Wells Fargo donates $240,000 to East Bay public education

Mariana Phipps/Courtesy

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Wells Fargo presented $240,000 in donations Tuesday to 15 educational foundations and endowments from the East Bay at the Alameda County Office of Education.

The educational foundations included the Berkeley Public Education Foundation, which received $15,000, and the Oakland Schools Foundation, which received the largest grant of $50,000, according to Wells Fargo Assistant Vice President of Communications Mariana Phipps. The amount granted to each foundation or endowment was based on Wells Fargo’s assessment of the resources needed by the school districts that each foundation funds, Phipps added.

“We are a community bank, and as a member of the community, we give this grant every year to provide resources in the community and to help schools with purchasing school supplies or other pressing needs,” Phipps said.

The Berkeley Public Education Foundation operates in every public school in Berkeley by providing grants, volunteers, programs and support for activities like music and science, according to its website.

The grants, however, were only part of Wells Fargo’s annual contributions to local public education. Wells Fargo expects to donate more than half a million dollars to Bay Area public education between 2012 and 2013, Phipps said. This includes a donation of $110,000 to South Bay public education last November and an expected contribution to Contra Costa County public education next month.

With those in Berkeley, public education foundations chosen included those in Alameda, Albany, Castro Valley, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Union City, Newark, Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Richmond.

“(Because we are nonprofit organizations,) donations are definitely very critical, including grants, and that’s a large part of our support,” said Vicki Sedlack, community outreach director of Alameda Education Foundation.

Wells Fargo has donated more than $3.9 million in education funding in Alameda County since 2010, according to its press release.

Contact Yvonne Ng at [email protected]