By the 1960s, the Rev. Walter Janer, a Puerto Rican-born Jesuit, was reaching out to local youngsters, setting up study halls and recreation, and opening a summer camp upstate. But any strides the campers made in self-confidence or academic skills often faded when they returned to New York public schools in September.
“We saw how much they had changed over the summer,” Father Jack Podsiadlo, S.J. said. “The idea was to see how many of our kids we could prepare for admission to Jesuit high schools.”
The Nativity Mission School opened in 1971 in the Lower East Side with a simple model. Relying on priests, volunteers and young teachers, it welcomed youngsters whose parents could not afford parochial school tuition. Teachers were always present, throughout the school day and during evening study hall. They still are.
Link (here) to the full N.Y Times article.
Photo of the Lower East Side at Bowery/Delancy