MCI shows appreciation in Liberty City

Miami Children's Initiative hosts Early Care and Education Luncheon

Ashley Montgomery | 2/20/2014, 9 a.m.
The Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI] and Miami-Dade County Public Schools [MDCPS] hosted a luncheon that brought together a collection of ...
Daycare owner Joseph Smith receives flowers from daycare student. Photo by Ashley Montgomery

The Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI] and Miami-Dade County Public Schools [MDCPS] hosted a luncheon that brought together a collection of heavy-hitters in the early child care industry. MCI is a nonprofit organization focused on transforming Liberty City into a prosperous community. The pair invited Liberty City’s early childcare education owners/directors and MCDPS principals to come out for a proper introduction of one another. 

MCI and MDCPS also wanted to celebrate the hard work being delivered daily to improve the quality of care and education in this community. Also, to share information about the state of Early Care and Education in Liberty City; begin discussions around: “what it will take for all Liberty City children to be school ready?”

The luncheon was held at the Joseph Caleb Center. Nearly 100 persons were in attendance. Terry Rutherford, a well-known ‘mover and shaker’ in the community for early childcare education welcomed the guests in attendance and delivered a symbolic speech about how far the community has come and the positive direction things are moving. 

“This is a great day, MCI has been given a charge and we are tremendously going forward in our movement,” Rutherford said. “We are focused today on the early childcare educators. 

“I am so thankful for all of your intensity in this room, and as Michael Jackson said, we are the world,” she said. 

As MCI’s website reads: “in partnership with Liberty City’s residents, youth, religious centers, schools, businesses and non-profit organization,  we seek to address the needs of our community by investing in our children.” Many owners and staff members from the neighborhood came out to the program. 

Shawntravia Pointville, owner of Excel Kids Academy was the facilitator of the event. Before Pointville introduced prominent members in the industry, she couldn’t help but succumb to tears when she spoke about the joy she gets from doing what she does for a living: raising children to become class citizens of the community; to be that rose that grows from the concrete. 

Pablo Ortiz, MDCPS Superintendent admired the enthusiasm that was displayed in the room by. 

“The passion is evident and it is shared by everyone in this room, I cant begin to tell you all how proud I am to be apart of this wonderful partnership of what I know is going to be a very powerful partnership,” Superintendent Ortiz said. 

“The solution is sitting in this room, if we catch them when they are one; two and three years old, we will reap the benefits of them at five; ten; fifteen and seventeen years old,” Superintendent Ortiz said. 

Ortiz concluded his brief speech with “Quality trumps quantity.” 

Early educators in the Liberty City community are touching and improving the lives of more than 52,000 students. MCI and M-DCPS understand the importance of reaching children in the early stages of their lives. 

During the luncheon, students from Excel Kids Academy, A Mothers Care Learning Center and Sheyes Learning Center and passed out flowers to symbolize the children in the community that need to the love and attention just as the blooming flowers do.