The Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation announces new executive director

ST. PETERSBURG — The Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation (SPPF) is pleased to introduce their new Executive Director, Jennifer Hughes, M.Ed.

Hughes is a St. Petersburg native and a graduate of Boca Ciega High School.  She has extensive experience in early childhood education, childcare services and educational programming with underserved populations.

She has close ties within the community and is very familiar with the challenges of the education system in south St. Petersburg having served on the COQEBS School Readiness Committee and worked as the project coordinator for the Family Study Center at University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.

Hughes is enthusiastic about helping fulfill the SPPF’s mission of “eradicating illiteracy in south St. Petersburg.”  They will offer a 2016 summer camp featuring a Science, Math, Arts, Reading and Technology (STEM) curriculum proven to increase learning gains and reduce learning loss during the summer.

The SPPF is also happy to announce an exciting new STEM program for fifth grade boys and girls recently launched March 2 and hosted at the University Preparatory Academy (UPA) by Computer Mentors, Inc. The KidsCode Program is designed to introduce kids to concepts of programming that includes learning to assemble logic blocks to create stories, animations and programs for games, calculators or anything else the kids can imagine.

They will be introduced to teaching tools from Code Combat, Blockly and Lego Mindstorms to code and play with robots as part of the learning experience. This program will continue several times a week for the remainder of the school year and will expose students to computer science concepts that can be built upon in their summer camp or in any way they want to pursue more learning in the technology field.

The Computer Mentors initiative at UPA St. Petersburg was made possible by a grant from Verizon.

The SPPF is a 501c3 based in south St. Petersburg. For more information, please visit the Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation website at

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