STATEWIDE PEARLS PROGRAM
AWAITS GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT’S SIGNATURE
Palmetto, Florida, March 8th, 2018 – The From Cradle to College Foundation, Inc. is today delighted to announce that a statewide implementation of the new PEARLS program – introduced by The Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County (ELC) last year – is now awaiting the signature of Governor Rick Scott.
PEARLS stands for Preschool Emergency Alert Response Learning System. ELC partnered with local law enforcement (Palmetto Police Department, Bradenton Police Department, and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office) to develop the program that educates childcare providers on possible ways to handle emergency situations.
Legislators in Tallahassee have proposed a figure of $800,000 in the appropriations budget for the Governor and, if signed, PEARLS would then be rolled out statewide, helping to protect some 873,000 children and childcare workers in early education. That is a cost of less than $1 per life touched!
The PEARLS program has been on-going for the past eight months in Manatee County, with 427 Early Childhood teachers in 44 Manatee County centers already trained.
The first of its kind in the State of Florida, PEARLS allows Law Enforcement to alert a local Coalition of significant police activity, and through a geo-fencing process, the Coalition would then send out a phone notification to alert childcare providers within approximately a two-mile radius of that activity.
This important notification provides the centers with an opportunity to draw on their training and make the most appropriate choice for mitigating risk and saving lives.
In light of recent tragic events in Parkland, FL, there has never been more of a need to protect our children from the potential threats of active shooters or other emergency situations – and PEARLS was developed to protect our very youngest across the State.
The From Cradle to College Foundation is organized exclusively as a not for profit corporation under the provisions of Chapter 617 of the Florida Statutes to act as a supporting organization, for the benefit of the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County, Inc., a Florida not-for-profit corporation, and to operate exclusively to benefit the Supported Organization and the public.