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Champions For Learning Announces 2019-2020 Golden Apple Recipients

 

Students in six Collier County classrooms received bushels of golden apples as their teachers were surprised with Golden Apple awards. Representatives from Suncoast Credit Union, Presenting Sponsor of the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program, were joined by Champions For Learning board members, sponsors, and volunteers to present the awards to the teachers in their classrooms.

52 Teachers of Distinction representing Collier County Public Schools shared their best practices. Champions For Learning’s community-based selection committee identified six (6) practices to highlight as part of the Golden Apple process.
Congratulations to the following 2019-2020 Golden Apple recipients. See attached list for the names of the Teachers of Distinction.

• Sarah Bratcher, Lake Park Elementary
• Eileen Fuentes, Sabal Palm Elementary
• Elizabeth Garcia, Manatee Middle
• Theresa Golden, Veterans Memorial Elementary
• Serena M. Hampton-Dunn, Gulf Coast High
• David Stehlin, Immokalee High

Click Here To View Photos of Golden Apple Delivery Day

“At Suncoast Credit Union, we believe that the stronger we make our teachers, the stronger our students will be. For this reason, we create opportunities for educators to share best practices and to grow professionally, “said Cindy Helton executive director of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.
The 2019-2020 Golden Apple recipients will each receive a grant (up to $5,000) from Suncoast Credit Union toward further developing their best practice. The Golden Apple recipients also receive an additional cash award thanks to the Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation.

The community will honor and thank the Golden Apple Recipients, Teachers of Distinction, and Collier County Public Schools’ Teachers of the Year at the Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers Dinner on April 3, 2020. This is the 30th annual celebration of Golden Apple as a longstanding tradition of the value our community places on the teaching profession.

Click Here To View Photos of Golden Apple Delivery Day

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CHAMPIONS FOR LEARNING’S STUDENT NAMED AS A LEADERS FOR LIFE FELLOW

Champions For Learning is excited to announce that one of our senior students, Emma has been chosen as a Leaders For Life Fellow. Emma is currently a senior at Naples High School and is dually enrolled at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Emma is one of 6 students selected through the statewide Take Stock In Children Program; fellows receive leadership training and professional development opportunities, a new laptop computer, and funding up to $40,000 to attend a 4-year public university in Florida. The L4L selection process was a competitive one with each (TSIC) county affiliate able to submit 2 student applicants. Of the 100+ applicants, a panel reviewed application essays, letters of recommendation, academic record, test scores, extracurricular activities, and video submission to ultimately select the 6 Fellows.

Emma is involved in many ways in the community, she founded a Creative Writing Program that provides workshops for middle school students. Emma is involved with Gulfshore Playhouse as not only a stage manager but also as a mentor for the students. She also initiated the March For Our Lives movement in southwest Florida with the help of local groups. Emma is passionate about literature, she started a magazine called Generation Z and is the co-founder of the Literary Magazine at Naples High School. Emma will be pursuing a degree in English at Wellesely College and aspires to be an English professor one day.

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Where Are They Now? Meet Juan

The Champions For Learning College and Career Prep Program kickstarted and pushed Juan to figure out what his next steps would be in his education. “The staff at Champions For Learning gave me the knowledge and tools I needed to succeed, they were my advocates. From filling out my FAFSA to getting everything ready to attend Florida Gulf Coast University, Champions For Learning was there every step of the way,” said Juan.

After graduating from the program Juan started as a nursing major at FGCU but he quickly figured out that nursing wasn’t for him. He changed his major to Criminal Justice and immediately fell in love with all his classes.

Since starting his post-secondary education Juan quickly got involved on campus starting with the Office of Student Support Services with an academic group called TRIO. He also joined the honors college in his sophomore year and became part of the swim club. He has been able to lead the swim club as their captain to Nationals for the past three years and he is ranked number two in the state of Florida in his division. Along the way he also joined a fraternity, Phi Delta Theta has given him many opportunities he wouldn’t have otherwise and has helped him to give back to his community by volunteering with various organizations.

Now he is interning with the Department of Juvenile Justice in Fort Myers where he works with youth, “the best part about interning with them is that I get to impact my community similar to the way that my community was able to make an impact on me through Champions
For Learning,” said Juan. After graduation, he will be applying to law school and wants to become an assistant district attorney or pursue business law.

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Champions For Learning Celebrates 30 Years of Impact

Champions For Learning is proud to mark 30 years of community impact through education.
Champions For Learning, the education foundation in Collier County, is an independent, community-based, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that strives to create life-changing learning experiences for every student. With a vision of a community that is 100% engaged in support of student success, Champions For Learning serves a unique role in bringing the community together to support a culture of learning and innovation. The organization has been awarded the highest four-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator and achieved the highest distinction as an exemplary Local Education Foundation. In 1990, Champions For Learning was founded by community and business leaders who believed the best opportunities for students were when the community was involved as a full partner with schools and educators in the success of students. The community’s recognition of the unparalleled role that teachers play in their students’ learning began a long tradition Golden Apple in honor of the profession of teaching. Champions For Learning expanded by creating student programing and continuously growing while listening to the needs of the community.
Champions For Learning has a significant impact as it brings the community together to create a culture of learning, innovation, and inspiration for not only students but the educators who support them. As Champions, we Champion students and in return, they Champion our community’s future. Beverly Feagin, Chair of the Board of Directors, invites the community to get involved. “If you would like to see your contributions make a difference in the lives of students and their families- and in the future of our community- there is no better place to start than Champions For Learning.” Champions For Learning celebrates a legacy of leadership in its 30th anniversary year by recognizing its past board chairs as the Heart of the Apple honorees. Join us in celebrating our leaders who have created 30 years of impact for the future of our children and our community. Join us on February 7, 2020 at Night of Champions. For tickets please call at (239) 643-4755 or visit ChampionsForLearning.org/night-of-champions.

Past Board Chairs

· 1989-1990: Byron Koste
· 1990-1991: Bill Barton
· 1991-1992: Alan Horton
· 1992-1993: Don Barber
· 1993-1994: Laird Lile
· 1994-1995: Colleen Conant
· 1995-1996: Grover Whidden
· 1996-1997: Brian Martin
· 1997-1998: Rachel Gutman
· 1998-2000: Lloyd Liggett
· 2000-2001: Chris Vernon
· 2001-2002: Thomas Riley
· 2002-2003: John James
· 2003-2004: Bill Thomas
· 2004-2005: Vivian Dawson
· 2005-2006: Mike Maxwell
· 2006-2007: Mary Lynn Hill
· 2007-2008: Todd Bradley
· 2008-2009: Sharon Treiser
· 2009-2010: Claudine Leger-Wetzel
· 2010-2011: Kaleigh Grover
· 2011-2012: Dianne Mayberry-Hatt
· 2012 – 2014: Jim Hoppensteadt
· 2014-2015: Keith Walker
· 2015- 2017: Bill Barker
· 2017-2019: Lynn Davidson
· 2019-Present: Beverly Feagin

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Champions For Learning Announces 2019-2020 Glass Slipper Recipients

                                                                     Champions For Learning is proud to announce the 2019-2020 Glass Slipper recipients. The honorees are Donna Issenmann, Lili Montes, and Dottie Whipple.

Each year, the Glass Slipper event is held to honor female leaders for their dedication and service to the children of Collier County. This event and recognition program benefit young ladies who are graduates of Champions For Learning student programs, and helps to generate funds for the third and fourth year of their post-secondary education.

Join us in honoring the Glass Slipper recipients at a cocktail reception, which will be held on December 11, 2019 from 6-8pm at the Club at Olde Cypress There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction perfect for your holiday shopping. Tickets for the event are $50.

For tickets please visit ChampionsForLearning.org/news-events/glass-slipper or call (239) 643-4755

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Becoming A Champion For My Commmunity : Billensky

Hi, My name is Billensky and I’m a senior at Golden Gate High School. I live with my mother, my sister, and my grandmother. I have a job and work to help with household expenses, and I try to save money for the future when I can. Five years ago, my school counselor shared an opportunity with me that changed my life. I completed my application, and after a selection process, was inducted into Champions For Learning. I was matched with a mentor and was given the promise of a two-year college scholarship when I graduated high school.
When I was standing on stage being inducted, I looked out into the audience and saw a room full of people cheering me and my classmates on and realized I was a part of something far bigger than I could ever imagine. That evening I met my mentor for the first time as well as the donor that had funded my scholarship. My mother always encouraged me to work hard in school, which I did, but now I had a mentor and donor that I was determined not to let down.
Meeting regularly with the staff at Champions For Learning and my mentor has helped me stay on track and develop a plan for my future. Thanks to Champions For Learning, I’ve had the opportunity to visit several of the universities in Florida. That really helped me decide on which colleges to apply to. Without Champions For Learning, I wouldn’t have known where to start. Going to the weekly college and career preparation labs have also helped me learn how to network and how to prepare a resume. They also had volunteers who sat with me and my mom to help us complete my financial aid applications.
Champions For Learning has been there every step of the way. Today I have over a 4.0 GPA, I’ve completed my college and financial aid applications, and I’ve done over 100 hours of community service. I’m proud to say that I will be the first in my family to go to college! I have already received three college acceptances and $90,000 in scholarship offers – on top of the scholarship I earn through Champions For Learning. I’m so grateful to my teachers, my mentor, the Champions For Learning staff, and all the volunteers that have helped me along the way. Though I haven’t decided what college to attend yet, I’m looking forward to studying business and returning to Collier County, where I’ve grown up, and help pay it forward to the next group of students. Stay Tuned!
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Champions For Learning Announces Collier County Teachers of Distinction

Champions for Learning is excited to announce the 2019-2020 Teachers of Distinction for Collier County. As part of the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program, each school in Collier County Public Schools has the opportunity to nominate a teacher and best practice to highlight on behalf of their school. From this group of 53 Teachers of Distinction, Champions For Learning’s community-based selection committee will identify the Golden Apple recipients.
The Teachers of Distinction not only receive a $250 cash award and multiple celebration activities, but also 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 30th Annual Golden Apple Celebration of Teachers Dinner presented by Suncoast Credit Union on April 3, 2020 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.
Thanks to Presenting Sponsor, Suncoast Credit Union for the support provided educators. Generous support is also provided by Golden Apple Major Sponsors: Conditioned Air, eBella Magazine, Mary Ingram Fund of the Columbus Foundation, Moorings Park, Naples Daily News, NBC-2 Waterman Broadcasting, and Stock Development.
Opportunities to sponsor a school to attend the event are available. For more information on event sponsorships and ticket sales go to www.ChampionsForLearning.org/GA

Full List of Teachers of Distinction and Best Practice 

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Champions For Learning Awards More Than $75,000 In Classroom Grants

Today, 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 136 grant checks that totaled $75,448 to 42 schools. The checks will provide teachers with the funds needed to implement creative and innovative learning experiences for students.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’s Support Education License Plate Fund, Lucie Jenny MacCarthy Music Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Perna-Rose Foundation for Hope, and Ray Harman in memory of Karen Harman.

Help provide life-changing learning experiences to students! There are still opportunities to fund a teacher’s great idea. Visit www.ChampionsForLearning.org/CWACgrants 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 now, $20 of the annual $25 fee is donated to Champions For Learning and 100% of the funds support classroom grants.

Full List of Classroom Grant Recipients 

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Champions For Learning Celebrates 30 Years

Champions For Learning is celebrating 30 years of creating life-changing learning experiences for every student. Our community recognition has begun with a proclamation by the City of Naples recognizing September 24th as Champions For Learning Day in collaboration with schools across Collier County.

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Champions For Learning Earns Fourth Consecutive 4-Star Rating

Champions For Learning’s (The Education Foundation of Collier County) strong financial standing and commitment to accountability and transparency has led the organization to earn a four star rating by Charity Navigator, the leading charity evaluator in America, as it celebrates its 30th year as an organization.

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