2016-2017 Community Impact Grant Info

Agency Project Name Project Description
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter REACHing Southwest Florida (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health) The REACHing SW FL program is an implementation of the evidence-based Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH) program which is a multi-component psychosocial and behavioral training intervention for Alzheimer’s caregiver. The intervention is designed to reduce burden and depression, improve ability to provide self-care, provide social support, and help caregivers learn how to manage difficult behaviors in care recipients.
Audubon of the Western Everglades Protection of Vital Wetlands and Habitat in Southwest Florida The objectives of the project during its one year life span are: to preserve as much southwest Florida wetland acreage at risk of development as possible, including vital hydro-period wetlands; to combat not only outright loss of wetlands but also to prevent loss of wetland functioning brought about by disruption of natural flow patterns; to restore lost wetland functioning where possible; and to protect vital coastal habitats.
CROW Optimizing Success for CROW:  Enhancing Community Impact Utilizing Theory of Change The community, and CROW, will benefit from an objectively-based Theory of Change. CROW wants to understand: What drives people to visit? Why do others support CROW with time, talent and treasure? Which messages resonate and result in behavioral change? How do we deliver beneficial, targeted programs and maintain mission? When is best and how often do we contact/follow up with guests? Where is messaging positioned in the spectrum to move people to act? These steps will aid implementation of the complex behavioral change necessary to move individuals from awareness of the necessity of wildlife to actions that save wildlife.
Family Initiative Incorporated SWFL Autism Center First, ASD families will be offered a holistic integration of both clinical & ancillary services in one facility. Second, individuals with ASD will be provided support in achieving successful long-term educational & employment outcomes.  By housing multiple service providers in one location, we are able to streamline each family’s ability to access timely services. We will also work in tandem with each provider & the family to coordinate service provision & treatment planning.
Glades Education Foundation, Inc. AVID about Success AVID, a research-based program, is an acronym that stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a dynamic program that brings strategies and curriculum to students in grades 6-12 to increase their academic success, likelihood of graduating, and knowledge of post-secondary options. The Glades Education Foundation is seeking funding to expand the current AVID program from grades 6-9 to grades 6-10.
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. Cooking Up Career Success This project will develop a coaching model of working with people who took the initiative to successfully graduate from the course, but need additional help to take the next steps to finding a job. This will involve working closely with the course graduates by offering personal assistance, explore barriers to employment, and develop a plan towards employment while working through the issues affecting their lives. We will also pilot a national tool to assess employment barriers and assist in development of an individual employment plan.
Gulf Coast Symphony MusicWorks! Full Orchestra Expansion MusicWorks! (MW) a partnership program with the Gulf Coast Symphony and The Heights Foundation, is an intensive daily program that uses music as an instrument for social transformation, empowering children to acquire values and achieve their full potential, positively affecting their society through the study and performance of music. MusicWorks! is the only El Sistema instrumental program in the region.
Gulfshore Opera Gulfshore Opera’s Community in Harmony Initiative Community in Harmony Program will broaden understanding and support for the classical vocal arts through meaningful education initiatives and community partnerships while a diverse cross section of individuals will share in creative personal and community development. Community in Harmony initiative increases overall community well-being by utilizing the arts to build cultural understanding, mutual respect,   and strong communities.
Hendry County School District Clewiston Industrial Mechanics Program Clewiston has a very high unemployment rate and a high poverty level, just to name a few issues that exist. We have a large percentage of our population between the ages of 18 and 24 that are not employed or seeking employment. The main challenge we are focusing on is to provide training and a link to employment in the area of industrial and farm mechanics. A huge demand for this high skill high wage trade exist within our community. Providing this training will help bridge an unemployment gap as well as provide a qualified workforce locally trained.
Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships Human Trafficking Prevention Programs in Lee County Schools HTAP and the Lab Theater are collaborating in bringing the play, “Body and Sold” to the students by engaging them in the production in workshops, assemblies and involvement in the full production of the play. HTAP has years of experience in working with youth, educating them about human trafficking, and the Lab Theater has years of experience delivering information in an exciting and meaningful way through theater
I Will Mentorship Foundation Changing the Game Strategic activities link directly to the desired change through a 5 phased after school program that includes: College 101; ACT/SAT; Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshop; Grass Roots College Tour; and College Symposium.  Both at-risk youth and their parents will become engaged in the educational process and make decisions about their academic futures.
JFCS of Southwest Florida Creative Expression and Memory Art therapy will be a new componet to the program that will select arts experiences with the goal to help trigger short and long term memory, decrease agitation, manage behavior, enhance reality orientation, reduce anxiety, strengthen communication and increase self-esteem. A certified art therapist will assess the strengths and needs of the individuals in the dementia groups and develop a plan that will include creating art projects such as painting, drawing, manipulating clay and paper, viewing and discussing works of art and trips to the local art museum.
Lee County Alliance for the Arts Theatre Accessibility for Visually Impaired and Hearing Impaired Persons In order to accommodate the growing number of theatre-goers, we are requesting a grant to equip our theatre with the technology required to offer audio descriptive and active listening devices beginning with our 2016/2017 Season of the Arts performances and Theatre Conspiracy productions. The equipment will also be utilized to enhance access to everything that goes on in our theatre – not just performances. Lecture series, comedy shows, author talks and more will become available to this group of patrons.
New Mission Systems International New Life for Lost Treasures – Empowering Women through Employment Through NMSI’s “New Life for Lost Treasures” program, women with a history of abuse, exploitation and trafficking as well as a strong desire to change the trajectory of their lives, are given the unique opportunity to learn valuable work force skills and gain confidence through employment. Short-term, focused employment gives women the skills and confidence they need to secure long term employment, helping break the cycle of poverty in their lives and the lives of their children.
Sanibel Sea School Immokalee to the Sea Sanibel Sea School will work with Hendry County teachers to create long-term, curriculum-driven marine experiences to enhance classroom learning, beginning with a pilot program for gifted students that can be offered to additional students in the future.
School District of Lee County Partnering for School Readiness The goal of this project is to improve school readiness for all of Lee County’s children entering kindergarten by providing a clear and consistent communication system between the School District of Lee County (Lee) and its PreK community.  This project will support the Coalition’s Quality Rating System (QRIS) and develop an additional level/designation of a “School District of Lee County Partnership Program” as an incentive for more providers to join the QRIS and focus on improving the quality of their PreK environment.
The Heights Center Teach.Learn.Connect (T.L.C.) Develop, implement and evaluate the 20 week Teach.Learn.Connect (T.L.C.) program to parents of students enrolled in the Harlem Heights Community Charter School. Parents will receive training for 3 hours each week on such topics as: Parents as Teachers, Forming Positive Relationships, Building Self-Esteem, Positive Discipline, Conflict Resolution, Homework Without Tears, communication, The power of Encouragement, Fostering Responsibility & Resiliency, Routines & Structure, Interactive Literacy, Math in the World. Training will be presented by certified professionals and will incorporate time for parents and children to work together as new skills are practiced


2015-2016 Community Impact Grant Info

Agency Project Name Project Description
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter Female Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support (FACS) The support services and activities of the FACS program will be specifically tailored to meet the special caregiver considerations and needs of female caregivers. Components of the FACS program will include a 24/7 Information & Referral Helpline, Care Consults, Support Groups, Caregiver Trainings, Respite Care, Memory Screens, Wandering Support Services and Public Education & Outreach Activities.
Champions For Learning Real World Learning Model: College & Career Preparation Program Champions For Learning (CFL) developed The Real World Learning Model (RWLM), which started as a collaboration between CFL, CCPS, FutureMakers & the SWFL Community Foundation. The RWLM will facilitate a needed change in our community, where more students will successfully graduate high school, earn a postsecondary degree with little no/debt & transition into the workforce.
Charlotte County Homeless Coalition Inc. The Food Connection Project, Phase 3 Phase 3 of the Food Connection Project will be to move on to the training of case managers within each of the existing Food Connection Partner Agencies. The training will be specifically to build each partners
capacity to provide targeted case management. The Food Connection’s ultimate goal is to increase independence and food security for local families while decreasing dependence on community resources.
CROW – Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. Visitor Education Center Re-Nesting Tree CROW’s plan is to retrofit an existing kiosk into a three dimensional re-nesting tree. It will feature CROW’s “If You Care, Leave It There” and Re-Nesting Programs. These educational programs have proven effective in both reducing the number of patients unnecessarily brought to CROW’s hospital and reintroducing young and recovered birds into their natural habitat. This educational program informs the public on when it is appropriate to leave healthy neonates where they find them or re-nest if possible. As a result, CROW’s annual patient load of neonates has dropped from 80% to 46% over the past 3 years, giving hundreds of birds a greater chance of thriving in the wild. This education is imperative to saving wildlife.
Family Initiative Incorporated ASD Family Support Group Family Initiative (FI) will provide two significant areas of support to the families of Southwest Florida that do not currently exist. One piece is the venue for families to come together. The second is the support that will be provided by FI team of clinicians. These two factors will be available for both children diagnosed with ASD & as well as their parents. In bringing these families together, FI will have the opportunity to build interaction skills and supports that are lacking.
Glades County Board of County Commissioners Glades County Regional Training Center The goal is to see high school students, out-of-school youth – ages 16-24, veterans, TANF recipients and others in the service area who are unemployed or underemployed receive training comprised of soft skills training and stackable certifications that can lead to advanced training and employment opportunities in manufacturing and logistics in such a way that they can step on and off the training path until they reach a level of employment where they can provide a sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their families. At the same time, the project aims to create additional training opportunities available to incumbent employees for advancement, so that a continuous pipeline of entry level positions are created and the trained staff to fill those positions.
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. Food Security through Community Action As part of Lee County’s neighborhood Revitalization program, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida provides resident coordinators for the communities identified. It focuses on a “grass roots” approach to assisting these neighborhood leaders to find solutions to issues in their community. These neighborhoods are “food deserts”. A food desert is an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. Because of socio economic conditions, these communities also experience low to very low food security.
Gulf Coast Symphony MusicWorks! In 2015 the Gulf Coast Symphony (GCS) launched a Venezuela El Sistema inspired program at the Heights Center (HC), called Music Works! (MW) as a pilot site for a larger, replicable program, with multiple opportunities for children to experience the transformative power of music. The program provides an innovative education and social initiative that creates opportunities for personal development in children (grades K-2) through the study of music. This program is free.
Gulfshore Opera Gulfshore Opera’s “Community in Harmony” Program Community in Harmony Program will broaden understanding and support for the classical vocal arts through meaningful education initiatives and community partnerships while a diverse cross section of individuals will share in creative personal and community development.
Hendry County Library System Impact Hendry Educational Library Project (I HELP) Partnership For Success The Hendry County Library system will strategically add to the outreach programs to daycare and preschool centers, incorporating the services of 6 qualified teachers for our tutoring of elementary students,
as well as of pre-schools in LaBelle. The libraries will seek to further develop the idea of family literacy centers started last school year by incorporating the “Every Child Ready to Read” parent instruction program in each library. Through this program, parents of children 0 – 5 years will be exposed to materials that help them improve their children’s early reading skills through talking, singing, reading, and writing by a trained professional.
I Will Mentorship Foundation Changing the Game The change from this program is to inspire approximately 150 middle through high school, at-risk youth to pursue education and help make it a reality, not just a dream. Changing the Game is an innovative program consisting of 5 modules in IWMF’s crib-to-career approach that seeks to motivate youth from within, the only way that true change can occur: 1. Connection; 2. Entry; 3. Saturation; 4. Stability; and 5. Progress
Lee County Alliance for the Arts Arts & Prosperty Economic Study (Lee County & Collier County) The project will provide data detailing the key role played by the nonprofit arts industry in strengthening the economies of Lee County, Collier County, and the City of Fort Myers. The study utilizes a highly regarded
research methodology that is credible, accurate and statistically valid. In sum, the study will address: (1) the economic impact of direct spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and (2) the impact of eventrelated spending by their audiences.
Naples Botanical Garden Naples Botanical Garden Workforce Development Program for At-Risk Youth Naples Botanical Garden is proposing a collaborative workforce development program for at-risk high school students to meet the challenge of diversifying career opportunities and assisting in the transition to adulthood while achieving economic self-sufficiency. The Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) Exceptional Student Education (ESE) department has identified a need for more diverse career experiences for high school students identified as at-risk.
New Mission Systems International New Life for Lost Treasures The program offers paid internships for women in need (human trafficking) to help them learn business skills and gain work history for their resume. During their internship, staff will actively work with them to gain full time employment with a business in the community. This program will include ongoing training and coaching in the areas of resume writing, submitting job applications, interview training, business skills, financial literacy and more. These skills will better prepare them for the workforce, creating opportunity to gain confidence and shine as they seek employment.
RCMA ICS Digital Project The digital program builds on the organization’s past success and works to create more equitable access to technology by providing families and other community members with digital resources, including opportunities to develop technological competencies required to navigate the changing landscape in education, career, health, and other social services.
The Heights Center Creating a Pathway to Prosperity The primary issue addressed in this project is the unemployment/ underemployment of residents in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Lee County which leads to an inability of individuals to support themselves and their families. Lack of job specific technical skills adversely impacts an individual’s ability to obtain employment at a living wage. Additionally, learning challenges, minimal academic skills, limited English Proficiency, transportation and scheduling concerns are barriers to successful completion of the few job training programs accessible in the area. In order to bring about the desired outcome – employment at a living wage – a job training program must provide both technical job-specific skill development as well as support programs which reduce the barriers to a participant’s success.
The Immokalee Foundation Immokalee Reader Program The Immokalee Readers program is an after-school early intervention literacy tutoring program designed to target the lowest-performing student readers and complement the reading instruction they receive during their regular school day. The program matches high school-aged tutors with elementary age children to provide intensive and enjoyable reading lessons.
Gulf Coast Humane Society Reduce Pet Over Population The clinic is up and running for low cost spay/neuter, the only thing we need to make an impact here is the funds to cover the surgeries on those that are on public assistance. The other part of this grant is printed materials the organization can leave with families, schools and with the Animal Control Officers in the surrounding counties as a tool to help GCHS share the mission.

2014-2015 Community Impact Grant Recipients

Agency Project Description 
Amigos en Cristo, Inc With the requested funds, Amigos en Cristo can provide the necessary immigration services for 25 of these women to obtain a U-visa at no cost to the individual. In addition, Amigos en Cristo will hire and train an individual to become an accredited immigration specialist to help meet the growing and still unmet immigration needs of ACT and others in Lee county.
Hendry County Library System The Hendry County Library system will continue the educational aspects of the Impact Hendry Employability Library Project (I HELP) started in this last grant period. This includes the English instructions for non-English speakers who are parents of children in our tutoring program; the payment of fees for GED exams; and tutoring elementary school students in reading and mathematics. New initiative will include the following: develop a family literacy center in each of the three libraries covering reading, math, and computer skills.
Redlands Christian Migrant Assoc. Some 30 of the school’s best students were chosen to receive iPad minis for homework reading assignments. The honor inspired most of them to take solemn responsibility for the computers and the homework.Parents, typically farm workers, were awestruck at their children’s success and at the marvels of the minis. Teachers videotaped verbal reading assignments on the iPad minis in Spanish. At home, parents listened to the assignment, then watched as their children videotaped themselves reading aloud in English. Afterward, they discussed a videotaped question posed by the teacher. Finally, the child uploaded a video of the full exercise to the teacher’s computer. Often, teachers saw siblings joining in, triggering family discussions.
Naples Botanical Garden Naples Botanical Garden will continue to collaborate with mental health navigators and support groups. Our programs include weekly and monthly pre-vocational programs throughout the school year, Therapeutic Horticulture field trips and programs for special needs students, and sensory programs for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Therapeutic Horticulture is the purposeful use of plants and plant-related activities to promote health, wellness and quality of life for an individual or group. TH programs have been shown to be an effective method of therapy for mental illness, Alzheimer’s and a wide range of physical diagnoses.
Grace Community Center The Exceptional Entrepreneur business model will be profitable and self-sustaining. We will increase productivity of participants through workstation management and task analysis. We will increase sales through marketing research, outreach and collaboration with area businesses. We will also be able to significantly impact sales of all our products through representation at local produce markets. Additionally, we expect to foster partnerships that will enable us to expand the business.
Children’s Home Society of Florida The most efficient way to improve our existing process requires the hiring of an Intake Coordinator. This position implements the new standardized assessments for the children, ensures quick initiation with services, and matches a therapist quickly according to expertise and immediacy of need of the client. The quality of service and support will increase and have a valuable impact on family advancement.
Goodwill and Partners (AMI Kids, CCMI, Harry Chapin, Heights Foundation, Literacy Council and Pine Manor Assoc.) We have formed a coalition of partner agencies with the goal of reducing intergenerational poverty by offering training, education, and social services through a collaborative interagency approach. This approach is designed to increase workforce & economic development for residents living in selected neighborhoods. We are successful in this program by taking a person-centered approach to success through our collaboration. Our iPerson: Multi-Agency Program Approach to Transform Communities provides a continuous, agile, and flexible support system that includes: Life Coaching, GED & Financial Literacy Classes, VITA Taxes & FAFSA Help, DCF ACCESS, Job Coaching, Vocational Education, HMIS Data Tracking.
Lighthouse SWFL Through months of research, meetings, investigating, and listening to parents and local eye doctors, we discovered a major need for vision rehabilitation of children age 6-14. The challenge is to raise funds to start such a program, and then grow it to a full-time program serving all three counties as we do with the rest of our services.The plan is to open a program this Fall with a once-a -month gathering of parents and their children with visual impairment and blindness. The program will be educational in nature for the parents ,and rehabilitation-oriented for the children. A critical piece of this program is buy-in by the parents. The program will not be a babysitting service. The parents have to learn, too.
Gulf Coast Humane Society Currently the Gulf Coast Humane Society’s clinic has only two exam rooms and one Vet to see the patients. We have grown over the last three years with community support and a excellent team to now being booked out for appointments 3-4 weeks. An exciting opportunity presented itself with the donation of Dr. Bruno, a retired plastic surgeons, building. This is in our demographic area & with little build out to convert to a Vet Clinic. GCHS would have 5 exam rooms giving us the ability to see more patients.
CROW In order to educate the public of the importance of the interrelatedness of the health of our ecosystems, wildlife and human health, CROW needs to make significant updates to existing displays in our Visitor Education Center that sees nearly 15,000 visitors annually. In addition, CROW will add a new section devoted to our collaborative research efforts in support of the “One World, One health” concept.
Charlotte Co. Homeless Coalition The Food Connection decided that the use of bar code technology would reduce the likelihood of inaccurate information being manually entered into the system by volunteers and did not require extensive understanding of databases. The data system already being used by many agencies in our community for client tracking is the Community Information System (CIS/HMIS) this is the data system the group agreed to use. During the first year of the Food Connection Project our community began creating a baseline of unduplicated client information. Year 2 of the project will not only include supporting existing pantries, but also will identify and engage smaller pantries in the Food Connection
Gulf Coast Symphony Music Works! is a program with the priority of serving the social and cultural needs of at-risk children in our community. The program creates an environment of opportunity through the collective practice of music in orchestral playing as models of academic and life skills-development, social organization, and community building. MW provides an educational and social preparedness program while developing musical knowledge and performance skills at a high level. Students will receive individual and group instruction on a string instrument of their choice. A total of 34 students will attend classes for 2 hours at a time, 3 times each week for a total of 6 hours per week. Each day that they attend, students will spend approximately one hour in small groups and then one hour together as a large ensemble.
Quality of Life Center The Youth Business Project allows students with various talents and interests to play a role on a team. Students build academic skills, confidence, and learn what it takes to start a business in a real-world setting. At-risk teens also learn to develop teamwork and leadership skills in a professional “project management” framework.