The grants were presented to representatives of seven local school districts March 27 by the Financial Institutions Fund, a recently established fund generously financed by a consortium of local financial institutions.
Westmorland, Heber, El Centro, Seeley Union , Mulberry, Magnolia Union elementary and Brawley Union High school districts each received $1,000 grants. The fund’s board of directors had also voted to support the Imperial Valley Press's literacy primer Exito!, which is aimed at the Valley's fifth-grade English-language learners.
The Financial Institutions Fund was created a few years ago and is supported through a funding mechanism that draws monies from participating banks’ reserves. Participating institutions include First Imperial Credit Union, Sun Community Federal Credit Union, Community Valley Bank, and Rabobank.
Education was identified as a top funding priority for the fund, officials said.
"Our goal is to have the local banks and the majors too," said CVB chief executive Bob Hahn, referring to national banks such as Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo that have local branches.
The fund was established to pool the charitable contributions of the Valley's financial institutions and address community needs.
IVCF chief executive Bobby Brock called the fund a "unique" public-private partnership whose aim is to become a self-sustainable endowment.