The Goal of the Day was to understand the educational framework in Collier County and its challenges and the Objectives were to highlight opportunities for GNL Class XIX members in support of the education of our communities children and to share the learning continuum from birth to post-career.

We started the day with visits to three Collier County Public Schools: Golden Gate High School, East Naples Middle School and Avalon Elementary School. Each is located east of the City and has student populations whose demographics provide challenges. The Class was divided into three groups with one visiting one of the schools.

We then moved to  Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology for the remainder of the day.  We spent the remainder of the morning with a presentation and Q &A on Early Learning and K-12 Education given by David Lawrence, President of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, and Kamala Patton, Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools, and moderated by Alan Horton, retired head of The E.W. Scripps Company’s newspaper division.

Following a working lunch during which Class XIX members shared with the whole Class the highlights of their experiences at the three schools ( which were strikingly similar and positive), the afternoon began with a session on volunteer opportunities moderated by Susan McManus, GNL Class XVII and President of Champions for Learning. The next afternoon session involved an tour of Lorenzo Walker followed by a presentation by its Principal, Yolanda Flores

The final session of the day, moderated by Ann Berllam, involved presentations by Dr. Wilson Bradshaw, President of FGCU, and Dr. Jeff Allbritten, President of FSWSC, concerning the role of higher education in SW Florida.

Based on the evaluation responses of the Class XIX members, the Class members found the subject matter of great interest and the session met its objectives well.

[Marcelo Alverez, Class XVIII]

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