BUFFALO, N.Y. -- M&T Bank announced it'll invest $1.6 million to help open another Children's Academy at Gerard Place on Buffalo's East Side.

"Approximately 100 children from Buffalo Promise Neighborhood community, six weeks old to school age, will be able to attend the new Children's Academy and receive a first class childhood education at no cost to families," said Glenn Jackson, Buffalo Promise Neighborhood COO & senior program director. 

The project will cost an estimated $3.5 million and Gerard Place is currently raising additional funds. Gerard Place provides housing and supportive services for homeless families in the Bailey-Delavan community. 

"The services that are going to be provided here will not only transform the lives of the women and children in this immediate neighborhood but it will actually transform the lives of the entire community," State Assemblywoman (D) Crystal Peoples-Stokes said.

The original Children's Academy opened on Bailey Avenue in late 2013 and now serves 130 children. Work on the new academy is expected to start this month.