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Education News

April 27, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Southwest Florida employer offering free English classes

Crystal Clean started offering free English classes this year to its 90-plus employees as a new benefit to boost recruitment efforts in Southwest Florida.

"The low unemployment rate in South-west Florida compelled us to be more competitive with our employee benefits," said Dave Harting, the CEO of Crystal Clean.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Lee and Collier counties posted a low 3.5 percent unemployment rate in February.

Known as a pioneer among local cleaning companies, Fort Myers-based Crystal Clean employs more than 90 people throughout Lee and Collier counties, most of whom speak Spanish. Harting said Crystal Clean is the first commercial and residential cleaning company in Southwest Florida to offer English-language classes as an employee benefit. He also noted that this is the tightest labor market he's experienced in 37 years in business serving commercial and residential clients.

Longtime school teacher Laura Herrera teaches English to employees on Mondays and Fridays at the company's headquarters in Fort Myers. Herrera's 15-year experience teaching students in Florida and Colorado helped her craft a curriculum that can help Crystal Clean employees be proficient in English writing and conversation within one year.

About Crystal Clean

Crystal Clean was founded in 1981 and provides commercial and residential cleaning services in Lee and Collier counties. The Fort Myers-based company employs more than 90 people, promotes a family first culture and it uses environmentally friendly cleaning techniques. For more information, visit or call 239-936-7700.

Deadline Monday for Annual Children's Environmental Art Contest

The Friends of the Cape Coral Library and the Cape Coral Public Library invite children ages 7 to 12 to participate in the 13th Annual Children's Environmental Art Contest "Coloring the Earth."

The deadline to submit entries is just around the corner, on Monday, April 30, at 6 p.m. The Cape Coral Public Library on 921 S.W. 39th Terrace has a designated box in the children's area to receive entries.

Contest Rules

Open to all children ages 7 to 12. Submit one entry only.

Learn about loggerhead sea turtles by visiting the following website: / wp-content / uploads / LoggerheadLifeHistoryPoster-STC-DWitherington.pdf

Write on the back of the entry your name, age, and phone number, as well as your grade level, school, teacher's name and how you learned about the contest.

Artwork will be viewed and voted on by three recognized local artists, a marine biologist and a representative of The News-Press. Entries will be judged based on originality and quality of art. Winners will be notified by phone by May 3.

Participants must pick up their artwork at the library before July 20.


All artwork will be received by 6 p.m. on Monday, April 30. The Cape Coral Public Library will have a designated box in the children's area to receive entries.

Prizes and Awards Ceremony

Winners will be selected from three age categories: 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12. There will be five awards for each age group with ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, as well as for two honorable mentions. The winning works of art will be exhibited in the Gallery at the Cape Coral Public Library for one month.

Marine biologist Kelly Sloan, sea turtle program coordinator of Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at the Awards Ceremony, to be held on Wednesday, May 9, at 6 p.m. at the Cape Coral Public Library on 921 S.W. 39th Terrace.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles

The nesting and hatching season of the loggerhead, Florida's most commonly observed sea turtle, runs from May through October. Even though one nest may average 115 eggs, the survival rate is very low. Besides natural predators, like raccoons, ghost crabs and predatory fish, sea turtles face some challenges posed by humans. Two of the most common threats are light pollution, which misleads and kills hatchlings, as well as marine litter, counting plastic as the most ubiquitous hazard.

The loggerhead sea turtle is listed as a threatened species by the Federal Endangered Species Act. That's why is vital to hide lights visible from beaches during nesting season and pick up all trash from our beaches and oceans.

Contact Alessia Leathers at for more information.



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