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Growers Establish Foundation To Help Farmworkers With Child Care, Health Care and Education
Date:3/24/2009

he Wimauma Academy, an RCMA charter school for farmworker children. RCMA will use the funding to add middle-school grades, which will help an additional 60 children. The new space will include seven classrooms, a music/art room, teacher area, kitchen and cafeteria.

The other $50,000 grant will be used for an early-childhood education program for more than 20 children of farmworkers and other low-income children in Immokalee. RCMA, along with other non-profit organizations including Child Care of Southwest Florida, Guadalupe and Immokalee Child Care, will manage the early-learning program.

"This generous funding will provide child care for children who are falling through the cracks in terms of qualifying for government-subsidized programs," said Barbara Mainster, executive director of RCMA. "The children desperately need the experience of an early-learning program, and we're pleased the Farmworker Community Support Foundation is helping to close this gap. The fact that RCMA is working collaboratively with all the child care centers in Immokalee makes it even more special."

The FCSF also is granting MUJER $30,000 to support its "Project Vida" - a program that provides HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention services to male farmworkers living in Miami-Dade, Collier and Hillsborough counties. MUJER also plans to provide prevention kits and encourage testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to recipients receiving assistance.

"As a third-generation migrant worker, I understand that most farmworkers live in isolated communities, away from mainstream society," said Susan Reyna, MUJER's executive director. "Access to services and information about important health concerns are not readily available, so that is why we are really excited about our partnership with Florida growers. We will use the grant to take important health information to the farm fields of Homestead, Immokalee and Rusk
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SOURCE Farmworker Community Support Foundation
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