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7th Annual

Champions for Children Awards Ceremony


2011 Champions for Children

Awards Ceremony
11:30 a.m. Registration 12:00 noon Luncheon and Ceremony

Friday, November 4, 2011

Treetop Ballroom Jungle Island

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami
Master of Ceremonies

EARL MAULDING, Actors Playhouse

This year, we are emphasizing our new countywide Read to Learn initiative, with the goal of reducing by half the number of third graders not reading at grade level by 2020. This focus is reflected in the events dcor, silent auction items and entertainment. We give special thanks to Laura Duksta and Karen Keesler, the author and illustrator of the New York Times Bestseller, I Love You More.

Awards Program
11:30 SILeNT AuCTIoN 12:00 WeLCoMe Earl Maulding
Actors Playhouse

12:30 AWARDS CeReMoNY Earl Maulding Maria Alonso Modesto E. Abety-Gutierrez

PeRfoRMANCeS Alecsys Turner, Vocalist, Age 12 God Bless the Child Patrick Barham, Cellist, Age 13 Tarantella BoARD ChAIR MeSSAGe Maria Alonso AuThoR MeSSAGe Laura Duksta, I Love You More PeRfoRMANCe Nikki And Ryan Weisburd

Robert D. Nolan, Ph.D. 2011 David Lawrence Jr.

Champion for Children

Childrens Forum
excellence Award School Readiness Programming

PeRfoRMANCe Carrie Sue Ayvar Storyteller Safety Afloat

Jill Little FSU Young Parents Project

excellence Award Direct Service to Children and families

The Champions for Children Awards Ceremony was created to raise awareness of the needs of children in our community and serves to recognize dedicated child advocates, as well as inspire others to work toward improving the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

Greater Miami Youth Symphony

excellence Award Youth Programming for School and Life Success

New Horizons Community Health Center

excellence Award health, family or Community Services

To Be Announced
The Childrens Trust employee of the Year

1:30 eND

Laura Duksta
A graduate of the university of Maryland with a degree in sociology, Laura Duksta learned her most valuable lessons about love, compassion and understanding for humanity as well as for herself when she lost all her hair at age 11 due to alopecia areata. her first book, New York Times bestseller I Love You More, went to print on September 11, 2001 and became one of the bestselling self-published childrens books of all time. It was written so that all children might know, that no matter whats going on in their lives or in the world around them, how truly loved they are. Lauras second book, the newly released, You Are a Gift to the World, flips over to The World is a Gift to You. This book encourages and empowers children of all ages to love and take good care of themselves, one another and the world we call home. Laura loves writing childrens books and believes every child has innate magnificence and genius that can be nurtured and developed with love, appreciation and enthusiasm.

Karen Keesler
Illustrator Professional photographer Karen Keesler captures the worlds magic and love through her pictures. When Laura Duksta shared her idea for the book, I Love you More, Karen replied, I might not be a famous artist, but I know what love looks like to a five year old! With that she pulled out a bag of pastel chalks she had bought at a yard sale for fifty cents and began drawing the perfect pictures. A South florida native, Karen lives in hialeah with her precocious 3-year-old daughter Lola and ferny, the love of her life. A strong advocate for love and literacy for our children, Karen continues to further her studies in child development and early education. She earned the nickname hippie from her love for people and the planet. She loves all things that connect her to nature including surfing, gardening, yoga and meditation. This dynamic duo is celebrating the 10th year of I Love You More and is thrilled to be part of the 2011 Champions for Children event. Together, they thank The Childrens Trust for all its work to ensure a bright future for our children. for more information:

2011 David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children Award Nominees

Roni Bader-Tables
Pre-Kindergarten Program for Children with Disabilities, MDCPS

Sue Edmiston
Miami edison Senior high School

Dr. Yvrose Beauregard

Yvrose Learning Center

Dr. Deise C. Granado-Villar

Miami Childrens hospital

Janet Bell-Taylor
Miami Childrens hospital

Lee Klein
Childrens Cancer Caring Center

Katie Christie
Voices united

Patrick Marcelin
5000 Role Models

Carlos and Claudia De La Cruz Jr.

Centro Mater and everglades foundation

Michael Nozile
Gang Alternative

Dr. Jacqueline Del Rosario

Recapturing the Vision

Robert OBryant
Mahogany Youth Corporation

Victor Diaz-Herman
Pridelines Youth Services

Dr. Manolo Reyes

St. John Bosco Clinic

Rev. Charles Dinkins

hosanna Learning Center

Dr. Wendy K. Silverman

Child Anxiety and Phobia Program, fIu

T. Delores Dunn
Center for family and Child enrichment

Nikolai Vitti
Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Robert D. Nolan, Ph.D.

2011 David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children Award
For a lifetime of achievement and dedication to children
Robert D. Nolan, Ph.D. has served as the executive director of Institute for Child & family health (ICfh), formerly known as Childrens Psychiatric Center, for 35 years. he obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology from florida State university in 1959 and his post-doctoral training in child psychology from Judge Baker Childrens Center, a harvard Medical School affiliate, in 1960. Dr. Nolan is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on Play Therapy and a renowned advocate for childrens mental health services. Among his many professional activities, he played a prominent role in helping to shape policies pertaining to childrens mental health in florida. As a representative of SeDNeT and Miami-Dade County agencies, Dr. Nolan travelled often to Tallahassee to address legislative planning forums and individual legislators and advocate on behalf of children and families. In 1997, he presented the Childrens Mental health Bill (Lacosta Bill) at a Senate hearing in Tallahassee. he was also one of the forces behind the creation of Linking forces, a multi-agency childrens mental health conference that launched in 1992. The founder of the florida Association for Play Therapy (fAPT), Dr. Nolan served as its first president. Dr. Nolan has taught, supervised, and mentored many child therapists providing services in South florida. As an educator, Dr. Nolan has served as an adjunct professor at the university of Miami and Nova Southeastern university, and offered lectures, workshops and consultations in florida, across the united States and internationally, including Africa, China, england and Morocco. In 2007, he received the Viola Brody Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Play Therapy.


FSU Young Parents Project of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida 2011 Excellence in Direct Service to Children and Families Award
Jill Little serves as the site coordinator and team leader of florida State universitys Young Parents Project (YPP) of the 11th Judicial Circuit. This pioneering home visiting program provides a unique intervention approach aimed at interrupting the intergeneration cycle of teen parenting in the dependency and delinquency courts. Jill has been with the project since its inception in 2005 and has helped the project evolve into a successful, well-recognized, relationship-based program targeting one of Miami-Dade Countys most at-risk and vulnerable populations: teen moms and their babies. A social worker by profession, Jill is the on-the-ground, go-to-person, buck-stops-here leader of the YPP team, which also includes an infant mental health specialist and nurse practitioner. She has a special gift for working with the highly troubled and often resistant teen moms and their children. A host of complex problems and histories have resulted in these young families involvement in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems; Jill guides them through the many challenges they face while helping them access the services they need to steady their lives. The quintessential social worker, Jill exudes an inexhaustible sense of humor, youthful spirit and generosity of heart that ease tension and break down walls formed by years of trauma, abuse, criminal activity, and high-risk behaviors. By cultivating strong, supportive relationships with the young mothers that she counsels, Jill helps to ensure that they, in turn, model this same healthy behavior with their infants.

Childrens Forum Quality Counts Career Center

2011 Excellence in School Readiness Programming
Teachers are arguably the most important determinant of quality in programs serving young children. Yet many teachers who work in child care and early education settings lack the knowledge, aptitudes and attitudes to adequately prepare children for success in school and life. Childrens forum is responding to that need in Miami-Dade County by administering The Quality Counts Career Center. Their specially trained career advisors counsel teachers and directors individually to help assess their strengths, review their educational backgrounds, set education and career goals, provide scholarships and encourage them to achieve their dreams of becoming early childhood professionals. Since the Quality Counts Career Center began in 2008, approximately 3,000 individuals have received scholarships. As a result, The Childrens forum has become a integral partner in the Quality Counts initiative, a 5-star quality rating system designed to improve the quality of early child care and education programs, and also provide parents with the information they need to make sound decisions about the care and early education of their infants and young children. It has been said that you cannot give what you do not possess. Thanks to Childrens

forum, teachers and directors in our community are gaining knowledge and improving their practices so that they can better help children grow and learn within responsive and enriching environments. Better skilled teachers strengthen the foundation for our childrens lifelong success.

Greater Miami Youth Symphony

Excellence in Youth Programming for School and Life Success
The Greater Miami Youth Symphony (GMYS) is the longest-standing youth symphony in South florida. founded in 1958 by Robert Strassburg as the All-Miami Youth Symphony, the organization began as one ensemble, and has grown to become a three-level orchestra program. Students audition for placement at each level. With funding from The Childrens Trust, GMYS offers free beginning instrument instruction annually for more than 350 youth in the Miami Beach, Kendale Lakes, homestead, Pinecrest, and Kendall neighborhoods. The orchestral program has expanded from 150 students to more than 350 in four orchestras and two bands, as well as other small ensembles; half of these students receive full or partial scholarships. Since 2007, GMYS has operated a summer camp for at least 300 youth over three different sessions. each year, the symphonys student musicians perform in numerous outreach performances throughout the county and South florida, as well in large-scale gala concerts and presentations. over the last six years, 100 percent of GMYS graduating seniors have gone on to college, and a majority of students are accepted into the countys top music magnet programs. GMYS is well represented each year in the florida All-State orchestras and Bands, and during the last two seasons, GMYS students have comprised 40-50 percent of students from South florida accepted into the New World Symphony Side-by-Side orchestra. GMYS also has been a finalist for a National Arts and humanities Youth Program Award from the Presidents Committee on the Arts and humanities since 2009.

New Horizons Community Mental Health Center

2011 Excellence in Health, Family or Community Services
The New horizons Community Mental health Center provides a broad range of supports and services to families within some of our countys highest at-risk communities and neighborhoods. founded in 1974, New horizons has long recognized the relationship between poverty and negative child outcomes, and sought to bring relief to that challenge. In 2008, New horizons launched The family Safety Net first Response Service Partnership (fSNP), modeled after the Community Partnership for the Protection of Children developed by the edna McConnell Clark foundation. fSNP brings together first responders, the Department of Children and families and law enforcement, child protection providers and families to plan and coordinate the services that keep children safe. Community-based agencies, families and their natural support systems are key components of this successful network. fSNPs collaborative and inclusive focus is captured in its motto: A village for every child keeping children safe is everybodys business. fSNP hubs are located in overtown, Liberty Cities, and Brownsville.


Carrie Sue Ayvar

A nationally acclaimed storyteller, Carrie Sue Ayvar connects people and cultures through her stories in english and Spanish. She learned the power of the oral tradition and its capacity for healing, inspiration, education, and entertainment through the old world tales passed on to her by her eastern european grandparents. When she discovered that there were others out there who had not heard even the classic stories, she knew she had found her calling. Carrie Sue combined her childhood stories with those she gathered in Mexico after relocating there as a teenager, developing an impressive repertoire of bilingual, cultural, folk, and historical tales. Blending traditional, international and personal tales, her programs range from one-woman historical presentations to participatory folkloric adventures. A Chautauqua scholar, Kennedy Center and Wolftrap-trained Artist in education, Carrie Sue is an active teaching artist throughout the united States.

I Love You More