Wednesday, April 13, 2005
In March 2004, the bank launched its new statewide educational program in Las Vegas when it adopted Helen Jydstrup Elementary. The new at-risk school adoption program is one of several educational programs the bank supports with monetary, in-kind, and volunteer services.
Prior to selecting Fremont Elementary, committee members in northern Nevada met with the superintendent of the Carson City School District to select the school.
''This is a wonderful and much needed program that the bank is bringing to our area and one that will have a positive impact on the students and teachers of this and the other at-risk schools the bank is adopting statewide,'' said Dr. Mary Pierczynsky, superintendent of the Carson City School District.
As an at-risk school, Fremont Elementary faces several challenges: increasing parent involvement, improving test scores, and assisting each student with his or her intellectual, physical, emotional and social development. Technology equipment is also a challenge many at-risk schools face given some of the district's budgetary constraints.
''This program is designed to provide at-risk schools with more of our human resources since we're a small company that doesn't have the monetary resources of a larger company,'' said Jerry Gregory, senior vice president and northern Nevada regional manager for Business Bank. ''We hope this program will also help other companies develop similar programs that would target at-risk schools.''
Gregory added that this new program allows bank employees five hours a week paid time to go into Fremont Elementary and volunteer their time doing a number of projects the school has identified as its greatest needs. Some of the bank's volunteer hours will be spent mentoring or tutoring students, providing teacher or student incentives, judging student contests, and more.