The donation of a sizable grant has given St. John Neumann Regional School reason to count its blessings.

For the second straight year, the school has received a $25,000 Challenge Grant courtesy of the Julius & Katheryn Hommer Foundation.

The Foundation offered to match local contributions up to that amount to help maintain the school's viability.

The grant will be used to help underwrite operational costs, for the school, which serves students in grades K-8 at its Palmerton and Slatington campuses.

Sister Virginia Stephanie, the school's principal, expressed the appreciation of the St. John Neumann School family for the grant, and encouraged all who share the value of a St. John Neumann education to lend their support to meet the challenge.

Peter Kern, Chairman of the Foundation's board of trustees, said he was gratified by last year's outpouring of community support that resulted in more than $26,000 being raised to satisfy the grant requirements.

"The students of St. John Neumann Regional School receive an outstanding education, and today's economy places enormous burdens on the school and student families," Kern said. "We hope this grant will encourage others to give."

Unlike public schools that receive substantial funding from the state, parochial schools rely heavily on the support of community members. Many of these donors have no children enrolled in the schools they support, but they appreciate the value of the education these schools provide.

St. John Neumann Regional School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and recent commendations from the accreditation agency noted that the school's curriculum "challenges as well as supports all ability levels", and that the "educational experience strengthens each pupil's talents."

Anyone who would like to pledge their support to the Challenge Grant, or for additional information, may contact the Principal's office at (610) 826-2354.