A $25,000 grant awarded by The League Club will be used by The Immokalee Foundation to address a recurring challenge faced by students in its groundbreaking program, Career Pathways: Empowering Students to Succeed.
One objective of the life-changing Career Pathways initiative is for students to receive industry-recognized certifications to help them enter into and advance in their chosen careers. Local students can often obtain these certifications through Collier County Public Schools’ Career Academies.
However, there is a challenge that some hardworking students from The Immokalee Foundation run into: Because many students come from homes where English may not be their first language, they may be unable to enroll in the Career Academies due to underperformance on the reading portion of the Florida Standards Assessments.
“Those students who have lower reading test scores on the FSA are required to take two reading courses throughout the school day,” said Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation. “This doubling up of reading courses tends to drastically reduce the students’ chances of participating in a Career Academy, since there is little room in their class schedules.”
To help remedy this issue and improve students’ ability to prepare for future careers, The Immokalee Foundation offers Achieve 3000, a reading support program for its students in sixth through 10th grades. The League Club grant will be used to support Achieve 3000’s online reading platform to improve students’ FSA reading test scores and allow them to join the Career Academy of their choosing.
Achieve 3000 is individually tailored and tracks each student’s Lexile score – which measures reading comprehension skills – to monitor improvement over time. The foundation uses the online platform in tandem with its other job-readiness efforts to tie everything together and keep students engaged and informed on their chosen Career Pathway.
“We assign students articles based on their career interests, and the program generates questions to improve their Lexile scores,” said Perez. “It has been a great online program and ensures that students can keep learning about career opportunities as they work to improve their reading skills.
“We work to change the lives of the students in our programs, and one way we do that is by preparing them for in-demand, well-paying careers in Southwest Florida,” said Perez. “We are grateful for support from organizations like The League Club that recognize the impact our efforts have on both the students we work with and the entire community of Immokalee.”
The League Club Inc. is a not-for-profit organization of women in Southwest Florida who are current or former members of the Junior League. Its mission is to strengthen communities through fellowship, education, volunteerism and philanthropy. Over the past 32 years, The League Club has provided more than $4.2 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in Collier and Lee counties. For more information, visit https://leagueclub.org/.