Elevating the standards of early education in Miami-Dade and beyond is a top priority for United Way of Miami-Dade. To encourage lawmakers to support high quality early education, early literacy and school-readiness programs, United Way has invited the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation and other elected officials and qualified candidates to tour the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education. These visits provide the setting for policymakers to experience firsthand what quality early education is and the return on investment it yields to young children and society as a whole. Each guest receives a tour of the Center, and serves as a VIP reader in a Pre-K classroom at the Center’s Demonstration School, Educare of Miami-Dade.
“Through these visits, the Center continues to provide influential leaders with resources and information on the importance and value of quality early care and education,” Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way, said. “If we are successful in changing policies that raise the quality of early education, then we will experience sustainable and lasting change.”
Recent visitors to the Center include: Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez; City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado; State Representatives John Patrick Julien, Luis Garcia, Jeanette Nuñez and Erik Fresen; State Senator Anitere Flores; and Florida First Lady Ann Scott, among others.
Research shows that children who learn to read well by third grade will not only read more independently, but also achieve more in math, social studies and science. They are also more likely to graduate from high school and pursue higher education. Investing in them pays off: the return on investment includes higher graduation rates, better job skills, increased homeownership and less chance of criminal activities.
Together with local early learning partners, The Children’s Trust, Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe and The Children’s Movement of Florida, United Way participates in several early literacy projects and advocates at the local, state and national level.