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2017 Education Grants

Allamanda Elementary School:  Allamanda is a Title I elementary school in Palm Beach Gardens (657 students) with over 60% of their students qualifying for free/reduced lunch.  They are also a northern Palm Beach County cluster site for students with autism and an accredited Health and Wellness Choice School with an “A” grade from the State.  Our 2017 grant will fund a variety of favorite author & book series for the 3d, 4th and 5th grades. Allamanda teachers know and believe the following:  research supports the relationship between the amount of reading done and reading achievement.  What better way to accomplish this than making lots of great books available when children want to pick up a book to read.  The school will encourage children to also check books out to take home for their leisure pleasure.  More reading, better readers!

Back to Basics: The mission of Back to Basics is to raise children’s self-esteem, keep kids in school, enable self-sufficiency and invest in our future; all by providing NEW uniforms, sneakers, socks and underwear.  A new uniform gives a child the confidence to go to school and be ready to learn.  It is important for kids to feel comfortable in school. Having a new uniform, sneakers, socks and underwear helps them socially, as well as academically because they are not worried that their shirt doesn’t fit, or they aren’t in uniform.  They want to follow the rules, they want to do what’s right, they want to wear a uniform.  It helps them focus on their school work when they don’t have to worry about those things.  Our 2017 grant will fund their Back to Basics Uniform program providing 2 new school uniforms to kids in Palm Beach County.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County:  Founded in 1971, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is a not-for profit youth development organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, health leadership and character of boys and girls in a safe, nurturing environment. The Clubs provide more than a safe, fun and constructive alternative to being home alone – they offer a variety of award-winning developmental programs to help youth build skills, self-esteem and values during critical periods of growth. The Clubs provide quality programs with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth regardless of race, creed or socioeconomic background. Once again our 2017 grant will support STEMulated Minds!, an enriched STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) for at-risk, low-income, children/teens attending two of the Clubs in our local area (Riviera Beach & West Palm Beach).  The STEM programs are fun, engaging, creative hands-on learning experiences through which members discover the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math. Unlike the typically rigid school-based math and science classes, these STEM programs encourage uninhibited participation in STEM-based projects, including rocketry, robotics, and roller-coaster, wind mill and bridge design, without the fear of failure. This immersive approach ignites interests in potential careers, motivates academic rigor, boosts self- esteem, and even stimulates improved behavior. Our 2017 grant will ensure 300 children are able to participate year-round in these exciting 4-8 week hands-on activities.

Carson Scholars Fund:  The Carson Scholars Fund supports two main initiatives: The Carson Scholars Program and The Ben Carson Reading Project. Our 2017 grant provides funding to build a Ben Carson Reading Room in the Northmore Elementary School in West Palm Beach.  These reading rooms provide a warm, inviting environment where children can discover the joy of independent leisure reading.  The room will be stocked with over 500 high-interest books selected by the school & will be used exclusively for reading books that students select according to their interests and reading skills.   The Palm Beach County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Avossa, is highly supportive of this program providing a letter of commendation & the Palm Beach County Board of Education recognized the local Carson Scholars Fund chapter with an award for creation of these reading rooms.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School: D. Eisenhower Elementary School is a Northern Palm Beach Title 1 special needs school located in Palm Beach Gardens (650 students) with 16 ESE pre-kindergarten classroom units, the largest number in Palm Beach Gardens public schools. Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Prekindergarten services are provided to children from 3-5 years of age who have a variety of physical & cognitive disabilities.  Our 2017 grant provides funding for a variety of playground and classroom equipment. The teachers want to provide all of their Pre-K students with appropriate playground equipment and toys to help improve students’ social and gross motor skills.  New classroom chairs for their autistic students will encourage children to sit and focus on the teacher.  And a new printer (plus supplies) and a laminator will help teachers make interactive books for her autistic classes to help improve communication and social skills.

First Tee of the Palm Beaches: First Tee’s goal is to impact the lives of young people, including those with disabilities, by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. This is our 5th year supporting this nationally recognized organization. Our grant will offer 9 different groups of local high school students, many in Title 1 funded programs, an opportunity to learn golf here in Palm Beach Gardens. Each session of their very successful After-School Program runs for 9 weeks for 275 students and all student-related costs are funded through the program.

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County: Since 2011, Habitat for Humanity & the Weitz Construction Academy at Seminole Ridge High School has built one home for low income, hardworking families each school year in a warehouse facility at the school. Fully constructed in four modules, the home is then transported to its final destination site pro bono by a local company for final completion. For the 5th year in a row, our grant will help this Habitat program not only build a house but touch, in a major way, the lives of 150 students by giving them the opportunity to learn skilled trades in the fields of construction, architecture, engineering, and project management. The Academy employs a non-traditional curriculum that combines classroom instruction with hands-on training. Some graduates have gone on to college but all have graduated with the skills to join local construction related businesses often with trade certifications earned while in school.

Inlet Grove Community High School: Inlet Grove Community High School (700 students) in Riviera Beach is an “A” rated charter school with a 92% graduation rate; 98% of their graduates complete college or enter the military. Once again, our 2017 grant will support an after-school reading/tutoring program which will serve 150 of the school’s lowest performing at-risk kids. Using special resource materials, an innovative lab, and four certified teachers, the school will help students increase their proficiency in reading speed as well as comprehension in four core content areas: Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies/History.

Jack the Bike Man:  Jack the Bike Man’s Wheels of Hope program provides work for at-risk kids in exchange for a free bicycle and repair guidance. This program teaches responsibility, time management, goal setting skills, and the value of work. Access to a bicycle gives children increased opportunities to improve their physical health and fitness and also provides them a means of transportation. In 2016, they served 3,000 kids. Our 2017 grant will help serve the program serve 200 more children in 2017.  Adult volunteers work with the children to teach them bike repair and to model positive behaviors, work ethics, tolerance, multiculturalism, values and attitudes. Through exposure to the volunteers, the neighborhood children learn to value and respect ethnic and cultural differences, build trust, seek advice and guidance, set aspiration goals and emulate positive behaviors toward family, peers, adults and the community.  Each child in the program is encouraged to repair 3 bicycles. The first bicycle is for Jack the Bike Man’s Christmas Give program, the second bicycle the child must give to another child who needs a bicycle so that they understand the meaning of charitable giving and the third bicycle is for the child in the program.  

KidSafe:  Founded in 2009, KidSafe Foundation began as a grassroots effort to protect children by preventing sexual abuse, bullying and internet exploitation through providing comprehensive education to children, parents, educators, and professionals. Our 2017 grant supports their flagship KidSafe for Kids program which provides an 8-week program for children from pre-K through 5th grade, a parents’ seminar and a teachers’ workshop. Children are taught through role play, books, art, song and discussion how to be the first line of defense in their personal safety. Parents learn about the dangers impacting our children’s safety both online and in the real world and take home concrete skills including the KidSafe Language of Safety, which they can then integrate into their everyday parenting. Teacher/counselor workshops aim to empower adults working with children with skills which can be integrated into their everyday classroom management to best keep children safe.  KidSafe Curriculum meets Sunshine State Standards and is approved by Palm Beach County Department of Safe Schools.

Palm Beach State College Foundation:  As the first public community college in the state of Florida, Palm Beach State College (PBSC) has been serving the county’s educational needs, with the primary goal of providing accessible and affordable education for all.  Our 2017 grant will be matched by Florida’s First Generation in College Matching Fund to insure students representing the first in their family to attend college do get that opportunity!  First-generation students are likely to be older, have children, and work while attending classes. Since their net cost to attend college can represent nearly 50% of their total income, this support is vital to their ability to pursue a degree without incurring significant debt. This program cannot only change the life of the student but can help secure the financial stability of an entire family for generations to come.

Pinnacle Kids:  Pinnacle Kids’ (PK) mission is to provide teachers and students with vital classroom technology and instructional materials that are not available through traditional sources of funding. They focus on high-poverty schools with the greatest need and that are hardest hit by budget shortfalls.  Classrooms often lack the tools and technology necessary for kids to navigate the information age and teachers have their hands full with teaching and class administration—they don’t have the time or training for fundraising.  Pinnacle Kids bridges the gaps in the system and assist teachers in obtaining the tools they need to keep pace with the real world they’re helping prepare our kids for.  Requests from teachers range from pencils and paper to laptops to science lab equipment. Quarterly surveys are conducted with teachers to identify needs and then PK works to find the resources and handles the logistics, picking up donated items or purchasing supplies and delivering to the classrooms.  Our 2017 grant will pay for much-needed classroom supplies for students in high-poverty schools ranging from School Computer Labs and Technology; K-12 Basic Classroom and Teacher Supplies; and Art Classroom Supplies.

Renaissance Learning Academy (High School): Renaissance Learning Academy (RLA) is a non-profit Palm Beach County charter high school serving students ages 14-21 with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) including Asperger syndrome.  Their mission is “Preparation for Life After School”. To achieve this mission, the school helps individuals with autism spectrum disorders in the areas of academics, vocational, functional life skills, social and communication skills.  2017 will be our 5th year supporting the Academy and our grant is focused on their vocational training in the hospitality industry.  RLA and the Autism Project of Palm Beach County (APPBC) are collaborating on a microbusiness which trains and employs adults with autism spectrum disorder. Foodies4Autism trains individuals aged 18 and over in the hospitality industry, including food preparation, customer service, stewardship and maintenance. The Foodies4Autism food truck has been operational for 1 year, and RLA is collaborating with the Autism Project to include RLA students as part of RLA’s vocational program.  The food truck was purchased with grants and 14 adults have already been trained.  Our grant will support 6 months of training for 10 adults.

Renaissance Learning Center:  The Learning Center at The Els Center of Excellence (formerly the Renaissance Learning Center) is a nonprofit Palm Beach County charter school, serving children with autism ages 3 – 14. The Learning Center is now in its 16th year as a charter school, with a mission of developing and providing effective education and tailored therapy programs for children with autism.  Our 2017 grant will fund the purchase of a research-based science curriculum for their K-8th grade students. The curriculum is designed to teach basic science content to students with significant developmental disabilities, including autism. The curriculum allows students to engage by listening to stories, investigating through hands on experiments, games, technology, and complete report findings in their Science Logs. Teachers follow scripted lessons that provide clear direction for individual student accommodations.

Seagull Industries for The Disabled:  Seagull’s mission is to assist individuals with life challenges affecting their self-sufficiency to live in dignity and realize their full potential by providing education, training, employment, residential services, community integration and support services.  The organization established its wholly-owned charter school, Seagull Academy for Independent Living (SAIL), in 2000 to meet the learning needs of 60 middle & high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This need was identified after observing local public schools’ ineffectiveness in developing the student’s potential. SAIL’s mission is to successfully educate these students who are at risk of not succeeding or dropping out of traditional public schools and transition them from school to gainful employment and independent living.  Our 2017 grant will fund their acquisition of desktop computers, tablets, a laptop, printers & some specialized software thereby increasing the usage & availability of digital equipment by the students.

Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches: The Symphonic Band’s Instrument Donation Program, administered by the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, raises money to purchase musical instruments (they also accept gently-used instruments for refurbishment) to be loaned to students in local Title 1 funded schools where children need special financial support. Many studies have shown that a student’s ability to learn basic math, science and reading increases when they play a musical instrument; students are more engaged in school, score higher on standardized tests, have better school attendance, higher graduation rates and they are less likely to join gangs, or abuse alcohol and drugs. Our 2017 Grant is the 5th year we will fund the purchase of a variety of instruments for students in Title 1 schools in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach. The Symphonic Band has a goal of awarding 25 instruments each school year; from time to time, they even get requests for some very large & special instruments such as a Marimba, Tuba and French Horn. They view all instrument types help not only one child but the entire band with their unique performances.

TEAM First-Pal:  First Serve is an education & mentoring foundation that uses sports to get through to children from high crime and poverty-ridden areas. Their mission and vision is to help break the cycle of poverty and crime by helping children change the way they think and giving them the tools to transcend their circumstances. They empower children by promoting character development and life-enhancing values in a safe and nurturing environment. Their program uses the game of tennis, combined with educational programs and mentoring from community leaders, accomplished students, and law enforcement to shape the long-term outcomes for at risk youth. This is an after-school program conducted in partnership with the Cabana Colony Youth Center in Palm Beach Gardens. Our 2017 grant will support their 36-week program that includes 4 hours per week of tennis instruction, as well as academic tutoring, life skills activities, nutrition education, and perspective reshaping. Their goal is to serve 50 students, ages 8-14.

Urban Youth Impact: Founded in 1997, Urban Youth Impact serves the Tamarind Avenue corridor and surrounding area in West Palm Beach. The area has notoriously high crime rates – almost three times the national average for all crime types. 32% of youth living in the community are not expected to graduate from high school and over 50% live below the poverty level. Urban Youth Impact seeks to reverse troubling trends and fulfill its mission by offering after-school programs designed to develop critical life-skills that result in less juvenile crime, fewer teen pregnancies, less substance abuse, less child/domestic violence, and fewer school drop-outs. This is our 4th year supporting The Leadership Academy  (TLA) program at Urban Youth Impact.  Our 2017 grant directly impacts the lives of 140 at-risk children with the purchase of Reading Plus, a subscription-based literacy software program. Funds will purchase Reading Plus, a subscription-based literacy software which has already proven effective.  In addition, funds will provide a classroom of 15 children with a Team Leader, educational games, books, arts and craft supplies and more plus the guidance of a Literacy Coach for overall reading programs.  Students will benefit from an intensive literacy program, safe transportation to and from the program, and exposure to arts, culture and science.