Local businesses provide 32 scholarships for Soccer Shots at nonprofit early learning centers

Children at two early learning centers in Fort Myers are receiving lessons on soccer, teamwork and other valuable skills through Soccer Shots Southwest Florida, thanks to the generous support of two local businesses.

For six weeks, 16 children at Joseph H. Messina Learning Center and 16 children at P.A. Geraci Child Development Center will learn the fundamentals of soccer and character development. The program is sponsored by grants from Sanibel Captiva Community Bank and Fischler Property Company through Soccer Shots’ Corporate Scholarship Program, which provides grants to organizations that serve families in disadvantaged communities.

“Through this program, we are able to provide a fun and engaging learning environment for our children where they can learn and grow, both in sports and life skills,” said Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida. “Our heartfelt thanks go to Sanibel Captiva Community Bank and Fischler Property Company for their generosity with sponsoring 32 of our children for the Soccer Shots program.”

As a nonprofit, Child Care of Southwest Florida partners with dozens of businesses and charitable foundations to offer high-quality early learning programs at a reduced rate to families in Lee and Hendry counties.

“Sanibel Captiva Community Bank is passionate about supporting the youth of Southwest Florida,” said Amy McQuagge, CFMP, Vice President of Marketing for Sanibel Captiva Community Bank. “We’re especially pleased to help bring the game of soccer to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to play.”

Each soccer session focuses on a specific character trait, including respect, confidence, determination, teamwork, patience, integrity and other concepts.

“Investing in the education and development of our youth is a priority for us,” said Phil Fischler, Principal at Fischler Property Company. “We are proud to be a part of this initiative and to help these children build confidence and character through Soccer Shots’ unique program.”

Soccer Shots Southwest Florida provides soccer and character development programs for children ages 2 to 8. Its programs are offered locally in child care centers and schools during the day, and at local parks on nights and weekends.

“At Soccer Shots, our goal has always been to make a positive impact on children’s lives through the game of soccer,” said Mike Gannon, co-founder of Soccer Shots Southwest Florida. “Thanks to the support of local businesses that understand the importance of sportsmanship and other valuable skills, we can bring our programs to more early learning centers in our area.”

About Child Care of Southwest Florida
Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. (CCSWFL) is a nonprofit early childhood education provider with five learning centers in Lee and Hendry counties that serve more than 350 children from 6 weeks to 8 years old. A United Way Partner Agency, CCSWFL’s mission is to strengthen and enhance the lives of children, as well as their families. Each center is accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and is recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. All five CCSWFL locations have five-star ratings through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. CCSWFL follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum, with a goal of creating safe, nurturing learning environments that develop young minds, support families, strengthen the community and secure the future. Through its participation in the USDA’s Child Food Care Program, each child has access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks. Sponsor, volunteer and donation opportunities are available. For more information, please visit ccswfl.org.

This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.