(239) 643-4755
info@championsforlearning.org

Student Stories

Educators Are The Heartbeat Of Every Community!

Champions For Learning’s Classroom Grant program allows teachers to make grant requests that are funded directly by the community to create innovative learning experiences for their students. One-hundred percent of these contributions go directly into classrooms for teachers to put to use immediately with students.

Tommie Barfield Elementary demonstrates the outstanding creativity and innovation shown by teachers, especially during this incredibly challenging year, offering us the opportunity to understand the incredible daily effort put forth by our educators — they truly are the heartbeat of every community!

The Health and P.E. educators at Tommie Barfield Elementary School could not wait to get students’ hearts pumping when they returned to school last fall, but they knew that doing so during the pandemic — where new protocols were in place around safe distancing and not using equipment — was going to be a challenge.

Fitness Activity Circuit Stencils, obtained through a classroom grant requested by P.E. teacher Deana Richett and funded by Ray Harman, in honor of Karen Harman, made it easy to transform the sidewalks and hardcourts at Tommie Barfield into safe environments to play and be physically active. The stencils are perfect for creating fun and engaging sensory, fitness, and socialization opportunities for students of all ages.

During recess, students can run through the circuit at their leisure. During physical education classes, the teachers use the circuits with more structure, building on daily lessons. Given all the changes and restrictions put on students this school year, it is important for their social and emotional well-being to have safe opportunities to play. All 500 Tommie Barfield students are now able to improve their motor development, flexibility, strength, and coordination through the different activities available while still following safety guidelines.

This year, more than ever, it is so important for us, as a community, to appreciate and honor teachers across Collier County for the extraordinary work they have done in ever-changing circumstances to keep our students moving forward. 

The Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers continues to be an opportunity to highlight teaching and learning in Collier County. Although the pandemic has prevented us from sending community volunteers into schools for a Golden Apple selection process, it has created an opportunity for Champions For Learning and all Collier County Public Schools to tell a larger story about teaching and learning over the course of this extraordinary year.

Presented by Suncoast Credit Union, the Golden Apple television program will air on Sunday, April 25th at 7:00 pm on NBC-2. Leading up to and following the program, there will also be social media highlighting each of our schools, and this will serve as a bridge to Teacher Appreciation Week in early May. Champions For Learning will also lead a community-wide initiative to thank educators on Tuesday, May 4th.

Join in. Your gift to Champions For Learning inspires our community to continue to work together. No gift is too small–your gift can be combined with others to support life-changing learning experiences.

Should you like to make a donation, please visit us here online. Your gift begins making an impact immediately.

Save The Date

 

 

Read more

Alumnus Update: Tyler

After graduating from the Champions for Learning and Naples High School in 2017, Tyler decided to leave the Sunshine State for the Mountain State. Now he is in his senior year at West Virginia University majoring in Finance.

For Tyler, going to college was only a distant thought. Growing up in a single-parent home, he wasn’t really sure what steps he had to take or how to make college a possibility. Though Champions For Learning he joined the Take Stock in Children Program where he was paired with his mentor Bill Beynon. During his weekly lunch meetings with Beynon where their discussions ranged from the stock market to college planning, Tyler received the guidance he needed to reach his goals.

Tyler continues to lean on his mentor for guidance and advice, professionally and personally! Tyler has been able to intern with his mentor at Capital Wealth Management and hopes to follow in his footsteps and also be a financial advisor one day.

“My mentor has become one of my best friends, he has been able to guide me beyond my four years of high school and continues to be in my life,” said Tyler.

Despite COVID-19 Tyler has continued his internship virtually! He has been able to learn about wealth management and has had one on one experience with clients helping with their investment portfolios.

Campus involvement was key for Tyler in being able to give back in his campus community. Tyler quickly became involved in Greek life by rushing Sigma Nu where he is now the Vice President of his fraternity. Tyler also became involved in his Student Government Association and his Global Business Brigades Club as a translator.

“I am so thankful for Champions For Learning because it was through them that I was able to meet my mentor and learn how to take advantage of all of my opportunities. I learned the value of volunteering and giving back,” said Tyler.

 

Read more

Alumnus Update: Tien

After graduating from Naples High School and the Champions For Learning program, Tien embarked on an educational journey that led him to places like Fiji, Peru, Ecuador, and Panama.

Tien is in his last year at the University of Florida finishing his degree in Agribusiness with a minor in disabilities in society. He will be continuing his education at the University of Miami pursuing his master’s degree in Aquaculture.

During his time at the University of Florida, Tien has been a part of the MEDLIFE group which gave him the opportunity to travel to both Ecuador and Peru. He also volunteered through the Global Business Brigades Club that led him to Panama. Through his Sustainability and EcoTourism class Tien had the chance to learn in Fiji as well.

Tien started as a Pre-med major, but on his MEDLIFE trip to Peru, he realized that he had another passion. His drive for business and longtime love for fishing led him to find the perfect combination of the two. Tien hopes to one day have a fish farm of his own.

His favorite learning opportunity came to him this past summer in midst of a pandemic! Tien had the opportunity to intern with Shimmick Construction in Long Beach, California, to help with the development of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

“The best part about my internship is that I was able to strengthen my accounting skills that will be crucial in my future endeavors as a business leader,” said Tien.

Through Champions For Learning Tien was able to see all of the different opportunities that were available to him.

“Champions For Learning prepared me for a successful college experience and fostered a desire to give back to the community that has given me so much,” said Tien.

 

Read more

Alumnus Update: Lindsay

From student government, to completing eighteen college credits during high school alumnus Lindsay has seized every opportunity that has come her way. Her determination has helped her continue to reach for the goals she has set for herself.

As a graduate of the 2020 Champions For Learning class and a Palmetto Ridge High graduate, Lindsay is now in her first official week of classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is majoring in Finance with aspirations to one day enter the non-profit sector.

While many of her classes have now gone virtual, Lindsay is excited about being able to get back to learning.

“I’m excited to be living on campus this year! Although this all feels and looks a little different then I imagined I still want to get involved and become part of my campus community,” said Lindsay. She is already looking into joining her campus activity board and a sorority.

“Champions For Learning has lifted me up during this time and because of the support that I was able to receive in weekly lab sessions, I feel prepared to take on anything that comes my way,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay is attending Florida Gulf Coast University debt-free!

“Champions For Learning motivated me to pursue my dreams and also gave me the support and push I needed by helping me fill out my FAFSA and helping me find local community scholarships to fund my education,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay’s biggest goal is to become a leader in her community, she wants to help other students realize that they too can reach their educational goals.

Read more