Creative Programs We Love And Sponsor
We support the AVID program through our partnership with Suncoast Credit Union Foundation. AVID is an in-school academic support program for students in 9th & 10th grade. This program aims to prepare students for four year university admission and success. Students in the AVID program challenge themselves by taking rigorous and advanced classes, such as honors or advanced placement. AVID is for ALL students but targets those in the academic “middle.” AVID also provides a great opportunity for students who may not have a college going tradition in their family.
A portion of the funding provided by the Citrus County Education Foundation is used to take 9th and 10th grade students on visits to college campuses.
Each year CCEF and its partners award classroom and department mini-grants to the deserving educators across Citrus County’s public schools. Teachers, departments, and Resource Centers can apply at the start of each school year for a grant up to $500 per individual teacher or $1000 per team of teachers to focus on literacy or STEM projects that enhance curriculum and classroom instructional activities.
Local funds raised by CCEF are matched dollar-for-dollar by state Department of Education funds through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.
"Building Pathways to Literacy."
Recent research shows that there is an undeniable and strong correlation between early childhood reading and long term academic success. One study by the The Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that students who are reading at or above grade level by the third grade are significantly more likely to graduate high school and find a job than those who are behind.
Because of this, having the building blocks and access to reading materials at a young age is extremely critical. CCEF has developed a new literacy initiative focused on the early introduction to books for young children. Early childhood literacy is a key in ensuring the development of a love of reading and literacy skills that will enhance a student’s chances for academic success. Beginning in October 2013, CCEF worked with each of the 22 Pre-Kindergarten classes in the county to help create each students “first library,” and Kindergarten classrooms were added during the 2017-2018 school year.CCEF has used the Pre-k classrooms at our local public schools due to the fact that these students are prescreened based upon learning disabilities and economic need. Statistics show that a child from a middle income home typically enters the first grade with over 1,000 hours of one-on-one picture book reading time with parents or guardians, while a child from a low income family typically averages below 100 hours. By providing these at risk students with a library of books to take home and call their own at a young age, CCEF and its partners hope to increase those students chances of success in reading by the time they reach third grade, leading to greater success throughout their academic lives.
The program encourages reading by coordinating “read-ins” with the classrooms on six designated dates throughout the school year. Following each “read-in”, each student is given a copy of the book to take home for their own “first library”. Students are encouraged to share the book with their parents and inspire a passion for reading nightly in the home.
Golden Citrus Scholars
The Golden Citrus Scholar Awards recognize the best and brightest graduating seniors in Citrus County. Each High School can nominate one student in each of eight categories – English/Literature/Journalism, Fine/Performing Arts, Leadership/Service, Mathematics/Engineering, Science, Social Studies/Civics, Career/Technical, World Languages/Foreign Studies.
A panel of judges including local Rotary Members, Chamber of Commerce representatives, and Citrus County Education Foundation Members reviewed the nominees' achievements and selected a single winner from each category, as well as an overall Golden Citrus Scholar Hall of Fame winner.
This recognition program seeks to highlight the tremendous achievements of Citrus County’s finest graduating seniors. All nominees receive scholarships funded by the generous support of donors including CCEF.
The Citrus County Education Foundation proudly supports several scholarships available to graduating seniors in Citrus County each year. For more information on scholarships available, click here.
Supplemental Program Funding
Stuff The Bus
Health and Wellness Mini-Grants
In addition to the programs mentioned above, CCEF provides direct funding for a myriad of programs reaching each and every school in Citrus County. These funding initiatives vary from year to year, but CCEF and its partners are proud to help support public education programs and initiatives that have a proven track record for building success. Just a few of the great programs funded in past school years included:
- Web Based Curriculum Programs including BrainPOP and Gizmos
- Citrus Regional Science Fairs
- Math Field Day
- CREST Successmaker
- Career Pathways to Success
- Student Art Festival
- Special Olympics
- Summer Camp Invention
- Marine Science Center Summer Camps
- School to work and S.T.E.M. focused after school programs
- WTI Electrician Certification Program
- WTI Small Machinary/Robotics Program
CCEF works with the Citrus County School District, individual schools, administration, staff, and teachers to identify the pressing needs of our local public schools. Funding decisions are made on an annual basis by the CCEF board, and are intended to supplement and not supplant CCSD funding.
"Stuff The Bus" is an annual event where donations in the form of school supplies are accepted and go right into the Citrus County School District (which helps roughly 70 percent of the county’s low-income students). Whether one can afford to donate $5 worth of supplies or more, every bit helps!
"Environmental Jeopardy," an annual High school competition game inspired by Jeopardy! sees students put their brains to the test during Citrus 20/20’s "Save Our Waters Week," which has been a Citrus County environmental awareness staple for the last 21 years.
Four teams of three players and an alternate — one from each of the district’s high schools, including the Academy of Environmental Science — put their environmental expertise to the test, and the winning team is given a check from the Citrus County Education Foundation.
The purpose is that the questions and answers are based around environmental issues, not only in Citrus county, but in the entire state of Florida.
The Health and Wellness Mini-Grant program is designed to advocate for and promote health and wellness initiatives at Citrus County Schools.
Individual teachers can apply for $500, and teams of teachers can apply for $1,000. This initiative began in the 2016-2017 school year. Teachers received mini-grants to achieve a classroom, school-wide or community health and wellness initiative.
Programs like the “Coping Skills for Success” initiative, which provides children struggling from negative external factors such as parent incarceration, grief, poverty and family substance abuse. The program teaches students various coping skills through stress management techniques and evidence-based curriculum.
These mini-grants also help continue long-run school initiatives like free after-school running clubs.