Increasing community investment in our schools and students is the mission of the Education Foundation of Indian River County, according to Cynthia Falardeau, its executive director.
Falardeau spoke at the November luncheon of the Democratic Women’s Club of IRC, held at the Club at Pointe West.
The county organization is a part of the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, of which Falardeau is the recently elected chair.
The foundation meets with officials to identify the schools’ biggest needs and programs that might not be available through normal financial means, she said. It then collaborates with area nonprofit and corporate entities to help provide those sources.
“Private investment makes pilot programs happen,” Falardeau said.
Among the programs coordinated by the foundation is the annual Indian River Science and Engineering Fair for elementary and secondary students.
With the goal of increasing graduation rates, the organization provides services from pre-K through high school, the executive director said. Those programs include “Step Into Kindergarten,” “Algebra Counts 2,” a sneaker exchange, backpacks and school supplies, and eye exams and glasses.
For special needs students at the Wabasso School, the foundation offers the “Speak Up” project providing IPads to promote communication through a nonverbal means, she said. Additionally, its “R.E.A.L Lab” for 18- to 22-year-olds prepares pupils for everyday life.
The next luncheon meeting of the Democratic Women’s Club of IRC will be held Dec. 9 at the Grand Harbor clubhouse.