers Network, Inc., a national association of independent centers whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education. The program is sponsored by the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture at DeSales and is open to the public free of charge.

Developed in 1971 in New York City, the Nativity model seeks to provide a middle-school education, and subsequent educational support through high school, to students of low-income urban families who would not otherwise have access to such an education. The educational environment is non-sectarian; Nativity schools enroll students without regard to race, color, religion, or ethnicity.  In addition to the classic curriculum, Nativity students learn a respect for the dignity and potential of each person, a responsibility to aid the poor, a strong sense of community, and the obligation to promote a society characterized by social justice.

The Nativity model incorporates several distinctive features, including smaller class sizes, extended school days and year, summer programs, values formation, and parental involvement.  Setting high expectations and rigorous academic standards, Nativity schools achieve unparalleled success.  In over 50 model schools now operating in the U.S., 90 percent of Nativity graduates complete high school and 80 percent go on to complete college.  Among the more recently opened centers is Nativity Prep of Wilmington, Del., which was founded in 2003 by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, the teaching order of priests and brothers who administer DeSales University. 

The Aviat Lecture on Catholic Education honors Leonie Aviat, who was canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church on November 25, 2001. She was born at Sezanne, France, on September 16, 1844, and died in Perugia, Italy, on January 10, 1914. Under the religious name of Mother Frances de Sales, she founded the congregation of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales.

For more information on the program and the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture at DeSales University, contact Rev. Thomas F. Dailey, O.S.F.S., director, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1464 or at Thomas.Dailey@desales.edu.

Press Release: Third Annual Aviat Lecture to Feature Director of Nativity Educational Centers | Posted on: 8/20/2004

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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