The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has granted $50,000 to The Heights Foundation to support The Foundation’s Fostering Academic Achievement program for at-risk kids in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.
Funds will be used to provide an additional half-day of Voluntary Prekindergarten Education (VPK) for children to supplement the free 3 hours they currently receive, providing them a strong base for entry to Kindergarten. Funds will also be used to purchase supplies, materials and equipment for School Success programming to support the continued academic growth of children. The opening of the new 36,000 square foot Heights Education Center has increased enrollment in both programs by 20%.
“Children who participate in VPK programs score higher on the kindergarten readiness test. Our School Success program includes academic tutoring, after school and summer camp programs, scholarship and college access assistance, school supplies, and tuition support,” said Kathryn Kelly, President and CEO of The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center. “Each program is geared to meet the specific needs of children and young adults who seek to further their education. The support of the Schulze Family Foundation helps ensure our kids have the necessary tools to succeed in school.”
Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 780 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood. The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center were created with the goal of building strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.
The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation began its work in 2004 with the charge from its founder to support transformational change for the benefit of mankind. The Foundation has consistently directed its primary efforts and resources toward matters of importance in human & social services, education, and health & medicine. It continues to do so today with a focus on investments that produce specific and measurable outcomes with a geographic emphasis on the Twin Cities (Minnesota) seven-county metropolitan area and Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties in Florida. In all of its activities, the foundation embraces its founder’s beliefs in the value of innovation and in improving the lives of middle- and working-class families.
To learn more about The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center, visit heightsfoundation.org or call (239) 482-7706.