Educators celebrate new literacy program

Educators, faculty, and students came together on November 15, at Pinecrest Elementary School to celebrate the dedication of the Mainster Digital Literacy Program.

Pinecrest Elementary Student Maria Cortez shows Barbara Mainster and Principal Dr. Susan Jordan how the iPads bring interactive technology into the classroom. (Submitted photo/Travis Anderson)

Pinecrest Elementary Student Maria Cortez shows Barbara Mainster and Principal Dr. Susan Jordan how the iPads bring interactive technology into the classroom. (Submitted photo/Travis Anderson)

Sponsored by the two local tomato farming operations, Santa Sweets, Inc. and Gargiulo, Inc., the Mainster Digital Literacy Program was officially dedicated in honor of Barbara Mainster who will be retiring in December after 28 years of service as executive director of RMCA.

Lou Struble, Corporate Director with Procacci Brothers which owns both Santa Sweets, Inc. and Gargiulo, Inc., pointed out that because of Mainter’s hard work and life-long dedication toward increasing access to quality education for children in the Immokalee area, the Procacci family recognized the technological need that existed in Immokalee. Struble said that two years ago, the Procacci family donated five iPads to Pinecrest Elementary School for students to utilize in the classroom. Last year, another five iPads were donated followed by an additional 15 iPads this year. With that, Struble was delighted to announce that the Procacci family will be donating $5,000 per year to Pinecrest Elementary School in order to help them continue their effort of bringing technology into the classroom. An additional $5,000 will also be donated to RCMA to help enhance their digital learning access as well.

Maria Jimenez-Lara, CEO of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, said that Barbara Mainster has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who have gone on to become teachers, law makers, and business owners.

Joe Procacci said that his companies employ approximately 8,000 people throughout North America. “I feel like my employee’s children are my grandchildren…they are important to me” Procacci said. And, in honor of Barbara Mainster’s work, Procacci said that his company will continue to support local education in Immokalee.

Following a virtual tour by Dylan Opper, Pinecrest Elementary School STEM Coach, attendees were welcomed by students and teachers who showed everyone how the iPads are used in the classrooms.

For more information about the Mainster Digital Literacy Program, contact Lou Struble at 215-463-8000.

Travis can be reached at ibnews@newszap.com

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