Two newly opened charter schools in Buffalo received a funding boost Monday. Evans Bank delivered a total of $250,000 as the bank’s ‘signature community education’ investment in supporting the schools “Building Excellent School’s” program’s.
Buffalo Collegiate Charter School and Persistence Preparatory Academy each received $125,000 in funding.
Evans Bank President and CEO David Nasca says the funding will help the schools provide two-years of afterschool and summer programming.
“These kids are in school longer. There’s enrichment programs at the end of the day whether its music, ballet and everybody is getting exposed to culturals – this is a way for them to be able to do that,” remarked Nasca.
Both schools opened in late August with a majority of students coming from the city’s east side.
Persistence Preparatory is located on Michigan Avenue in the Family Life Center with St. John Baptist Church. Persistence Preparatory founder and head of school, Joelle Formato tells WBFO News her school houses 105-students in K-through-first grade mainly from the east side.
“Our families largely come from the east side,” Formato explained.
Formato said the school has an intense focus on literacy and math.
“We certainly have a very long school day where students arrive to us at 7 a.m. and they are with us through after school until 5 p.m. We have two full time teachers in each of our classrooms to really focus on small group instruction, making sure we are meeting students exactly where they are – pushing them where they need to be," Formato explained.
Buffalo Collegiate Charter is located on Jewett Avenue with students in fourth and fifth grade, but plans to grow for students in fourth through 12th grade.
“A majority of our students from the east side of Buffalo. We have some coming from the west side. We are providing supports to families through transportation. That is offered to all families free-of-charge,” explained school founder and school head Brian Pawloski.
Pawlowski explained students arrived this past August from 30 different schools around the city that included other charter and private schools.
“Parents want the opportunity for students to go to college,” Pawloski remarked. “I want to make sure we provide that for students.”
Buffalo Collegiate fourth grader Christian Curry is a former Buffalo Public School #54 student.
WBFO News asked Curry what he thinks of his new school.
“It’s just a great opportunity to learn and get more knowledge. I love it here,” Curry responded.
Curry said he selected the new charter school because he feels there is more opportunity to learn.
Both school leaders saID having Evan’s Bank provide funding is an imperative to partner to their work. The funding will help the schools with their afterschool and summer programs over the next two years and professional development for teachers.
“The charter funding model in the state of New York is challenging. We get about a third less than a public school student within the city of Buffalo, so we are working to close that gap. We will use it for professional development for our teachers and enrichment exposure,” remarked Pawloski.
"It’s deeply humbling to have partners like Evans Bank,” declared Formato.