The Children’s Trust Board of Directors approved on Monday, April 17, 2023, a $383 million funding allocation to support 143 after-school and summer camp programs in Miami-Dade County over the next five years. This represents an overall increase in Trust-funded program locations from 484 to 682, including a 41% expansion in priority areas. The robust support is part of The Trust’s continuous five-year community needs assessment and funding planning process, with $76.7 million provided to programs annually, so long as the programs continue meeting required standards of care and upon annual Board approval. The funding recommendations were made following an extensive and transparent RFP process.
“Securing sufficient funding is crucial for us and other providers to continue to deliver valuable services to our communities in Miami,” said Shownda Pagan, CEO of Trust-funded service provider Belafonte TACOLCY Center, located in Liberty City. “Together, we can ensure that every child has access to a safe, supportive, and engaging environment that facilitates their academic and personal development.”
This investment is expected to benefit over 36,000 school-aged children and youth across Miami-Dade. A portion of the funded programs also include a particular focus on helping teens who have dropped out or are disconnected from school or work, and those who are involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems.
"Funding for these programs will help bridge the achievement gap and ensure children and teens have a safe and engaging place to play, grow, and learn after school and during the summer. At the same time, these programs lift a weight off many working parents," said The Children's Trust President & CEO James Haj. "With every five-year cycle, we continue empowering the leaders of tomorrow to become successful, well-rounded individuals who are ready to tackle any challenge that comes their way."
"I am confident that our investment will positively impact the lives of numerous young people in our community to help them develop new skills, build confidence, and create lasting memories," said Trust Board Chairperson Ken Hoffman. "I am proud of the leadership of our Board and the work of The Children's Trust staff to make this historic funding commitment possible."
The five-year investment aims to deliver high-quality programming for elementary, middle, and high school-aged students and engages them in activities that increase school attendance, improve academic performance, decrease risky behaviors and prevent summer learning loss. These programs will offer academic assistance, social and emotional wellness, physical and mental health support, and supervised environments to ensure the safety of all participants. Additionally, all Trust-funded after-school and summer programs are enriching, accessible, affordable, inclusive, and accommodate children and youth with disabilities.
In addition to these essential services, each of the programs will also offer enrichment opportunities related to at least two of the following areas: STEM, arts, cultural programming with a focus on bilingualism, civic engagement, sports, and post-secondary supports related to jobs, careers, entrepreneurship, life skills and college readiness. The 143 funded service providers range from grassroots and neighborhood-focused community-based organizations, to municipal and university entities.
Click Here for b-roll of Trust-funded summer camps and afterschool programs, as well as still images from today’s news conference.
Click Here to watch the recording of the news conference livestream, including impact stories from a youth and parent who relies upon one of the funded programs.
To see the complete list of all 143 programs that will be funded through our Youth Development Initiative, Click Here.
Chief Public Policy & Community Engagement Officer, The Children’s Trust