The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today plans to support three Manatee County elementary schools, in partnership with the Mosaic Company and the Manatee Education Foundation, as part of Pirates Charities Adopt-a-School program. The Pirates Charities initiative is aimed at providing much needed aid to schools throughout the Bradenton/Manatee County area.

Wakeland Elementary School of International Studies, G.D. Rogers Garden Elementary School and Myakka City Elementary will receive a combined $25,000 through the program in 2014. The funds will be utilized to help purchase items such as school supplies, books and in Wakeland's situation, help to revitalize an initiative that will strengthen their reading/literacy program.

The Pirates along with the Mosaic Company and the Manatee Education Foundation will visit the three schools to formally announce the program and specific donations.

Below is a brief overview of the contributions to each school:

  • Due to the lack of funding in 2013, Wakeland was forced to stop a reading initiative that was important to their IB Programme, a program aimed at preparing students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. The IB Programme focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. Through this program, Wakeland will be able to purchase all of the books needed to resurrect this program and to ensure it will continue for years to come.
  • G.D. Rogers Garden Elementary has a great need for bulk amounts of the supplies that some schools may take for granted. Teachers were asked to compile a list of supplies that are needed, but the school did not have the means to purchase. Funds from Pirates Charities, Mosaic and the Manatee Education Foundation will purchase these supplies that are essential for daily educational usages in kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • Myakka City Elementary began as a one-room schoolhouse in 1914 and has since grown to a kindergarten through sixth grade school. Although the facilities have been updated over time, the media center's selection of books has been purged due to wear and tear and is severely outdated. Through book fairs and fundraisers, Myakka has added to their collection of books but the school is still in need of many more to meet the demands of their students. This donation will assist the elementary school to reach their goal of providing quality literacy materials to their students.

One of the pillars of the Pirates Charities mission is a focus on youth education. In Manatee County, Pittsburgh and the Dominican Republic, Pirates Charities supports schools and educational initiatives. As part of Major League Baseball's annual Roberto Clemente Day celebration each September, the Pirates official philanthropic arm identifies a Pittsburgh area school to adopt in honor of the Pirates' legend. On that day, Pirates players, coaches, executives and front office staff hand deliver much needed supplies and participate in a school program.

Additional Pirates Charities educational efforts include the Fantasy Baseball Math Program and the Pirates Education Days program. Also, during the 2013 Pirates Charities CARE-a-van, presented by Highmark, the nonprofit adopted the Hutchinson Elementary library in Uniontown, Pa; the George Washington Intermediate School's fourth grade in New Castle, Pa; and fourth graders from the Campbell (Ohio) School District at the Butler Art Institute.

About Pirates Charities
Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is a 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on three core areas of youth health, fitness and education. Each year, Pirates Charities and the Pirates partner with more than 3,000 organizations and programs committed to improving the lives of children and adults. Pirates Charities has created successful signature programs including Fields for Kids, Miracle League efforts and a variety of efforts to support cancer awareness and research. To learn more about the Pirates positive impact in the community, visit pirates.com/community.

About Mosaic Company
The Mosaic Company is the world's largest combined producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two essential crop nutrients. Driven by its mission to help the world grow the food it needs, Mosaic is committed to strengthening global food security and protecting critical water resources. The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation make investments in and partner with best-of-class leaders in the focus areas of food, water and local community investments. More information about Mosaic is available at mosaicco.com.

About Manatee Education Foundation
The Manatee Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 1988, which provides indirect support to the Manatee County School District through a variety of programs that benefit students and teachers. The Foundation acts as a liaison between the private sector and the public school system providing avenues for business, industry and community involvement in public education. To learn more about the Manatee Education Foundation visit mefinfo.org.