As a result of this core principle, Rainbow Academy founder Guy Falzarano established a non-profit arm of the company in 2001. The 501(c)3 organization is devoted to contributing to the health, education and overall well-being of children. This year alone, The Rainbow Academy Foundation has distributed more than $65,000 toward families in need. Foundation donations have helped parents cover expenses for their children diagnosed with melanoma cancer and lymphoblastic leukemia, provided a service dog to a child with type 1 juvenile diabetes, and supported non-profit organizations such as Hometown Heroes, the Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation, and local food pantries serving local New Jersey communities.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, The Rainbow Academy Foundation would be called upon in an entirely new way. Falzarano and the rest of the Rainbow Academy family felt extremely fortunate that not one of the company’s centers suffered severe damage, and – most importantly – none of its franchisees, staff members, parents or children were among those lost to the historic storm. Sadly, the company did learn that two Rainbow Academy staff members and thirteen of its families had either lost their homes or were otherwise devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Falzarano, his corporate staff and franchisees jumped into action, and The Rainbow Academy Foundation immediately began accepting and distributing donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Within two weeks, the Foundation managed to raise more than $25,000.
“What the Rainbow Academy Foundation did for me after Hurricane Sandy touched my heart in so many ways,” stated Rainbow Academy teacher, Tammy Evans in a recent letter of thanks. “I was devastated after the storm when I found out that my home had filled with over three and a half feet of water, and I was unable to get back in for four days! Digging through the mud and muck was completely heart wrenching, as I tried to salvage what I could of my memories. When I got the check from the foundation, I cried. The money afforded me a chance to start over. I was able to buy much needed items, including a dresser, dryer, dishes, and other items. I am forever thankful to Rainbow for being such a caring company to work for, they truly were my ‘Rainbow’ in the midst of the storm.”
In addition to the $5,000 provided to Ms. Evans by the Foundation, the parents at the Manasquan Rainbow Academy where she works raised another $1,000 to help her get back on her feet. Her story is reflected in many others, and serves as a shining example of the Circle of Care at work.
In the days following the storm, Rainbow Academy franchisees who had heat and electricity at their centers opened their centers to families without power offering them free back-up care and even a warm place to sleep. Even though they were not obligated to do so, all Rainbow Academy locations that were closed due to flooding, minor damage or loss of power offered reimbursements to their parents and pay to their staff members for the days they were closed. What Falzarano and his franchisees found so amazing – particularly in light of the current economy and destruction from Sandy – was that some parents asked that their reimbursements be applied instead to help the Foundation in its efforts to help others. To this day, Rainbow Academy centers continue to collect food for pantries and host coat drives to help those who lost so much in the wake of Sandy. The children have also donated toys and their families are fulfilling “wish-lists”
“The ‘Circle of Care’ isn’t merely a catchy tagline, it’s a belief that we all hold dear,” explains Falzarano. “This philosophy attracts like-minded staff, vendors and families that value caring relationships. If everyone is happy and feels cared for, they will – in turn - care and watch out for one another. An offshoot of the Golden Rule, it’s mutual respect but on a much higher plane. What happened in the days and weeks following the storm has shown us that our ‘Circle of Care’ is not only alive and well, but that it resonates on every level. At the corporate offices, we tend not to think of ourselves as part of that circle – but we have been definitely made to feel an important part of it in recent weeks. Rainbow Academy cares in good times and bad. I am truly humbled to bear witness to such a clear, real-world demonstration of our founding philosophy. After 15 years of providing excellent childcare and early education in New Jersey, the ‘Circle of Care’ has truly come full circle.”
About Rainbow Academy®: Established in 1997 by Gaetano and Julia Falzarano, Rainbow Academy – A Family of Early Learning Centers has grown steadily, right along with the children it nurtures, from one center to thirteen locations by the end of 2012. With locations throughout New Jersey – including Cranford, Fair Lawn, Flemington, Iselin, Mahwah, Manasquan, North Brunswick, Piscataway, Rutherford, Westwood, Whippany and Woodbridge – Rainbow Academy has never outgrown its unique approach to childcare and early education offered to over 1800 children and their families. The company is dedicated to providing the very best in early education to both the children and the parents it serves through a careful balance of care and education offered by well-trained educators and caregivers. Rainbow Academy is redefining early childhood education and putting the “care” back in childcare with its signature “Circle of Care” philosophy encompassing children, parents, educators, vendors and franchisees. With ParentView® Internet Monitoring, Interactive Whiteboards and the recent launch of Tadpoles parent e-communication tool to all of their centers, Rainbow Academy has integrated cutting edge technology into this higher level of service. The Falzarano family remains deeply involved in the company – from Guy Falzarano at the helm as CEO to their youngest grandchild enrolled at one of the facilities. Rainbow Academy franchised their business in 2011 in an effort to expand their distinctive early education concept throughout the Northeast. Rainbow Academy provides early education and childcare to children ages 6 weeks through Kindergarten, as well as special programming for children up to 10 years old during school holidays and breaks – including Rainbow Academy Summer Camp.
To learn more about Rainbow Academy, visit them online at www.RainbowAcademy.com. For more information about the Rainbow Academy Franchise Company, visit www.RainbowAcademyFranchise.com or call Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Brenda Febbo at 732-980-1900 ext. 7.