YONKERS, N.Y. – A Yonkers parochial school is hoping the power of the online petition can help keep its doors open.
St. Casimir School parent Cindy Pramann has created a petition on the website change.org to persuade the Archdiocese of New York not to close the Nepperhan Avenue school.
The one-line letter is simple and straight to the point: “Keep St. Casimir School Open,” it reads.
So far, more than 300 people have signed their name to the petition, with supporters coming from as far as Louisiana and Tampa Bay, Fla. Many are alumni who say it would be devastating to see the 109-year-old school shut its doors.
“In today's society, it is more important than ever to instill morals and respect for others in our children,” wrote Mary McFarlane, from Wappingers Falls, N.Y. “St. Casimir School has done that for generations, including that of my parents and me. It is a good school and a beautiful church. It deserves to stay open.”
Others signers are city residents who said they have seen what the school means to the community and plan to send their own children there one day.
“The love and support the staff and especially the principal provided should continue to inspire generations to come,” wrote Johanna Lara. “When I have children in the near future I will make sure they attend St. Casmir.”
St. Casimir School was one of four Westchester schools designated as “at risk” of closing late last month by the Archdiocese of New York. Last week the Yonkers City Council gave the school its vote of support, passing a resolution that urged the Archdiocese of New York to keep the school open.
Both council members and parents have noted the St. Casimir’s diverse student body and say closing the school would be a blow to the community.
“Many of the students live in the low-income, under-served neighborhood where the school is located,” Pramann wrote. “Many are first-generation Americans, all wanting a better life for their children.”
Yonkers resident Heather Cieslinski said it is important the city does not lose another parochial school.
“It is one of the few Catholic elementary schools in Yonkers and our community needs it,” she wrote.
The "Keep St. Casimir School Open" petition can be found here.