We give children the chance to excel in life through academic achievement. It is our belief that all children have the potential to learn and to follow their dreams.
Farmworker Childrens Center, Inc. exists to serve elementary, middle, and high school children in parts of coastal South Palm Beach County, Florida. We provide free educational, cultural, social and recreational services to underserved children. Their parents are laborers primarily for local agricultural farms and nurseries. Most often, the children lack the resources for educational support at home.
Our mission is accomplished through two major academic and enrichment programs throughout the year. The after school Help with Homework program provides tutoring for children who need help with their assignments. Tutors assist with reading, writing, math, science, spelling and special projects. They also help the students prepare for classroom tests. Staff members meet with parents, teachers and other school officials regarding the needs of the students.
Campo Alegre is a summer academic camp organized to help students stay current with their academic skills. It also provides children with critical social skills, recreational opportunities, and physical exercise.
Over the years, the programs have a proven track record. The children have greater attendance records, higher grades and competitive test scores. They have a better chance of staying in school and going on to college.
Celebrating over 40 years of learning
From the fields into the classroom
In the early 1960s the agricultural industry grew in coastal Palm Beach, Florida, and the farmworkers arrived to work. They labored in the fields, they picked fruits and vegetables, they lived below poverty level conditions, and their young children were with them all day because they had nowhere else to go.
By 1980, the need to help the early migrant workers became apparent to people within community churches and local social organizations. In the mid 1980s, the first priority was to provide decent, safe and affordable housing communities. Local churches and synagogues, individual community leaders and other volunteer groups became involved in building communities with the financial help of government grants. Out of this grew In The Pines, a not for profit housing community which today has two sites in coastal Palm Beach County.
Organizers realized that the farmworkers’ children were in great need of educational opportunities. The working parents wanted their children to learn, develop and grow. With the help of the community, the children started attending public schools and were provided with clothes, supplies, help with their homework, and assistance to transition and adapt to a school learning environment. The Junior League of Boca Raton gave substantial support to the development of In The Pines with two learning programs. Campo Alegre was designed as a summer camp to get the children outdoors and in an enrichment environment, giving the children new and fun experiences. The after school Help With Homework program became a significant addition to the school day for each child at In The Pines. Today, both of these programs serve nearly 150 children per year.
In 1981 the programs were organized into a formal entity called Farmworker Childrens Center, Inc. (FCCI). It was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not for profit organization in 1989. Since its beginning, FCCI has served the educational needs of over 5000 children (most of them are Hispanic Americans). The children are staying in school, graduating from high school and many are furthering their future prospects. FCCI has a network of volunteers, tutors, teachers, staff, parents and community organizers who are celebrating more than 40 years of learning.
Historically, FCCI has had excellent collaborations with In The Pines, the Junior League of Boca Raton, South Tech Academy in Boynton Beach, the School District of Palm Beach County, the Caridad Clinic, the National Council of Jewish Women, St. Jude Catholic Church of Boca Raton, and Americorps. It is privately funded through contributions of individuals and corporation an d through foundation grants.
Since 1981 Farmworker Childrens Center, Inc. has nurtured, guided and tutored over 5000 children (K-12) in the agricultural area of coastal South Palm Beach County, FL. Our goal has been to improve the quality of life, education and job prospects for children whose parents work long days in the fields.
Through the actions and behaviors of the children, we have begun to see a deeper appreciation of learning. There are children who want to read, to excel in math, have good test scores, and to progress on to higher grades in school. Parents have developed a deeper pride in their accomplishments and have extended their appreciation to those who work tirelessly to give the children opportunities for a better life.
Staff, volunteers and teachers spend hundreds of hours during the school year and in the summer months helping the children learn. They work with them on their assignments, encourage them to learn, and they attend school meetings. Staff members work with teachers to understand the specific learning needs of each child. They also pay attention to their physical and psychological well being.
The community of learning that has been created with families, children, staff, volunteers and schools is truly a unique experience, one which benefits the lives of all.
Help With Homework
Our students have the potential to learn, and we give them the support and the tools to realize their potential.
It’s about 2:00 in the afternoon and the elementary school children are heading home in school buses. After school they go to special learning centers at In The Pines (North and South) where staff and volunteers greet them warmly and ask about their day in school. Some parents also greet the children, but most are not yet home from work. The children boisterously get organized for their homework assignments, specifically their reading and math or special projects. The children have a snack, sharpen pencils, open books, and begin to concentrate on the work at hand. Staff and volunteer tutors review the children's school papers, assignments and notes from teachers.
The students spend up to two hours doing after school work. During that time, they do a variety of homework assignments including math, writing, spelling, science, and social studies. Some have special school projects which may take a few weeks to complete. After their homework is finished, the children are required to spend twenty minutes reading. All of this is done with the help of tutors who work with small groups of scholars. It isn’t unusual to see older children helping younger ones with problems or words they don’t understand. They are truly working together.
Later in the afternoon the second round of scholars arrive on the buses. It’s time for the children from middle and high school to begin their work, and the cycle starts again.
Our kids work hard. They know there are special people who will help them, and they want to make their parents and teachers proud. The goal is for our scholars to excel in school. The outcome is for them to grow and learn and to develop skills that will be useful throughout life.
SUMMER ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT