(Fort Myers, Fla. –April 19, 2023) — Hundreds of Harlem Heights residents and families enjoyed a spring gathering at The Heights Center on Saturday, April 1. The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center event was sponsored by Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands. The mission of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center is to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.
Participants enjoyed an egg hunt, visits with the Easter Bunny, games, face painting provided by The Rothrock Foundation, music, music, hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by Thomas Goodman,, and free books donated by Gene’s Books.
“The past six months have been challenging for the families of Harlem Heights due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Ian,” said Kathryn Kelly, President and CEO of The Heights Foundation. “This celebration allowed families to have fun, relax, enjoy a meal, and fellowship with their neighbors. We are grateful for the support of Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands for making this day possible.”
About The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center
The Heights Foundation works to build self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.
Our mission is to support education and wellness, promote family and community development, and provide the benefits of enrichment and the arts. The Heights Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment. Heights Early Learning serves more than 80 babies through 4 years old. The Heights Center serves 134 children in AfterSchool and SummerCamp. The Harlem Heights Community Charter School serves 180 children from kindergarten through fifth grade.
Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 780 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 70% Hispanic, 20% African-American, and 8% Caucasian. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. As a result, families cannot easily access family support services in downtown Fort Myers and benefit greatly from programs within the neighborhood.