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Consortium of Catholic Schools Benefited from Kennedy Breaking Bread

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At Blessed Sacrament Catholic school in Chevy Chase, one principal remembers the late Senator Edward Kennedy, and the impact of a simple dinner.

Principal Chris Kelly helped start a consortium of Catholic Schools serving inner-city D.C. kids. The schools got their funding from a yearly dinner hosted by the late Senator Edward Kennedy and his counterpoint in the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner of Ohio.

"When No Child Left Behind occurred, they came together, recognizing the need for helping children in the city -- particularly in the city where they both served," Kelly says. "The number of lives that we've touched is in the thousands."

He says the Baynor-Kennedy dinners raised $5 million for the schools over 5 years.

"While they joined together to form the dinner, they also used it as an opportunity to take some good-natured jabs at each other," he says.

Kelly says the cooperation Kennedy fostered should serve as a take-away.

"I think it's a broader message that children's lives are more important than getting entrenched in political philosophies. If you can affect at child's life positively, you've given them something that can never be taken away."

Five schools remain of the original consortium; seven have gone on to become charter schools.

Stephanie Kaye reports...

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