About The Heights Center

The Heights Foundation was formed in 2000 to address the multigenerational, abject poverty that is a downward spiral and difficult to overcome. The Heights Center was built to provide a safe place in the neighborhood for kids and adults, and to provide resources and create positive change, through wide-reaching educational support and family development.

The Heights Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, works to build self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood through education, opportunity and enrichment. We support education and wellness, promote family and community development, and provide the benefit of the arts.

You make it possible to do our work in Harlem Heights; keeping families sheltered and fed, and kids safe and learning.

2020 In Review

JANUARY 2020

  • We start the New Year with 92 kids at GLAD Early Learning (now Heights Early Learning), 111 kids in AfterSchool, and 62 students in K-4 at The Harlem Heights Community Charter School
  • We win a $10,000 grant from The Scripps Howard Foundation to support literacy programs – one of only five organizations in the U.S.

FEBRUARY

  • We receive a Lee County Partnering for Results grant for $123,299
  • Our student music program, formerly MusicWorks!, is now Mosaic, and completely under the umbrella of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center
  • Gulf Harbour Fashion Show benefiting GLAD Kids raises $20,000
  • Our new building has a roof!

MARCH

  • Spring break camp turns into COVID Camp
  • Charter School staff begin teaching via weekly paper packets
  • School provides grab & go breakfast and lunch for students
  • Our signature fundraiser, Love Your Neighbor pivots at the last minute to a virtual event. One of the first virtual events this side of the Mississippi! We raised $230,000!

APRIL

  • GLAD Kids enrollment drops significantly, most of the staff is furloughed
  • COVID Camp continues with 27 kids
  • We partner with food pantries and distribute groceries to 873 people
  • Sanibel-Captiva Rotary donates $3,000
  • Supporters provided funding to help Heights families with rent, childcare, utilities, home repairs, car payments, and repairs.

MAY

  • We distribute food to 942 people
  • Enrollment at GLAD increases, we begin bringing back staff
  • First Horizon Bank donates $11,000
  • We have color on our building as exterior walls are painted!

JUNE

  • The school year ends
  • COVID Camp becomes Summer Camp with 61 kids
  • Children’s Services Foundation donates $2,500
  • Dale Mausteller joins us as Heights Director of Finance and Business Manager and Nurse for the Charter School
  • Contractor begins painting the interior walls and laying the floor

JULY

  • 335 students receive school supplies at our Back to School Outreach
  • Enrollment at GLAD Kids reaches 62
  • Blanca Acosta is named Director of Early Learning
  • Deb Mathinos title is changed to Chief Program Officer
  • Paving and landscaping are going in

jAUGUST

  • Construction of our new Education Building is completed!
  • Years, months, and weeks of planning culminate with the much moving of boxes, furniture and equipment
  • The Charter School opens with151 students in K -5th grades. AfterSchool has 125 kids.
  • The students are temperature-checked twice a day, wear masks, and have plexiglass shields at their desks

SEPTEMBER

  • GLAD moves into new building, as Heights Early Learning with 79 kids
  • Our Mosaic music program begins with 55 students
  • Golf tournament raises more than $50,000!
  • First Run the River Poker Run raises $100,000!

OCTOBER

  • Brenda Krieger joins our team as Administrative Assistant
  • We begin arts enrichment classes with 30 kids enrolled in the keyboard, guitar, and hip-hop
  • We receive a $50,000 grant from the Schulze Family Foundation
  • We receive a $10,000 grant from the Babcock Foundation

NOVEMBER

  • New physical education Pavillion is completed
  • Heights Early Learning enrollment is 81
  • Thanksgiving Outreach provides a turkey and groceries to nearly 1,000 Heights residents

DECEMBER

  • The Heights Education Building wins the Florida SW American Institute of Architects award
  • Our Mosaic kids perform holiday pops with Reiko and Friends
  • Christmas Outreach provides gifts for more than 800 children in Harlem Heights
  • Even with Covid, in 2020, we provided 271,512 hours of service to Heights residents – at an all-in cost of under $10 per hour