Classes continue online for students and teachers

Posted 4/23/20

Immokalee - On March 23, Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee made the difficult choice to close its doors to protect the health and wellbeing of its students and teachers. Despite the …

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Classes continue online for students and teachers

Posted

Immokalee - On March 23, Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee made the difficult choice to close its doors to protect the health and wellbeing of its students and teachers. Despite the shutdown, the learning is continuing online for both the students and the teachers.

With a passion for education, the teachers are continuing to reach out and engage with their students’ families. All the teachers are submitting videos reading books, activities teaching math, and encouraging families in Immokalee to learn together. The videos are available on Pathways’ Facebook page.

But it isn’t just the students that are learning. Ten of the teachers are taking classes with Florida Southwestern to earn a college degree in early education. This spring, the school opened an educational cohort for its employees to earn three stackable early-education certificates and eventually a college degree.

What does the center hope to accomplish? By creating the cohort among their teachers, Pathways is breaking down financial, physical, and cultural boundaries that many women in Immokalee have lived with for generations.

“Our teachers are such an important bridge in elevating Immokalee’s Future Leaders. We are setting a higher standard for early education in Southwest Florida and changing the path for the children and families we serve,” said Beth Hatch, executive director of Pathways.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that adults from low-income families who were engaged in early education programs achieved higher education levels than peers that received alternate interventions. Participants from one study group had higher incomes, lower rates of serious crime and lower rates of depression. Educational attainment can also improve the overall health of the community as these students make healthier choices.

“With our education, we are better able to teach the kids empowerment instead of insecurity,” said Pathways teacher Natalie Garcia.

For more information on how Pathways is changing the path for the children of Immokalee, visit www.PathwaysEarlyEducation.org.

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