Learn more about SVB 30 Years | 30 Causes
With 35 gallons of forest green paint, 150 paint brushes, 75 rollers and nearly 200 of my new colleagues and their family members, Silicon Valley Bank gave Willow Oaks Elementary School in Menlo Park some needed TLC.
| || ||An unfortunate reality is that there are schools all over the country that are not able to offer as much as they would like so their students may realize and discover their full academic potential. You may not think this applies to schools in Silicon Valley, but it is just as true here as anywhere else. As part of SVB’s 30 Years | 30 Causes campaign, this became very clear when we visited Willow Oaks Elementary School in Menlo Park, CA. This is a school in the same city as the most famous and successful venture capital firms in the world. Willow Oaks has no gym. It has no computer lab. |
Willow Oaks Elementary serves more than 700 students in grades K-8 from East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. Eighty-five percent of the students speak English as a second language. Ninety-five percent of the student body receives free or reduced lunch. The school works to promote a partnership between home, school and community, despite its limited resources. Willow Oaks has to be creative with its space to help facilitate learning for the students. With limited financial resources, the school relies heavily on community groups and volunteers for help. One of the Willow Oaks teachers told us that seeing small improvements at the school makes students feel cared for, parents feel respected, and teachers feel supported by the surrounding communities.
With that in mind, volunteers from Silicon Valley Bank’s offices in the Bay Area came together on a Saturday in October to help refresh and update Willow Oaks school. Throughout 2013, Silicon Valley Bank has been serving the communities near our offices around the world to celebrate our 30th year in business. So far, SVB volunteers have contributed nearly 3,000 hours specifically to families and children and approximately 7,000 hours in total as part of our anniversary campaign. One-third of our community service events have been held at schools.
At Willow Oaks, SVB volunteers split up into groups to complete various projects around the campus. The school is working hard to create an environment that promotes safety, and since it is located in an area that has historically been prone to gang activity, giving the school a fresh coat of paint was on the top of our priority list. All that green paint covered 93 doors and 8 wheelchair ramps. The clean-up and updates our volunteers completed, allowed us to give students and staff a renewed sense of pride in their school.
About 30 Years | 30 Causes
The “30 Years |30 Causes” campaign was developed after Silicon Valley Bank crowd sourced ideas from its employees to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The company will host 30 community service events around the world near each of its offices in 2013. A listing of SVB’s 30 Years | 30 Causes events, as well as photos, will be updated at svb.com/svb-30-years/ and facebook.com/SVBFinancialGroup Follow @SVB_Financial’s community service initiatives on Twitter with #SVB30. Points of Light is assisting SVB with the development and execution of these events worldwide.