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 benefits 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.
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 in poverty conditions, and their children were with them all day because they had nowhere to go.
The need to help the early migrant workers became apparent to people within community churches and local social organizations. They realized the workers were there, they were new neighbors, and they needed assistance. The first priority was to provide decent, safe and healthy housing communities. Local catholic churches, individual community leaders and others became involved in building homes 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. With the help of the community, the children started attending public schools and were provided with clothes, supplies, help with their homework, and they were helped with other adjustments to a school learning environment. The Junior League of Boca Raton gave major support to the development of two learning programs. Campo Alegre was a summer camp to help children adjust to their new life in school. The after school Help With Homework program became a significant addition to the school day for each child In The Pines. Today, both of these programs serve nearly 200 children per year.
In 1981 the educational 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 some are going to college. FCCI has a network of volunteers, tutors, teachers, staff, parents and community organizers who are celebrating more than 30 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 corporations and through foundation grants.