The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has awarded a pair of grants to help expand early childhood education and after-school tutoring programs at Guadalupe Center in Immokalee.
Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization with a mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee, will receive $500,000 to expand its early childhood education program, as well as $65,000 to bolster its after-school tutoring program.
“We are pleased to support the great work being accomplished in Immokalee through the Guadalupe Center,” said Mary Beth Geier, Florida Director for the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. “The Guadalupe Center provides high quality early childhood experiences for children in a learning environment which is safe, educational and caring. The Guadalupe Center also brings great value to the community through their after school tutoring and mentoring programs. Together, these opportunities have a significant impact on building stronger futures for the children in Immokalee.”
Guadalupe Center has 307 children from infancy through 5 years old in its Early Childhood Education Program, which includes The Martin Family Foundation Campus at Lake Trafford Elementary School. The newly expanded SmartStart Program provides services for 50 children under the age of 3, along with their families. The Early Childhood Education Program’s waiting list exceeds 500 children. With an insufficient amount of high-quality, accredited programs in Immokalee, many children are not prepared academically to start kindergarten. Guadalupe Center is one of just three providers among 51 in Immokalee to have earned Gold Seal status from the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Guadalupe Center’s After-School Program serves more than 670 students in addition to 368 students in the Summer Enrichment Program, each of whom receives additional academic help in reading, math and science. In addition to licensed education professionals, high school students in Guadalupe Center’s college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program and Tutor Corps graduates work in small groups and one-on-one with children to reinforce lessons and assist with homework. The program’s overall goal is to eliminate the achievement gap often experienced by lower-income students.
“These generous grants from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation will enable us to provide a high-quality education experience to a broader group of children,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of the Guadalupe Center. “We are proud to partner with the Foundation and share many of the same guiding principles, and this partnership certainly will raise the level of education in Immokalee.”
About the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation (RMSFF) was created in 2004 by Best Buy founder, Dick Schulze, to give back to the communities where Dick and his family grew up – in Minnesota, where he built Best Buy to become the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer and in Florida, where he now maintains a permanent residence. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation creates grant partnerships with organizations that generate transformational results in human and social services, education, and health and medicine.
About Guadalupe Center
Guadalupe Center is a purpose-driven, nonprofit organization with proven results in creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee through education and fostering personal and academic success that leads to economic independence. With a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Guadalupe Center is proud of the children’s accomplishments: 94 percent exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 90 percent graduate with a post-secondary degree.