Helping children get from fields to schools

- They've been helping migrant families for more than 50 years, so Redlands Christian Migrant Association's impact on this proud community is What's Right With Tampa Bay.

"Right as they opened the doors for the kids, we would run to the tricycles because that was the first thing to go play with," Ilda Martinez said.

Ilda remembers her time at Redlands Christian Migrant Association, a childcare center for migrant children.

"It was a lot of fun," she continued. 

Ilda, now 21, is a psychology student at USF and is proud of the impact RCMA has had on her life.

"Learn my ABC's, learn my 123's, learn my numbers in English and Spanish so that help builds that foundation for me to continue on in elementary and be like a successful student," Ilda said.

Lourdes Villanueva started picking in the fields as a child. She is now a director at RCMA.  She says low-income farmworkers took their children to the fields because of the lack of affordable daycare. That was before RCMA.

"Their children are their treasure so it is very important to know that they are going to be safe," Lourdes said.

Lourdes has protected those treasures for more than 30 years.

"We provide the best care for these children and their families because that is what we need to do."

"It's a great program. I love it. I mean, it changes a lot of lives," Idla offered. "It's just great all around."

RCMA operates 69 childcare centers and is building a new facility in Dover.
 

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