Rose Ellen Greene is the kind of philanthropist who does more than sit on boards.
On Tuesday, Greene gave more than her time. She handed over a $2 million check to launch the latest chapter of Education Effect programming with Florida International University.
“I’m in the classroom with such smart, inquisitive children, and they all want to achieve,” said Greene, wife of the late broker Gerald Greene. “I thought, ‘Shouldn’t these children have the same academic opportunities?’”
The word many people use to describe the Education Effect is “transformative.” The partnership with Miami-Dade Schools, private donors and FIU brings evidence-based solutions and the resources of a large research university into struggling Miami-Dade County schools.
It started in Miami Northwestern Senior with an agriculture program and more college-credit courses. Then it expanded to Booker T. Washington Senior with an astronomy program and visiting professorship. Both schools have seen graduation rates soar and college attendance become expected.
“This is where hope and opportunity intersect,” said Florida International University President Mark B. Rosenberg.
The expansion into McCrary marks the first time FIU will work in an elementary school. To figure out the exact programing, FIU will meet with the community to understand where the needs are. But the framework will focus on families in partnership with FIU’s Center for Children and Families. The idea is to address issues beyond the schoolhouse that impact academic achievement.
“The difficult but very rewarding work of making sure all children succeed academically, succeed socially, succeed at all levels, cannot be solely left to teachers,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “It takes the entire community.”