For Parents & Families

Weekly Blog Focuses on Post-Secondary Education

Amanda Sterk, M.Ed., doctoral candidate, is partnering with the FutureMakers Coalition to dedicate her weekly blog, Unmaze Me (, to the Coalition partners and their networks in hopes of reaching the Southwest Floridians who need it most. The blog aims to bridge the gap between K-12 and post-secondary education, and to provide a resource for both parents and practitioners to promote access to post-secondary education.

Sterk is the counselor for the collegiate high school at Florida Southwestern State College. After working 15 years in education as a teacher, administrator and counselor in all levels elementary through college, she brings her passion for helping families to through content creation, presentation and collaborator relations.

Unmaze Me began as a part of her doctoral work. While working as a full-time high school counselor, she looked for a “one-stop shop” to which she could point parents who had questions about things like college preparedness, the application process and all the other things that can challenge high school students.

“I couldn’t find one,” she said. “So I decided to make create Unmaze Me to be a comprehensive, comprehensible, destination for anyone looking for guidance through high school and beyond.”

Unmaze Me partners with both professionals and participants in the fields of education, bringing a wealth of expertise and a freshness of experience to its community pages so that many voices and perspectives can provide a richer understanding of the challenges facing high school students, parents and professionals today.

Some of the blog topics Sterk plans to focus on for FutureMakers are funding for college, high school and college programs, high school and career/college pathways, career exposure and exposure to available resources. There will be one new post a week.

“This is a great example of a FutureMakers partner lending their expertise to reach the shared goal of transforming the workforce,” said Tessa LeSage, who as director of social innovation and sustainability for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation oversees the FutureMakers Coalition.

The goal of the FutureMakers Coalition is to transform the workforce by increasing the number of Southwest Florida residents with degrees, certificates and other high-quality credentials by the year 2025.

In 2016, Southwest Florida was one of 75 metropolitan areas selected as part of Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment to increase post-secondary attainment nationwide by increasing the number of working age adults with degrees and certifications.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation serves as the backbone organization for the Coalition. The FutureMakers Coalition encourages residents to join and support this community-changing initiative. For more information, visit, call 239-274-5900 or email Tessa LeSage at


Family Math Night

A Florida Southwestern Annual Event

Learn how fun math can be at “Family Math Night” on Monday, March 13 from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m., in Building U, Room 102, at the Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) Thomas Edison Campus, 8099 College Parkway.

This free, family-oriented event for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 features fun math games created by teacher candidates in FSW’s School of Education, demonstrating how mathematics doesn’t only need to be something you use at school.

“Learning mathematics successfully requires a joint effort between home and school,” said Dr. Mary Robertson, Professor of Mathematics Education at FSW. “We are happy to help build a bridge connecting the two as well as showing young students and their families that math can be fun!”

Dr. Robertson, an expert in the field, has been a mathematics teacher for the past 32 years, having taught at the middle school, high school and college level.

While the event is open to anyone interested in exploring mathematics, students are encouraged to register by sending an e-mail to For questions about Family Math Night at Florida SouthWestern State College, please contact Dr. Robertson at


Music Foundation Summer Scholarships

The Music Foundation of Southwest Florida will hold auditions for its 2017 High School Summer Music Scholarships on Saturday, April 1. Approximately $7,000 will be awarded to deserving music students. Visit for the application and more information.

The Music Foundation is also preparing for its 26th Annual Summer Music and Arts Camp at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School. Over 20 different camps will be offered in all areas of music, theater and visual arts. Visit for more information. Scholarships are available.

The Music Foundation of SW FL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1991 to bring music programs to the young people of Southwest Florida.


Lee Parks Summer Camps

Registration Now Open

Registration is open for Lee County Parks & Recreation Summer Camp, which is expected to draw thousands of youngsters to programs, outings and activities at the department’s traditional camps, teen camps and specialty camps.

Parents are encouraged to sign up early – each year the allotted spaces at Wa-Ke Hatchee, Lakes Regional Park and Estero Recreation Center fill up well before school ends. Camp registration is ongoing as long as space is available. Registration for swimming lessons and other aquatics programs begins Tuesday, April 4. Summer camp runs eight weeks – from June 5 through July 28. Club Rec will begin on the afternoon of the first day of school, Thursday, Aug. 10.

If you plan to register for camp at one of the four mega-recreation centers, you need to obtain a family membership first. This applies to the centers at Wa-Ke Hatchee, Estero, North Fort Myers or Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres. You need to have a household account at if you want to register online. Please call one of the recreation centers in advance to confirm your user name and password if you plan to register online.

For more information, visit


ECS Presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Evangelical Christian School will present Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, April 6-8. This fun and family friendly musical brings to life the timeless story of a selfish and hot-tempered prince who is turned into a hideous monster and must win the affection of a beautiful, young girl in order to regain his humanity. Performances are 7 p.m. nightly with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students, and can be purchased at or by calling the ECS Box Offce at 239-936-3319.


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