South Florida Competition
Aetna Voices of Health Competition

The Education Fund



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The Education Fund

The Education Fund is an independent non-profit PreK-12 organization officially sanctioned by the School Board of Miami-Dade County Public Schools to work on behalf of its students. Our mission is to maximize every child's potential and to ensure each one graduates with every opportunity for success. We invest in our public schools. We provide resources students need. We ensure educators have the skills to teach all children. We help administrators develop their abilities as school leaders. We inform parents, business leaders, elected officials, and the community about our schools and the issues they face in order to increase support for public education. In addition, we bring innovation to our schools so that all our children have the opportunity for success.

More than a quarter century ago, with Ford Foundation seed funding, The Education Fund began as an independent non-profit enterprise organized through a public-private venture that involved the business community and the Miami-Dade School Board. Since that time, The Education Fund has designed and implemented numerous initiatives in direct response to deficiencies and inequities in the development of our youth as articulated by the community at large, the private sector, and our school district. In fact, we operate several major initiatives at any given time, based on the community's needs, but all aimed at increasing student success.

Today, The Education Fund continues its work as an entrepreneurial organization that maneuvers easily and works closely with teachers, administrators, parents, and community/business leaders in order to make our schools better for all our children. We have succeeded in many areas due to the support of hundreds of companies, foundations, and individuals.

The objective of each Education Fund program is to work side-by-side with the private sector to support and promote quality public education for every child in Miami-Dade County Public Schools by providing teachers and students with resources they need to be successful. Our collective programs continue to make a difference in the lives of 354,000+ students/families and 18,000+ teachers throughout Miami-Dade County's 474 public schools.

The Education Fund is transforming students' and their families' health through Food Forests! Comprised of trees, bushes, vine, and plants with winding paths - like an actual forest - they span up to 3/4 of an acre of school grounds. More importantly, our Food Forests are entirely edible and filled with super foods like Barbados Cherries, where one cherry has the same vitamin C as 18 oranges. They are also sustainable, outdoor eco-labs. Students love learning in their Food Forests but more importantly they adore eating everything they grow. Leaf tacos, made up of Edible Hibiscus, Chives, Basil, Moringa, and more, are the new cool food. Parents are amazed at the change in their children. Families benefit too. Since Food Forests grow like wild, we have already provided families with more than 73,000 bags of 'super' produce. We also partner with school cafeterias. To date, our Food Forest super foods have enhanced students' meals more than 3,000 times, with students clamoring for 'super Food Forest' salads. Our work is critical. In our 20 program schools, 92% of students are 'food & nutrition poor,' subsisting on Federal Food Aid, with more than 60% living in food deserts. We are changing the equation: installing Food Forests on school grounds, training teachers, providing Food Forest coaches for teachers and students, conducting parent workshops, and so much more. As a result, 52% of our students have improved their eating habits in just one year and 84% have improved their science scores. Additionally, 50% of our families are now serving healthier meals. More than 15,000 students in 20 schools now have Food Forests, but thousands of others are on our wait list. We are asking for your vote! Help 1,000 more impoverished children and their families open the door to a healthier, super foods life.

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The Education Fund

Maria Elena Garcia

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