As a non-profit organization, Miami Children’s Museum recognizes the need for accessible educational opportunities so that every child has the chance to realize their highest potential. Here is a look back at the community initiatives we were able to accomplish in the past quarter both within the Museum walls and throughout the community.
In the Community
READy for School: Winter Wellness Kits
In December, the Museum continued its new READy For School Initiative, which was created in the Spring of 2021 in response to deepened disparities in educational quality for children from disadvantaged communities due to the pandemic. With support from Newell Brands Community Fund, we provided 250 Winter Wellness Educational Kits to children in grades K-5 at Title 1 schools, whose learning opportunities are limited due to financial barriers. Kits were distributed before Winter Break to combat learning loss, which dramatically affects the graduation rates of children from disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Each child received tangible tools to promote wellness, reduce stress, support developmental growth, and encourage living an active life.
Each Winter Wellness Kit included a:
Yoga Mat paired with yoga poses prompt card: to encourage movement, balance, and coordination.
Hacky Sack: to build hand-eye coordination.
Bubble Wands: to engage in mindfulness and breathwork.
Gardening materials: to promote nutrition and engage in environmental science by observing the growth cycle.
Stethoscope: to introduce biology, as children listen to and observe changes in heart rates before and after exercise.
From Page to Film: Video Making Workshops for Children with Autism
With support from a Youth Arts Enrichment Program grant from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Museum created the From Page to Film program to provide children with autism an opportunity to improve their media and digital literacy in an accommodated setting best suited to their learning needs. The skills taught through this series of eight workshops which included three at the Museum and five in their school classrooms are especially beneficial to children on the autism spectrum. Media literacy is shown to increase independent life skills, social skills, and increase self-advocacy when children use media as a platform to share their voice.
Over the past 16 weeks, the Museum’s Theater Troupe worked with 25 students with autism ages 5-12 to develop and create collaborative videos that brought picture books to life. Learning to create content introduced the students to the performance-making process while increasing opportunities for self-expression and boosting communication skills – verbal and nonverbal. This program is scheduled to continue in February with 75 new students.
This project is funded by The Children's Trust. The Children's Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their future.
Quarterly Conversations: World Holidays: Cultures, Traditions, and Acceptance
This December, Miami Children’s Museum launched the first resource panel for a series called, QuarterlyConversations. As an educational community organization, the Museum’s goal is to expand on the resources we provide for diversity, inclusion, and representation. Through the virtual panels our goal is to give families, educators, and youth workers tools, tips, and resources to discuss complex subjects with children.
The first Quarterly Conversations featured panelists from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and occupations who gathered to discuss the significance of cultural traditions in relation to world holidays. Attendees walked away with the tools to empower children to see diversity in religion, traditions, and celebrations as important and something that makes our community richer. The next panel, “Coping with Uncertain Times: Helping Children Navigate Mental Health” is scheduled for March 16 and will address how to help children navigate mental health.
Visitors joined us for a fun-filled weekend to celebrate our Latinx, Hispanic, and Latino-identified friends. The Museum honored Hispanic achievements in science, sports, and the arts, as well as the wonderfully diverse cuisines, customs, and traditions that enrich our city and our nation. Our goal with cultural celebrations is to raise the visibility of Hispanic contributions and to expand the worldview of children from different cultural backgrounds.
Disability Acceptance Days
This past October, the Museum continued its commitment to inclusion by joining the nation in celebrating disability awareness. Special programming dates spotlighted Learning Disabilities Awareness Month and World Sight/White Cane Day. In sharing the stories and voices of those with disabilities, we hope to push disability awareness toward disability acceptance.
Native American Heritage Month
In honor of all the Indigenous Peoples of North America, the Museum's programming celebrated the traditions of the Seminole, Miccosukee, Calusa, Tequesta, and Taino peoples and acknowledged how they are central to Miami’s history. During the weekend celebration, visitors enjoyed art demonstrations led by Miccosukee artists, featuring basket weaning, patchwork, and beadwork.
Our mission-driven work is sustained through meaningful support from donors like you. Your contributions go a long way in supporting programs focused on improving access to education, increasing cultural appreciation, and enhancing wellness for ALL children in our community