FOR RELEASE: May 4, 2022
Contact: Matt Visaggio, MPA, (239) 246-8116
Fort Myers Christian School Third Grader Earns 1000 AR Points, Launches Foundation
Honoring Late Father
Fort Myers, FL – Enzo DeCicco, a third grader at Fort Myers Christian School (FMCS), has defied the odds once again, hitting two milestones most children never reach, let alone children who were exposed to multiple drugs before ever seeing the light of day.
Enzo, who was born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and adopted as an infant by DeAnne and Bill DeCicco, earned 1000 Accelerated Reader (AR) points this year, the only student in his county to do so. He and DeAnne have also launched a foundation honoring Bill, who passed away last summer.
DeAnne and Bill, who had each been married previously to spouses with drug abuse issues before marrying each other, determined to raise Enzo with all he needed in order to achieve his full potential. DeAnne thought their family history would give them an advantage in dealing with the challenges Enzo would face. “If anyone was able to cope, we were,” she told a reporter in 2017.
Enzo started therapy at two months old, and over the years has benefitted from the care of dozens of committed individuals, from therapists to tutors to teachers. As a result, Enzo has reached milestones that many would have once considered unattainable, such as being the only student in Lee County to earn 1000 AR points participating in a reading program that awards points based on number of books read and the difficulty level of those books.
“Enzo has worked so hard to accomplish this goal and I am so incredibly proud of him,” said Naomi Welborn, Enzo’s teacher at FMCS. “It is so neat to see his love for reading and how he tries to inspire his classmates to love reading as well. Ms. Paula has done an amazing job making books come alive for him. I cannot wait to see what he will continue to achieve as he moves forward.”
Enzo’s love for reading and his academic drive are matched by his heart to serve, as demonstrated by the way he turns every birthday into a chance to raise funds for the Gulf Coast Humane Society.
“The determination of this young man as he hurdles over the obstacles in life has shown me that he will be nothing but bigger and better,” said Jo Weber, Enzo’s tutor and former teacher. “When you start life fighting to survive, your path can go one of two different ways. Enzo has chosen to strive for excellence personally, academically, and spiritually. His heart is full of compassion and generosity. He is strong and courageous, reflecting his favorite Bible verse from kindergarten, Joshua 1:9. Enzo will use the loss of his dad as the driving force in his project. He is committed to making a difference. He is amazing!”
The family now seeks to give back again, this time in memory of Bill and in honor of FMCS, where Enzo has made tremendous academic progress. Two FMCS kindergarteners will be the first recipients of scholarships from the DeCicco Project, which aims to help deserving people in need ascend from challenging circumstances.
“Enzo’s story is incredible,” said FMCS Principal Mel Mitchell. “This is just another chapter for a young man that dreams big, sets goals, works hard, and has a dedicated, loving team around him. We are proud of him at FMCS!”
More information about the DeCicco Project can be found on the foundation’s website: https://thedeciccoproject.org/.
Fort Myers Christian School is a Christian private school, fully accredited through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and serving students in grades K4-8. It works with the home and the church to academically train and spiritually nurture students to become productive citizens in society and to impact others for Jesus Christ. FMCS embraces a traditional approach to the elementary and middle school curriculum, with a strong emphasis on phonics, critical thinking skills, study habits and a disciplined approach to learning.