NAPLES ‑ Students and staff of The Immokalee Foundation are using new, cutting-edge wearable technology that provides real-time health information at a glance – and helps ensure community safety during the pandemic.
With a grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County, the Immokalee Foundation purchased innovative new temperature alert device (TAD) bracelets for 69 middle school students, providing additional benefits to the existing career exploration program that introduces students to in-demand jobs in Southwest Florida.
The CFCC grant also provided TADs for The Immokalee Foundation’s high school students participating in its Career Pathways Engineering and Construction Learning Lab, an 18-home subdivision in Immokalee that serves as a hands-on professional career experience.
“The difficulties COVID has created for education throughout the state has posed an even greater challenge for disadvantaged, rural communities like Immokalee,” said Noemi Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “We knew finding new technologies was important so our students could safely return to an in-person learning environment as quickly as possible. With high rates of COVID in the families we serve, these bracelets offer an early alert to protect our schools and our communities, as well.”
Each student in the pilot program was issued a TAD temperature alert device bracelet, allowing for temperature alerts at home, school, and while participating in The Immokalee Foundation’s programs.
The device takes the wearer’s temperature and illuminates with green, indicating 94° F to 99.5° F; amber for 99.6° F to 100.3° F; and red for 100.4° F and above. The USB-chargeable bracelet updates the temperature every 15 minutes, and if a wearer’s temperature elevates from green to amber or red, they will be alerted with a vibration. Temperatures can also be taken manually with the push of a button.
Since the pandemic began, The Immokalee Foundation has operated in strict accordance with CDC recommendations to help prevent COVID’s spread. Program staff and students wear protective face coverings while on the foundation’s grounds, and handwashing and sanitizing are required.
When she first learned of the temperature alert devices, Melissa Phillips, the Immokalee Foundation’s vice president of philanthropy, said, “I immediately recognized the potential to streamline our daily procedures and to further improve student safety.”
“Our number one priority is to keep our students and staff safe by providing the right, accessible resources,” said Middle School Services Manager Yaresly Gorosquieta. “The bracelet provides a sense of peace when it comes to immediate access to health information.”
Eileen Connolly-Keesler, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Collier County, said CFCC recognized the importance of supporting a tool that will help keep students safe so they can focus on all they learn through The Immokalee Foundation’s programs.
“One of the most important things we can do is support our students’ education,” said Connolly-Keesler. “Kudos to The Immokalee Foundation for finding an innovative way to prevent further spread of the virus while continuing in-person education.”
“The temperature bracelets not only monitor my temperature throughout the day, but they look cool, too,” said eighth-grade student Cynthia O. “I’m so excited to wear mine.”
Based on the success of the middle school student pilot program, The Immokalee Foundation hopes to purchase 120 TADs for students in the high school Career Pathways program.
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, becoming a mentor, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit https://immokaleefoundation.org.
About the Community Foundation of Collier County
The Community Foundation of Collier County, now in its 35th year, is a tax-exempt, public, charitable organization established in 1985 to increase and focus on local private philanthropy. Today, the Community Foundation of Collier County manages more than 750 funds, collaborates with hundreds of nonprofits, holds $250 million in assets and has distributed nearly $200 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and community programs. The Community Foundation of Collier County is one of Florida’s fastest-growing community foundations. For good. Forever. Learn more at cfcollier.org or call 239-649-5000.