IMMOKALEE, FL (Jan. 21) – RCMA, Florida’s largest nonprofit provider of early childhood education, announces that it will receive a $1.275 million investment over four years from the Charter School Growth Fund to add a third charter school and plan further expansion. This now makes RCMA a nationally-recognized charter school operator.
RCMA operates Immokalee Community Academy for grades K-7 and Wimauma Community Academy for grades K-8, serving 635 students. It has plans for a K-8 Mulberry Community Academy to open with K-1 classes for the 2023-2024 school year followed by a another site in 2024-2025. By 2026-2027, RCMA will serve more than 1,000 students in five charter schools.
“Since our founding 56 years ago, our focus has been on helping children from rural, low-income and migrant families achieve academic parity,” says Isabel Garcia, executive director of RCMA. “Through our 65 child development centers and two schools, we support children from crib to high school and beyond. This grant commitment from the Charter School Growth Fund means that our impact on students, families and communities will be felt for additional generations to come. Our families want their children to continue with their RCMA education after seeing all they achieve in our child development centers.”
The Charter School Growth Fund is the largest funder of high performing charter schools in the country and currently has approximately 180 organizations in its portfolio. Its focus is on schools that operate in underserved communities; 92 percent of the students in its portfolio charter schools are students of color, and 73 percent are from low-income families.
During the past three years, representatives from the Charter School Growth Fund visited RCMA’s schools, assessed the academic achievement of its students, spoke with members of its leadership team, evaluated the non-profit’s strong finances and heard enthusiastic praise from the families RCMA serves.
“RCMA’s work within its communities is impressive, inspiring, and a model for others,” said CSGF President Darryl Cobb. “We are excited to support RCMA as it embarks upon a new chapter in its growth. We are humbled by their leadership, their outstanding commitment to families and students and look forward to being partners as they expand their presence and impact.”
Established in 1965, RCMA is the largest nonprofit provider of quality early childhood education and family-support services in the state of Florida. RCMA serves people in rural areas living in poverty, primarily migrant and agriculture working families. RCMA operates 65 child development centers and two charter schools, and partners with 19 family child care homes and several afterschool care programs in 21 Florida counties. The organization employs 1,600 people, provides child care and education to more than 5,500 children each year, and has more than 50,000 alumni. Learn more at rcma.org.
About Charter School Growth Fund
Driven by a conviction that all children deserve great public schools in their communities, the Charter School Growth Fund identifies the country’s best public charter schools, funds their expansion, and helps to increase their impact. They provide funding and support to a community of school leaders who seek to grow and serve more students, whether they are expanding from one to two schools, or building a network of many schools. Learn more at chartergrowthfund.org.
Media Coverage: Naples Florida Weekly Feb. 3, 2022