Even—or especially—during times of unprecedented disruption, Future Ready Collier seeks to be an asset for the community. A collective of over 60 educational nonprofits, agencies, and community stakeholders, Future Ready Collier’s mission is to support students throughout their educational experience. Importantly, this extends to an appreciation that academic success is contingent on factors outside the classroom. In addition to aggregating its own materials, Future Ready Collier receives and distributes resources from its partners.
References on Future Ready Collier’s website are pertinent for parents of kids at the start of their learning through to high school. For children ages 0 to 5, an Early Literacy Booklist includes recommendations by age group: birth through 11 months, 12 months through 23 months, 2 years through 3 years, 3 years through 4 years, 4 years through 5 years, and 5 years and older. Each category contains a minimum of 15 titles. Moreover, early learning experts select the books to optimize age-appropriate education along with engagement and enjoyment. Some titles are available in Spanish. Also, parents needing to find an open early childhood center can reference the Early Learning Coalition’s interactive maps.
High School, College and Career
A College and Career Readiness Toolkit helps students and families steer through the complicated high school years. The guide contains tips about completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other topics related to scholarship and financial aid, deadlines and dates for standardized testing, basics about how to apply for college, and information about non-college options for students who desire to pursue another path. The toolkit includes timelines for 9th through 12th grade. Overall, it is meant to help high school students understand and take advantage of the options available for post-secondary school, training, or career.
For instance, FAFSA is one of the most essential tasks for high school seniors. Applications open October 1st each year and are accepted on a rolling basis. Students applying sooner have the best chances of being considered for the most sources of aid. Be aware, this includes merit-based aid. Students must complete the FAFSA each year they need financial aid. Even students unsure of their post-high school plans, or who may think their family is ineligible, should apply. Above all, the advantages of being considered for the maximum pool of available financial support affect all students. Online tutorials from Champions For Learning help students complete the FAFSA and FSA ID.
Any family with a student attending a Collier County public school during the 2020-2021 school year needs to register online. Because of COVID-19, this is the first year that Collier County Public School registration is fully remote. The registration website lists all the documents and details you need to apply. However, some things still have to happen in-person. For parents needing to get their kids immunized, please note that the Department of Health currently requires appointments. There is no cost for children ages 0 to 18. For more information, call (239) 252-8595 or visit collier.floridahealth.gov.
Help Where You Need It
At a time when education and employment are shifting, be assured that there are healthcare and community support systems. Healthcare Network sees patients at community health centers throughout Collier County. Care is offered regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. A priority of Healthcare Network is to deliver fully integrated care, including pediatric, dental, women’s health, and behavioral health. Behavioral and mental health services are always available through the David Lawrence Center. The David Lawrence sees patients virtually and in-person. If you have any non-emergency questions about housing and shelter, utilities, food access, employment and income, or healthcare access, call 211. Administered through the United Way of Collier and the Keys, the 211 service connects callers 24 hours a day to information across 250 agencies. Reach help by phone, text, chat, or email.
Please consider sharing this with anyone who would benefit from the information. And check back as Future Ready Collier posts updates on our website and Facebook page. Maybe we can’t all be together right now, but together we can be safe!
Prepared by Caroline Ridgway of C1B1 Communications.