Bank's financial support will enable purchase of new and used books to enhance literacy efforts targeting over 100,000 students at 180 schools throughout Western New York
The First Niagara Foundation is providing $5,000 in funding to maintain and expand a literacy program offered by The Teacher's Desk Inc., which increases access to reading materials for teachers and students in Western New York.
The Teacher's Desk Inc. provides books and magazines to teachers free of charge to increase student access to quality reading materials that spark their interests. The Teacher's Desk is the store in Buffalo where teachers shop free for school supplies, resources and books for students in need.
Only teachers at schools at which 70 percent or more of the students enrolled qualify for the federal lunch program are eligible to shop at The Teachers Desk.
"At First Niagara, we are committed to supporting initiatives that enhance education opportunities for our young people, helping them to thrive and reach their full potential," said Elizabeth Gurney, executive director of the First Niagara Foundation. "The Teacher's Desk is providing valuable resources for teachers and students across Western New York and is working to fill an important need in our community. We are very proud to partner with them and help them make such an impact on young lives."
"We are grateful to First Niagara for their ongoing support and encouragement," said John Mika, executive director of The Teacher's Desk. "Over 100,000 students and 5,100 teachers will benefit from this program, which gives them access to literature they otherwise might not have."
The First Niagara Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable entity. Founded in 1998, the First Niagara Foundation is committed to supporting organizations in the communities in which members live and work, with specific focus on youth and education, community development and neighborhood revitalization. In 2015, the First Niagara Foundation contributed nearly $6 million in charitable grants to community partners across the bank's four-state footprint.