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SEED plants outreach efforts in Black enclaves

Boarding school taps into community to boost enrollment

Carla St.Louis | 3/27/2014, 9 a.m.

A member of the non-profit sector for over 16 years, Person suggests SEED reach out to more media people and the church community.

“To their credit they are reaching out and trying to get the word out,” Person says. “The churches within Miami-Dade County’s Black community are a great medium but they need to be more receptive and open to SEED and similar programs.”

Community-based organizations like Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Little Haiti Cultural Center, and Big Brothers Big Sisters are aiding SEED in attracting prospective students along with Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida, Educate Tomorrow and Overtown Youth Center.

City of Miami Gardens speaks: ‘We like SEED’

SEED’s outreach team eventually found itself at the door of the policy makers for the City of Miami Gardens, a location that during the school’s early planning phase, was heavily considered.

“Initially the City was approached last year about SEED’s facility,” said City Manager Cameron Benson, citing SEED wanted Miami Gardens as its permanent location but the City didn’t have a readily available temporary space. “At one point, we were considering the site that housed Parkway Middle School.”

“We have had a number of dialogues with them but the biggest issue is the conflicting roles of Miami Garden, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the organization itself,” he says. “Each organization is looking forward to find the right mechanisms with the project but it needs to be resolved before we can move forward with it.”

“I really like the concept of SEED,” Benson says admitting, “The City is still in the works to bring SEED to Miami Gardens. Ultimately if we can work it out I’m hoping that it will become a permanent resident of the City.”

SEED School is Florida’s first, non-profit charter boarding school is located at 11025 SW 84th Street in the Kendall Cottages Complex. The facility is modeled after the renowned SEED School in Washington D.C. — a free preparatory school that submerges poor students in an environment that’s completely devoted to academics including prep college courses, advance placement classes and life-skills training.

Within the 24,500 square feet facility, a student’s typical day starts with an extracurricular activity followed by showering, breakfast and reading. Unlike public school, the day runs longer beginning at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Graduates are typically well-prepared for college due to the school’s intense college prep courses. SEED has a high graduation rate of 90 percent.

For more information about SEED School call 305-600-1367 or log on to http://miami.seedschool.org