Needham Bank Provides METCO Funding for Third Consecutive Year
Needham, MA -- Needham Bank announced that it will provide a total of $25,000 in funding, spread among five school districts serving six local communities, to subsidize the level-funding of the METCO programs in each town.
In 2015, Needham Bank learned of budget cuts made to the METCO program state-wide which affected the participating school districts in five of the Bank’s branch communities. After working with the Superintendents to understand the implications of these cuts, the Bank donated to each of the town’s METCO programs.
“We are thrilled to continue partnering with our community METCO programs for the third year in a row,” stated Eric Morse, Executive Vice President at Needham Bank. “I have always admired METCO’s mission to increase diversity and expand educational opportunities in our community and that is something Needham Bank is proud to be a part of.”
Photo (L-R): David Lussier, Superintendent of Wellesley Public Schools, Deborah Ward, Student Services Manager of METCO, Inc, Eric Morse, Executive Vice President at Needham Bank, Kalise Wornum, METCO Director of Wellesley Public Schools, and Stephen Walls, Branch Manager of Needham Bank’s Wellesley Branch.
METCO is a voluntary grant program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When the program began 51 years ago, there were seven participating school districts with 200 students served. METCO has grown significantly in 51 years and now has 38 participating school districts, serving 3,300 students, 475 of which are in the six communities the Bank serves.
“The grant from Needham bank has gone a long way to help to bring about educational equity and address achievement concerns. The donation allowed for 47 elementary students to receive and participate in academic and enrichment programs. This grant both directly impacted the academic achievement of METCO students but in equal importance, the funds helped the town of Wellesley to strengthen community engagement between cultures,” remarked Kalise Wornum, METCO Director of Wellesley Public Schools.
Six communities in Boston’s MetroWest suburbs will benefit from the funding – Natick, Needham, Dover, Sherborn (as part of the Dover-Sherborn Regional School District), Wellesley and Westwood.
“We could not be happier with the support Needham Bank has continuously provided to the Westwood Public Schools. Being a part of the METCO program is something that we are incredibly proud of here in Westwood, and having the support of a community partner who sees the importance of this program is invaluable to us,” commented Emily Parks, Superintendent of Westwood Public Schools.
Andrew Keough, Superintendent of Dover-Sherborn Public Schools, echoed Emily’s remarks, “being new to the Dover-Sherborn school district, I was surprised to hear of this support offered by Needham Bank. I can already understand why they are a great resource for our schools.”
This year, at the check presentation hosted by Needham Bank, Deborah Ward from the state METCO program addressed the attendees. “It’s not every day that you hear of a Bank reaching out to proactively offer this kind of support to any program or organization,” said Deborah Ward, Students Services Manager, METCO, Inc. “ Needham Bank has set a shining example by continuously partnering with METCO; the faculty and students are incredibly appreciative of that.”
METCO – officially the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity – has provided tens of thousands of Massachusetts students a chance to experience a more diverse educational setting.