Hi, I’m Bridgette. My father and I created the Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation (SPPF) alongside family members and close friends of my mom (especially Angela Collins and Gladys McNeil). We acted because my mom implored us to “DO SOMETHING” to help improve education outcomes for children in our community. South St. Petersburg is a “village community“with a rich history and a legacy of nurturing leaders across many areas. Unfortunately, this legacy is at risk.
In August 2015, the Tampa Bay Times published a Pulitzer Prize winning expose entitled “Failure Factories” in which they said — “these neighborhoods in southern Pinellas County are the most concentrated site of academic failure in all of Florida.” The article cited a few important statistics for the elementary schools in this community: 8 of 10 students failed Standardized Reading tests; 9 of 10 students failed math; 95% of black students tested are failing reading or math. Yet, we know this community is made of heroic parents and resourceful students, so these statistics clearly do not reflect the potential of our students. Read Article.
Working directly with students and advocating for literacy within the community.
SPPF works directly with students in two academic enrichment programs, the SPPF M.A.S.T.R. Kids® After-School Program and the SPPF M.A.S.T.R. Kids® Summer Camp. Both these programs are built round a “literacy plus STEAM” curriculum. Students build core skills in English and Math and practice these skills in fun and engaging activities, field trips and interesting exchanges with community leaders.
SPPF also works to advance literacy in the community by participating in literacy events such as the Tampa Times Festival of Reading or the James Weldon Johnson Literacy Festival, throughout St. Petersburg providing free books to children.
Building an ecosystem of students, parents, community leaders, partners and peer organizations
At SPPF, we are committed to recapture our legacy of literacy, achievement and success. We are committed to ensuring our students are achieving their academic potential. We will work with an ecosystem of students, parents, community leaders, partners and peer organizations to deliver this outcome!