Suncoast Credit Union awards $20,000 grant to Guadalupe Center

students at guadalupe center's new van otterloo campus in immokalee, florida.

Guadalupe Center has received a $20,000 grant from Suncoast Credit Union Foundation to enhance learning opportunities for students in the Early Childhood Education Program.

Funds will help cover instructional expenditures, including learning materials and classroom supplies, as well as provide tuition assistance for families with a demonstrated financial need.

“A high-quality early learning program helps prepare students academically, socially and emotionally for kindergarten,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “Grants and philanthropic support from Suncoast and other generous organizations and individuals are providing far more than access to education; they are helping us comprehensively address obstacles to learning and providing transformational opportunities for students and families in Immokalee.”

The weekly cost to attend an early learning program at many Southwest Florida providers exceeds $200. At Guadalupe Center, parents pay an average of just $50 per week thanks to private philanthropic support. Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program serves 525 students from 6 weeks to 5 years old, many of whom are the children of farmworkers, laborers, construction workers and hospitality employees who are critical to the region’s economy. Combined with the After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program, Guadalupe Center has more than 1,900 students.

Suncoast Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational initiatives in the communities it serves. Since its founding in 1990, the foundation has raised and donated more than $40 million to help provide a better future for children.

“The mission of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation is to promote the education, health and emotional well-being of children in our communities,” said Kourtney Berry, executive director of Suncoast’s foundation and youth outreach. “Guadalupe Center has been doing just that for nearly 40 years, and together we can provide bright futures for the students in Immokalee.”

Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program is accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE). It also maintains a five-star rating from the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida and is designated as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

READ MORE: Suncoast Credit Union donations