Countdown to Kindergarten

Countdown to Kindergarten

In the photo from left to right: Sam Bitar - Executive Director of the Webster Five Foundation and Business Analyst, Webster Five; Loreta Sulejman – Chandler Street, Worcester Branch Manager, Webster Five; Joseph Cox – President, EcoTarium; and Patricia Crawford - Deputy Director, EcoTarium

The Webster Five Foundation announced that, as part of its Web of Caring to Make a Difference program, it will donate $5,000 to the EcoTarium in Worcester, Massachusetts. The donation will be used to help fund the second annual “Countdown to Kindergarten: Worcester” event at the EcoTarium, which is designed to prepare Worcester Public Schools’ incoming kindergartners and their families for the transition to kindergarten.

Webster Five’s Web of Caring to Make a Difference program reinforces the bank’s long-standing initiative to give back to the community by supporting local organizations that are making a difference. “Countdown to Kindergarten: Worcester” fits this initiative as it aims to help families with young children build school readiness and learn about community resources, and accommodates families who experience physical challenges, as well as learning or social difficulties.

Throughout the evening, children and their families participate in many different activities such as learning to board a school bus and meeting a crossing guard, receiving health information and meeting school nurses, and visiting a mock classroom. They also get to explore the EcoTarium free of charge.

Richard T. Leahy, president and chief executive officer of Webster Five, stated, “We appreciate what the “Countdown to Kindergarten: Worcester” event offers to families in the area. Webster Five is honored to support the EcoTarium’s goal to help create a smooth transition into kindergarten for registered Worcester Public School students, while improving access to education, culture, and the arts.”

EcoTarium President, Joseph P. Cox, stated, “We are very grateful to Webster Five for their donation, which will allow us to continue to hold this great event for Worcester families. We are a proud partner in the educational experience of children and families, and will continue to expand social and learning activities to help children transition from home or pre-school into kindergarten.”

About EcoTarium

EcoTarium is New England's leading museum of science and nature, an indoor-outdoor experience dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and nature in visitors of all ages. The museum includes a building with three floors of interactive exhibits, the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, daily Science Discovery programs, live animal habitats, nature trails through its forest and meadow, a tree canopy walkway (seasonal), and its newest outdoor interactive exhibit, Nature Explore®.

The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, Mass., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for members, $14 for adults, $10 for children 2-18, seniors 65+ and students with ID. WOO card holders receive $2 off admission for up to four people. Planetarium shows and the Tree Canopy Walkway require additional admission. Parking is free. For more information, visit ecotarium.org.

About Web of Caring to Make a Difference

Web of Caring to Make a Difference is a bank-wide community program created by Webster Five as a tangible means for the bank as an organization and its employees as individuals to make a positive impact by supporting local organizations that also are making a difference. Through the Webster Five Foundation, the program has donated more than $2 million dollars to various local nonprofit organizations for programs that support expanding and improving access to education, culture and the arts, social services, charitable activities and community development. Requests for funding through the Webster Five Foundation are reviewed by the board of directors and are awarded to established 501(c)(3) organizations in the above sectors that qualify.
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