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  • Rebecca Jordan

Ribbon Cutting at New FORZA Child Development Center Held

Children, Parents, Grandparents and Teachers Attend Ceremony



A beautiful day for Parrish, parents in the area with 3 and 4-year old children and the entire community. FORZA cut the ribbon opening the new Child Development Center at the old schoolhouse in Parrish on July 30, 2021! The new school opened officially for pre-school on August 9, 2021 with over 170 3-and 4-year old children and 20+ teachers and staff.


FORZA is an educational organization that assists private, traditional public, and charter schools. Its mission is to provide academic excellence for all students through experience and self-discovery in order to develop motivated, independently thinking individuals who demonstrate exemplary character, social confidence and service to the community.


FORZA currently operates three charter schools located in Parrish (Parrish Charter Academy), Bonita Springs (Oak Creek Charter School) and Naples (Gulf Coast Charter School). The Child Development Centers (CDC) are located at each of the three charter schools.


The CDC’s are not only focused on providing the best, enriching environment for children but also provide parents with a pre-school that understands working parents. Schools are open year round with hours from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, providing working parents a stress-free care option and peace of mind that each child will be in good hands.


Nearly $1,000,000.00 was spent on renovations to the building. The integrity and appearance of the building was maintained. There are be 9 total classrooms: 2 in the annex next door to the main building and 7 in the main building. The main auditorium will remain essentially the same and be utilized as a bring-your-lunch cafeteria for the children and community-use meeting room. Two fenced playgrounds are under construction in front of the building with synthetic turf and a covered area with picnic tables. The landscaping is also improved as well as the lighting, ceilings, window coverings, heating and air conditioning systems and electrical system. The new sign will be erected soon.


Safety is a priority of the Child Development Center. All safety/security measures have been taken including security cameras, a new alarm system, panic locks, magnetic door locks, an intercom system, key fobs for access and numerous other initiatives.


The CDC has 18 full-time teachers, 2 staff members and 2 part-time employees. It has 2 teachers per classroom for 20 children – a smaller teacher/student ratio than most other pre-schools. When at full capacity the Parrish Child Development Center will have 25 to 30 full time employees. Full time employees are offered full benefits including vision, dental, a 401K and life insurance.


FORZA also has school buses that are available for this new Parrish CDC location as well as the current Parrish Charter Academy and CDC on Erie Road. Parents who have multiple children can have 3 and 4 year olds dropped at the Parrish location and older siblings taken to the Erie Road location so that parents can drop off their children at one location. The CDC is open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm to allow working parents to have after school-opportunities for child care (at an additional cost).


Parrish Charter Academy (on Erie Road) now includes grades kindergarten through 4th grade. With each new year the PCA will add a new grade so that parents have a school option for their children from ages 3 to 14.


The Child Development Center prepares children to be ready for school. Children who participate in high-quality early childhood education programs develop better language skills, score higher in school-readiness tests, and have better social skills and fewer behavioral problems once they enter school.


Children and parents toured the renovated building, saw the classrooms they would be using and met their teachers. In one classroom and 3-year old child was hovering apprehensively behind his mother upon entering the classroom. About 15 minutes later when the mother told the little boy it was time to go, the child said, “Mommy, I am having such a good time, I want to stay!”


And by the way… if you wondered why the FORZA name: it means strength (in Italian) which is what the new Parrish Child Development Center and Parrish Charter Academy offer.

The Parrish Foundation welcomes the new Child Development Center to the community and appreciates the consideration of preserving Parrish history.


For more information, go to the FORZA website at www.forzavpk.org.


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