Guadalupe Center receives $60,000 United Way grant to enhance after-school, summer learning programs

united way grant supports guadalupe center flGuadalupe Center received a $60,000 grant from the United Way of Collier and the Keys to help eliminate the achievement gap by bolstering after-school and summer learning opportunities. 

The grant will support Guadalupe Center’s After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program, which provides early intervention annually for 800 kindergartners, first- and second-graders who score below grade-level on county assessments. 

“Not every child enters school with the same academic skills and knowledge, and early intervention is critically important in making sure students don’t fall behind their classmates,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “Extra time, whether it’s two hours after school or full days during the summer, is the best way for students to maintain academic progress.” 

United Way funding will allow Guadalupe Center to pay wages to Immokalee High School students who serve as reading and math tutors. The 117 high school students are part of Guadalupe Center’s college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program.  

In Immokalee, 31.7% of residents live in poverty and 53.6% of adults do not have a high school diploma. By comparison, just 7.6% of Naples residents live in poverty and only 3.6% do not have a high school diploma. Researchers point to that correlation as a reason to elevate education programs in disadvantaged communities. 

The United Way of Collier and the Keys focuses its philanthropic efforts on programs that improve education, income and health, with a special focus on ALICE – residents who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. 

“A high-quality education creates hope and opportunity for every student, and support from the United Way and other partners ensures that all children have access to the resources that will help them achieve their dreams,” said Ellie Ramirez, director of the After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program. “Everything is possible with an education.”