Our volunteers play an essential role in helping to deliver the promise throughout the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood. Our volunteers work side-by-side with teachers, students, families and our community. BPN volunteers come from throughout Western New York and are M&T Bank employees, community members, past students, corporate citizens, and college students.
BPN Volunteers not only help out at events, such as community gatherings or PAZ Café, they are also an integrated part of our schools. Some examples of school volunteer-led programs are:
BPN Mentor Program
In Partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County, students from Highgate Heights Elementary and Westminster Community Charter School are matched with a mentor from M&T Bank.
“It’s such a joy to spend time with my mentee. She’s so cheerful and always ready to enjoy any outing we go on. This has been one of my favorite experiences!”— Stephanie Muller, M&T Bank Employee, Westminster Community Charter School Student Mentor
Junior Reading Superheroes
Volunteers read with small groups of children at BPN Children's Academy. Students learn the importance of reading as they open their imaginations to new worlds through discussions with volunteers about the books they’re reading.
“Having the volunteers come and read to our kids in Reading Superheroes sends many important messages. Sharing stories promotes literacy in a natural and informal way and is a bonding activity. Our students hear another reading voice and get exposure to vocabulary and new books. The volunteers also model the spirit of sharing by becoming a part of their weekly routine.”– Steven Koch, Westminster Community Charter School Teacher
“Reading Superheroes is such a meaningful addition to the week for our school’s youngest students. When they see volunteers, who are not teachers, coming to our school just to read, the message is clear! Reading and listening to books is important!”– Sarah McBride, Westminster Community Charter School Teacher
Westminster Teaching Garden During the summer months, we rely on M&T Volunteers to help us spruce-up and maintain our community vegetable garden. The vegetables in this garden are used as teaching tools during the warm months of the school year and our chef harvests them at the end of the season to be cooked in meals for the children and staff.
This garden requires weekly tending during the summer. Our dedicated M&T gardeners help us keep it healthy and thriving.
Buffalo Promise Neighborhood partners with Junior Achievement of Western New York to bring their volunteer-led financial literacy program fosters financial literacy skills, and uses experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential. With the help of volunteers, Highgate Heights and Westminster Community Charter School students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st century global marketplace.
“Junior Achievement is a wonderful learning experience that we were fortunate to have in our classroom. The activities were fun, engaging and necessary for our kids to explore 21st century skills. Our M&T volunteers — Mr. Mike and Ms. Darcy — did a fantastic job working with my kids!” — Holly Walentynowicz, Highgate Heights Teacher
“I liked JA in a Day because we did fun activities, played fun games and learned a lot about what we have to do if we want to be entrepreneurs. My favorite part of the program was when we played the expense and revenue games.”— Pierre Woods, 6th grade student at Highgate Heights
For more information on Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Volunteer Opportunities, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.