Summer Interns with First Niagara Fdn & KeyBank


Invests $45,000 to support New Haven area youth mentoring initiative

NEW HAVEN, CT, July 14, 2017 – New Haven Reads Community Book Bank announced that it will receive grant funding totaling $45,000 over the next three years ($15,000 per year) from First Niagara Foundation in partnership with KeyBank to support literacy programs for low income students during its six-week summer session. The grant is part of the Foundation’s Legacy Mentoring Initiative, which provides continued support to quality youth mentoring programs throughout the former First Niagara’s legacy markets now served by KeyBank.

First Niagara, which was acquired by KeyBank in mid-2016, has underwritten the cost of New Haven Reads’ summer internship program for the last five summers, employing college interns to provide one-on-one literacy tutoring for more than 300 local at-risk grade school students.

New Haven Reads Executive Director Kirsten Levinsohn joined KeyBank representatives on Thursday to celebrate the ongoing partnership and the new grant.

“As a result of the support of First Niagara Foundation in partnership with KeyBank, we are able to have six college students provide one-on-one tutoring and run enrichment clubs for grade school students during the critical summer months,” said Levinsohn. “This program ensures that students do not miss the opportunity to have a caring adult work with them and maintain their reading level through the summer in preparation for success next school year.”

“Mentoring impacts the lives of young people in many positive ways and investments like this are invaluable for keeping them on the path to bright futures,” said Jeff L. Hubbard, KeyBank’s Connecticut and Western Massachusetts market president. “The benefits of this grant are two-fold: it provides meaningful summer employment for local college students, and caring mentors and tutors to at-risk school children.”

In addition to grant funding, KeyBank will provide financial literacy training to New Haven Reads interns, many of whom are receiving paid employment for the first time and will benefit from a foundational education in smart money management and financial wellness.

New Haven Reads - First Niagara intern group shot 2


Seated (from left to right): New Haven Reads interns Lessly Portillo (Mount Holyoke College); Marley Kennedy (Albertus Magnus College); Jailene Garzon (Gateway Community College); Jade Thomas (University of Connecticut); Standing (from left to right): intern Lily Roeller (University of Connecticut); Kristin Bures, Branch Manager for KeyBank’s downtown New Haven branch; intern Sara Feinstein (Emory University); New Haven Reads Executive Director Kirsten Levinsohn; KeyBank Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Market President Jeff Hubbard



About New Haven Reads Community Book Bank

New Haven Reads, founded to “share the joy and power of reading,” works to increase the literacy skills of children in order to improve their chance of academic success by providing a neighborhood book bank, quality after-school tutoring and educational family support at no cost to those who otherwise would not have access to these services.


About The First Niagara Foundation in Partnership with KeyBank

Founded in 1998, the First Niagara Foundation in partnership with KeyBank will carry out the philanthropic legacy of First Niagara Bank by supporting not for profit organizations dedicated to empowering individuals and neighborhoods primarily in Western New York.  First Niagara Foundation also continues a focus on supporting quality youth mentoring in all legacy markets of the former First Niagara Bank.




Categories First Niagara Summer Internship, News & Events | Tags: | Posted on July 14, 2017

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