The Children's Movement Blog
Big Brothers Big Sisters Returns to Southwest Florida
Posted on 09/23/2011 @ 12:52 PM
By Becky Newell, Regional Coordinator, West Florida
After 35 years of serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee Counties, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Florida closed its doors in June of this year. But now the approximately 500 children who lost their mentoring services because of the closure are celebrating. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast, based in Venice, formally announced on Wednesday that it will take over the mentoring operation for the counties that lost services in June.
One of the first priorities is to reunite “Bigs” and “Littles” who lost touch after the June closing. The organization is also reaching out to businesses and individuals to recruit new volunteers to mentor more children in the area.
Click here to see Ft. Myers’ WINK News coverage of Wednesday’s press conference.
Miami: Family Day at the Market
Posted on 09/21/2011 @ 10:07 AM
By John Knight, Regional Coordinator, South Florida
Join the South Miami Farmer's Market/Earth Learning, South Miami Hospital and Informed Families' South Miami Drug-Free Coalition in celebrating Family Day at the Market, 9a-2p, Saturday September 24 at City Hall! In addition to great local produce and products, families of all kinds can enjoy a host of activities: health screenings, bounce house, face painting, a family meal, cooking demonstrations, family fitness activities, music and more!
Family Day is a national movement that encourages families to eat together. Family time during meals helps keep kids alcohol and drug free!
Miami-Dade Feria Para Aprender
Posted on 09/16/2011 @ 11:10 AM
By John Knight, Regional Coordinator, South Florida
The nationally acclaimed Feria Para Aprender or the “Learning Fair” is making its first stop in Miami, Florida on October 8, from 12-5 pm at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Kendall Campus. After multiple blowout events in Los Angeles, CA and Dallas, TX over the last 5 years, Feria is now looking to help Miami’s Spanish-speaking population. Miami-Dade College recently distributed a joint press release with Feria and Univision, where you will find all the necessary details about the event. The press release describes the Feria Para Aprender as “…thousands of parents [and children] along an educational pathway with 100 Spanish language exhibits starting from early childhood to college and career.” You can watch the Univision 23 Feria Para Aprender PSA here.
How you can help: 1) Spread the word via email, social networking, etc. 2) Donate raffle prizes, Spanish books, etc. 3) Volunteer! (must be fluent in Spanish)
If you would like to volunteer for The Children’s Movement of Florida at this event, please contact John Knight, South Florida Coordinator: email@example.com
For more information or to donate materials, please contact Oné Musel-Gilley, Miami-Dade Feria Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
An Investment That Isn't Risky? Your Kid's Education
Posted on 09/16/2011 @ 10:21 AM
By David Abrams, State Coordinator, North Florida
Each morning I receive an email from Progress Florida which provides me with a daily overview of news clips. This morning I came across an article entitled An Investment that isn't risky? Your Kid's Education. At first glance, I figured it was referring to what us child advocates are hoping Tallahassee will soon understand, which is: If we invest in a child's education early-we will see a tremendous return on investment in the future..
However, this particular article took an interesting spin. Something that parents can directly control and certainly benefit from. The piece is suggesting parents to invest when a child is a baby in The Florida College Investment plan and Florida Prepaid College Plan. The obvious reason will provide parents with the ability to plan ahead with some structure & discipline while beginning the college saving process- but it will also lock in tuition at today's rates, which has risen more than 15 % in the last 2 years. Today, the average cost of in-state tuition is over $30,000. This figure is expected to triple by more than $100,000 by 2026.
The total savings doesn't just end in the dramatic change in tuition rates over time. Duane Ottenstroer, who is CEO of the Florida Pre-Paid College Board, said "the difference between having a college education and a high school education, in terms of future earning power, is about $1 million over a lifetime."
Another example of the power and opportunity in the early investment of a child's education!
Community Alliance of Sarasota County Holds First Annual Legislative Breakfast
Posted on 09/14/2011 @ 10:39 AM
The purpose of the Community Alliance of Sarasota County is to “advance communication, collaboration and advocacy of the health and human service needs of all citizens in Sarasota County through more integrated, effective and efficient delivery systems.”
At its legislative breakfast on Tuesday morning, the organization demonstrated its commitment to that communication and collaboration. Kathryn Shea, president and CEO of The Florida Center for Early Childhood, represented the Alliance admirably as she provided details about how the state budget cuts of recent years have affected residents of Sarasota County. She pointed out the many areas where access to services for young children and families, as well as for the disabled and the elderly, has suffered. She asked the state legislators who were present to do their best to avoid more budget cuts, and to do anything in their power to find ways to restore funding to programs such as the Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic and Intervention Clinic (the only one of its kind in Florida) and Early Steps (which serves babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities).
Rep. Ray Pilon and Rep. Greg Steube, who both represent portions of Sarasota County, spoke to the group as well. Both representatives indicated that they believe the “worst may be over” when it comes to state budget cuts. Click here to read the Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s account of the event.