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News Detail

St. John Fisher College Receives Grant from First Niagara Bank for Mentor Initiative


St. John Fisher College has received a $27,000 grant from First Niagara Bank that will fund a new mentoring initiative between the College and the World of Inquiry School No. 58.

The initiative will serve seventh and eighth grade students and their teachers, and will provide a mentoring/tutoring enrichment program, professional development opportunities, and a summer literacy clinic. Sheela Webster, principal at World of Inquiry School, identified a need for after-school enrichment opportunities using literacy-based instruction, hands-on experiences with technology, and mentoring and relationship building.

“The leadership and generosity of First Niagara Bank illustrates the positive impact the private sector can have on education. This is a step toward building meaningful opportunities between public schools and area colleges in an effort to prepare the work force for the 21st century,” said Webster.

Nine students from Fisher’s School of Education will participate in the enrichment program, tutoring the students on an individual basis as well as in small group settings. Those students receiving the assistance will be identified by teachers at the World of Inquiry School. The program will start this month and run through April, and will be supervised by a School of Education faculty member.

“The generous grant from First Niagara Bank supports our efforts to create an enriched learning opportunity for Fisher’s teacher candidates, as well as the students at the World of Inquiry School in the Rochester City School District,” said Dr. Mike Wischnowski, Interim Dean, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education. “Our teacher candidates can have an authentic teaching experience using recommended practices for literacy education while, at the same time, students at the World of Inquiry School can receive supplemental instruction and resources in reading and writing. It’s a great collaboration for all involved and we appreciate First Niagara’s devotion to this cause and helping make it happen.”

Fisher’s School of Education will also participate in professional development opportunities with teachers in the World of Inquiry School during the summer months, focusing on literacy intervention teaching and learning strategies for middle school students.

During July and August, World of Inquiry students will be invited to attend the School of Education’s summer literacy clinic on campus. The clinic will focus on all aspects of literacy, including word recognition, word meanings, reading fluency, and comprehension. Graduate students from Fisher’s Literacy Program will serve as tutors.

“First Niagara is delighted to partner with St. John Fisher College and World of Inquiry School to help students and teachers succeed," said Suzanne Nasipak-Chapman, Rochester Market Executive for First Niagara.

First Niagara Bank Grant

From L to R: Gina DiMonda, Vice President, First Niagara Bank; Maya Temperley, Fisher's Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations; Dr. Eileen Lynd-Balta, Interim Provost; and Dr. Richard DeJesús-Rueff, Vice President for Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives.

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