Educational Consultants Consortium, Inc. (ECCI) was organized on September 18, 1995, by four retired Manatee County educators and two businessmen living in the “weed and seed” target areas of the county. Weed and Seed, a community-based strategy sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is an innovative, comprehensive multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. Weed and Seed is foremost a strategy that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in designated high-crime neighborhoods across the country. With full knowledge of the community challenges, ECCI organized and developed goals to address systemic issues in (Palmetto) Manatee County which manifest as poverty, drug use, and high drop out, crime, and teenage pregnancy rates, by involving the whole family and community in the process. The retired educators, with more than 130 years of experience educating Manatee County’s children, noted that students making the most progress in and out of the classroom were those with commitment from families and support from their community.
The mission of ECCI is to ensure that each student in our program will achieve grade-level reading by grade 3, graduate from high school on time and be prepared to pursue higher education or certification, start a business, or otherwise begin a gainful career. We aim to maximize the chances of high school graduation and post-graduate success by providing students with structured afterschool and summer programming, including tutoring, health classes, college and career exploration, and life skills education. We provide wraparound support services and advising to families with children in VPK through grade 12 as we help them chart their course for academic, career, and personal success. We developed this approach throughout our years of facilitating communication between youth, families, teachers, and the local school system, to ensure that youth and parents feel, not threatened, but empowered with the information needed to be self-advocates as they navigate academic and social support services across institutions.