On September 21, The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida designated the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami as a Florida Children's Initiative. The designation was presented to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.
As she accepted the award, Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson applauded the volunteers and community leaders who worked together to complete the Strategic Community Plan required to earn the designation. Edmonson also thanked the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida for their leadership and guidance throughout the planning process.
In 2008, the Florida Legislature approved a process for the establishment of a comprehensive community-based children's initiative to provide quality education, healthcare and youth development programs for children and families living in neighborhoods and communities where opportunity and infrastructure is limited or nonexistent.
Commissioner Edmonson said, "The Miami Children's Initiative will be the catalyst for change from what may have been deemed devastating, bleak and disheartening to a flourishing and thriving community in Liberty City. Block by block, in districts 2 and 3, the Miami Children's Initiative will touch the lives of families and give hope to children to exceed expectations in all their endeavors."
The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida would like to acknowledge Alison Austin and Leigh Toney for their vision. Also, a special thanks to Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Senator Larcenia Bullard, (former) Representative Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Secretary George Sheldon, Irene Taylor Wooten, Betty Key and the members of the community who served on the strategic planning team for their faithful commitment and continued support of the Miami Children's Initiative.
Inaugural Board of Directors
Miami Children's Initiative has seated their inaugural board. They include:
Ms. Elaine L. Adderly
Mrs. Elaine H. Black
Ms. Thema Campbell
Mr. Morris Copeland
Dr. Luvernice H. Croskey
Dr. Cathia Darling
Mr. Cedric McMinn
Ms. Annie R. Neasman
Rev. Nathaniel J. Wilcox
**The Executive Director position has been advertised and over 400 applications have been received. The Board hopes to finalize its selection by mid November.
Promise Neighborhoods Update
Promise Neighborhoods, established under the legislative authority of the Fund for the Improvement of Education Program, provide grant funding to eligible entities so they can significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children in our most distressed communities.
The Promise Neighborhoods grant award supports the development of an implementation plan that includes:
· A leader and an organization that can engage the community and be accountable for results
· A "place-based" approach which leverages investments by focusing resources in targeted places, drawing on the compounding effect of well-coordinated actions
· Close integration of schools, academic programs, and family and community supports to close gaps that contribute to children missing academic and developmental milestones
· The capacity to collect, analyze, and use data to evaluate success
At the conclusion of the planning grant period, grantees should have a feasible plan to implement a continuum of solutions that will significantly improve results for children in the community being served.
This summer, 339 applications were submitted for the first round of
Promise Neighborhoods grant funding. Nationwide, only 21 communities were awarded grants. None of the 14 applications from Florida communities were selected; however, the following 9 Florida applications scored 80 or above out of a possible 100:
· Sulphur Springs Neighborhood of Promise, Tampa
· Gainesville Promise
· New Town Success Zone, Jacksonville
· Orlando Promise Neighborhoods
· Ounce of Prevention Fund in collaboration with East
Jacksonville, Miami Gardens, Pinellas County and West
· Broward L.I.F.E. Project
· Florida City Promise Neighborhood
· Edison Edu-Plex Promise Neighborhood, Miami
· Miami Beach Promise Neighborhood
The Ounce of Prevention Fund applauds these communities on their performance and encourages you to continue the great work you have begun in your community.