Education Foundation of Martin County
Executive Director: Lisa Rhodes
Year Founded: 1992
Mission:To enrich and enhance educational opportunities for all students and teachers in Martin County through effective fundraising efforts, positive collaborative partnerships, innovative programming and efficient allocation of resources.
Vision: A public schools system in Martin County where every student has the opportunity to achieve his or her highest potential. The Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) works to provide resources beyond the school district’s capabilities to best serve the diverse populations in Martin County and their unique needs. EFMC seeks innovative methods to assist teachers in improving student engagement, academic performance, and future outcomes of Martin County students. Having worked with Martin County teachers for almost three decades, it is uniquely positioned to address literacy issues.
EFMC strives to increase community involvement and financial support of the educational process, encourage effective instruction, and create initiatives that support dedicated and creative teachers; thus, supporting excellence in education. As an independent group, EFMC promotes these efforts by raising and distributing private and corporate funds through a number of established programs, including classroom enrichment grants, mentoring programs, scholarships, and development of and recognition for teachers. These resources exceed the funding capabilities of the school board.
Impact Project: EFMC PLAYS Across the District – to expand a current pilot project which uses research-based guided play and leveled books in kindergarten classrooms to promote language, literacy and social interaction with students. The expansion would be to all elementary schools in Martin County.
Florida Oceanographic Society
CEO: Mark Perry
Year Founded: 1964
Mission: To inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems through education, research and advocacy.
Vision: To be a recognized leader in environmental education, research and advocacy.
Florida Oceanographic Society operates a 57 acre nature center which provides a natural learning environment centered around Florida’s marine life and local coastal ecosystems for guests of all ages. Each year, FOS educates thousands of students with onsite and virtual field trips, in-school outreach programs, summer camps and special educational activities. Students quickly become aware of the important issues facing local waterways, as well as the
need to become advocates and environmental stewards.
FOS maintains an active research, monitoring and restoration program geared towards protecting and preserving the health of the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie Estuary. A key component of the program is the involvement of the community, with volunteers directly involved in research and data collection. The education and research departments are integrated to create hands-on environmental learning opportunities.
Impact Project: Living Shorelines to Save Our Waters – to create living shorelines at 8 sites in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie Estuary to improve water quality, restore habitats, protect shorelines from erosion and create living classrooms.
Tykes & Teens
CEO: Jeffrey Shearer
Year Founded: 1996
Mission: Supporting and strengthening our community through quality prevention, education and social emotional healing services for children and their families.
Vision: To create a community where all children have access to high quality mental health services.
Tykes & Teens has provided mental health services to more than 30,000 local children in need since its founding in 1996. The organization is dedicated to strengthening families and preventing suicide, substance use and other dangerous behaviors by ensuring that all children have access to high quality mental health services. This includes counseling as well as a wide range of specialized programming that helps families cope with issues such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, eating disorders, school suspension and more.
Counseling services are provided on a sliding scale at over 40 locations across the Treasure Coast, including three outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound, as well as on-site counseling in all Martin County and Okeechobee schools, and at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County. Services are also available in St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. Tykes & Teens also seeks to advocate for increased awareness of mental health in order to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.
Impact Project: Project TEACH (Training and Educating All Child Healers) – to transform early childhood programming in Martin County by providing “Infant Mental Health Endorsement,” a nationally recognized best practice standard that provides a set of competencies for professional development in the infant and early childhood field.
Executive Director: Robert Zaccheo
Year Founded: 2010
Mission: Dedicated to improving lives of at-risk teens through substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, vocational skills training and mentoring.
Impact Project: Launch of Pathway Academy of Innovation to provide at-risk teens with an alternative way to obtain a high school diploma as well as vocational skills.