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Miami Children's Initiative* Newsletter
(*Formerly known as the Magic City Children's Zone) 
Monthly Update August 2009
In This Issue
Strategic Partners Progress Report
Workgroup Meetings
Save the Dates!
Community Partners
Ounce of Prevention Fund 

Department of Children and Families
 
Miami-Dade County
Quick Links...
 
Miami-Dade County Commission
 
Harlem Chidlren's Zone
 
The legislation that created the Magic City Children's Zone, Florida Statute 409.147, was amended during the 2009 session. To avoid copyright infringement, the new statute, which took effect July 1, changes the name of the 10-year project to the Miami Children's Initiative. 
 
To improve public-private collaboration and provide complete transparency of activities funded with public dollars, the legislation designates the Miami Dade County Commission as the lead for implementation of the initiative, houses the initiative within the local Department of Children and Families, and retains the Ounce of Prevention Fund as an independent third-party provider of administrative support, fiscal oversight and evaluation services. 
 
To improve collaboration among existing community agencies and focus efforts on enhancing the accessibility and quality of community services, this initiative will require both government and private sector support and increased community involvement. The following articles provide a project update and information on upcoming community workgroup meetings.
 
All interested persons are welcome to attend community meetings and participate in the development of the community Strategic Plan.  Liberty City residents are especially welcome and encouraged to attend. The Community Strategic Plan is being developed under the direction of the Miami-Dade County Commission, who hired Strategic Partners to facilitate the workgroups and draft the Strategic Plan based on the community input. 
 
Your input during this process is welcomed and will be critical to building a Children's Initiative that is responsive to the needs of this community. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns as this initiative move forward.
 
Sincerely,
 
Winifred P. Heggins, MSW
Vice President & Director of Programs
The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida
 
Strategic Partners Progress Report 
The Miami Children's Initiative is an opportunity for Liberty City residents, community organizations, faith-based initiatives and businesses to come together and design a vibrant neighborhood that will support all its children as they grow into successful adults.  
 
The challenge in the months ahead is to tap the wisdom and experience of community leaders, especially young, emerging voices, to develop strategies for transformational change over the next decade.  How do the successes over 20 years in Harlem translate into Miami's unique culture, and Liberty City's proud history?  How can government work as a partner with community leaders, philanthropists and entrepreneurs?  What works to engage residents to improve their lives and improve their children's future?  What should be done in the first two years?  In five years?
 
Eleven Planning Team Workgroups have been meeting regularly since March, and will recommend themes and strategies to be included in the Strategic Plan by the end of August.  Their discussions are being enriched by a number of focus groups with residents of all ages. 
 
The themes that are emerging are familiar to residents:
 
Strong Parenting:  support, education and mentoring for parents and other adults (including grandparents) raising children so they are able to provide their children with developmental strengths, educational achievement, and strong adult role models as they grow from infancy to adulthood.  Addressing lack of support systems and supervision at home.
 
Parent Involvement in Children's Education:  supporting children to be successful through critical transition points in their educational journey, such as pre-school to kindergarten, elementary school to middle school, and middle to high school.
 
Preventative Health Care:  engaging residents with chronic health issues such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma to maintain their health at high levels, and a strong emphasis on early pre-natal care and healthy child development.
 
Restorative Justice:  creating a balanced approach with neighborhood crime watch, community policing,  support for victims of domestic violence and other crimes,  effective interventions to reduce truancy, and safety for seniors in their own homes.
 
Economic Resources and Affordable Housing:  academic preparation for youth to enter the job market, economic development and incentives for businesses to create jobs and expand their businesses, increasing  jobs within the zone for youth, parents and the elderly, community services to support homeownership, focus on building communities that are more than just physical buildings, neighborhood beautification, shopping and amenities.
 
The community planning activities are supported by the team from Strategic Partners, a Miami-based human services consulting group that has been heavily involved in children's initiatives and community planning for the past 18 years.  Thamara Labrousse is the project manager, supported by Jean Logan, Marta Pizarro, Alexandria Douglas-Bartolone, Andrea Stephenson and Margo Santiago.
 
Community Workgroup Meetings 
girl with balloon
 
Join other members of your community in shaping the strategic plan for the Miami Children's Initiative. All interested persons are welcome to attend community meetings and participate in work groups. Liberty City residents are especially encouraged to participate in this important community project.
 
 Workgroup meetings scheduled for August are as follows:
 
August 10, 2009  6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Youth Support
NFL YET Center
Contact:  Andrea Stephenson
               561 386-4222 
 
August 11, 2009  3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Community Safety
Belafonte Tacolcy
6161 NW 9th Avenue
Contact:  Thamara LaBrousse
               Jean Logan  
               305 758-7900
 
August 12, 2009  4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Education of Children and Youth
Carrie Meeks Center
1350 NW 50th Street
Contact:  Jean Logan
               305 940-7404 
 
August 13, 2009  2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Housing and Community Development
Liberty Square Housing
6304 NW 14th Avenue
Contact:  Thamara LaBrousse
               305 758-7900
 
August 14, 2009  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Elder Affairs
Hadley Park
1300 NW 50th Street
Contact:  Alexandria Douglas-Bartolone
               561 512-0264
 
August 14, 2009  6-00 -  7:30 p.m.
Faith Community
Hosanna Community Baptist Church
2171 NW 56th Street
Contact:  Thamara LaBrousse
               305 758-7900
 
August 17, 2009  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Parent and Guardian Support
Jessie Trice Center
 5361 NW 22nd Avenue
Contact:  Thamara LaBrousse
               305 758-7900
 
August 18, 2009  2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Adult Education, Training and Jobs
Northside Career Center
7900 NW 27th Avenue
Suite 200
Contact:  Alexandria Douglas-Bartolone
               561 512-0264
 
August 19, 2009  4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Health and Wellness 
Jessie Trice Center
5361 NW 22nd Avenue
Contact:  Thamara LaBrousse
               305 758-7900
 
August 25, 2009  3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Community Safety
Belafonte Tacolcy
6161 NW 9th Avenue
Contact:  Thamara LaBrousse
               Jean Logan
               305 758-7900
 
August 25, 2009  6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Arts and Culture
African-American Heritage Cultural Art Center
6161 NW 22nd Avenue
Contact:  Marta Pizarro
 
August 26, 2009  8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Early Development and Care of Children
3630 NE 1st Court
Kidco
630 NE 1st Court
Contact:  Jean Logan
               305 940-7404
 
August 26, 2009  3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Education of Children and Youth
Carrie Meeks Center
1350 NW 50th Street
Contact:  Jean Logan
               305 941-7404 
 
August 27, 2009  11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  
Housing and Community Development
Liberty Square Housing
6304 NW 14th Avenue
Contact:  Alexandria Douglas-Bartolone
               561 512-0264 
 
August 28, 2009  6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Faith Community
Hosanna Community Baptist Church 
2171 NW 56th Street 
Contact:  Thamara LaBrousse
               305 758-7900 
 
August 31, 2009  6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Youth Support
NFL YET Center
7090 NW 22nd Avenue
Contact:  Andrea Stephenson
               561 386-4222 
 
Additional information, including a calendar of all scheduled meetings, is available here.
Save the Dates!
Two community meetings will be held in September to present the draft Strategic Plan and get feedback from residents.  Please save these dates and plan to attend:
  • September 19, 2009
  • September 24, 2009

Meeting times and locations will be provided as soon as these details can be confirmed.