News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
August 29, 2013
Media Contact:
Laura Phillips
laf@miamidade.gov
305-755-7842

Miami-Dade County Parks Announces the Opening of the New Little Haiti Optimist Club Community Tech and Youth Center at Soar Park


(MIAMI, August 29, 2013) — The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime announce the opening of the new Little Haiti Optimist Club Community Tech and Youth Center at Soar Park, located at 100 NW 83 St., Miami. The Little Haiti Optimist Club remodeled the existing park building in order to provide residents and their children with computer training, educational enrichment classes, and recreational program opportunities. There will be a dedication and ribbon-cutting at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 6, 2013. Residents and their children are encouraged to attend this event and tour the new Center.   

The new Center features a reception/information desk; work stations with computers, printers and copiers; a bulletin board for posting job announcements; and other resource information.  The facility will serve as a one-stop technology center for residents seeking new careers and personal enrichment.  It will offer a wide range of classes and services that will include: Internet Access; Basic Computer Training; Job Search/Resume Writing; and Tutoring/Homework Help.

In addition, the new Center will function as a youth club with after-school and summer camp programs for school-age children. The building contains a kids’ activity room with computer stations and work tables, and offers on-site homework help, tutoring, and a wide variety of after-school enrichment classes. The curriculum includes: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics); Computer Technology; Multi-Media/Publishing; Arts and Crafts; Ceramics/Pottery; Music Appreciation; Business Entrepreneurship; Film; and Robotics.  There will also be many outdoor programs, games, and sports activities for kids to enjoy, including a Community Garden Program, yoga, self-defense, soccer, basketball and more. 

The Center also provides separate lounge areas for adults and children.  The lounges include flat screen televisions to watch movies and educational programs, and library nooks filled with self-help books and other educational reading materials. 

“This amazing new facility is a powerful testimony to the hard work and determination of our Parks Department and Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime in partnership with the Little Haiti Optimist Club. They have created a space for opportunity and success, providing families with the tools that they need to improve the quality of their lives,” said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.

“Soar Park has long been an important hub for this neighborhood. This new Center will serve to make this neighborhood even stronger, as it will bring residents of all ages together for social, educational, and recreational enrichment for years to come,” said Commissioner Monestime.

“Who we are and the destiny of our future rests, as always, within our community and the children.  This Tech Center will give them a new opportunity to reach out and interact with the world, so as they learn and grow they can contribute back to the community. We are proud to be partners with The Little Haiti Optimist Club, Miami-Dade County, The Home Depot and our contractors in giving this community and Miami a chance for a better future,” said Tommy Valentine of Odebrecht Construction.  As the construction contractor for this project Odebrecht donated its architectural and construction expertise, as well as new computers for the facility.

“I am thrilled to see this park improvement effort come to fruition. This is a fine example of what can be accomplished with community park partnerships. I encourage local businesses and organizations to partner with their area parks to help improve their community,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys.

Miami-Dade County Parks’ program partners for this development include Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime; the Little Haiti Optimist Club; Odebrecht Construction (construction project coordinator/architectural plans/ computers); Home Depot (construction materials/labor/kitchen); Lotspeich (walls/ceilings); Dynaelectric (power/data); Commercial Industrial Construction-CIC (carpentry); Creative Terrazo (flooring); and Advanced Computer Support (computer services). The cost to complete building renovations and improvements was $47, 800.

The Little Haiti Optimist Club Community Tech and Youth Center is in need of program partners.  To become a program partner, donate, and/or volunteer call 305-390-0234 or email info@littlehaitioptimist.org.

For directions and further information about Soar Park, visit www.miamidade.gov/parks or call 305-756-4165 (Oak Grove Park).  

About the Little Haiti Optimist Club:

The Little Haiti Optimist Club (LHOC) is a non-profit organization established by a group of business, community and civic leaders to provide assistance and guidance to the youth of Little Haiti.  The organization is affiliated with Optimist International, an association of more than 3,000 Optimist Clubs around the world dedicated to “Bringing out the Best in Kids”.  Its mission is to make a difference in the lives of Haiti’s youth by preparing them for academic and life excellence through education, mentorship, athletics, arts and cultural programming.  Activities include:  Book Bag and School Supplies Giveaway; Mentorship Program; LHOC Career Day; REEL Opportunities Film Program; Fashion 101; Bright and Smart Robotics; LHOC Reads; Turkey Giveaway; Toy Drive; the Haiti Earthquake Remembrance Project and various athletics programs such as soccer, football, cheerleading, wrestling, tennis, basketball and track & field.  To learn more about Little Haiti Optimist Club, visit www.littlehaitioptimist.org and www.facebook.com/Little-Haiti-Optimist-Club

or call 305-390-0234.

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:

Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the

development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit www.miamidade.gov/parks_foundation.

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.