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Helping Students Climb Ahead


Watson Williams Elementary School recently celebrated the installation of an interactive sports wall made possible through the generosity of a $14,400 grant from the M&T Bank/Partners Trust Bank Charitable Fund and other community partners.

Located in the school’s gymnasium, the climbing wall encourages children to participate in imaginative play, while enhancing their social skills and physical health.

“All children deserve a safe place to play and exercise and it is our hope that the Watson Williams Elementary sports wall will provide this for current and future students,” said David Manzelmann, M&T Bank Utica market president. “We are pleased that we could help the Utica City School District bring this important project to fruition.”

Children of all abilities can use the recreational space, which will enhance the physical, social and emotional development of students by complementing the intellectual development taking place within the classroom.

Dr. Cheryl B. Minor, Principal of Watson Williams Elementary School 

“Play is vital to healthy development in children,” said Dr. Cheryl Minor, principal at Watson Williams Elementary. “Research shows that students who have the opportunity for regular physical activity do better in the classroom and are healthier overall.”