(Fort Myers, FL February 18, 2020) – The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center received a $10,000 grant on National Reading Day from the Scripps Howard Foundation to support literacy programs. The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center was only one of five organizations in the United States chosen to receive a $10,000 grant.
Employees from WFTX-TV, a local television station owned by the E.W. Scripps Company, brought more than 600 books to the center as part of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” childhood literacy campaign. The campaign is a national partnership of the Scripps Howard Foundation, employees of The E.W. Scripps Company and members of the Scripps family. Employees of The E.W. Scripps Company nationwide put more than 172,000 books into the hands of children in need across the country on National Reading Day.
After the books were presented, the staff and students of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center were surprised with the $10,000 check.
“We were thrilled and honored to be a recipient of the grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation,” said Dr. Debra Mathinos, Director of Education at The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. “Our students are also excited for the new reading opportunities provided by the books we received.”
“Minutes spent reading books at an early age is an important predictor of a child’s success – from their school years through adulthood, as they seek out and interpret information that helps them navigate the world around them,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation.
“Studies show that every book generates approximately 180 reading minutes. That means children in poverty will spend nearly 31 million minutes reading books from this year’s campaign donations. We’re humbled by the incredible commitment of Scripps employees and the communities they serve.”
“The Heights Foundation addresses the challenges that may result from poverty, limited English proficiency and limited educational involvement,” said Kathryn Kelly, CEO and founder of The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center. “Our programs provide a safe and engaging place for kids. The Scripps Howard Foundation grant helps build successful students and a stronger community. We are grateful for their support.”
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. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood. The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center were created with the goal of building strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. Programs at the Heights Center include The Harlem Heights Community Charter School, after school, summer camp and GLAD Kids, a child care center.
For more information about The Heights Foundation and The Heights Center visit www.heightsfoundation.org or call (239) 482-7706.
About the Heights Foundation and The Heights Center
The Heights Foundation works to build self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The 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. GLAD Kids is a child care and pre-k center serving more than 80 children birth-five. The Harlem Heights Community Charter School currently serves kindergarten through fourth grade and will expand to serve up to 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. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.
About the Scripps Howard Foundation
The Scripps Howard Foundation supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on excellence in journalism. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the Foundation is a leader in supporting journalism education, scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development, literacy and First Amendment causes. The Scripps Howard Awards stand as one of the industry’s top honors for outstanding journalism. The Foundation improves lives and helps build thriving communities. It partners with Scripps brands to create awareness of local issues and supports impactful organizations to drive solutions.