New programs look to fill gaps for city students

Oct 19, 2015

For many struggling school kids in Buffalo, it's likely their after-school help will come from programs like Say Yes to Education, Catholic Charities or the United Way.

A new program teams UB basketball players with students from Buffalo public schools.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

That showed when hundreds of young girls showed up at UB for a program to introduce them to sports and to women athletes at the UB so they can be role models.

United Way President and CEO Mike Weiner says this effort benefits from the school system doing a mass hiring of gym teachers to bring schools up to state standards.

"The likelihood is that it will be complementary to the things that we are doing on weekends and after school, out of school time types of services that are very similar, promote physical activity, promote teen participation, help expose kids to athletics and the career pathways associated with them, help them learn from college-age athletes where there's no better way to learn and to thrive," Weiner said.

That program benefits from$2 million given to the United Way endowment by the Ralph C. Wilson Junior Foundation which has given other grants to help girls learn about the benefits of exercise and sports so they grow up and carry that interest into their adult years.