With back to school season upon us we decided this was the perfect time to spotlight some of our partner agencies under our Education platform.

The first agency we’d like to spotlight is Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities is a human service agency that services all eight counties in Western New York, advocating for those in need – particularly those that are poor and vulnerable.

One of our funded programs is Catholic Charities Closing the Gap, which is a student performance initiative. Formed my UWBEC, Catholic Charities, Buffalo Public Schools, Erie County and the New York State Department of Education, Closing the Gap integrates health and human services into schools to address non-academic issues of children and families. The program helps families get the services they need to improve things at home, and to improve student’s work at school.

Schools were chosen based on academic performance and by neighborhoods where the interrelated problems of violence and poverty put children at risk of failing school. Currently there are 8 schools targeted: #27 Hillery Park, #30 Frank A. Sedita, #43 Lovejoy Discovery, #53 Community School, #74 Hamlin Park, #93 Southside Elementary, #94 West Hertel Academy, and #97/Harvey Austin.*

We are proud to say that this program serves over 4,000 students from Pre Kindergarten through 8th grade every year!

*Information from the Catholic Charities website.

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