Think. Pair. Share. with Kate Schuenke-Lucien
From summertime foods, frisbees, and exploring Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, to the transformational power of finding the “secret sauce” at St. Procopius and all Catholic schools
Kate Schuenke-Lucien, Director for Haiti in the Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child, shares how the universality of loss connects us and how being a voracious and joyful reader animates her work building resilient child development and education systems that draw on the three pillars of Haitian society: the home, the school and the church, as well as being an aspirational vegetarian, and the fine culinary rivalry between a Chicago and Wisconsin (hot) dog.
“There is an element of beauty in reading and just opening yourself up to the world and those new experiences, and then there's also a practical aspect to reading. And so I think it's both for me. That's like my motivation, I just want people to have access, to be able to read so that they have not only the ability to experience deep pleasure from reading, but to also have control of their own lives.”
“One thing that's important to know about Haiti is that approximately 20% of Haitian schools are Catholic, and only about 12% of schools in Haiti are public. So that makes the Catholic Church, the single largest provider of educational services in Haiti. The Catholic Church is pretty well organized: the diocese, the parishes, everything is mapped out. And so there really is a system to work with, whereas the national education system is much more fragile, and, frankly, non-existent in Haiti in many ways. So there's a foothold, that donors, even those who are not particularly interested in religious education, are interested in funding the Catholic school network in Haiti, because they know they'll be able to scale programs that are working effectively.”
"I love the idea of the Alexandria Award: To take a book that promotes Catholic Social Teaching, it doesn't necessarily have to be a Catholic book. In fact, the inaugural book, When Stars Are Scattered is not written from someone who's Catholic or a Catholic perspective, but it just hits all the things that you would want to hit with Catholic Social Teaching. And I had never read a graphic novel, and it totally sold me on the power of what you can express when you combine the written word and great graphics. Because my other reason for wanting to be in that award committee was, I have an almost 13-year-old son, and I wanted to know about books that he and I could both read and find meaning in and discuss. It just moved him deeply, and we had the best discussions about it."