Buffalo Promise Neighborhood is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the educational and developmental outcomes of children within neighborhood schools. M&T Bank, through BPN, has a public/private partnership with three local schools: Highgates Heights Elementary, Westminster Community Charter School, and the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Children’s Academy. Highgates Heights Elementary and Westminster Community Charter School is for kindergarten to 8th grade, and BPN Children’s Academy is for infants to five years old. BPN serves over 12,000 residents in the city of Buffalo, including 3,000 children. There are 20 M&T Bank employees who work full-time with BPN and over 200 more employees who have volunteered for BPN in the past 12 months.

I have volunteered for three BPN events in the past month. The first event was Community Day at Westminster Community Charter School. This took place mainly outside of Westminster Community Charter School, where children within the BPN zone are encouraged to come by and play games, get their face painted, make a friendship bracelet, and more. There were fun activities for children to do along with food inside for them. The second event was Parent Achievement Zone, PAZ, also at Westminster Community Charter School. PAZ encourages students from Westminster along with their parents to come to the event. There is food served for everyone, and then the children go to the auditorium with EduCorp, and the parents receive a presentation about financial services. PAZ occurs once every month. The third event was The Taste of Curriculum. The Taste of Curriculum was again at Westminster Community Charter School. This is almost like an open house where all the teachers stay and get to meet the parents, and the children come along also. There are tables set up on every floor with different subjects such as mathematics, science, reading, gym, and there also are food tables on every floor with samplers. This is a great event to get the children along with the parents involved in the school.

Buffalo Promise Neighborhood is an amazing department within M&T Bank. It is a very small department compared to others at M&T Bank and they are always looking for volunteers.  If there is anyone interested in volunteering or getting more information, please go to: http://buffalopromiseneighborhood.org/home.html.