April 10, 2024

Inspiring a Sense of Belonging in the Classroom

Working with San Miguel School to See Every Student

Encouraging a culture of belonging is essential in today’s changing world. Our schools are places where students need to feel seen, heard, and valued for who they are and the unique talents and interests they bring to the table.

That’s why BayCoast Bank, a strong supporter of education in our community, proudly provided a grant to the San Miguel School in Providence, Rhode Island, supporting their efforts to strengthen a sense of belonging in the classroom. Founded in 1993, San Miguel provides a middle school education for boys who come from challenging and diverse backgrounds. The school promotes a culture that emphasizes citizenship, service and personal responsibility in a caring and nurturing environment.

“Students are more academically successful and engaged when they feel connected to their school and community,” said Mel Bride, current Director of Advancement and Strategic Partnerships and Incoming Executive Director at San Miguel. “With BayCoast’s support, we were able to engage a consultant who worked with our board and staff on the importance of building an inclusive school community where all members are seen and valued for their unique qualities. Learning in an inclusive community gives our students a clear advantage as they pursue their academic and personal goals beyond middle school. Our hope is to be the most welcoming and supportive place we can be for our students, and this grant will help us achieve that goal.”

BayCoast’s support will help ensure that the school is providing meaningful, diverse and equitable programming, while encouraging students as they build their own a sense of self.

“We are thrilled to provide this important grant to the San Miguel School, “ said Helena Moronta, First Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer for BayCoast Bank. “Learning about our differences allows students to explore perspectives and opinions they may not have otherwise considered, giving them an opportunity to think critically and examine the world in fresh new ways. This lays the foundation for meaningful conversations, which can foster stronger relationships and understanding.”

Notes Bride, “BayCoast has such an awesome reputation for working in the communities we care about. We are grateful for their support. Very grateful.”

Inspired by the pillars of faith, service, and community, young men at San Miguel are encouraged to learn and serve, and to grow to reach their full potential. The school currently serves 64 students in grades five through eight.

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