National Fuel announced as community school corporate partner at Woodrow Wilson Middle School

Monday Oct 16th, 2023

United Way of Erie County and Erie’s Public Schools have announced National Fuel as the community school corporate partner for Woodrow Wilson Middle School. United Way, as the backbone organization for community schools, has worked over the last several months to build a strong partnership with National Fuel and secure their long-term support as a committed corporate partner for Wilson. 

"National Fuel is proud to support the United Way's important and impactful Community School Initiative and its mission to crush poverty," said Mike Colpoys, Senior Vice President at National Fuel. "The National Fuel team is excited to be the corporate partner for Woodrow Wilson Middle School and to help faculty, students and families reach new levels of growth and success." 

“We are thrilled to continue the momentum of community schools with today’s announcement of National Fuel’s support of public education through collective impact,” Erie’s Public Schools Superintendent Brian Polito said. “We see every day how the Community School Model makes a real and concrete difference in the lives of our students and their families by removing barriers to learning and expect it will have a tremendous impact.”

Corporate partners are essential to the success of United Way's community school initiative in Erie County. The Corporate Partner commits to financial support for a minimum three-year cycle. They may designate a champion to serve as liaison to the Community School, including engaging with the Community School Director to identify and oversee other employees as volunteers.

United Way president Laurie Root shared, "At United Way, we are fortunate to foster partnerships through community schools that leverage the business community’s philanthropic interests with true social impact. We are incredibly grateful to National Fuel for their support of our mission to crush poverty through education in Erie County and look forward to the tremendous impact that will result from their support as a corporate partner to Wilson.”

At United Way, we know education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in our community. That is why in 2016, United Way shifted its focus to education and launched the community school model in our community. To date, there are 16 community schools throughout four districts in Erie County. And, recently we announced our launch of the model at Erie High School thanks to transformational jumpstart funding from our friends at The Erie Community Foundation.

Community schools bring a wide range of resources into schools to support students and their families. The community schools model is a strategy (not a program) for organizing school and community resources around student success. A community school is both a place and set of partnerships that help address health, wellness and the social needs of its students, families and the surrounding neighborhood.

After the success of the first five community schools in the City of Erie, Erie’s Public Schools made a commitment to expand the model throughout the school district. That commitment was realized in April of 2022 when it was announced that Wilson Middle School would become community school.

United Way community schools already in place in Erie’s Public Schools include:

  1. Diehl Elementary School
  2. East Middle School
  3. Edison Elementary School
  4. Grover Cleveland Elementary School
  5. Harding Elementary School
  6. Jefferson Elementary School
  7. JoAnna Connell Elementary School
  8. Lincoln Elementary School
  9. McKinley Elementary School
  10. Perry Elementary School
  11. Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School
  12. Strong Vincent Middle School
  13. Woodrow Wilson Middle School

Additional schools throughout Erie County include Iroquois Elementary in the Iroquois School District, Elk Valley Elementary in the Girard School District and Union City Elementary in the Union City Area School District.