CHICAGO (CBS) — Students were back in the classrooms Tuesday at Our Lady of Victory School in Portage Park, after facing closure by the Catholic Archdiocese earlier this year, unless it came up with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the school declared itself “on a mission from God” in January, when it needed to raise $400,000 in two weeks to avoid being shut down by the Archdiocese. It was one of several schools the Archdiocese said it could no longer fund, due to low enrollment and a drop in church giving. The schools were given the opportunity to raise money on their own to stay open.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Colder And Blustery Sunday Night
Our Lady of Victory met its goal for this school year, and then some, collecting $750,000 in cash and pledges by the deadline, and money has continued pouring in.
“It was a little scary in the beginning, but I wanted to stay positive, because it’s important to me. This is my home away from home,” principal Jennifer Hodge said.
Tuesday was the first day of the new school year, and Hodge couldn’t have been happier to welcome students back.
“That’s the best feeling ever. That’s wonderful, just to see all their faces; the parents, the kids, getting hugs from the kids. It’s awesome,” she said.