In photo, left to right - Blue Hills' District Treasurer Mr. Charles J. Gisondi; Bank of Canton President and CEO Mr. Stephen P. Costello; Bank of Canton Vice President of Business Development Ms. Paula Burke; Blue Hills District School Committee Chair and Randolph Member Marybeth Nearen. Photo by Judy Bass
By Judy Bass
CANTON - Bank of Canton has made a $5,000 donation to the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program offered to adults by Blue Hills Regional Technical School.
This donation is another milestone in the longstanding relationship between Bank of Canton and Blue Hills Regional. Over the years, Bank of Canton has supported Blue Hills Regional with monetary donations, by being a sponsor of events hosted by the school’s Booster Club, and by allowing the use of its corporate facility located at 490 Turnpike Street in Canton.
“We support our customers and help them achieve their goals; that's the role of a community bank,” explained Stephen P. Costello, president and CEO of Bank of Canton. “We have a great relationship with Blue Hills Regional Technical School. We've offered them complimentary use of our auditorium and conference space for orientations and graduations, and when the ESOL program needed space, we hoped we could provide a suitable temporary home.”
Mr. Costello continued, “Unfortunately, our facilities couldn't support the class size and daytime hours of the ESOL program. We were disappointed...but still determined to find a way to help Blue Hills Regional accomplish its goals. So instead, we donated $5,000 to help Blue Hills Regional defray the cost of leasing a temporary space for the ESOL program in the Canton/Randolph area.”
According to the Blue Hills Adult Education web site, https://adulted.bluehills.org/english-for-speakers-of-other-languages/, “The Blue Hills Adult Education ESOL program is a friendly, supportive place to learn English and other important skills. After attending our ESOL program, our students get jobs, promotions, and better jobs. They can help their children with homework and talk to their kids’ teachers. They can communicate with their neighbors, doctors, and local businesspeople.” There is no fee or tuition charged to students enrolled in this program, which has served a total of 1,541 students since September 2000.
Bank of Canton fully recognizes the value of Blue Hills Regional’s ESOL program to its students and the community. “Blue Hills Regional’s ESOL program provides students with better job prospects and career options, and raises the profile of the local workforce and economy. Their graduates' many success stories are inspiring,” said Paula Burke, vice president of business development at Bank of Canton.
Speaking of the school in general, she added, “We support Blue Hills Regional because of what the school contributes to the whole Canton/Randolph area in terms of its educational programs for traditional and adult students. The entire Blue Hills Regional ecosystem – its staff, students and graduates – all contribute to making the Canton/Randolph area the vibrant community that it is.”
Several people from the school expressed their sincere appreciation to Bank of Canton for its consistent support and generosity.
“We are very pleased to receive such a generous donation to a worthy extended operation of the Blue Hills Regional community,” said Superintendent-Director James P. Quaglia. “Blue Hills Regional’s relationship with Bank of Canton over the last few years -- from the essential financial relationship, as well as a community relations outreach standpoint -- has been outstanding.”
“The District School Committee is humbled by Bank of Canton's expression of support for our work and by standing with us to help our community members succeed,” said Marybeth Nearen, chair of the Blue Hills Regional District School Committee and its Randolph member.
“Our program is sincerely grateful for Bank of Canton’s generous donation,” said Tammy MacDonald, site coordinator for the ESOL program. “It’s clear that Bank of Canton shares our commitment to giving back to the local community. With the funds from this donation, our program will assist local adults looking to complete their high school equivalency or obtain the English skills necessary to seek better employment. Bank of Canton is helping us to change lives in our community.”
“Over the years I have had professional relationships with both large and smaller banks,” said Blue Hills Regional’s District Treasurer, Charles J. Gisondi. “If asked to rank them, I would place Bank of Canton at the top for: professionalism, open communication, community service, and a phenomenal personal commitment of the staff (at all levels). They have built a great working relationship (with Blue Hills Regional) that has far exceeded our expectations.”