Last week, our Florida team was joined by Senator Alexis Calatayud for a check-signing ceremony where Florida Early Learning Corps received a $1 million investment! The event was hosted at the Children’s Learning Center in the historic Richmond Heights neighborhood, and attendees included their long-time partners at the Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade and the Early Learning Coalition of Miami/Monroe. It was an honor to have Senator Calatayud present the check, as her support and commitment to Florida children and their families has been invaluable.
“I am really grateful for the opportunity to champion early childhood education in the Legislature and to make sure that we are empowering the best practices that we know exist,” said Calatayud, who carried the Early Learning Corps proposal throughout the last legislative session. This investment is a major milestone for Florida preschoolers and demonstrates a great dedication to our youngest learners.
With this additional funding, Florida Early Learning Corps plans to expand 30%, acquiring 30 new tutors to help another 450 Florida students. The funding will also allow us to expand our services to Central Florida.
The added resources couldn’t have come at a more critical time. “Last month, 49% of Florida kindergartners started their first day of school unprepared, cognitively, socially and physically,” said Chanelle Pough, executive director of Florida programs at Early Learning Corps. “Florida Early Learning Corps’ vision is to ensure that 100% of Florida preschoolers are kindergarten-ready on day one.”
Florida Early Learning Corps also took this time to present Senator Alexis Calatayud with a “Change Maker” award to say thank you for her support. Senator Calatayud received a plaque which recognized her unrelenting dedication to enhancing access and investment in high-quality education, children’s healthcare and workforce development. The plaque notes, “We deeply appreciate Senator Calatayud’s steadfast support of the Florida Early Learning Corps as we grow our impact and expand AmeriCorps service to reach more children in more communities across the state.”
This year is Florida’s largest ever, with an additional 120 new tutors who will serve 2,000 more children. We are grateful for every one of our partners and to all the staff involved in giving our youngest learners a strong foundation in school.