Educational Institutions

THE FOUNDATION FOR LEE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS INC

  • Fort Myers, FL
  • www.leeschoolfoundation.org

Mission Statement

We are a non-profit charitable education foundation which enhances and enriches the quality of public education in Lee County for students and educators through programs, resources and experiences made possible through corporate, individual and educational partnerships.

Main Programs

  1. Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Award Program
  2. Take Stock In Children
  3. ArtSpeak
  4. Education Resource Center
  5. Classroom, School, and Department Grants
  6. Student Advocacy & Mentoring Partnership
  7. STEM@Work
  8. Dancing Classrooms
  9. Collegium for the Advancement of Education
  10. FutureMakers
  11. College & Career Center
  12. A-Team Challenge
Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

Lee County Florida

ruling year

1986

President & CEO

Self-reported

Mr. Marshall T. Bower Esq.

Board Chairman since 2016

Self-reported

Mr. Gary H. Griffin

Keywords

Self-reported

Public education support in Lee County Florida

Notes from the Nonprofit

In 2010, our Foundation was recognized out of 67 Florida counties as having the most growth and sustainability of all Take Stock in Children programs.
Also, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. was named as one of the top 20 Education Foundations in the nation by Dewey and Associates, Inc

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EIN

59-2637849

 Number

3219526014

Physical Address

2266 Second Street

Fort Myers, 33901

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Single Organization Support (P11)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

With Philanthropy and Community Partnerships, we champion educational excellence for our students and teachers so they can prosper in an ever-changing global society and economy. Since our founding in 1986, we have supported the Lee County Public School District with over $35,000,000 in support programs of educational excellence.

Our Foundation staff has grown to 13 full-time employees and our programs continue to grow to support the 90,000+ students in the Lee County School District. The Lee County School system grows at the rate of about 1200 new students per year. With this population growth, come challenges that must be met. Our mission is to continue supporting these students and teachers to the best of our abilities.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Award Program

The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Progam enhances public education by recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching.  
Public school teachers are nominated by students, parents, administrators, and the general public for their extraordinary contributions to our students. 
Six recipients are chosen and honored at the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Banquet, a formal dinner attended by more than 800 community members and business leaders.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

Budget

$256,481.00

Program 2

Take Stock In Children

Take Stock in Children is a statewide scholarship program that provides a unique opportunity for deserving students from low-income homes to escape the cycle of poverty through education. The Foundation is the local administrator of the program and provides a college scholarship, caring volunteer mentors, and hope for a better life.
Students accepted into the program must sign a contract to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA, stay crime- and drug- free, and meet with their mentor regularly. Having kept this commitment, students will receive a four-year college tuition scholarship upon graduation.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$407,163.00

Program 3

ArtSpeak

The Foundation’s ArtSpeak: Expressive Arts & Autism Program serves Lee County School District students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The program uses art as a means of communication and offers students an opportunity to create new experiences that often result in improved social skills and reinforcement of their writing and fine motor skills.
ArtSpeak students are encouraged to use a variety of textures and colors to express their thoughts and feelings while enjoying the experience of creating art without pressure. The program is structured to take place in the classroom setting where students feel comfortable and non-threatened. Students communicate through their artwork and the sensory stimulation adds to the positive outcome, allowing students to explore new ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$136,183.00

Program 4

Education Resource Center

The Education Resource Center supports teachers and students with access to free materials to use in their classrooms to enhance the learning experience.
The Resource Center also provides emergency funding to low-income students for items such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, vital prescriptions, and school uniforms.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

$62,395.00

Program 5

Classroom, School, and Department Grants

The Classroom, School, and Department Grants program supports teachers and students by funding tools and resources that are normally not included in their budget, but are necessary to creating unique learning experiences. Teachers submit a grant application to The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools for innovative projects that enhance student learning through hands-on activities and unique perspectives on traditional subject areas. Classroom grant categories include: Arts, Health/Fitness/Nutrition, Literacy & Social Studies, STEM, Natural Environment of SWFL, and Financial Literacy.

Category

Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 6

Student Advocacy & Mentoring Partnership

To support at-risk, low income students with a mentor and resources to ensure they graduate from high school with the potential to continue their education via vocational/technical training or college. We believe that given extensive support, motivation and accountability, children will succeed.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

Program 7

STEM@Work

This program helps educate students on the importance of having the skills and knowledge to be successful in today's high-tech, information-driven, global marketplace. Students participate in hands-on activities with STEM related business leaders to prepare them for a future career in this field.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

Program 8

Dancing Classrooms

The Dancing Classrooms program utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to build social awareness, confidence, and self-esteem in fifth-grade students across Lee County. Now in its eighth year, the program is administered locally by The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, and funded by Miromar Outlets. Dancing Classrooms was brought to The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools in 2008 by Margaret Antonier, Founder and CEO of Miromar Development. Since its inception, the program has grown from 5 schools reaching 325 students in its first year, to 8 schools with more than 750 students. To date, more than 6,000 students have participated in Dancing Classrooms.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

Budget

Program 9

Collegium for the Advancement of Education

Collegium for the Advancement of Education is a program that shares best practices for excellence in teaching based on the integration of the Sterling and Glasser models of Quality Training. Teachers trained in this philosophy develop ways to examine data, set and monitor goals, and integrate quality tools into the classroom. The program provides strategies for increasing student achievement by helping students to self-evaluate and make responsible choices.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

Budget

Program 10

FutureMakers

FutureMakers is an educational program that aims to inspire more high school seniors to explore college and career options, including vocational training or specialized certification programs. It is designed to educate and provide resources to high school sophomores and juniors on pre-graduation financial aid requirements and post-secondary opportunities. The program takes place at eight Lee County high schools and offers guidance, information, and workshop events on various topics including financial aid, scholarships, and vocational training. Students also receive the opportunity to practice interviewing skills and attend workshops on dressing for success and resume building.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

Program 11

College & Career Center

The Foundation’s College and Career Center (C3) supports students by preparing them for post-secondary education, technical training, and entering the workforce. This facility, on the Foundation campus, offers assistance through workshops and resources and aims to support students in their pursuit of academic success by helping them gain valuable information for short- and long- term goals.
This facility is supported by the business community through their participation and guidance in monthly workshops and student mentoring. Students create imperative connections with members of the local business community who have a vested interest in the students as their future employees. Workshop topics include career and military exploration, financial aid, scholarship applications, resume writing, interviewing skills, dressing for success, and post-secondary preparation.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

Program 12

A-Team Challenge

Modeled after Jeopardy, a team of high school students from each school competes against each other, answering questions under several categories including Science, Math, Arts & Humanities, Language Arts, Social Studies, and General Knowledge. Both public and private schools are invited to compete, with four team players and four alternates entering the competition. The purpose of the A-Team Challenge is to encourage, promote, and spotlight academic achievement and excellence among area high school students.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

$54,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. supports all teachers and students in Lee County Public Schools with innovative programs and initiatives that create opportunities to enhance and enrich the educational experiences of our teachers and students.
    These distinctive and varied programs focus on teacher recognition, quality teacher training, and student achievement. Additionally, we provide programs and initiatives that foster academic achievement, positive social skills, and self-esteem for our students who are at-risk.
    Public education faces many obstacles including an increase in student population and a decrease in dollars to support them. Our goal is to meet that challenge with special programs and initiatives that address those needs and many of the Foundation's programs support at-risk children.
    One of our major educational supports is for the advancement of STEM-related educational opportunities for our students. This program helps educate students on the importance of having the skills and knowledge to be successful in today's high-tech, information-driven, global marketplace. Students participate in hands-on activities with STEM-related business leaders to prepare them for a future career in this field. Additionally, we aim to support students and encourage them to graduate from high school and attend either college or technical training, ensuring their future success.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. was established in 1986 by a diverse group of local business and community leaders to enhance the quality of public education in Lee County by increasing community involvement in, and support for, Lee County public schools. The purpose of every initiative of the Foundation is to create and enhance opportunities for our public school students and teachers. Our goals are accomplished by providing many distinctive programs and resources to Lee County students and educators. Many of our programs address the needs of low-performing and at-risk students.
    The Foundation has been serving the Lee County Public School students and educators for twenty-nine years. We have a strong relationship with the Lee County School District as they support our efforts to enhance and enrich the quality of public education in Lee County.
    We have strong support from the corporate community and individual donors, and our supporters believe in the programs we have initiated. The community provides additional support of our initiatives with volunteer hours and resources. We are constantly updating our strategic planning, adding pertinent staff, increasing community awareness, and enhancing the Foundation's current and future status with the full support of our Board of Directors.
    The Foundation has strong partnerships with many of the area's strongest and largest corporations such as Publix Supermarket, Chico's FAS, Suncoast Credit Union and The News-Press Media Group. Several members of our Board of Directors are representatives of the community's major corporations including Bank of America, Florida Gulf Coast University, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Lee Memorial Health System, GATES Construction, and Florida SouthWestern State College.
    Our strategy is to continue our strong relationship with our local businesses who support education and are willing to share their time, treasures, and talent to ensure that Lee County students receive the best education possible.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Our Foundation is capable of supporting the Lee County Public School District with funding and programs established by our staff, Board of Directors, and community partners. With more than thirty million dollars in support, we will continue our efforts to grow our organization and meet the needs of our ever-growing school population. With more than 90,000 students to serve, we believe that education is everyone's responsibility, and we will continue to seek funding opportunities and partnerships to ensure our students are well-educated and equipped to meet the needs of an ever-changing global economy.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    As the Lee County School District population increases, the need for additional support grows. Our programs strive to keep up with the need for additional support to ensure that students graduate and seek higher education or training. Lee County's current graduation rate is 75.2% and has continued to increase year over year. We believe this is a strong indication of the positive impact the school district, and supporting organizations such as The Foundation, have on students and education.
    We serve the 33rd largest school district nationwide with more than 75% of our students qualifying for free or reduced lunch as measured by the government-mandated poverty level. Lee County students represent 159 countries and speak approximately 124 different languages; nearly 8,600 students are identified as Limited English Proficient.
    Florida's graduation rate for at-risk students is 57%, however, this increases to 92% when students are enrolled in a mentoring program such as Take Stock in Children. The Foundation provides programs and initiatives which target the academic and social issues many of these students are facing. Our mission is to increase graduation rates, college and career readiness, and post-secondary and scholarship opportunities for low-income, at-risk students.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools has grown since its inception in 1986, starting with a staff of three people and currently employing thirteen full-time staff members. Our programs have increased in number and population served, with a current annual budget of 1.9 million dollars in revenue.
    In 2010, our Foundation was recognized, out of 67 Florida counties, as having the most growth and sustainability of all Take Stock in Children programs.
    Other awards that demonstrate our progress in the community are:
    In 2015, we received the Charity Navigator 4-star rating for financial efficiency, sustainability, and information transparency. Charity Navigator is an independent, non-profit organization that evaluates American charities by rating the financial health of that entity.

    In 2012 and 2014, the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. was named as one of the top 20 Education Foundations in the nation by Dewey and Associates, Inc.

    In 2013, the Foundation received the Chrysalis Award in Education from the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau for excellence in partnering with tourism & business.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

Lee County Florida

Social Media

Funding Needs

All programs of the Foundation require funding. Our goal is to fund these programs with a fiscal responsibility that enables us to enhance and enrich the quality of public education for our students.  There are many programs that donors can elect to fund - from scholarships to programs for at-risk students to teacher training. Donors can also elect to give unrestricted funds that will enable the Foundation to determine where the need is greatest.

Affiliations + Memberships

Education

Videos

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE FOUNDATION FOR LEE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

THE FOUNDATION FOR LEE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS INC

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President & CEO

Mr. Marshall T. Bower Esq.

Board Chairman

Mr. Gary H. Griffin

BIO

Marshall joined the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc. in 2006 as President & CEO. In his role at The Foundation, Marshall directs the staff in continuing the Foundation's mission of enhancing and enriching the quality of public education in Lee County. The Foundation's programs, resources and experiences are made possible through corporate, individual and educational partnerships.

From 1985-2003, Marshall was in the State Attorney's Office, rising to the level of Deputy State Attorney in charge of legal operations and community affairs.
From 2003-2006, Marshall was a partner in the law firm of Bower & Liles, P.A., specializing in business law, in which the firm carried out extensive pro bono work regarding children's legal issues.

Marshall's history is one of being a strong proponent and providing service for children in need as shown by his record of awards and distinctions which include:
• 2014 - Golisano Children's Hospital of SW Florida Prendergast Child Advocate of the Year Award
• 2012 - Spirit of Philanthropy Award from Lee Mental Health
• 2009 - “20 Who Make a Difference" Award presented by the Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL
• 2001 - State of Florida Prosecutor of the Year Gene Berry Award presented by the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys' Association
• 2001 - FGCU Extraordinary People Award for Contributions to Domestic Violence Prevention, Division of Social Work
• 2000 - Mutual of America Community Partnership Award
• 2000 - Outstanding Achievement Award in Drug Abuse Prevention
• 2000 - Kiwanis International Tablet of Honor Award
• 2000 - SWFL Crimestoppers Appreciation Award
• 1999 - Governor's Peace at Home Award: Stopping Domestic Violence presented for Overall Achievement by Governor Jeb Bush
• 1999 - Distinguished Service Award in the area of Criminal Justice
• 1999 - Leadership Lee County
• 1996 - Outstanding Young Man of America
• 1995 - State Attorney's Office Attorney of the Year
• 1991 - Florida Council on Crime & Delinquency Distinguished Service Award
• 1991 - State Attorney's Office Employee of the Year

Marshall has been a frequent presenter on domestic violence, juvenile justice, and other related topics. He has served on numerous community boards including:
• Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL
• SWFL Marine Institute
• Children's Home Society of FL
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters of SWFL, Inc. – Chairman of the Board
• FGCU Criminal Justice Advisory Board
• Abuse Counseling & Treatment – President of the Board of Directors
• Make-a-Wish Foundation
• Kleist Health Education Center Advisory Board
He continues to serve on the following boards:
• PACE Center for Girls – Founding Board Member
• National Education Association Foundation Steering Committee's “Closing the Achievement Gap" Initiative
• 3D Initiative Advisory Committee of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
• SalusCare – Chairman of the Board
• Golisano Children's Hospital Council – Chairman
• Representative Heather Fitzenhagen's Community Task

STATEMENT FROM THE President & CEO

"The success that the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools has achieved in enhancing and enriching the public school experience for our students and teachers is directly attributable to our supporters. Whether they contribute through an investment of time, talent, or treasure they are making a positive impact on the education our district students are receiving. We simply could not succeed without them. There has been a great deal of dialogue lately at the local, state and even national level about education in this country and these conversations are important and welcome as we strive to shine the spotlight on the importance of a quality education for all of our children.  Education is, after all, the key to a thriving and prosperous economy and community.
 

 

 
 

 

As a community, we continue to be faced with many challenges:  homelessness, hunger and the high unemployment rate to name just a few.  A well-educated citizenry, capable of competing in the global market we live in, is the real answer to how we face these challenges.  Over 82,000 reasons exist for us as a community to continue to support the Foundation's mission to enhance and enrich the public school experience for our district students. These 82,000 plus students are our future!"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Gary H Griffin

B&I Contractors, Inc.

Term: Aug 2016 - Aug 2018

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?