fire foundation denver


The FIRE Foundation of Denver is pleased to provide two advocacy groups for the Denver Catholic School community.

Friends of FIRE

Friends of FIRE is an organization comprised of parents and other parish and school community members who value inclusive education and are dedicated to raising funds, building awareness and expanding inclusive education initiatives within their parish communities. Members come together five to six times each year to assist with events and fundraising initiatives and to share information about resources that promote student learning and family success. All parents whose children benefit from FIRE Denver funding are asked to participate. Membership is open to everyone who believes in our mission and wishes to offer time and resources to support inclusive Catholic education. Friends of FIRE members are champions of inclusion. A Friend of FIRE Liaison is appointed to serve as a link from the Foundation to each FIRE Denver partner school.

Friends of FIRE meetings are scheduled throughout the school year to share information and to promote connections among families. Please contact for more information.

IGNITE Inclusion Committee

Teachers and Administrators: Consider Joining the Ignite Inclusion Committee!

  • Committee Vision Statement: Children of all abilities have the opportunity for a successful, inclusive Catholic education.
  • Committee Mission Statement: The mission of the Denver IGNITE Committee is to provide a system of knowledge and support necessary to empower Catholic educators in their efforts to provide an inclusive, Christ-centered education.
  • Please contact if you would like more information.
Kristen Lanier

Kristen Lanier

Director of Student Support Services, Office of Catholic Schools

Kristen Lanier comes to the Archdiocese of Denver’s Office of Catholic Schools with 18 years’ experience in education holding roles in the classroom, administration, educational coaching, and consulting. Her driving desire is to see all students known and thriving within the beauty of an authentically Catholic education. Lanier has a master’s degree in Educational Equity and Linguistic Diversity with an emphasis in special education from the University of Colorado. Her role will center around casting and articulating vision, bolstering systems to support exceptional learners, supporting schools serving children with special needs, coordinating professional development, fostering collegial dialogue, as well as being the touchpoint in the Office of Catholic Schools around exceptional students. She is a devoted wife and mother of four beautiful children.

Join a committee!

Do you have special skills in marketing, development, event planning, graphic design, grant writing or just want to get involved with FIRE Denver and join the fun? We are looking for motivated individuals to join our volunteer committees. Please reach out to with your skill set and committee you would like to join.

Friends of FIRE meetings are scheduled throughout the school year to share information and to promote connections among families. Please contact for more information.

Inclusion Resources

What does inclusion look like in Catholic schools? One Classroom has created a classroom manual, complete with step-by-step instructions on the process of inclusion, with more information coming soon! This is a great reference for teachers, administrators, as well as families interested in enrolling students with special needs!

one classroom manual

One Classroom Manual

Over and over again we’ve been told by principals, classroom teachers, and pastors that they would love to be more inclusive but just don’t know how. Here is your roadmap for how to act.

journal of catholic education

Journal of Catholic Education

A special issue on inclusion in Catholic schools.


National Catholic Educational Association

An agenda for serving students with disabilities in Catholic schools

us conference of catholic bishops

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pastoral statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on persons with disabilities

evidence on inclusion

A Summary of the Evidence on Inclusive Education

There is clear and consistent evidence that inclusive educational settings can confer substantial short- and long-term benefits for students with and without disabilities.

notre dame alliance for catholic education

Inclusion in Action Conference 2023

Inclusion in Action Conference 2023, The FIRE Foundation is pleased to present an inclusive education conference for principals, teachers, paraprofessionals and parents who are committed to creating and strengthening K-12 inclusive learning opportunities at their Catholic schools. February 16-17, 2023, virtual and in-person. Virtual taped conference is $99 with affiliate discount.

Peak Parent Center

Peak Parent Center

Sharing innovative, evidence-based information and strategies with families and educators AND connecting families – both to one another and to other educators and professionals – are key aspects of PEAK’s work in Colorado.

notre dame alliance for catholic education

University of Notre Dame: Program for Inclusive Education (PIE)

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) provides a spectrum of learning opportunities to foster the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for inclusive education.

notre dame alliance for catholic education

Blessed Hermann

The FIRE Foundation of Denver has adopted as patron saints two people who achieved holiness in this life while coping with very significant disabilities. Blessed Hermann of Richenau (11th c., Germany) and St.Margaret of Castello (13th -14th c., Italy) were both born into noble families but received very different reactions to the difficulties they suffered from birth. Blessed Hermann is believed to have had a cleft palate and cerebral palsy along with other maladies. His parents did what was possible to meet his physical needs and encouraged his intellectual precociousness, which was evident early in his life. At the
age of seven, he was invited to live at the Benedictine monastery on the island of Richenau and attend the cloister school. Despite his difficulties with mobility, speaking, and writing, and Hermann thrived at Richenau, mastering the subjects of the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music), eventually becoming a teacher and monk, and even being elected abbot by his brother Benedictines. He is best known today as the author of the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen).

notre dame alliance for catholic education

Saint Margaret of Castello

St. Margaret of Castello was born blind and afflicted with dwarfism and severe curvature of the spine. Her parents pretended that she had died at birth and kept her hidden. When she was six, they had a cell built onto their family chapel and shut Margaret up there. Her only visitor was a priest who catechized her through a window and was able to bring her the Eucharist. When Margaret was 15, her parents heard that miracles had been happening in the town of Castello and they took Margaret there hoping that she would be healed. Their prayers were not answered in the way they expected and her parents abandoned Margaret in Castello. She was taken in by a series of townspeople and eventually came to live in a Dominican convent and became a third order Dominican. Margaret spent the rest of her life serving people in Castello: catechizing children, visiting prisoners, and caring for the sick and dying. When she died at the age of 33, she was given the extraordinary honor of burial inside the church. Her body was later discovered to be incorrupt and today lies under the main altar in St. Dominic’s Church in Castello.

St. Margaret and Blessed Hermann, pray for us!

Prayer for Inclusion

Living and True God,

You created all that is good and holy in your image. Be close to us, your servants, who gather here today. Be our constant help and protection as we lovingly reach out to welcome and embrace all your children, regardless of abilities, in our parishes and schools. Bless our children as they grow together in faith, knowledge and friendship. And bless their parents and educators who guide them through challenges, who celebrate their special gifts, and who encourage them to reach their potential. We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.


Contact FIRE Foundation of Denver

Contact FIRE Foundation of Denver via the brief form below:

Call Us

(720) 464-7411

Mailing Address

40 W. Littleton Blvd, Suite 210-283   Littleton, CO 80120