By: DANIEL NOVELA
An elementary school in Overtown is reaching new heights.
“I knew it was essential for children to be able to read and write well in order to be successful, and many students lacked those skills,” says Marty Steinberger, the president of CARE Elementary School in Overtown when asked about the impetus of her involvement in the program. Decades before, Steinberger was part of the volunteer reading project for children in the after-school program at the Miami Rescue Mission Community Activity Center, where she quickly discovered that many of her students couldn’t read. That experience likely had a significant impact on how CARE would eventually develop. The massive need for quality education for children in the Overtown neighborhood compelled the Miami Rescue Mission Board of Directors to launch it as a not-for-profit organization.
The success of CARE’s strategy may be attributed to three factors. Teachers are seemingly profoundly involved in the academic lives of their students; the school is helmed by an admired and respected leadership, and finally, CARE benefits from the staunch support of individuals, foundations, and businesses in the Miami community. As a result, the school’s track record has proven that even the most underserved and underexposed children can learn when surrounded by a supportive and compassionate environment. The proof is in the pudding. According to CARE’s annual reports, children under its care are achieving the academic and spiritual foundation required for success.
CARE places a considerable value on the rich multicultural nature of the community it serves. The school strives to include individuals from diverse backgrounds, embracing the exposure and opportunity it provides its students to learn, understand, and accept differences.
CARE’s larger goal is a constant mission for Steinberger and her delight. “Working with the staff and students at CARE is a huge blessing and joy to me,” she explains. “Here we see disadvantaged minority children receive the kind of education we all want for our children.”