Guadalupe Center dedicates NCEF Infant/Toddler Wing to honor partnership with Naples Children & Education Foundation

Guadalupe Center recognized its longstanding support from the Naples Children & Education Foundation on Feb. 20 by dedicating a wing of its main campus in Immokalee in honor of the philanthropic organization.

The NCEF Infant/Toddler Wing is one of two wings at the Morgridge Family Early Childhood Education Campus, which serves up to 270 children ages 6 weeks through 5 years old. With its bright colors and comforting environment, the Infant/Toddler Wing was constructed in 2006 with support from NCEF. Along with the Jim Near Wing, the facility offers hope to many families who are otherwise unable to afford a high-quality early learning program.

In January, NCEF celebrated its 20th Naples Winter Wine Festival, which has raised $212 million since its inaugural event in 2001. Guadalupe Center has been a beneficiary since the grant process was initiated in 2002.

“The generosity of guests at the Naples Winter Wine Festival has been incredible since its inception, and NCEF grants have helped provide tens of thousands of children across Collier County with a stronger education, better health care and the resources to excel,” said Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. “Guadalupe Center would not serve as many students, nor be as successful, without NCEF’s generous support and leadership over the years.”

The Naples Children & Education Foundation’s mission is to improve the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,400 lower-income Collier County students and is focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.

Guadalupe Center offers a nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program.

Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted more than 45 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing 275,000 children with services and resources they need to excel.

“We are honored to have the Infant/Toddler Wing named after NCEF,” said NCEF Chief Executive Officer Maria Jimenez-Lara. “Guadalupe Center is a prime example of the highly effective nonprofits in our community which exemplify the highest levels of efficacy and accountability in serving underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County.”

Guadalupe Center partners with University of Florida’s College of Dentistry, NCEF Pediatric Dental Center to provide services four times a year to children in Guadalupe Center’s programs. Services include free dental screenings, sealants and fluoride treatments through proceeds generated at the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

“It’s my hope that dedicating our Infant/Toddler Wing in NCEF’s honor will permanently serve as a reminder of how much the organization has impacted Guadalupe Center,” Montecalvo said. “It’s incredible to think about how many children have excelled in school, attended college and are now gainfully employed with families of their own because of support from the NCEF and attendees of the Naples Winter Wine Festival.”