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Florence Fuller Child Development Centers

All we had to hear at Sklar about Florence Fuller Child Development Center was their mission “to make a difference through education for economically challenged children and families to build a positive future in our community” and we were hooked. A visit to the facility and a look at those happy smiling faces and we knew we were in for the long haul.

More than 40 years ago two women decided that they wanted to give children living in poverty the same educational opportunities as their more affluent peers. They rightly believed that education was the door out of poverty and started with 22 children – today that number has reached over 700 children served every year in 2 campuses.

Amid the affluence of Palm Beach County, more than 25% of families with young children are living in poverty. More than 90% of the children served by FFCDC are living at or below the Federal Poverty Level, and 65% are from single-parent homes. More often than not, the parents are the working poor, employed in minimum-wage jobs, disabled, enrolled in career training programs, still in high school, or working their way through college. They want a better life for their children away from the daily struggles of poverty, and FFCDC works to ensure that they receive the best possible start in life by establishing a solid foundation of knowledge, trust, understanding and tolerance in every child.

Exceptional preschool programs, enhanced with a structured after-school program for grade – school children, fill an important niche for economically struggling parents who have limited options for making the most of their child’s learning potential. The success statistics are mind-boggling – 99.9% of the Early Start children never repeat a grade in Elementary school.

Sklar’s support of FFCDC is a bit selfish – probably the best day at the store all year – bar none – is our annual Christmas party with one of the classes we adopt every December. Our staff buy and wrap special gifts for each child chosen from their “wish list” – Santa comes, there are drinks and snacks and songs, it does not get any better than that. This year we started a yearly fundraising event to raise enough money to send 25 children to summer camp.

The legacy that started with two women is going strong and Boca Raton is lucky indeed to have this facility and all the dedicated staff and Board members who make it work so well.

Visit Florence Fuller Child Development Centers for more information.

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