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Guadalupe Resale Shop to reopen May 11 with new hours, private shopping experiences

Guadalupe Resale Shop will reopen to the public on May 11 on a modified operating schedule that includes both general shopping hours and private shopping experiences.

The Resale Shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The store will limit capacity to 10 shoppers as a means of maintaining social distancing. Donations also will be accepted during those times by dropping off items behind the store; receipts are being offered electronically through GuadalupeCenter.org/Resale-Shop/receipt.

Additionally, shoppers can make appointments for private shopping experiences from 9 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Resale Shop will be closed Saturdays and Sundays.

“Reopening the Resale Shop allows us to continue supporting Guadalupe Center’s mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee,” said Kat McNabb, store manager. “We have professionally cleaned the entire store, but understand many people do not yet feel comfortable shopping among crowds, so that’s why we are introducing private shopping experiences.”

To reserve a shopping time, please call 239-594-2696. The Resale Shop also launched a Facebook Marketplace, which features like-new furniture, home décor, jewelry and more.

The Resale Shop has taken multiple steps to ensure safety, including:

  • Encouraging shoppers and donors who are experiencing a fever or cough, or recently displayed any symptoms, to delay their visit.
  • Providing hand sanitizing stations throughout the showroom floor.
  • Requiring staff, volunteers and customers to wear face masks.
  • Temporarily closing dressing rooms.
  • Holding all donations for a minimum of 24 hours and thoroughly cleaning items before offering them for sale inside the showroom.
  • Maintaining the no-return policy to ensure all items inside the showroom have been cleaned and sanitized.

About Guadalupe Resale Shop
Guadalupe Resale Shop is an upscale boutique in North Naples that accepts donations of like-new furniture, home décor, kitchenware, artwork, lamps, linens, DVDs and CDs, books and all types of ladies and men’s clothing, including accessories such as jewelry, purses and nearly new shoes. The Resale Shop provides a free pick-up service for furniture donations. All proceeds from sales at the Resale Shop directly support educational programs at Guadalupe Center in Immokalee.

Important Message from Dawn Montecalvo

Helping 1,400+ students and families

As we adjust and adapt to the current situation, our teachers and staff are hard at work. The transition to virtual learning is challenging in a community where internet access is often considered a luxury and day-to-day needs take precedence over anything else. With help from our community and philanthropic partners, we are addressing the immediate and essential needs of our families while helping them navigate “e-learning.” And, we continue to teach.

Student Focused

We are ready to help when needs arise. Here is what we are doing to help now:

  • Staying in contact with 1,400+ students and families across all programs
  • Preparing and supporting parents of early learning students to be their child’s primary teacher with at-home resources and lesson plans to maintain progress and keep students on-track
  • Bringing students together by hosting virtual classes for early learning students and helping establish a new class routine for students – singing, learning and laughing together
  • Maintaining almost daily communications with Tutor Corps high school and college students to provide support for virtual learning and encouragement in an uncertain time
  • Continuing college preparatory activities for all Tutor Corps students such as writing college essays, taking assessments, completing applications and applying for scholarships
  • Identifying and addressing immediate needs for families

Our focus remains on preparing students for academic success and economic independence. Students need our help staying focused on that goal and seeing hope for their future now more than ever. We know Guadalupe Center is their lifeline and we will not let them down.

Mission Forward

You can help Guadalupe Center while we continue to advance our mission by staying Student Focused, Mission Forward.

Your gift will allow Guadalupe Center to:

  • Uphold our commitment to continue paying our teachers – the majority of whom are Immokalee residents
  • Continue the shift to virtual and remote learning. Update and upgrade our technology to ensure our students have access to laptops and other devices to learn at home.
  • Help families who live paycheck to paycheck with their immediate needs like food, diapers and baby formula, while they are unable to work during this crisis

If you are able to Give, thank you. We appreciate each and every donation.

Filling the Gaps

Students need support today. When parents can’t work, food insecurity becomes an immediate challenge. Thanks to Debbie & Bill Toler and the Clark Family Foundation for acting quickly to help our families with hot meals. With the help of Jonesez BBQ and Mi Ranchito, we were able to feed families on Saturdays to fill the gap as other services were getting up and running.

Weekdays, Guadalupe Center is a food distribution location for Collier County Public Schools. This resource is critical for our families who rely on the center for weekday meals.

Mentors are invaluable to our Tutor Corps students, especially now. Their support lets students know they are not alone and keeps them engaged and hopeful. We are grateful for all that the mentors are doing to encourage students.

Words of Hope and Encouragement are especially important now. Your kind words on our social media channels are an encouragement to the families, students and staff, reminding us that we are together as we remain distant. Follow our story on social media – like, share and comment.

Always,
dawn-signature

Due to closures and work-from-home efforts, we are encouraging email communications at this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please email info@GuadalupeCenter.org.

April 2, 2020

As we strive to find the best solutions for our students, families and staff, I am grateful for your encouragement and support. The phone calls, emails and well wishes on social media motivate me and my team. It means so much because I know this is a difficult time for you as well. Never has together felt more significant and it seems we are more together in our distance.

Although our hallways are quiet, Guadalupe Center remains a beacon of hope and a resource for families in times of need. Our ability to continue serving children and families is because of our dedicated staff, steadfast partnerships and generous community.

Our teachers and staff are working to identify and address the immediate needs of our students and families. With the school day moving online, our priorities are helping parents understand the actions needed for virtual learning, providing academic resources and working to maintain student progress. This transition is especially challenging for families who have limited exposure to technology.

Providing services and support today requires creativity, flexibility and a unique approach. Our method of delivery has changed but our focus remains on preparing students for academic success and economic independence. We know Guadalupe Center is their lifeline and we will not let them down.

For those who are able, we have a time-sensitive donation match opportunity through our partner Stand Together Foundation. Your generous gift can help Guadalupe Center access up to $100,000 in matching funds. Donate to #HelpTheHelpers, a rapid response campaign on our designated GoFundMe page, and the Stand Together Foundation will match gifts of up to $5,000 per donor.  Click here to learn more.

Thank you for helping provide hope for children and families in Immokalee as we remain student focused and mission forward!

Always,
dawn-signature

March 18, 2020

I hope this email finds you well and taking the necessary precautions during this very challenging time.

Guadalupe Center is a family, and like you, we have had to make some very difficult decisions to keep our students, staff and families safe. Based on the latest guidance from the CDC, the Guadalupe Center will be closed through March 27. Additional determinations will be made week by week.

Even though our physical campus is unavailable, Guadalupe Center has always been a resource for families in times of need and this tradition will not change.

Our mission and commitment to children and families continues as we work closely with our community partners to support families. Our areas of immediate focus are:

  • Maintaining continuity of staff and programming
  • Supporting and encouraging at-home and remote learning
  • Helping Tutor Corps college students get home or to a safe location while colleges suspend classes, shift to remote learning and close campuses
  • Ensuring students and families have meals
  • Monitoring the needs of our families and working to find resources when possible
  • Supporting the health and wellness of our community

All upcoming fundraising events have been suspended. Although Celebration Dinner at Grey Oaks has been cancelled, we are working to find an opportunity to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of the graduating class of 2020. The Charity Golf Classic will be rescheduled for late October 2020. Please stay tuned and watch for updates.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to offer encouragement and support. Like you, we are making adjustments moment by moment to address the ever changing circumstances. We pledge to keep you informed in the coming weeks; your ongoing support will be critical.

Always,
dawn-signature

Due to closures and work-from-home efforts, we are encouraging email communications at this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please email info@GuadalupeCenter.org.

Guadalupe Center earns gold recognition for enhancing nutrition, limiting screen time for students

Guadalupe Center has earned gold-level recognition from the Florida Early Care & Education Recognition Program for its exemplary efforts in implementing strategies that help prevent childhood obesity.

Florida Early Care honors child care centers and early learning programs that demonstrate a commitment to best practices in the areas of healthy eating, healthy beverages, reduced screen time, physical activity and infant feeding to prevent obesity later in life.

Guadalupe Center, the only center in Southwest Florida recognized by Florida Early Care as a gold honoree, serves more than 300 Immokalee students ages 6 weeks through 5 years old through its Early Childhood Education Program.

“Beyond our focus on academic, social and behavioral instruction, we offer healthy meals to our students every day and make sure they are getting plenty of exercise,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “Even at 3 and 4 years old, children can start developing good habits when it comes to their health and nutrition.”

The award is presented to early learning centers after a thorough evaluation from a steering committee comprised of leaders in the health and education community. Guadalupe Center is the only program in Southwest Florida to receive gold-level recognition.

Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program is accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE). Additionally, the Florida Department of Children and Families recognizes Guadalupe Center as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program and the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida recently awarded its fifth consecutive five-star rating to Guadalupe Center.

Guadalupe Center earns fifth consecutive five-star rating from Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida

Guadalupe Center has earned its fifth consecutive five-star rating from the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida, the only preschool in Collier County to earn five stars every year since 2015.

Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program serves more than 300 students ages 6 weeks through 5 years old, culminating with a Pre-K program that sees 95% of graduates meet or exceed Florida’s kindergarten readiness standards.

The Coalition’s “Southwest Florida Stars” program is a voluntary rating system, similar to an accreditation, in which child care providers allow evaluation teams to examine three primary areas: learning environments and classroom interactions; screening, assessment and curriculum; and professional development and staff qualifications.

“Earning a five-star rating for five straight years means our team is hitting the mark year after year, and that consistency is why graduates of our program fare so well once they reach elementary school,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “To accomplish our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee, we must start early with a strong foundation so that children are prepared for success by the time they reach kindergarten.”

The Coalition evaluates child care providers in Collier, Lee, Hendry and Glades counties through on-site visits and data collections, awarding five-star ratings to child care programs that offer safe, high-quality learning environments.

Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program is accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children, in addition to the Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE). The Florida Department of Children and Families recognizes Guadalupe Center as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program.

The waiting list to enroll in Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program exceeds 500 students, and the Center recently announced plans to expand the program with a new campus in Immokalee’s Jubilation neighborhood that can accommodate an additional 64 students. Guadalupe Center currently is raising money to support operations for the new facility.

Guadalupe Center helps Immokalee students with college essentials

Guadalupe Center helped 24 Immokalee High School graduates prepare for college life with a shopping trip to purchase essentials for their dorm rooms.

The students, part of the college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program Class of 2019, visited Target to purchase linens, cleaning supplies, lamps, luggage and other items for their residence halls. Then they traveled to Best Buy, where they bought electronics, flash drives and other school supplies so they’re well-equipped when college classes begin in the fall.

Employees from Target and Best Buy joined Guadalupe Center staff members to help students select items within their allotted budget.

“This opportunity really means a lot to me because it takes a huge weight off my shoulders,” said Francisco Brito. “I’m pretty much set for school in terms of supplies. This past year has been really difficult for me, but I have a great support system with the Guadalupe Center, friends and family.”

Brito, who was diagnosed with leukemia last summer, will be attending Florida Gulf Coast University and plans eventually to become an oncologist.

The Tutor Corps shopping trip has become an annual event for graduating seniors and is generously funded by longtime supporters Brynne and Bob Coletti, who donate funds to help “level the playing field.” Guadalupe Center serves low-income students who live in rural Collier County, and most do not have the basic necessities to live away from home.

Tutor Corps is a college preparatory program that provides Immokalee High School students with mentors, academic guidance, scholarship assistance, financial literacy and wages for tutoring children in Guadalupe Center’s educational programs.

In addition to funding the Target and Best Buy shopping trips, the Colettis also provide each student with a gift card to host a pizza party at their college dorm as a means of getting to know fellow students.

“This shopping trip was an opportunity to get a head start on my college life by providing me with the college essentials I would not have had otherwise,” said Karen Reyes-Santos, who will attend North Central College in Illinois. “I am grateful for the generosity I have been shown. It will help facilitate my move to an out-of-state college.”

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: 95% meet or exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100% of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 92% graduate with a post-secondary degree.

Guadalupe Center students receive free dental screenings through NCEF Pediatric Dental Center

More than 420 students attending Guadalupe Center’s Summer Enrichment Program and Early Childhood Education Program received free dental screenings through a program funded by the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) this summer.

One by one, children climbed into exam chairs in July to have their teeth and gums examined by dental hygienists and residents from the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry, NCEF Pediatric Dental Center. In addition to screenings, the students also received cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, as well as instruction about proper techniques for brushing and flossing their teeth. Children with severe oral problems are referred to a local dentist.

Dr. Scott Tomar, a professor in UF’s Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, said dental clinics in lower-income, rural communities like Immokalee are especially important to ensure that children receive preventative dental services on a regular basis. Children face a series of barriers in seeing the dentist, including cost, transportation and the lack of pediatric dentists in the area.

The UF College of Dentistry’s outreach team set up pop-up dentist offices at Guadalupe Center as well as Immokalee’s Pinecrest Elementary School, home to Guadalupe Center’s Summer Enrichment Program. Initial screening results show that more than half of students seen in the summer program had untreated tooth decay, and nearly one in six students was identified as having an “urgent dental need.” Clinic staff notified parents whose children had severe pain or infections so they could schedule appointments with a local dentist.

UF’s pediatric dental team visits Guadalupe Center’s year-round Early Childhood Education Program four times a year for screenings, treatments, education and referrals for 270 children.

“This program is critically important for our students because many of their families do not have the means to make regular visits to the dentist office,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “With the assistance of our community partners, we were able to bring the dentist office to them.”

Another barrier is attitudinal, Tomar said, because visiting the dentist often has a negative connotation, especially for children.

“They may only go to the dentist if something hurts, and then they’ll have a tooth taken out,” said Tomar, who helps coordinate the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center. “The idea of bringing a child to the dentist office before there’s a problem is not a familiar concept.”

As part of the clinic’s education program, dental staff show children how to take care of their teeth and gums to avoid problems in the future.

“I learned that you need to brush your teeth every day,” Amelia Gonzales said after her visit. “If not, then you’re going to get cavities in your teeth.”

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: 95% meet or exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100% of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 92% graduate with a post-secondary degree.

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