Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation

4133 Cortez Way S Saint Petersburg, Florida
I'm Interested Visit Website
Our mission Advancing literacy and closing the achievement gap for children in South St Pete

Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation

Ways to help now

Avoid the Summer Slide

We need support/funding to enhance our remote learning platform!  We want to add a Learning Management System to Microsoft Teams. Help us with Preparedness, OnBoarding, and Staying Engaged. As the pandemic forced students to remote learning, our students are disproportionately impacted. Many are from low income HH’s likely to suffer most from increased unemployment and… See full description
    , Type
  • Adults (18+)
  • One-time
  • Tech Support, Project-based
About us An experienced St. Petersburg educator of 35+ years, Ms. Puller, witnessed the impact of a ever-changing school system on the educational outcomes of the young students in South St. Petersburg. She implored her family to HELP!! We created the SPPF M.A.S.T.R. Kids Program to do just that. We envision and action a “community” ecosystem including schools, teachers, parents, families, community leaders, and program partners like ours to make true educational success a reality for our children. The SPPF M.A.S.T.R. Kids Program leverages a focused curriculum – Math, Art, Science, Technology and Reading for students in K thru 8th grade. We’ve provided an academic enrichment Summer Program for four years with outstanding results. Data confirms we reach students in need as 80-87% of students start the summer program reading well below grade level. 80% of the students who’ve participated in the summer program avoided learning loss! Last summer, 63% made gains in Reading; 57% made gains in Math; 12% advanced a full grade level in just eight weeks. Our After-school program started January 2020. M.A.S.T.R. Kids programs are fun, engaging and differentiated by: use of Certified Teachers to deliver a focused core curriculum small class sizes (10-15) with adequate instruction support (a Teacher and Assistant in each classroom) intervention flexibility to customize tools to student specific learning needs development of STEAM thinking/skills which form foundation of tomorrow’s work clear outcomes measurement As pandemic forced everyone into remote learning, our students are disproportionately impacted. Many are from low income HH’s likely to suffer most from increased unemployment and economic uncertainty. Parents AND children suffering Increased stress. The technology required for remote learning is more limited in these homes. WiFi access is a challenge as not all homes have WiFi; especially as these students move between homes, relying on grandparents and other family members for care while parents work, look for work, etc. Parents are unprepared to “homeschool” – lower education, less time (high % of “essential workers”). Our students were already lagging academically and this will likely exacerbate the problem. SPPF has evolved our support for families during the pandemic to focus on three areas: preparedness, on-boarding, staying engaged. Preparedness — First, we upped our contact with families to ensure every student was able to engage in school. We first made sure parents/caregivers were aware of resources for food, housing support, etc. to reduce stress. We set up a food distribution site at our location that was staffed by our bus drivers. Then, we completed an inventory of tools available and what would be needed (laptops, WiFi, headphones, etc.) and secured the name of the caregiver most often responsible for remote learning. We made plans with families to secure tools and invited responsible caregivers (and other family members) to a Zoom training session. OnBoarding — We established a hotline for questions and helps as students/caregivers went online the following week. Utilized our own small inventory of loaner laptops if other avenues failed and WiFi HotSpots. Staying Engaged — we set up a M.A.S.T.R. Kids remote learning program using the same learning platform as the local school system. We modified our class schedule to ensure students had time to connect with teachers and friends face-to-face counteracting some of the social isolation impact. We also added hours during the school day to assist students with homework when caregivers are unable to do so. Going forward, we are looking forward to resume our on-site Summer program in June, albeit with modified acceptance levels and activities per CDC recommendations. We will also maintain/buildout the remote learning program in an effort to help kids recover lost learning time due to the pandemic. Closing the achievement gap for the students of South St. Pete will take a COMMUNITY! These students have a critical role to play in the future economy of our city, our state, our nation. We invite you to become a part of the community ecosystem!!