Since 1990, Teach For America has been helping to alter the landscape of urban and rural schools throughout the US. This is done by calling upon local community leaders to engage students by teaching them the life skills that they have learned. In 2014, Teach For America was rolled out in Buffalo, and since that time over 120 people have taught in a number of the city’s highest needs public schools. This outreach has impacted over 10,000 students. As part of its partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, KeyBank has announced a $1 million charitable contribution to Teach For America-Buffalo.
Teach For America Buffalo also supports more than 85 alumni, five of whom currently lead high-performing traditional public and charter schools.
Teach for Buffalo’s primary goal is the permanently eliminate educational inequity.
“Teach For America Buffalo began in partnership with our schools, students, parents, community partners and faith-based leaders, and we are immensely proud of being a locally-grown organization,” said Katie Campos, Executive Director of Teach For America-Buffalo. “We extend our deepest gratitude to our partners at KeyBank and the First Niagara Foundation as this charitable gift will allow us to further our work and impact in ensuring that our students become the future leaders our city needs. To do so, every student in Buffalo must have access to an excellent and equitable education that prepares them for the college or career of their choice and a life of expanded opportunities. We are proud to be a strong partner to Buffalo Public Schools and Superintendent Dr. Cash, who work relentlessly to deliver on Buffalo’s Education Bargain.”
“This grant will help Teach For America Buffalo continue the good work and positive academic momentum that is underway in the city school district,” said Gary Quenneville, First Niagara Foundation Board Member and KeyBank Regional Sales Executive. “We are pleased to support this initiative that will have a transformative effect on city schools.”
Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director of the First Niagara Foundation added, “We care deeply about initiatives that help our children achieve their full potential. Our partnership with Teach For America to promote academic excellence will help ensure that our schools have the resources needed to provide a solid learning environment, strong community and bright future for our region.”
Dr. Kriner Cash, Superintendent, Buffalo Public Schools said, “The Teach For America partnership has benefitted the District enormously in the last five years through the recruitment of strong, diverse teaching candidates in identified shortage areas. I thank Katie Campos for her extraordinary TFA leadership, and KeyBank and the First Niagara Foundation for their generous grant in recognition of the importance of the TFA/BPS partnership. As a district that seeks top talent and diversity in its teaching force, we expect to grow and retain our corps of TFA instructional leaders for many years to come.”
Alex Montante, Founding Chair, Teach For America Buffalo Board of Directors, said “KeyBank and the First Niagara Foundation share a deep belief in the unlimited potential of our students. We are grateful to be able to work alongside our community partners to honor the brilliance and creativity of our students.”
The funding announcement took place in Teach For America Buffalo’s 2014 founding corps member Maggie Chappel’s classroom. Chappel is a fifth year first grade teacher at Frank A. Sedita Academy – her deep belief in her students and families grounds her in the work and encourages her to continue to advocate and educate her students about the power of community, tapping into her students’ unlimited potential.