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Partnership brings soccer, character development program to Child Care of Southwest Florida

Children attending Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center will be learning fundamentals of soccer and character development through a new partnership with Soccer Shots Southwest Florida and Lipman Family Farms.

For 10 weeks, 30 students ages 3 to 5 years old will learn about soccer, fitness and sportsmanship through the unique partnership. Child Care of Southwest Florida is the first local organization to benefit from Soccer Shots’ new Corporate Scholarship Program, which will provide grants to organizations that serve families in disadvantaged communities. A generous grant from Lipman Family Farms launched the program at the Messina Children’s Center in Fort Myers.

“A key component of our educational program is learning through play, and Soccer Shots’ curriculum emphasizes respect, confidence, determination, teamwork and other skills that translate to success inside the classroom as well,” said Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida. “We are so appreciative of Lipman Family Farms for being the first company to fund this scholarship program in Southwest Florida.”

As a nonprofit, Child Care of Southwest Florida partners with dozens of businesses and charitable foundations to offer high-quality early learning programs at a reduced rate to families in Lee and Hendry counties.

Lipman Family Farms is a full-service tomato- and vegetable-grower operating in both open-field and protected agriculture. The company has an extensive presence in Southwest Florida and also is a generous corporate sponsor for numerous charitable causes.

“Lipman Family Farms is proud to be able to support Soccer Shots,” said Jaime Weisinger, director of community and government relations for Lipman Family Farms. “Not only do we have full confidence in its homegrown leadership, but also its mission of using physical activity combined with a targeted curriculum to help young people learn the value of good effort and a strong character. It coincides harmoniously with the values that the Lipman family has instilled in its business and helps us develop the next generation of successful adults.”

Soccer Shots Southwest Florida launched in July 2019, offering soccer and character development programs for children ages 2 to 8. Its programs are offered locally in child care centers and schools during the day, and at local parks on nights and weekends.

“Our team has a passion for coaching, and through soccer, we’re able to make a positive impact on children’s lives,” said Co-founder Mike Gannon. “Hopefully, more local companies will follow the lead of Lipman Family Farms to sponsor programs so children can learn the game while learning sportsmanship, teamwork and other valuable skills.”


About Child Care of Southwest Florida

Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. (CCSWFL) is a nonprofit early childhood education provider with five learning centers in Lee and Hendry counties that serve more than 400 children from 6 weeks to 8 years old. Each center is accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and is recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. All CCSWFL locations have five-star ratings through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. CCSWFL follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum, with a goal of creating safe, nurturing learning environments that develop young minds, support families, strengthen the community and secure the future. Through its participation in the USDA’s Child Food Care Program, each child has access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks. Sponsor, volunteer and donation opportunities are available. For more information, please visit ccswfl.org.

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