HEAT Community Affairs: Education
Through its flagship community affairs initiative, HEAT Academy, the Miami HEAT has embraced the importance of providing children in South Florida with the opportunity to have a quality after-school program with an academic purpose at its core. The HEAT Academy is fully funded by the Miami HEAT and its corporate partners, Carnival Foundation, Florida Blue and C1 Bank. The funding for the program accounts for teacher wages, materials & supplies, daily snacks and any special activities planned throughout the course of the year. The HEAT Academy's primary goal is to provide economically disadvantaged students who are most at risk of academic failure or juvenile delinquency with a program of after-school tutoring and academic enrichment. The program is dedicated to strengthening the students' reading, writing, math and science skills so that they are able to increase their potential for success on the Florida Standards Assessment Test (FSA) exam and compete on a national level.
Through a collaborative partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the HEAT Group corporate partners, the Miami HEAT has teamed up to facilitate HEAT Academy at three local inner city schools:
- Paul Laurence Dunbar K-8 Center (Overtown)
- Jesse J. McCrary, Jr. Elementary (Little Haiti)
- Riverside Elementary (Little Havana)
At HEAT Academy students practice reading, writing, math and science, receive assistance with homework, have a safe place to learn after school when their parents are usually not available, and most importantly, learn from positive role models who inspire our students to excel.
The HEAT Academy operates the majority of the school year-round every day of the week, Monday through Friday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 p.m. The HEAT Academy provides educational support to a total of 390 students across the three Elementary schools from the 3rd to the 5th Grade. Although the program is free for students enrolled, students are required to meet certain attendance goals and abide by a strict code of conduct if they are to remain eligible.
The Miami HEAT and BankUnited are offering $25,000.00 in scholarship funds to high school seniors attending Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe or Palm Beach schools. Scholarship applications are available each school year and recipients are awarded in May. This year's application deadline is January 30, 2016. This will be the twentieth year that the Miami HEAT has offered scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and outstanding community service. Scholarships include the following:
- Three (3) $5,000.00 HEAT Scholarships
- One (1) $5,000.00 Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship
- One (1) $5,000.00 Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship
The Miami HEAT realizes that fundraising is necessary for schools to keep programs properly funded. To help your school, we have created an opportunity for faculty, students and their families to enjoy the experience of a Miami HEAT game - LIVE, while simultaneously helping the school to meet its goals. In a fun and exciting alternative to a raffle or chocolate sell-off, etc., schools have the opportunity to receive money for every Miami HEAT ticket the school is able to sell through the Miami HEAT FUN-raiser program. For additional information on this program, please call 786-777-DUNK.
Program Duration: School Year
The Miami HEAT along with Florida Blue, have teamed up to create Learn and Play Centers throughout South Florida. As part of this incredible transformation, the HEAT renovates an existing room into a HEAT-themed area with fresh paint and then supplies it with new computers, furniture, books, audio/video equipment and games for children to enjoy & learn from. The concept behind the Miami HEAT Learn and Play Centers are to provide a safe place where children can spend time reading a book, working on their homework, or just having a good time playing video or board games. To date, the HEAT has established Learn and Play Centers at fifteen sites:
- Each of our three HEAT Academy schools - Paul Laurence Dunbar K-8 Center, Jesse J. McCrary Jr. Elementary, and Riverside Elementary
- Community Partnership for Homeless, a Miami based homeless shelter which helps men, women and children transition off the streets of Miami-Dade County and on their way to attaining greater stability and self-sufficiency in their lives, and
- Bucky Dent Gymnasium in Hialeah.
- His House Children's Home, a shelter and child-placing facility dedicated to restoring the lives of children and families
- Miami Rescue Mission
- Grapeland Park in Miami
- Shake-A-Leg Miami
- Miami Springs Community Center
- Chapman Partnership
- Joe Celestin Center in North Miami
- Little Haiti Cultural Complex
- The Learning Experience School
To be considered for a Miami HEAT Learn and Play Center, all requests MUST meet the following criteria:
- Submitted on Organization Letterhead
- Thorough description of the organization and its mission
- Thorough description of why your site should be considered for renovation
- Location of the site.
Please mail to:
Community Affairs Department / Learn and Play Center
601 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132
The Black History Month Challenge is a game show-style competition held at the AmericanAirlines Arena during the month of February where two teams of students from two local schools test their knowledge of Black history for a chance to win a HEAT prize pack, which includes HEAT tickets and a $4,000 grant to the winning school. This will be the sixth year of the event hosted by HEAT/Sun Sports sideline reporter Jason Jackson and also incorporating two HEAT players as captains on each of the opposing teams.
The Miami HEAT welcome back to school the students and teachers of a local elementary school by distributing an assortment of school supplies while the sights and sounds of the HEAT Experience help alleviate any first day jitters those students might be feeling.