Waterside Builders is a proud sponsor of the Guadalupe Center
Mission and History
Early Childhood Education
Study after study has documented that children living in poverty during preschool and the early school years, who do not receive high-quality early childhood education, are less likely to graduate from high school. The impact of early educational intervention has been proven to substantially benefit disadvantaged children, making investment in such programs a win-win.
Many of the children who enter the Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program come from families that have faced long periods of poverty. Not having their basic needs met has a profound effect upon children; causing them to suffer emotionally, socially, and academically. These children are dependent on others. They live in poverty, by no fault of their own, and are confronted with additional barriers that are detrimental to their future success.
Since its inception in 1996, the Early Childhood Education Program has grown into a highly sophisticated educational program for Immokalee’s youngest residents. The Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program offers students the powerful combination of a safe, nurturing, environment and a highly-qualified, teaching staff in a state-of-the-art learning facility. These elements together form the high-quality education that is critical to removing the barriers to academic success that low-income children face.
- Nationally accredited by NAC since 2010 & APPLE since 2007.
- The only preschool in Collier County to receive a 5 star rating for the 3rd consecutive year from The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.
- 270 students are enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program.
- The Guadalupe Center is among top performing early childhood programs in Collier County, and is the largest provider under one roof in Collier County.
- Year after year, VPK students consistently score 90% or above on the kindergarten readiness assessment. We have added two additional programs to extend our services into the community. Our Smart Start program will service 50 families who are not able to get their child into an early learning center. We will be going into the community to provide home teaching strategies to the parents. In addition, we have opened 3 new early learning classrooms at Lake Trafford Elementay School. This will allow 33 additional families access to an early learning center.
After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment
The Guadalupe Center provides at-risk kindergarten through second grade children of Immokalee the support that they desperately need to catch-up to their peers. Many students enrolled in the Guadalupe After-school and Summer Tutoring Programs were not afforded the benefits of high-quality early childhood education. Thus, they are working hard, struggling to learn what many of their peers have already mastered. Research finds that by the time impoverished children reach middle school, they are over two and a half years behind their middle-class peers. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but the end results are that children from lower socioeconomic families are less likely to be successful in school and, thus, in life. Without support, these children will continue to struggle and the achievement gap will grow wider with each year in school.
Students in the After-school Program are identified by Collier County Public Schools as at-risk of failure. The Guadalupe Center’s After-school and Summer Tutoring programs work to reverse the effects of this achievement gap and increase student performance. Students are provided remedial help and enrichment opportunities led by certified teachers, adult program leaders, and successful high school students who act as academic role models and tutors – a model proven to help struggling children see that success is within reach.
- Approximately 700 students participate free of charge in the Guadalupe After-school Program.
- 300 students participate in the Summer Tutoring And Recreation Program—a 6-week summer program aimed at alleviating summer learning loss.
- By the end of the 2016-2017 school year, 93% of the after-school students showed gains in reading and 94% showed gains in math.
- 90% of the summer session students in 2016 showed gains between the pre and post-tests in reading, vocabulary, and mathematics.
In its mission to break the cycle of poverty through education, the Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps Program works to keep Immokalee’s teens in school, remove the barriers to higher education, and ensure that students ultimately graduate from college with the tools to be successful in life. These students are eager to break their own cycle of poverty, but struggle with economic and environmental barriers beyond their control. Tutor Corps addresses the specific needs children from low-income agricultural communities confront when applying to and being admitted to college.
Immokalee High School students must have a 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, apply and be interviewed for a position in the Tutor Corps Program. Once accepted, students are matched with mentors in the community who guide them on their path to success. Students earn a wage while tutoring younger students in the Guadalupe After-school Program. In addition, Tutor Corps students can accrue up to $16,000 in Guadalupe scholarships for college. The dedicated staff provides instruction in test-taking skills, guidance in selecting a college and career, assistance with financial aid and securing additional scholarships, and on-going support ensuring that students are prepared for, and graduate from, college.
220 Tutor Corps students are enrolled—100 high school students and 120 college students.
For more than nine consecutive years, 100% of Tutor Corps high school seniors have graduated high school and been accepted into a post secondary institution.
Over 90% of Tutor Corps college students graduate with a post-secondary degree.
Click on the image to visit the Guadalupe Center’s website.