From left to right: Jackie Barron; Morgan Odum; Sarah Fedorchuk; three Wimauma Community Academy (WCA) students, who are holding Mosaic’s donation; coach Joe Puente; a WCA student; Bill Ferrari; Principal Mark Haggett; Erica Gallegos and her two sons, who are current or past WCA students; Linda Adams (in the back in a white top); and RCMA executive director Isabel Garcia.

Established in 1965, RCMA is Florida’s largest nonprofit provider of early childhood education and a nationally recognized charter school operator. Headquartered in Immokalee, RCMA operates 65 child development centers and two K-8 charter schools, with plans to add Mulberry Community Academy (MCA) for the 2023-24 school year. Florida recently designated RCMA a ‘School of Hope’ charter school operator, reflecting its success and making it eligible for grants and low-cost loans as it builds more charter schools.

The Mosaic Company has pledged $50,000 per year over three years to RCMA. The first $50,000, donated on June 20 to RCMA’s Wimauma Community Academy, will help fund a steel protective cover over the newly built 52’ x 90’ sports court utilized for physical education classes and after-school sports programs. The expense for the cover has risen dramatically since RCMA began the construction project, with $56,000 of the cover’s total $323,000 still needing to be raised.

Mosaic will contribute $50,000 in May 2023 and $50,000 in May 2024 toward MCA, which will serve K-1 students in modular classrooms when it opens, with construction for the K-8 school serving 360 students expected to be completed by fall 2025.

What’s more, RCMA received $200,000 from the George Jenkins Foundation, also known as Publix Super Markets Charities, for staffing at MCA.

The grant covers 18 months of salary for a talent and recruitment manager, who is hiring teachers and administrative staff for the new school, and an after-school coordinator, who will help families register their children for summer school at MCA for 2023.

“At this exciting time, as we prepare to provide a continuum of education for students transitioning from our child development center to our charter school, we are extremely grateful to the George Jenkins Foundation for helping us identify new staff members and to let families about the additional services we are providing,” said Isabel Garcia, RCMA executive director. “RCMA is committed to ensuring that children in Florida’s rural communities have access to the best education possible and that they and their families benefit from our holistic approach that includes health care, parenting classes, English language instruction, nutrition services and immigration support programs.”

In addition, earlier this year, the Charter School Growth Fund, the largest funder of high performing charter schools in the country, pledged a $1.275 million investment over four years to help RCMA expand its schools.

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