From Student to Teacher, Meet Kiara Through Champions For Learning I’ve been inspired by my mentor, community, and the students I teach. My name is Kiara and I am a Kindergarten teacher at Village Oaks Elementary in Immokalee and a 2012 graduate of the Champions For Learning programs. My whole life has been about learning. Learning to be a better student, a better community member, and a better teacher. I strive to be the best educator I can be because of those who advocated and believed in me as a student.
For more than 30 years, our mission at Champions For Learning has remained simple: To create life-changing learning experiences for every student. A gift to Champions For Learning is an investment in the future of our students and our community. Of the more than 360 students in our College and Career Preparation programs, 89% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and by federal guidelines are considered “economically needy.” Many will be the first in their family to advance to post-high school education. We need your help to continue supporting these deserving students. Fortunately, Champions For Learning is at the forefront of providing programming and resources to support students in earning their degrees with little to no debt and for teachers to have what they need so their students flourish. The “Return On Investment Guide” offers a concise overview of the programs, events, and scholarships provided through Champions For Learning. You can readily see how your investment will unite our community, educators, staff, volunteers, and partners to make a difference in the lives of students. Give Now "My involvement with Champions For Learning allows me to be deeply engaged in my community and gain meaningful connections that enrich my life, and I know I am making a difference for students." - Jesse Roberts, Champions For Learning Board Member, Ambassador, and Mentor
New this year is Coffee & Conversations, a monthly series open to the public, with the goal of sharing and discussing various educational topics as it pertains to our community. This is also a great chance to connect with current volunteers, mentors, and staff. Here’s a recap of the fall topics and discussion: August Mentor Badges, CCPS School Entry Changes, and Student Benchmarks This early-bird session reviewed the new security measures of Collier County Public Schools as part of the district’s “Keep Collier Safe” efforts. CCPS has added various layers of security to better protect our students. Here’s what you should be aware of: If you have visited a school this year, you likely experienced the new school entry procedure. You can read more about the change here, or watch this video for a demonstration of how to properly enter a school. The district has asked that all mentors receive badges. If you are a current mentor have not been issued a badge, please contact Rachel Welch for instructions on how to obtain one. Backpacks and large bags are no longer allowed at CCPS athletic events. Click here for more information on appropriate bag guidelines. We also shared our Student Benchmark Checklists, a resource we developed to help parents and mentors ensure their student is on the right path to personal and professional success. Click to download the checklist. 8th grade 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade October CCPS Emergency Drills with Guest Speaker Our October session was a continuation of August’s topic, featuring Tim Kutz, Head of Security at Collier County Public Schools. Our topic was a heavy one – emergency drills on campus, including active shooter situations: Click here for tips on how to talk to your student about violence. CCPS is working to develop resources for the community so anyone who visits a school can be informed of the drills and procedures that may occur. We will update you once these materials are released. November CCPS Social and Emotional Learning with Guest Speakers In November, we were joined by Caroline Brennan and Dr. Heather McElroy of Collier County Public Schools. They walked us through the importance of Social and Emotional Learning, as well as the top five priorities to address the growing need for student mental health support within the schools. Learn more about the five priorities by watching this video. The district has developed materials to help parents better understand and become advocates for Social and Emotional Learning. These same resources are available to you: We Care! Video series — tips on how to talk to a student about difficult topics, such as: Substance Abuse, Dating Violence, Suicide Prevention, and Cyberbullying. Parent Toolkit (downloadable PDF) for Social and Emotional Development Interested in attending? Coffee & Conversations will return on January 16 and 17, where we’ll discuss financial aid opportunities for students. Please note the new format – our topic will be introduced at 8:30am, with discussion and conversation to follow until 9:30am. Attendees are encouraged to stay and network once our formal conversation concludes. Whether you’re a parent/grandparent with a child approaching college, a […]
The grant request portal is now OPEN for teachers to submit requests for funding for classroom projects for the 2017-18 school year. The deadline to be considered for the License for Learning funding, and other funding from the Connect With A Classroom Grant Fund is September 11, 2017. After September 11, you may continue to post grant requests for community consideration throughout the school year. Click here to view instructions for existing users and new user profile creation. New to the process? Attend a Connect With A Classroom grant application workshop on Monday, August 21 at 4:30 pm at the Champions For Learning offices. Limited to 40 participants; please RSVP to Amy Snyder at ASnyder@ChampionsForLearning.org by August 16.
We Are Future Ready! Champions For Learning is a partner with and backbone organization supporting Future Ready Collier, a collaborative network of community members, organizations, businesses and schools working to ensure every child in Collier County is ready for Kindergarten and every young person enters adulthood with a vision and a plan to accomplish that vision. Future Ready Collier is the Collier partner for the regional FutureMakers Coalition. The goals of Champions For Learning align with Future Ready Collier: Goal 1: Foster real-world learning opportunities for students and families. Our program focus in helping young people and families find the best pathway to attain their goals in a way that is debt-free aligns with the efforts of Future Ready Collier to ensure young people are career ready by graduating high school on track to obtain a degree or credential. Goal 2: Cultivate opportunities for educators to engage with their community and each other. Our programs investing in and sharing the innovative and best practices of educators, and connecting educators to their community, contributes to the Future Ready Collier goal to ensure young people are ready for career and college. Goal 3: Promote community-based collaboration, innovation, and sharing of resources. Champions For Learning has many years of community engagement and experience convening conversations in our community. This unique role has positioned Champions For Learning as the backbone organization facilitating the collaborative network for Future Ready Collier. Learn More NowHelp us connect students to their future.Make a contribution today!
Building a Culture for Learning Each year, Champions For Learning awards a Heart of the Apple in recognition of sustained and committed leadership in support of building the culture of learning in our community through the mission of Champions For Learning. 2021-2022 Heart of the Apple RecipientsLearn About Betty and Marcelo Alvarez Having both grown up with high-quality experiences with teachers and moved by those that helped them along the way, Betty and Marcelo Alvarez have led a life inspired by the value of mentors, teachers, and learning. Their passion for helping others has led them to invest in others throughout their lives and across the globe, always seeking to help where needed and striving toward lofty goals. Betty and Marcelo, who have been involved in many facets of Champions For Learning, are pleased to share this honor with the other distinguished Heart of the Alle recipients. Past Heart of the Apple Recipients Nancy Potter Heart of the Apple 2020-2021 Recipient Past Board Chairs In honor of 30 years of community leadership Heart of the Apple 2019-2020 Recipients Byron Koste Lloyd Liggett Sharon Treiser Bill Barton Chris Vernon Claudine Leger-Wetzel Alan Horton Thomas Riley Kaleigh Grover Don Barber John James Dianne Mayberry-Hatt Laird Lile Bill Thomas Jim Hoppensteadt Colleen Conant Vivian Dawson Keith Walker Grover Whidden Mike Maxwell Bill Barker Brian Martin Mary Lynn Hill Lynn Davidson Rachel Gutman Todd Bradley Beverly Feagin William Barker Heart of the Apple 2018-2019 Recipient Thomas Riley Heart of the Apple 2017 - 2018 Recipient Myra Janco Daniels Heart [...]
The College and Career Preparation Program provides weekly support for college access, financial aid instruction, career exploration and readiness, goal-setting and self-advocacy skills for 11th-12th grade students and families, including those in the “middle class gap” who cannot afford the full cost of post-secondary education without help. Students are also supported after high school during their transition and into college.Students in 10th grade, from public or independent high schools, are eligible to apply in the spring each year. Click here for eligibility information. 10th Grade Student ApplicationVolunteer to Help StudentsSupport Students Help us connect students to their future.Make a contribution today!
Eighth-grade students with economic need, good grades/behavior/attendance in school, and a desire for achieving post-secondary goals may apply to this program. Applications are available in the Fall of the 8th Grade year. The program offers students a caring volunteer mentor, a professional College Success Coach, College Readiness support, and upon successful completion and participation in the TSIC program, students earn a two-year state college scholarship. More than 650 students are alumni of this program, with more than 200 high school students active each year. Student Application: 8th GradeMentor a High School StudentFund a Tuition Scholarship 94graduate high school and complete the program 99graduate from high school 99accepted into the post-secondary education institution of their choice Help us connect students to their future.Make a contribution today!
Congratulations Class of 2021! Preparing Students for their Future Learning and Career Goals Supporting families and helping students gain the skills and vision for their future is a unique and important role for our community. Champions For Learning works with the community, connecting them directly with students in support of college and career readiness. Volunteer models: volunteer models range from 1-on-1 and group mentoring, to leading workshops, to providing feedback on student resumes and personal statements. Community-based programming and training: Specific initiatives are developed to help thousands of students focus on the tasks they need to accomplish in order to achieve their future goals. Access to financial resources: CFL leads collaborative county-wide efforts to increase completion rates for the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Champions College & Career program Champions For Learning College and Career Prep Program (CCP): Eligible 10th grade students from public or independent high schools may apply for this college and career preparation program. The CCP program will equip students for their future learning and career goals. Once in the CCP program, students are eligible to apply for CFL college scholarship programs; they participate in group mentoring and work with a professional College Success Coach. Learn MoreTake Stock in Children Champions For Learning’s Take Stock in Children Program: Eighth-grade student with economic need, may apply to this program. The program offers students a caring volunteer mentor, a professional College Success Coach, College Readiness support, and upon successful completion and participation in the TSIC program, students earn a two-year state college scholarship. Learn MoreStudent Resources Learn more about the many resources that families and students will find useful as they strive to find their pathway and accomplish their future goals. Learn More Our Impact Alaysha Florida Gulf Coast University Aspiring Teacher "Champions For Learning has given me so many opportunities, I am so grateful to have been a part of this program." - Hailey 2019 Graduate "I really wanted to get involved with an organization and thanks to mentoring I was not only able to help a young person, but also have them impact me. The people at Champions For Learning are wonderful. They create amazing support. Volunteering with them has been very satisfying and a wonderful experience. " – Jack TorenTake Stock in Children Mentor "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Champions for learning has taught me to fish. They have taught me so many skills, which will allow me to succeed in the future." – Melissa 2018 Graduate "When we motivate students to learn, they prove that progress can happen far beyond the four walls of a classroom. When we to building relationships, celebrating success, and setting high expectations we empower them." – Amanda McCoy Manatee Middle teacher 12000students served through programs and outreach 289college acceptances (90 seniors) 12610volunteer hours 3885082in scholarship offers (90 seniors) Interested in helping students & families? Make a contribution!Give Now
Connecting the community Helping teachers find opportunities for their own real-world learning is so important, whether it is participating in an externship, learning about community resources or participating in Roundtables. Teachers thrive when they are connected to their community, and students benefit from that every day. Roundtable DiscussionsTeacher CafesAnnual Community-Based Teacher Workshop Help us connect students to their future.Make a contribution today!