On the eve of a White House summit on Hispanic early learning Wednesday at Miami Dade College, the United Way of Miami-Dade announced plans to team with sister chapters in Latin America on a $2.2 million effort to improve early childhood education.
Presidents from United Way chapters in countries from Mexico to Chile gathered in Miami on Tuesday to finalize details of the initiative, the first phase in a larger goal to also boost financial stability and health in each country. The money will fund the spread of Play With a Purpose, a method in place at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education that uses blocks to teach young children learn about math, science and their surroundings.
“It’s a done deal now,” said Harve Mogul, president and CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade, which is leading efforts. “We’re ready to get this thing rolled out and start the fundraising in earnest and get these programs funded in these countries.”
In Miami, Mogul said the Center for Excellence in Early Education, 3250 SW Third Ave., will teach other professionals how to establish Play With a Purpose, though there’s not yet a set date when that will happen. He said efforts in other countries will be up to their respective United Ways.
“This isn’t an American or Miami enterprise,” Mogul said. “It’s 12 countries and 12 United Ways working together.”
The collaboration, in the works for more than a year, is overseen by a volunteer committee of philanthropists and corporate leaders from FedEx, Eastman Chemical Co. and Cisneros Group of Companies, among others. Mogul said money for the project will be raised entirely through corporations and will be separate from United Way’s work to fund local efforts.