Guadalupe Center has received two grants from the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) totaling more than $1 million, contributions that will further enhance educational programs for the children of Immokalee.

The NCEF provided $524,000 to support Guadalupe Center’s highly successful Early Childhood Education Program, which serves children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. The NCEF, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, also awarded Guadalupe Center a $520,000 share of its “Children’s Out-of-School Time Initiative,” which will support the center’s After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program for children in kindergarten through second grade, as well as its college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program for Immokalee High School students.

“Each of these programs help provide children with a solid academic and social foundation, and it’s critically important to have children start out strong as soon as they begin elementary school,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “We are incredibly thankful for the NCEF’s continued support and partnership over the years, which truly is making a difference in the lives of our students.”

Guadalupe Center’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. Its Early Childhood Education Program is offered in two locations, and along with a home-based Smart Start Program for families with young children, serves approximately 375 children. The After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program supplements classroom learning with a goal of improving academic performance by third grade. This grant will increase the number of students served from 750 to 840 for the 2019-20 school year.

The NCEF, which supports youth-focused nonprofit organizations in Collier County, issued grants to 43 recipients with proceeds from this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival. The Wine Festival has raised over $191 million since its debut in 2001.

“The Naples Children & Education Foundation is proud to support these vital programs and organizations which benefit thousands of underprivileged and at-risk children throughout Collier County,” said Paul Hills, 2019 NCEF Grant Committee Chair. “We offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the 2019 Naples Winter Wine Festival. Every dollar that is raised under the tent of our Live Auction goes right back into the community, helping change the lives of the county’s most vulnerable children.”

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 meet or exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 92 percent graduate with a post-secondary degree.