Washington Trust Charitable Foundation awards $125,000 to Central Falls for development of El Centro

June 14, 2024 - Rhode Island

Central Falls, RI The Washington Trust Charitable Foundation has awarded $125,000 to the city to support the development of El Centro, a centralized community hub that will provide health, wellness, and workforce development resources for the community. The five-year grant will support the planning, programming, and ongoing redevelopment of the building that will become future home of El Centro at 702 Broad St.

El Centro will be a one-stop, centralized, culturally responsive resource that will connect all residents and employees with the health, mental health, wellness, fitness, educational, workforce development, and other wraparound support necessary to thrive. The Central Falls Office of Constituent Services and Health, which will also be housed at El Centro, will expand to oversee liaisons (from existing service providers, where possible) for support and services such as the domestic violence task force, behavioral & mental health, public safety behavioral health, after school and summer education, workforce development and small business assistance, and more.

“Washington Trust is thrilled to invest in the El Centro initiative in partnership with the leadership team of the city of Central Falls,” said Edward Handy III, Washington Trust chairman and CEO. 

“This transformative project will provide and centralize critically needed community services for underserved residents and their families. We look forward to celebrating the success of the positive outcomes as the project gets underway!”

“We are grateful for the impactful support of Washington Trust that’s visible throughout our city, from school programming to helping us make our dream of El Centro a reality,” said mayor Maria Rivera. “El Centro will be life-changing for our residents, and none of its future resources or work would be possible without the generous support of our community partners who help our families thrive.”

Washington Trust also provides financial education support and programming for several schools in Central Falls, including: Calcutt Middle School, Central Falls Senior High School, The Learning Community Charter School, and Segue Institute for Learning. Through the bank’s financial literacy program, all schools are provided with free financial education software, classroom materials, and the opportunity for Washington Trust employees to teach relevant financial wellness topics.

In 2024, Washington Trust employees also facilitated an 8-week after-school “Money Madness” club at The Learning Community Charter School, where Bank employees worked with middle grade students to explore financial topics such as saving, investing, and building a business. The Bank also recently hosted a Career Speed-Networking session, where Bank leaders had the opportunity to meet with all 8th grade students in small groups to discuss the variety of career opportunities available in the banking industry.



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