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Preschool is our Best Dropout Prevention Program

Posted on 10/17/2011 @ 10:26 AM

Tags: West

By Becky Newell, Regional Coordinator, West Florida

On two different occasions over the past 10 days, I’ve attended events where a presenter talked about how critical early education is to the future of our state.

Last week, I attended the Hernando Youth Initiative Summit for Youth and Families in Brooksville. Tracy Echols, who chairs the organization, has a vision for her community, and she uses her seemingly endless energy to inspire others to share that vision. The focus of the Summit of Youth and Families was to encourage community members and business owners to sign on to do their part to make the “Hernando 2030” plan a success. Tracy said to the Summit participants:

If we can get every child in Hernando County to attend a quality VPK program, we’ll make a fundamental change in our community. And by 2030 we will have virtually eliminated most of the problems facing our community. We’ll have high graduation rates, low rates of teen pregnancy, and we’ll have an educated workforce that will lure businesses to Hernando County.”

Then a few days later, I heard Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent of Collier County Schools, speak to the League of Women Voters of Collier County. When a member of the audience asked Dr. Patton how important quality early experiences are to the school system, she responded, “On a scale of 1 to 10, high quality early learning programs rank about a 2000 – they’re the best dropout prevention program we have.”

The opportunity to change a young person’s life

Posted on 10/12/2011 @ 12:24 PM

By Nick Duran, Campaign Manager

Aside from the my recent work with the Dream Prizes promotion, I recently had the pleasure of spending time with some very innovative individuals from Miami Dade College, Single Stop USA and iMentor to learn about a wonderful new initiative they have launched. Together, they have partnered to pilot a new mentoring initiative called MDC Single Stop Mentoring Program at Miami Dade College. The program places a mentor and student in two-year mentoring relationship to provide the student with the additional support needed to persist toward a college degree. For the mentor, it provides a volunteer opportunity tailored to fit the schedule of a working professional while providing the rewarding opportunity of assisting a student work toward their college degree.

The Children’s Movement of Florida strongly supports and believes in high quality mentoring programs and works to identify and share potential opportunities to involve our supporters and communities. I recently submitted my application to become a mentor and hope that you will join me and others in supporting this wonderful initiative by signing up today to become a mentor.

The process is simple. Anyone living in the Miami area who is 24 years or older and has completed a two year college can do so. Fill out an application, attend a one-time mentor orientation and complete security screening. Once you have cleared these simple hurdles you are matched with a student and would be expected to send one weekly email to your mentee and meet with them once a month at the MDC campus or MDC Single Stop sponsored event.

Help change a young person’s life. Apply today here.

If you have question or are interested in more information e-mail: singlestopmentoring@mdc.edu
Or call: North Campus: 305-237-1056 Wolfson Campus: 305-237-7510.

The 2nd Annual Fatherhood Task Force of South FL Conference

Posted on 10/12/2011 @ 11:39 AM

Event Alert!

The 2nd annual Fatherhood Task Force of South FL conference:

Building Family Success – Keeping Fathers Involved

Saturday, October 22, 2011
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

BankUnited Center Fieldhouse
University of Miami
1245 Dauer Drive
Coral Gables

For information or to register email: Info@melissainstitute.org
Or, call: 786-662-5210

Speakers include: Keynote Leonard Pitts, Dave Lawrence, Jr., Judge Orlando Prescott, Dr. Isaac Prilleltensky and more!

It costs only $10 and continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. There are scholarships available for Fathers who are encouraged to attend and much more.

See the full conference schedule and speaker bio’s here:

Fatherhood Conference Flyer

2nd Annual Fatherhood Conference Brochure

The Parent Academy

Posted on 09/30/2011 @ 02:41 PM

Tags: South

By John Knight, Regional Coordinator, South Florida

I had a meeting this week with Barbara Biggart and Aster Mohamed, both teachers and counselors with The Parent Academy. They provide training, resources and adult learning to thousands of parents in Miami-Dade County. Each year they host back-to-school celebrations for children, workshops for parents and many other important events all around the Miami community. It is always motivating to add another official partner to The Children’s Movement of Florida. Their work out in the community is particularly important for parent skill-building.

The Parent Academy has another event coming up on October 23rd, from 1-6 pm to promote health and wellness at the Miami Science Museum. Contact Barbara Biggart for more information: bbiggart@dadeschools.net

Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida Literacy Buddies Program Helps Prepare Kids for Kindergarten

Posted on 09/30/2011 @ 11:18 AM

Tags: West

By Becky Newell, Regional Coordinator, West Florida

The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida is committed to promoting early literacy. Their Literacy Buddies program provides a way for individuals to help too!

Here’s what each program volunteer does:

• Receives a letter from a child in an early learning facility served by the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.
• Replies to the child’s letter, and sends a high quality book to the child with the reply.
• Repeats this process twice during the school year (for a total of 3 exchanges).

As of now, more than 1500 adults have signed on as Literacy Buddies, but there are many more children who can benefit from the program and still need a “buddy.”

According to the Early Learning Coalition, “anyone, any age, anywhere can become a Literacy Buddy.” Click here for more information about the program and how to help.


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