2022 Miami Lakes Town Foundation Grant Recipients Announced

2022 Miami Lakes Town Foundation Grant Recipients Announced

October 7, 2022

Miami Lakes, FL – The Miami Lakes Town Foundation, supported by the Miami Lakes Food and Wine Festival, was created to encourage, foster and provide programs for the literacy and continuing education of the community, as well as, develop and implement complementary youth programs, beautification projects, and cultural events to benefit the Miami Lakes community and its citizens. In its efforts to do so, this year it has awarded mini-grants to the following recipients:

  • The Million Orchid Project in Miami Lakes submitted by Aiden Schwinghammer, Boy Scouts of America Troop 566 
    • The Million Orchid Project is a project established by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The grant project submitted for approval aims at planting 1000 orchids in the Town’s public parks.
  • Sharing Golden Smiles & Stories submitted by Juliana Correa, Girl Scout Troop 902
    • Sharing Golden Smiles and Stories” will offer an educational and fun learning-to-read or story time program for individuals with Down syndrome and their families at GiGi’s Playhouse in Miami Lakes, Florida. Sessions will also include activities such as music, dance, crafts, writing, exercise/meditation.
  • Hialeah Miami Lakes Civics Bowl submitted by Maurits Acosta, Virtutem Populo
    • The Hialeah-Miami Lakes Civics Bowl would be a civics-knowledge competition for middle and high schools in the Hialeah-Miami Lakes area. The idea is to promote knowledge of how to be an active citizen and to encourage youth participation in the civic process.
  • Photography Club at Miami Lakes K8 Center submitted by Jessica Hernandez, Middle School Digital Art & Robotics Teacher at Miami Lakes K-8 Center
    • Digital cameras and software for editing will be provided to students as part of this project. Students will put their photography skills to work by photographing the beautiful landscapes, plants, and animals of the Everglades. 
  • Creating High Impact Learning Environments Through Hands-on Leaning Experiences submitted by Ms. Jennifer Gomez, Second Grande Teacher at Miami Lakes K-8 Center
    • This project would enhance classroom learning centers in math, science, and social studies. The materials include engaging, standards-based activities, which allow for exploring concepts in depth. The goal of this project is to accelerate student learning with hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Chromebooks for Learning submitted by Ms. Milagros Alvarez, Third Grade Math Teacher at Miami Lakes K-8 Center
    • The Chromebooks for Learning projexct will provide students in third grade an additional 10 laptops to work on iReady, have access to digital resources, and complete online assignments without the need for a rotational schedule.
  • Helping Primary Kids in Our Community Thrive Through Technology Project submitted by Ms. Karen Diaz, First Grade Teacher at Miami Lakes K-8 Center
    • The first grade class will immerse in technology in the classroom as a small student-centered activity in which students will use technology and review skills needed to be successful in the years to come. This will help the students access a variety of school district programs including iReady, Imagine Learning, IXL, and the new F.A.S.T assessment adopted by MDCPS.
  • Flocabulary Subscription submitted by Ms. Cindy Iturmendi, Social Studies Teacher at Bob Graham Education Center
    • Flocabulary is a learning program for all grades that uses educational hip-hop music to engage students and increase achievement across the curriculum.
  • Garden to Table Experience submitted by Mr. David Galarce, Magnet Lead Coordinator at Miami Lakes Education Center
    • The Garden to Table program was created to provide individuals and families who struggle with food insecurity access to the resources necessary to grow their own healthy food supply. 
  • Reading Diversity in the Classroom Project submitted by Michelle Medina Hernandez. Teacher at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School
    • The grant will allow for engagement and literacy education to our youth within our community through a procurement of the novel “Two Badges the Life of Mona Ruiz” a gripping tale of one woman’s private war to escape the tentacles of the street gangs that have carved her barrio into turfs where one misstep leads to violence. She nevertheless prevailed in exchanging her badge of social defiance for one of protecting her community.” Most of our student population reside in urban communities which will connect the realities of everyday life. Literacy is crucial and a lifelong skill that will foster success beyond high school. Not only will my students make connections throughout the novel and lesson, but hopefully open up an enjoyment for reading. This novel-based project would be beneficial to a conducive and engaging learning environment.
  • Team Ropes Adventure Challenge (TRAC), Mr. Richard Silberman, Teacher and National Honor Society Sponsor at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School
    • TRAC is located on FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, which is a hands on program focusing on human development, group dynamics, and fostering enrichment. Participants will learn new skills through a series of adventure-based activities that provide training in leadership, team-building development, communication and problem solving skills.
  • TrojanMUN I Project submitted by Ms. Rukayat A. Adebisi Legal Studies Academy Teacher at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School
    • “TrojanMUN” will be a competitive Model United Nations training conference geared towards local middle school students. The purpose of this conference is to help foster the critical skills of public speaking, policy writing, diplomacy, and civil discourse. Students will gain an expanded perspective of global politics, economics, and social issues.
  • Set & Props Design & Building – a STEAM Unit submitted by Ms. Colleen Mahoney Theater Teacher and Electives Department Chair at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School
    • In this STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Arts, and Math) unit, students will choose a scene from a play and analyze the scene for content and intent. They will then create a set design drawing and a prop plot. Students will then create a miniature 3D model of their set design. 
  • Instrumental Equipment Expansion submitted by Kevin Segura, Director of Bands and Orchestra at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School
    • The HML Band will be expanding the available music instruments for the students in the program. Cellos, string parts, valve oil, mouth pieces and wood wind reeds will be available. 
  • Apple Education for Gator Innovators submitted by Ms. Alicia Gant, Department Chair of CTE Department at Barbara Goleman Senior High School
    • A MacBook Pro and two Apple iPads will be funded through this project. The goal of this project is to have students utilize Apple education tools and resources to produce powerful photography and Advanced Placement 2D Art & Design portfolios. 
  • Furniture for Mock School Courtroom for Trail/Moot Court submitted by Ms. Ana M. Soto-Gonzalez, Social Studies Teacher at Barbara Goleman Senior High School
    • The money from the grant would go specifically towards purchasing furnishings for the courtroom like podiums, attorney tables, chairs, and extra seating for the jury. If the grant is awarded to us, we plan to also share the benefits with our community. One of the ways we plan to do this is by hosting Middle School Mock Trial competitions and inviting local middle schools in the Miami Lakes area to participate in competitions at the school.
  • Model UN Club Project submitted by Ms. Marlen Acosta-Garcia, Teacher/Facilitator of Model UN Club at Barbara Goleman Senior High School
    • Students in Model UN gain a wide range of skills and information critical to their success in high school, college, and beyond. Students learn public speaking, hone their research skills, and synthesize information from all over the world.
  • Gator Fun @Sports Project submitted by Ms. Debbie Perez, Bowling and Badminton Coach at Barbara Goleman Senior High School
    • This project is aimed to support students who have never participated in athletic activities. The program wil allow students to gain confidence as they learn the sport and their skills improve and they compete against other high schools.
  • MLMS Goliath 2023 Project submitted by Ms. Elizabeth Lopetegui, Media Specialist/Yearbook Advisor and Engligh Language Arts Teacher at Miami Lakes Middle School
    • Students will be exposed to various aspects related to journalism, primarily focused on the process of creating a school yearbook. Students will develop life skills in photography, journalism, writing, marketing, and
      digital design. These skills will help students be prepared for high school courses.

The Town is proud to support initiatives that make Miami Lakes a more kind, beautiful, and involved community. Congratulations to all of the recipients!

For questions related to the Miami Lakes Town Foundation or the Community Mini-Grant, please contact:

Clarisell De Cardenas
Communications & Community Affairs Director
Email: decardenasc@miamilakes-fl.gov
Phone: (305)364-6100 Ext. 1132

For immediate release