Florence Fuller Child Development Center Successfully Provides A Pathway Out of Poverty
By Elizabeth R. Elstien
Forty-three years ago, the nonprofit Florence Fuller Child Development Center was begun in Boca Raton to fill a need for affordable child care for the city’s working poor. Although Boca Raton is overall a wealthy community, there are pockets of service industry workers who do not make a living wage. Staying home with their children or private daycare are both economic impossibilities. While at work, these families need assistance keeping their youngest kids frp, six weeks protected and learning during the day and the older kids up to 5th grade safe and busy when not in school.
Pearl City and Lincoln Court neighborhoods and the west’s primarily migrant workers are the areas of the city most in need of the organization’s services. For this reason, two centers are used (East and more rural West), to serve over 700 children each year. Director of Grants and Programs Anne McCudden says, “When a child attends Florence Fuller, they are not attending as a singular unit, they are attending as a family unit and, thus, improving and growing as a family.”
Notably, daycare is not all this nonprofit provides. McCudden tells us, “We differ from other non-profits in our ability to provide holistic childcare services which include not just schooling but health screenings, literacy training and behavioral services.” For instance, in 2013 the Family Support Program was begun to address the whole family unit. Dealing with a myriad of issues helps support the entire family with everything from résumé and job preparation to healthy eating and nutrition classes, along with housing, healthcare and domestic violence issues.
“We are very proud of our Family Support Program,” McCudden adds. To show the benefit of the program, she poses this question, “After all, what good is it to address a child’s developmental or behavioral issues at school if they are just going to go home into a household or family structure that may have issues itself?” McCudden has a point.
Recently, Florence Fuller added tutoring to its curriculum that significantly upped its young students’ scores. A main volunteer group designed very personalized and individualized studies for children who were really having a hard time comprehending their studies. McCudden states, “By adding a tutoring component to our curriculum, we were able to raise our student’s Kindergarten scores at from 79% to 97% at the East Center and from 82% to 90% at the West Center. By sending our children out into the school system “Kindergarten ready” we are helping both the student and the community, as they are that much more likely to succeed in all of their future endeavors.” Five stars to Florence Fuller for giving a fair and quality education to disadvantaged youngsters giving them a lift up in life.
A Message from the CEO Opening Our Hearts for a New Day Dear Friends, We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’re evolving every day to meet the needs of our children and families, who are working hard to stay afloat while keeping our local economy running as the pandemic continues. I want […]
A Message from the CEO Renewed Energy and Promise Dear Friends, We’ve got quite a year ahead of us! Into it we’re taking the lessons we learned in 2020, strengthened resolve, and a hopeful vision for the children and families we serve. Thank you for being there for us as we evolved to meet every […]
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (December 30, 2020) – Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, is pleased to announce that Matthew J. Scheer has been named to the board of directors for Florence Fuller Child Development Foundation. Florence Fuller Child Development Center offers the most affordable NAEYC-accredited early childhood education center in Boca […]
A Message from the CEO A Year of Challenges and Gratitude Dear Friends, This year showed us what our priorities are and what’s worth fighting for. It showed us how easily already vulnerable people can slip through the cracks, if not for the vigilant care of our community. Because of YOU, this mission survived 2020. […]
In-person annual gala cancelled to keep supporters safe – event support still needed to keep Center open Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, we had to cancel our main fundraising events including our largest, the Wee Dream Ball. The annual event raises a significant portion of our fundraising revenue. Without it, hundreds of children […]
A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE FROM THE CEO Dear Friends, How can I even begin to express my gratitude to you this past year? You were there for us when it mattered most! When we faced the greatest threat of our 50-year history, you helped us survive it. When our entire nation shut down, you stepped up […]
THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE GIVING THANKS TOGETHER VIRTUAL EVENT Chaired by Matt and Tara Pawlowski Scott and Katherine Van Wyngarden Although we couldn’t be together physically, we hope you enjoyed participating in this very special virtual evening! If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that families remain resilient in difficult times. Here at […]
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO Lessons learned through hard times Dear Friends, The pandemic has brought to light some hard truths about our society, and tough lessons about building a compassionate community that benefits everyone. But good lessons aren’t hard to find here at the Fuller Center! Every day we find inspiration in our fabulous children, […]
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO Prioritizing our children and families, come what may Dear Friends, What a summer it’s been! It really feels as though we’re “building the boat while navigating the storm.” It’s unbelievable to think of how much has changed. We’re living in truly uncertain times. But this is the same time: the need […]
KEEPING OUR CHILDREN SAFE WHILE THEY PLAY The Fuller Center is excited to announce that the new sunshade for the East Campus playground has been installed! In “the Sunshine State,” it’s crucial that we practice sun safety to avoid excessive sunbeam exposure and potential sun damage to our children. This is especially crucial for our […]