The college football championship game is coming to South Florida, and the event is already paying dividends.
The College Football Playoff Association donated a million dollars, Miami-Dade Public Schools matched that amount, and the money is being used to transform 16 middle school libraries into high-tech, state of the art media centers.
Six have been completed so far, including the media center at John F. Kennedy Middle School in North Miami Beach.
“In a cool and inviting space, the kind of space that teachers would want to teach in, and absolutely the kind of space that students would want to learn in,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, describing the environment inside the new media center.
Students are giving it rave reviews.
“Students go through so much stress and trust me, I experience it myself, but when I see the library, I see a place where I can study in peace,” said Janiyah Bernard, a student at JFK Middle.
The College Football Playoff Association isn’t just helping kids in middle schools, it’s also helping homeless families. It donated $113,000 to the Chapman Partnership.
“My family and I found ourselves homeless December of last year, 2019,” said Kertrena Wellington, a Chapman client.
Wellington is a nurse, but disabled by a spinal issue, she cannot work. She lives temporarily in Homestead at Chapman’s Family Resource Center for the homless with her husband and three kids.
“I don’t know where we would be mentally and emotionally, not to mention physically, without the Chapman Partnership, we are extremely grateful,” Wellington said. “To know that you’re in a place where the kids will have a safe place, a clean place to sleep, a meal, they’re able to take a bath and we’re able to be together without worrying what tomorrow will bring, it’s a big load off my chest.”
With help from Chapman, the family is soon moving into permanent housing. In the meantime, the kid will take advantage of the generosity of the College Football Playoff Association. Chapman used its donation to renovate the education facilities.
“The kids just went wild and I’m a parent but I was excited when I saw it, so they did a really good job and I’m glad that the children and other families that are gonna come after mine will get the opportunity to enjoy it just as we have,” Wellington said.