A Champion for Children

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The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County recognized the University of Miami’s Linda Ray Intervention Center with the Excellence in School Readiness Programming Award at its annual Champion for Children awards ceremony on November 19 at Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom in Miami.

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Attending the awards ceremony were, from left, Maria Alonso, chair of The Children’s Trust Board of Directors; Marygrace Yale Kaiser, associate director of the Linda Ray Intervention Center; Tonantzin Montes, parenting Coordinator, Enfamilia Inc; Melissa Treiber, parenting facilitator at the Linda R

Linda Ray Intervention Center, a program within the Department of Psychology, received the award for its Project Hand-N-Hand interactive parenting program, which serves at-risk families with babies and toddlers at both the center and at the Redlands Christina Migrant Association in Homestead, with a focus on the children’s language development and socio-emotional well-being. Project Hand-N-Hand provides parents with the tools needed to support their children’s development through the use of play and developmentally appropriate activities.

“Recognition by The Children’s Trust for Project Hand-N-Hand is truly a meaningful acknowledgement of the impact the parenting program is having on the participating families that span our community from Miami to Homestead and who are committed to supporting the healthy development of their young children through community partnerships and collaboration,” said Lynne Katz, director of the Linda Ray Intervention Center.

The center was founded in 1991 as a research-informed children’s early intervention program within Miami-Dade County Public Schools Pre-K Program for Children with Disabilities. Focusing on children up to 3 years of age with developmental delays and associated family risk factors, the center has served more than 800 families to date. The University of Miami staff includes child development specialists, teachers, social workers, and classroom paraprofessionals who implement research-informed interventions to improve child outcomes. Families have the opportunity to participate in the parenting programs.


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