Wells Fargo donates another $20,000 to Bellevue Schools Foundation to help local at-risk children stay in school, read and succeed
BELLEVUE — April 29, 1999
Wells Fargo has donated another $20,000 to the non-profit Bellevue Schools Foundation to support some of its programs to help local at-risk children succeed in all of Bellevue's 28 public schools. The new donation increases the total that Wells Fargo has given to the foundation since 1996 to $75,000.
"Our challenges is to serve the increasingly complex and diverse needs of Bellevue's 15,500 public school students, more than 2,600 of whom from low-income families," said Sheryl Ladd, executive director for the foundation. "Wells Fargo has been a consistent supporter of our efforts."
Some of the funds will go to The Volunteers in Bellevue's Educational System (VIBES) program, which trains community volunteers to serve as individual mentors for students at their schools. More than half the children come from low-income families. The mentors help the children improve their academic skills, personal behavior and work habits.
"All 400 students who were mentored in this program in 1997 and 1998 demonstrated significant, often dramatic, improvement," said Ladd.
Another portion of the grant will support the SUCCESS program. This program pairs mentors with students, ages six to 18, who are at risk of dropping out. Each volunteer mentor spends three to four hours weekly with his or her assigned student for at least one year.
"The program has had a 100-percent success rate in the past two years," said Ladd.
The grant will also support the district's Project Read literacy program, which provides additional reading instruction to students in kindergarten through Grade 3. The program includes an assessment of each student, which helps identify problem areas before the student experiences failure in reading. Started in 1997, Project Read has proven successful at helping raise local students' reading skills.
"Pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 education is a primary focus of Wells Fargo's community giving," said Craig Olson, a vice president in Wells Fargo's Private Client Services office in Bellevue. "We form partnerships with other organizations such as the Bellevue Schools Foundation that share our commitment to improving our communities. This grant is part of the $300 million that Wells Fargo committed to donating to our communities over a 10-year period."
Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo is a $201-billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through 5,836 stores and other distribution channels in all 50 states and Canada.
Parents and community leaders formed the Bellevue Schools Foundation in 1976. Its mission is to promote and help fund he best possible learning opportunities for all students in Bellevue's Public Schools.