(Submitted photo) Noemi Y. Perez of The Immokalee Foundation receives a check from Mary Beth Geier, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.
The gift of literacy will be shared with many more children in Immokalee thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. The Immokalee Foundation received the grant to support Immokalee Readers and to fund operations for the early literacy intervention program, which serves nearly 700 young readers in Immokalee’s five elementary schools. The program’s 100-plus tutors are high school students who are paid an hourly wage and are supervised by certified classroom teachers. Additionally, the grant funds the ACT/SAT prep under the Career Development program. The six-week class – three days a week, three hours a day – for high school students who are enrolled in The Immokalee Foundation programs includes math, science, English and reading components. Students participating in the ACT preparation course realized an average of 12.5 percent gains in their scores. Students participating in the SAT preparation course realized an average of 7 percent gains in their scores. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation was founded by Schulze, the founder and chairman emeritus of Best Buy Co Inc. Schulze came from a modest background in his home state of Minnesota; today, the foundation supports philanthropic efforts in Minnesota and Southwest Florida, where Schulze resides. Because many Immokalee Foundation students use other languages at home, the additional training they receive through Immokalee Readers in English-language usage at a young age is especially important. As an added benefit, the high school tutors also have shown improvements in overall reading proficiency. The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit https://immokaleefoundation.org.