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The Immokalee Foundation has received an $11,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County to support the nonprofit’s Immokalee Readers program.

Immokalee Readers is an after-school early intervention literacy tutoring program designed to help the lowest-performing young readers by supplementing their regular classroom instruction. More than 550 students in all five Immokalee elementary schools are tutored by more than 100 trained high school students, who are supervised by certified classroom teachers.

“The curriculum for Immokalee Readers is aligned with Sunshine State standards,” said Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation. “We’re very proud that the graduation rate for our high school tutors is 100 percent, and they carry an average 3.29 GPA. These are accomplished students who enjoy working with their elementary-age counterparts to help further their education.”

Collier County Public Schools regularly assesses elementary students’ reading comprehension, phonemic awareness, letter-sound recognition, sight words and vocabulary; results demonstrate that all students in the Immokalee Readers program have made measurable gains.

The Community Foundation of Collier County awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process.

“The Immokalee Foundation helps students reach their full reading potential,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Collier County. “By providing educational opportunities, the foundation is improving the future of its students – and of our entire community.”

The Community Foundation of Collier County is one of Florida’s fastest-growing community foundations. Established in 1985 to increase and focus private philanthropy in Collier County, the tax-exempt, public, charitable fund has invested more than $79 million in grants and scholarships over its 30-year history. At its core, the foundation is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, it serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the foundation serves as a grantmaker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fundholders, the foundation has addressed some of the community’s most pressing needs. Today, the Community Foundation manages more than 510 funds, collaborates with more than 400 nonprofits, and holds over $100 million in assets. For more information, visit

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit

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