Trust Insider
January-February 2017
Introducing Foster Kids to Forever Families
Natalie recently joined
Miami Heart Gallery.
Area foster children recently boosted their chances of finding loving, permanent homes, thanks to The Children's Trust Miami Heart Gallery .

A multimedia online exhibit that uses photographs, video clips and bios to connect foster children with potential adoptive parents, Miami Heart Gallery - a partnership between The Children's Trust and Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe - has helped find families for more than half the children it's featured. Natalie's hoping that will be her fate, too, and has a message for potential moms and dads.

"I want them to know that I'm a good girl who tries her best," says the 11-year-old. "And that I really like to laugh."

Dozens of volunteers, including professional photographers, videographers, journalists and hair and makeup artists, contribute their time and expertise to make The Children's Trust Miami Heart Gallery possible. The gallery is updated twice a year, with a different group of foster children photographed, videotaped and interviewed each time.

"This is an initiative that's close to everyone's heart here at The Trust," says James R. Haj, president and CEO. "Every child deserves a home of their own with a safe, supportive and loving family."

Learn about fostering and adoption at
Photo: Howie Sonnenschein 
Boosting Literacy in Liberty City
The Trust distributes books
at Liberty City READS.
The Trust was on hand to help launch Liberty City READS (Read Empower Achieve Discover Succeed), a monthly family reading workshop series to be held at Liberty City Elementary School. With literacy at its core, READS aims to strengthen the family unit and boost children's academic achievement.

School principal Dr. Orna Campbell kicked off READS with parents, caregivers and other area stakeholders in the school's media center; The Trust's community engagement team distributed age-appropriate books and literacy resources to those in attendance.

Liberty City READS is made possible by the Liberty City Community Collaborative for Change , in partnership with The Children's Trust, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Planned Parenthood.
Encouraging Young Performers to Shine
Eveul Exil performs an original spoken word piece at the YTBD auditions.
The seventh annual Young Talent Big Dreams (YTBD) competition, sponsored by The Children's Trust, recently kicked off with dozens of children and youth gathered at the Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables for the first of seven auditions being held for this year.

Eveul Exil, 16, first found out about the free performing arts competition through a mentor at
PATH , Preserving, Archiving & Teaching Hiphop, a Trust-funded program that uses hip hop culture and education to advance the academic achievement, community involvement, and leadership and entrepreneurial skills of youth in underserved communities.

"It took me a good two months to finish it, and I was kind of impressed by how much my skills developed as I was writing," says Exil of his spoken word audition piece. "It's real different from anything I've ever done before."

Entry to YTBD is free and open to all Miami-Dade County children and youth ages 8 to 17, in six different performance categories:
pop/rock/rap vocals, musical theatre/jazz standards/classical vocals, musical instrument, original spoken word, original vocal and/or instrumental composition, and dance. Complete rules, forms and additional information are available at .
Cold Hands, Warm Hearts at Reclaimed Miami Park
East Little Havana children at play in the snow - many for the first time!
More than 1,500 East Little Havana residents enjoyed a family-friendly day in the snow, thanks in part to the grassroots mobilization efforts of The Trust.

Twenty-five tons of man-made snow fell across Riverside Park earlier this month, as area children and families enjoyed tubing, snowball fights, hot chocolate and other cold-weather delights. The event is the first in a series of water park-like activities facilitated through neighborhood work group "Vecinos de Riverside," which has revitalized this former crime-riddled green space under the guidance of The Children's Trust's community engagement team in collaboration with the City of Miami PAL and Parks and Recreation Department.

Basketball, soccer and Zumba classes have also come to the park in the past year, and have helped to create a safe space from which everyone in the neighborhood can benefit.
Trust Insider is a monthly newsletter created to keep the Miami-Dade community in the know about the programs, initiatives, events and outreach efforts The Children's Trust takes part in that benefit children and families.

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