On September 14, 1936 Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School opened with three Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa and 103 students. Parents of Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School students were seeking a school where their children would be treated with dignity and respect while receiving a quality education.
For 78 years Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School has been a fixture in the Waverly Community, providing a quality education to both African Americans and whites in the Columbia area. Some of Columbia's most influential African Americans attended Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School: doctors, lawyers, professors, dentists, politicians, teachers, engineers, community developers, chairpersons, dancers, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Today Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School continues in its tradition of excellence with smaller teacher to student ratio classes, extra curriculum activities, and an emphasis on the student's spiritual growth. Currently the student to teacher ratio is 10:1 in grades pre-3 and pre-4 and 15:1 in grades one through five. Each student is given personalized attention.
Students at Saint Martin de Porres can sign up for extra curricular activities such as, Girl Scouts, karate, strings, and gymnastics. Students in the third, fourth and fifth grades can audition for the Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School Gospel Choir, the only Catholic school gospel choir in the state. The choir has performed throughout the state and before Rev. Bishop Baker.
Although only a small percentage of students are Catholic, all students attend weekly Mass and learn about the Catholic faith in religion classes. Students participate in the Mass proceeding by reading scripture, reading the responsorial psalm, writing and reading the mass intentions, and bring Father the eucharistic gifts. Father Paul presides over the Mass taking daily readings and translating it to kid friendly interpretation.
As with a shining star, Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School continues to be a beacon of light for our children and our community.