Our work in Education is about helping children and youth reach their full potential by preparing them to get the right start in school, get supports along the way, and stay focused on graduation and a career.  The United Way invests in programs based on these priorities, and we also partner with others through community collaboration.

Last week Buffalo received one of 22 grants awarded nationally to create a Buffalo Promise Neighborhood.  This $500,000 planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education, supplemented by $150,000 from M&T Bank and $100,000 from the John R. Oishei Foundation, is going to make a huge difference in the lives of Buffalo children. Building off of M&T Bank’s success with the Westminster Community Charter School, partners will come together to improve community conditions that promote school success.  Collaborative partners, led by M&T Bank and the Westminster Foundation, include the John R. Oishei Foundation, Read to Succeed Buffalo, the City of Buffalo, Buffalo Public Schools, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, Catholic Charities, Buffalo Urban League and the University at Buffalo.

The collaborative, which pinpoints every aspect of the United Way’s Education platform will look to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone– which provides a continuum of services from before a child is born through college – and will focus on the area immediately surrounding Westminster Community Charter School, Highgate Heights Elementary School and Bennett High School.

It’s always exciting to see hard work pay off, especially when not only does it benefit our community, but our community came together to make it possible.

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