EMBRACE (Enriching Many By Reaching All in Catholic Education) is an independent 501(c)3 organization started in 2016 to assist students with special needs in Catholic schools in the state of Kansas. This Association was conceived in 2005 by a group of dedicated, prayerful, and concerned parents of children with special needs, yearning for the opportunity for inclusion of their children in a Catholic school environment. EMBRACE’s goal is to support a learning environment within Catholic schools which embraces all learners, values every child and sees God’s Sacred Holiness in every unique individual.
In collaboration with the Catholic School Office of the Archdiocese in Kansas City, Kansas, Embrace will:
Provide financial grants to schools that qualify and may be used to:
Assist with the cost to hire Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Social Skill Coaches, Instructional Coaches, Special Education Teachers, Physical Therapists, or other resources as requested
Purchase materials necessary to provide appropriate accommodations and modifications to the curriculum
Host a resource center with materials available for use/check-out by schools, teachers, parents
Facilitate "open" professional development opportunities based on needs identified
Partner with outside organizations to provide services to qualified schools, with the understanding that the hiring and supervision of personnel remains the purview of the school principals
Provide awareness and general guidance to parents, as needed
Raise awareness and advocate for inclusive education
A world where every child is embraced for their unique God given abilities and provided the Catholic education necessary to learn to their fullest potential and become the person God made them to be.
The Mission of EMBRACE is to provide children with special needs the opportunity for an inclusive Catholic education by providing resources to support these children in their home parish school.
Love expressed in the essence of the Holy Family for all children to make accessible the experience and grace of attending their parish Catholic school, with the special support necessary to fulfill the dignity of life promised by Christ.
Our Guiding Values
“Our defense of life and rejection of the culture of death requires that we acknowledge the dignity and positive contributions of our brothers and sisters with disabilities. Defense of the right to life implies the defense of all other rights that enable individuals with disabilities to achieve the fullest measure of personal development of which they are capable. These include the rights to equal opportunity in education, employment, in housing and health care.” - Excerpt from U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference
Championing the Cause
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
EMBRACE welcomes all children into our schools and into our hearts. Our goal is to create a learning environment within Catholic schools which embraces all learners of all religions valuing God’s Sacred Holiness in every unique individual.
We seek to do so by:
Providing active and engaged leadership and support.
Creating environments that allow all students to benefit from the inclusion of students with special educational needs.
Maintaining lasting and positive Catholic school cultures that embrace inclusion.
Building trusting community partnerships.
The Feast Day of the Association is April 13, honoring Blessed Margaret of Castello. Blessed Margaret of Castello (1287-1320) was born blind with a hump on her back and twisted limbs in Metola, Italy. Ashamed of their daughter, Margaret’s parents hid her until she was six years old at which time they took her to a cell next to the chapel that was to be her home for 14 years. After this, her parents took her to a shrine in hopes of a cure; alas, there was no cure for Margaret’s birth defects, and they ended up abandoning their daughter. After being taken in by kindly women, Margaret became a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, where she took care of the sick and dying and converted many sinners to Christianity. Margaret lived her life through prayer and penance while never speaking ill of her neglectful parents. Her feast day is on April 13. Blessed Margaret of Castello is the Patron Saint of children with special needs.