Steven Kissinger, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, recently served as Principal for a Day at Pinecrest Elementary School in Immokalee. As part of his official duties, Kissinger assisted with the school’s morning telecast, handed out desserts at lunchtime, visited classrooms, and attended a leadership meeting with school department heads. He spent time listening, observing and learning.
“What a terrific opportunity to interact with school leadership, teachers and students through the course of a full day,” Kissinger said. “Even though The Immokalee Foundation is in classrooms each day, I gained insights that will be helpful to our programming.”
“Collier County Public Schools created the Principal for a Day program to provide members of the community a lesson in the challenges and accomplishments of the district’s principals and schools,” said Pinecrest Principal Dr. Susan Jordan. “The program has the potential to impress upon participants the dedication and motivation of the principal and staff, the students’ eagerness to learn, and the enormous number of services our schools offer.”
One of those services is The Immokalee Foundation’s Immokalee Readers program, which involves nearly 700 students at five Collier County elementary schools – 143 Pinecrest Elementary students, 21 high school-age student tutors and 17 teachers. The after-school program matches student tutors with the lowest-performing elementary school students to help the younger students gain proficiencies in reading. Certified teachers supervise the student tutors, who also serve as role models for their younger charges.
“During Steven’s day of service, we had a valuable discussion about the impact of the extended learning opportunities provided to our students by The Immokalee Foundation,” Jordan said. “As a school principal, I depend on our after-school programs to provide academics and support beyond the school day to our most fragile learners. The Immokalee Foundation’s Immokalee Readers program is an excellent example of this wraparound support.”
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 www.immokaleefoundation.org.