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Matthew 19:14 Project Advances Accessible Education
By Lindsay Hansen - Wednesday Aug 23, 2023
The Matthew 19:14 Project is pleased to announce the results of their Spring 2023 Mini-Grant Cycle to bring funding for specialized educational materials and training to Diocese of Phoenix Catholic schools.

“Our goal is to bring funding to as many of Arizona’s Catholic schools as possible so current and future students are able to access a quality education where educators and facilities can accommodate any physical or intellectual disabilities a student may need additional support for in order to find success,” says Lisa Fischer, founder and president of The Matthew 19:14 Project.

Fischer started The Matthew 19:14 Project, formerly the Arizona Catholic Schools Disability Fund, in 2014, after meeting with the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools superintendent to address the need for special education services in the Valley’s Catholic schools. Fischer, who is deaf, is aware of the impact inaccessibility in education can create after being turned away from St. Francis Xavier School as a child due to lack of accommodations.

The organization approved grants ranging from $300 to $5,000 and provided funding for 100 percent of the 27 applications in the Spring 2023 mini-grant cycle. Those applications covered 11 different Catholic schools and totaled $43,979. Funds were used to obtain specialized materials and resources for students with exceptional learning needs, to fund specialized training for educators and staff, and to provide schools with the ability to hire specialized consultants and support staff such as occupational therapists.

Schools who applied for grant funding include:
• St. John Bosco Catholic School – $3,748
o "Thank you so much for your generosity. I look forward to attending my training and implementing new teaching strategies with my students," Melanie DeGrosso, junior high math teacher.
• Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School – $3,000
o “We (OLMC) REALLY appreciate how generous you have been with all of us. Your grants are really impacting our children. God Bless you all," Dr. Kelly Shewbridge, principal.
• St. Mary Basha Catholic School - $5,000
o "Thank you again for funding all of these initiatives to support our students! The teachers are so excited to obtain all of these resources," Colleen Merrell, director of advancement.
• St. Timothy Catholic School - $4,963
o “Thank you so very much for providing us the funding to advance our Reading/Resource program at Saint Timothy. We have great momentum right now and that has been made possible by the Matthew 19:14 grant. We look forward to sharing the impact of your support as we begin the new school year in August,” Andrea Davey, resource teacher.

The Fall 2023 mini-grant cycle will open Monday, August 28 and close Friday, October 6, 2023. and will provide funding up to $1,000 per teacher, with a maximum award limit of $5,000 per school in the Diocese of Phoenix. Learn more about it and about The Matthew 19:14 Project at

About The Matthew 19:14 Project:
The Matthew 19:14 Project is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide Catholic schools in Arizona with the funding, support and resources they need to properly accommodate and serve students with special needs. To learn more about The Matthew 19:14 Project, visit