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News

Congratulations to Our New College and Career Preparation Program Inductees!

On December 3, Champions For Learning inducted 65 11th grade students into the College and Career Preparation Program.

This program is provided at no cost to students and families thanks to the generous support of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

As participants in this program student will receive

  • Weekly college and career preparation curriculum in our on-site lab
  • Family workshops on college processes such as applications, financial aid and college planning
  • Naviance, a web-based tool that enables students to stay on track with college access tasks as well as ACT and SAT test preparation

Congratulations to the inductees!

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Champions For Learning to Name Five Suncoast Credit Union Scholars in 2019

The Suncoast Schools Credit Union Foundation is partnering with the Champions For Learning to offer five of $2,000 scholarship awards to high school graduates in the Class of 2019.  Class of 2019 high school graduates in Suncoast Credit Union’s 21-county service territory have the opportunity to apply for financial support to continue their education, thanks to a $116,000 investment in scholarships by the Tampa-based credit union’s Foundation.

Click here to download the application.

This year’s Suncoast Credit Union Scholars program represents a continued philosophy of the foundation to support education initiatives and the well-being and potential of children.  Since its inception in 1990, the Foundation has contributed more than $22 million including more than 600 student scholarships valued at nearly $1 million.

“We believe the best way we can build better communities is by investing in education and health-related initiatives for children,” said Cindy Helton, Executive Director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.  “Through the Suncoast Credit Union Scholars program, we have the opportunity to invest in individual human potential, which is particularly rewarding.”

All applications must be received by 5pm on January 11, 2019  at the Champions For Learning office, 3606 Enterprise Avenue #150, Naples, FL  34104.

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Champions For Learning Announces Collier County Teachers of Distinction

Champions For Learning is proud to announce the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program’s 2018-2019 Teachers of Distinction. Each school nominated a teacher and best practice to highlight on behalf of their school. From this group of Teachers of Distinction, Champions For Learning’s community-based selection committee will identify six (6) teachers to highlight as Golden Apple recipients. Click here to see the list of Teachers of Distinction.

In addition to a $250 cash award and multiple celebration activities, the Teachers of Distinction representing 55 schools, will have the opportunity to share their ideas and practices across the county with their colleagues and the community through this process.  With a vision of a community that is 100% engaged in support of student success, Champions For Learning creates opportunities for educators that support high impact learning experiences for every child.

The Teachers of Distinction and the Golden Apple recipients will be honored at the 29th Annual Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers Dinner presented by Suncoast Credit Union on March 29, 2019, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

We’d like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Suncoast Credit Union for all of the support they provide educators and students.  We would also like to thank additional Golden Apple Major Sponsors:  CenturyLink, Conditioned Air, eBella Magazine, Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation, Moorings Park, Naples Daily News and NBC-2 Waterman Broadcasting

Opportunities to sponsor a school to attend the event are available. For more information on event sponsorships and ticket sales click here.

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Champions For Learning Reveals Night of Champions Honorees

Champions For Learning is proud to announce their 2018-2019 Night of Champions honorees.

These honorees are being recognized at the Night of Champions event on Friday, February 1, 2019, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. These individuals will be honored for their impact on the lives of students through mentoring, leadership, collaboration and community involvement with educators or students. These honored Champions exemplify what it means to make a commitment to our students and their future.

The 2018-2019 Night of Champions honorees are: Ingrid & Fabrizio Aielli, Stacy & Todd Bradley, Corky & Chuck Carlsen, Yolanda Flores, The Florida Prepaid College Foundation, Mary Lynn Hill, Sharon Hood, Charles Kerwood III, Mike Martin, Dawna E. Pipersburg, Steve Pontius, and                                                                                 Carol Windfeldt

“We are honored to be highlighting these community leaders who have immense dedication to impacting students and teachers,” says Susan McManus, President of Champions For Learning. ” The Night of Champions honorees truly embody what it is to be a Champion.”

Proceeds for this event will support Champions For Learning student programs including College & Career Readiness programs and scholarships.

We would like to thank our generous sponsors:

Presenting sponsor: Capital Wealth Advisors

Major sponsors: eBella, Naples Daily News, Naples Illustarted, Suncoast Credit Union and Waterside Shops

Tickets for this event are $300. Table and event sponsorships are also available. For more information

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Champions For Learning Announces 2018 -2019 Board of Directors

Champions For Learning announces their 2018-2019 Board of Directors. This group of professionals and community leaders is committed to a vision of a community that is 100% engaged in support of student success.  Champions For Learning serves a unique role, as The Education Foundation of Collier County, in bringing the community together to support a culture of learning and innovation

“Our Board of Directors consists of individuals who are very dedicated to providing life-changing learning experiences to every student,” says Lynn Davidson, Board Chair. “Each board member brings their own expertise and passion to the organization and I am honored to serve among them. These community leaders exemplify that vision of our future in Collier County. “

Members of 2018-19 Board of Directors for Champions For Learning include:

  • Lynn Davidson, Board Chair, Retired Executive Vice President-Time Warner
  • William R. Barker, Immediate Past Chair, Southeast Regional President, USA Today Network and LocaliQ and president of the Naples Daily News and The News-Press
  • Chuck Carlsen, Vice Chair, Owner / CEO – Fluidall, Inc.
  • Beverly Feagin, Vice Chair, Retired Vice President- Securities Analyst & Investor Relations Consultant
  • Nancy Potter, Vice Chair, Founding Member- Nelson Auto Group
  • William M. Burke, Secretary, Attorney- Coleman, Yovanovich & Koester, PA
  • Kenneth P. Thomas, Treasurer, Community President- Huntington Private Bank
  • Danny Pate, At-Large Executive Committee, Vice President of Operations- CenturyLink
  • Mary Beth Geier, At-Large Executive Committee, Florida Director- Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
  • Susan McManus, PresidentChampions For Learning
  • William Beynon, President & CEO- Capital Wealth Advisors
  • Mike Christopher, General Manager at Naples Daily News, and GPS National Sales Director
  • Anne Fleming, General Manager- Waterside Shops
  • Bill Hall, Retired CEO- WL Hall Company
  • Michael Jean-Baptiste, Accountant- Gulfshore Insurance
  • Daniel Lampe, Senior Vice President- Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
  • Stephanie Lucarelli, School Board Vice Chair- Collier County Public Schools
  • Barbara Melvin, Vice President- First Florida Integrity Bank
  • Kamela Patton, Superintendent- Collier County Public Schools
  • Dawna E. Pipersburg, Owner & Manager- Rembrandt Accounting & Tax Services
  • Jacqueline Rodriguez, Vice President of Service Operations- Suncoast Credit Union
  • Martha Rozman, Marketing & Operations- Delta Air Lines
  • Mario Valle, Relationship Manager- PBS Construction Company

Champions For Learning (The Education Foundation of Collier County) has recently been awarded a 4-start rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

This is the sixth time that Champions For Learning has earned this top distinction. The 4-star rating is the highest possible rating and indicates that Champions For Learning adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way.

Champions For Learning is among only 23% of the charities evaluated who have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Champions For Learning outperforms most other charities in America.

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Attention 11th Graders and Families

Champions For Learning would like to encourage students in 11th grade, from public or independent high schools, to apply for the College and Career Prep Program.

This program is provided at no cost to students and families thanks to the generous support of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

Students are provided with:
  • Weekly college and career preparation curriculum in our on-site lab
  • Family workshops on college processes such as applications, financial aid and college planning
  • Naviance, a web-based tool that enables students to stay on track with college access tasks as well as ACT and SAT test preparation

Click here to download an application and eligibility information. Applications are due October 12.

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Champions For Learning Awards more than $66,000 in Grants to Collier County Teachers

Collier County teachers were surprised by Champions For Learning board members, volunteers and supporters as they received funds for their classroom grants.

During the course of the day, Champions For Learning awarded 118 grant checks that totaled $66,867 to 38 schools. The checks will provide teachers with the funds needed to implement creative and innovative learning experiences for students. Click here to see a list of the teachers.

These classroom grants were requested by Collier County teachers through the online grant portal on Champions For Learning’s website. The community can go to the website and fund requests (up to $2,000).  This online grant program began in 2003, to enable the community to support teachers.

Thanks to a charitable gift from Suncoast Credit Union, which supports the technology and capacity for the classroom grant portal, 100% of community contribution goes into supporting teacher grants.

The following provided significant contributions to fund specific teacher grants:  Suncoast Credit Union, Florida License to Learn License Plate Fund, Lucie Jenny MacCarthy Music Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Perna-Rose Foundation for Hope, W.I.N.G.S., and Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Help provide life-changing learning experiences to students! There are still opportunities to fund a teacher’s great idea. Click here to support local classrooms today! You can also help fund Classroom Grants through the License to Learn Fund (Florida Education Tag). Collier County community members can buy the new version of the tag in late October. $20 of the annual $25 fee is donated to Champions For Learning and 100% of the funds support classroom grants.

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Champions For Learning Earns Highest 4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator

Strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned Champions For Learning (The Education Foundation of Collier County, Inc), a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

This is the sixth time that Champions For Learning has earned this top distinction. The 4-star rating is the highest possible rating and indicates that Champions For Learning adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way.

Champions For Learning is among only 23% of the charities evaluated who have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Champions For Learning outperforms most other charities in America.

“Champions For Learning’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Champions For Learning to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Champions For Learning.”

“We are extremely proud to be receiving a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator,” says Lynn Davidson, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Our Board of Directors and staff are committed to ensuring that the investments from the community create life-changing learning experiences for every student in Collier County.”

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Calling All Volunteers!

Want to support our students with your time? Here are a few volunteer opportunities that can fit any time commitment.
  • Take Stock in Children Mentor: Give guidance to the same student and change their life with the gift of your time (a minimum of 15 sessions a school year).
  • Financial Aid Volunteer: Become trained to help families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) during FSA ID Labs and FAFSA Completion Events (Fall 2018)
  • College and Career Coach: Help students in group settings on a periodic or short term basis to learn about career pathways, goal-setting, and employability/foundational skills. (Ongoing student lab opportunities)
To learn more contact Rachel Welch at (239) 643-4755 or RWelch@ChampionsForLearning.org
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Classroom Grants Portal Now Open

Champions For Learning’s Classroom Grants: Find It & Fund It, Collier portal is now open for the community to fund classroom projects that Collier teachers have submitted for the 2018-2019 school year.

This online grant program began in 2003, to enable the community to support teachers. Thanks to a charitable gift from Suncoast Credit Union, which supports the technology and capacity for the classroom grant portal, 100% of community contributions go directly to support teacher grants. This portal allows the community to view and fund classroom grants.

Classroom Grants are also funded through the License for Learning Fund (Florida Education Tag). Community members can buy this specialty license plate in Collier County. $20 of the annual $25 fee is donated to Champions For Learning and 100% of the funds support classroom grants.

The support provided through both the Classroom Grant Fund portal and the License for Learning tag will give teachers the funds needed to implement creative and innovative learning experiences for their students. The community can view classroom grants at FindItFundItFlorida.com/Collier

Champions For Learning encourages teachers to continue posting requests for community consideration and funding through March 2019. Teachers who are new to the process may contact Amy Snyder at ASnyder@ChampionsForLearning.org for more information.

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