Speak Up

Thank you, KIPP Sunrise Academy

This Thanksgiving, my family and I count KIPP Sunrise Academy as one of our biggest blessings.

I couldn’t be more thankful that KIPP Miami opened their newest charter school in Liberty City this year, offering local families like mine an additional high-quality educational option.

My son loves his new school — and he knows that his teachers are working hard to ensure his success.

KIPP sets very high expectations for its students — as it should — and it also gives them the support system they need to reach their potential.

The school curriculum goes beyond traditional academics and focuses on building self-confidence and creating a clear path to and through college.

Parents in Liberty City want the same things for their children as any parent would — a good school where our children are happy, safe, and preparing for successful lives.

KIPP Sunrise Academy is providing that for my son and so many other children in Liberty City, and for that I’m very grateful.

Shanica Aguila,


My holiday memory

Much is written about Thanksgiving food: The recipes, both traditional and inspired; the aromas; the unbuttoning of pants from eating too much.

What about inclusiveness?

My parents, not through words but through action, invited individuals, sometimes friends, sometimes strangers, who had no family or just nowhere to go, to our Thanksgiving table.

I remember the dining room table, with added leaves, extended into the living room, with card tables attached to accommodate the entire gathering.

Since my mom was an exceptional cook, I remember well the taste and smell of all the food.

And I remember the thanks that everyone, especially the newcomers, gave for being included.

Ellen D. Coulton,

South Miami

Touching generosity

A few weeks ago, I accompanied a group of adults from Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach to the Colony Theater to see the play, “One Night in Miami.”

This brilliant drama describes the fictional events of a real night in Miami in 1964, which pinpoints a pivotal night for black Americans that still resonates today— the night a young Cassius Clay, who later became Muhammad Ali, emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center as the world heavyweight boxing champion after defeating Sonny Liston.

One of the people in our group asked if black teens in our community are getting the opportunity to see this moving show.

He then asked what the cost would be to “buy out the house” and bring 4,50 teens from Miami-Dade public schools to see the show. He was told $12,000.

This incredibly generous man then said he would give $36,000 for more than 1,200 teens to see “One Night in Miami.”

And it happened!

I was fortunate enough to lead a Q A with the talented actors after two of the three shows. I saw first-hand how much the show affected them. The kids asked insightful questions of the cast and went back to their schools having had powerful experiences.

This is a wonderful example of one person wanting to give something to our community for no other reason than just to make our community a better one.

The teens learned about their past and will take those lessons and act upon them in positive ways.

Mark Baranek,

Miami Beach

Summer of 1980

It seems like yesterday, but remains unforgettable: My wife and I were nearing the Columbia River Gorge as Mount St. Helen was erupting.

In the restaurant that evening, the waitress asked, “What the hell is going on in Miami?”

It was 1980, and the Arthur McDuffie riots and the Mariel boat lift were making headlines all over the country.

My reply to the waitress was, “What he hell is going on here?” We were trying to avoid the ash fall on the highways.

Years later, I encountered an associate who remarked about all the “lazy siesta-taking Mexicans” trying to enter America.

I asked him that, as a Cuban American, how could he possibly feel that way?

I accepted the Mariel invasion for what it was — a people fleeing for freedom and safety.

And I will forever remember Victor, my employee, who worked every day as if it might be his last.

We have a president who wants a melting pot with only white meat.

Fredric B. Bernard,

Boca Raton

Alzheimer’s therapy

I thank the Miami Herald for the helpful Nov. 12 feature on programs for Miamians who live with disabilities, “Disabled kids and adults are doing some amazing things through these two programs.”

Here’s a terrific one at Fairchild Tropical Gardens for people of all ages who have Alzheimer’s.

It’s called “Horticultural Therapy Program for Individuals Living with Alzheimer’s,” and it’s run by the talented Bridget Banks.

It even includes lunch.

Your loved one will thank you. Call 305-667-1651, Ext. 3328, for information.

Jan Pottker, Coral Gables

Publix by the sea

What a fabulous world we live in!

Thanks to city of Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy, we may soon be able to dock our boats at Publix supermarket for food shopping.

Who ever would have imagined such a luxury?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary Lamont,


Thank you, Mr. Sabas

My wife was stuck in her wheelchair. Munir Sabas, of the U.S. postal service, freed her with a smile.

America is great.

Joel Eisenson,Miami

Did votes count?

Everyone who voted in this year’s midterm election did their job.

What happens to those votes afterward is what matters.

Bernhard Lukoschek,


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, no tweets, just eats.

Even President Trump knows better than to stick his neck out on this holiday.

Barry Levy, Miami

The best of us

Now that the election is over, the Miami Herald should do a series on immigrants who came from “shithole” countries and made their lives and the United States of America a better place.

Most of us honor and value immigrants who have contributed to making this country great now.

Let’s rekindle this pride that we felt only a few years ago.

This very ugly period in our history is almost over.

It is time to become patriotic again.

Jeff Haller,

Cutler Bay