The children, along with their parents, will be welcomed by Barry University President Dr. Mike Allen and take part in an action-packed morning of fun and educational activities.
The event marks the culmination of a 3-week summer program for 30 displaced Ukrainian children, ages 5 through 14, hosted by Barry University’s CARE (Counseling, Assessment, Research, and Education) Center. The summer academy spearheaded by Ekaterina Elagina, C.H.A.M.P.S. Seeds of Hope Program Director and Barry University graduate student, alongside Dr. Silvia Reyes, the Director of the CARE Center, was created to provide social-emotional support to the children through creative music and art, team sports, English as a second language courses, and much more as they grapple with the reality of having fled their war-torn country, many leaving fathers or grandparents behind.
The program, named the C.H.A.M.P.S. (Community of Healthy, Active, Motivated, Positive Students)- Seeds of Hope Summer Academy, is entirely donor supported and has included field trips to the Frost Science Museum, Historic Venetian Pool, and the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. Each child also received a pair of tennis shoes, two t-shirts, and daily meals as part of the program.
According to Rafi Nagli, President of Florida For Ukraine, the children participating in the program are part of the more than 2,500 displaced Ukrainian refugee families in South Florida alone. The combined efforts of Florida For Ukraine, Barry University’s CARE Center, and the incredible generosity of donors from the South Florida community, including Swan, a Miami-based restaurant, who provided two weeks of lunches for the children, has made this program an event to celebrate.
Dr. Jill Farrell, Dean of Barry’s Adrian Dominican School of Education, Leadership and Human Development, which houses the CARE Center, shared, “The children have touched the hearts of our faculty and staff who have rallied together to welcome them and ensure they have a positive and culturally enriching experience on the Barry campus.”
She added that the decision to launch the children’s summer academy when approached by Florida For Ukraine was an easy one. “We knew it was something we could do, we would do, and we had to do. This was an opportunity to expand on our track record of summer enrichment programming and, most importantly, to join in the efforts to build an ecosystem of support for Ukrainian refugees in our community.”
While this program concludes on June 30th, CARE Center leadership hopes to expand its partnership with Florida For Ukraine to continue to provide services needed by these children and their families.
The CARE Center offers a full range of educational diagnostics, interventions, and mental health support services that address a diverse spectrum of individual needs, while promoting individual and family wellness from a holistic perspective.
Media interested in covering the CHAMPS- Seeds for Hope Summer Academy celebration are requested to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 11am
Media check-in by 10:45am
11300 NE 2 Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161
Landon 110- Events Room
(Parking is between 115th street and 111th street on North Miami Avenue)
Vice President for University Administration