WINK News was invited to tour the new Amanecer Elementary School in Lehigh Acres and see what incoming students can look forward to.
“Amanecer” means “sunrise” in Spanish. The name was voted on by people in the area through a district-launched survey in December.
“There’s a mission here to meet the needs of an untapped group that needs that connection and that love, I know, that this area is about,” said Holly Matthews, principal of Amanecer Elementary.
Matthews said the school is exactly what’s needed in Lehigh Acres, the fastest-growing community in Lee County.
“It’s going to allow students that chance, through project-based learning, the opportunity of analysis and enhanced collaboration,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot of really good discussion and growth, so for the opportunity K-5 to experience that the sky is limit for students.”
Teachers and staff members gave WINK a tour. Amanecer Elementary is going to be the school district’s first Cambridge Primary Center. The Cambridge curriculum is designed to help students develop deep subject knowledge, conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking skills.
“It feels amazing to be a part of something special, to make history, to connect amazing students and parents,” said second grade teacher Dr. Yolanda Perkins. “I am very excited. I look forward to seeing how the students progress over the year.”
This will be Perkins’ first year of teaching the second grade. Her classroom is already stocked with the essential materials a young student needs: pens, pencils, workbooks and binders.
“The population is growing, and to be able to provide another elementary or two more here in the area, it’s amazing to be able to provide this service, right?” Perkins said. “To give these students a new school is amazing. I’m so glad to be a part of it.”
The construction of Amanecer Elementary started in March 2022. Students report for class on Aug. 10.