Staff Report

MIAMI GARDENS —The Miami Dolphins, through the educational pillar of their foundation, officially announced the public launch of a four-year $1 million partnership with City Year Miami, an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate.

This year, the foundation will sponsor City Year programs at Miami Carol City and Miami Norland senior high schools through funds raised from Fins Weekend, presented by Estrella Insurance. The three-day event from May 14 to 16 is the foundation’s largest annual event featuring current players, alumni, coaches and cheerleaders.

“Every successful person I know has had mentors and people along the way that helped them,” said Miami Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel. “We wanted to ensure the longevity of the great work that City Year Miami is doing with the kids right here in our home of Miami Gardens.  We hope to expand this commitment through Fins Weekend and the education pillar of the Miami Dolphins Foundation to fund additional programs in Miami Gardens and other South Florida schools in the future.”

City Year AmeriCorps members commit to a year of full-time service in schools, where they work as tutors, mentors and role models. Founded in Boston in 1988, City Year works in 25 cities across the United States and has international affiliates in London and Birmingham, England, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Since the 2011-2012 school year, City Year Miami has served more than 2,500 students in Carol City and Norland high schools, both located in Miami Gardens. Working collaboratively with Miami-Dade County Public Schools administrators and committed teachers over the last four years, officials say the program achieved extraordinary results:

• Math proficiency rates have increased by 25 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

• Points earned for students in the lowest quartile, which City Year AmeriCorps members directly serve, made significant learning gains in reading and increased by 14 and 22 points, respectively.

• Graduation rates have increased
significantly over the last four years — 13.4 percent increase at Miami Carol City and 14.3 percent increase at Miami Norland.

“Every community looks out for its team,” said co-founder of City Year Miami, Brad Meltzer.  “This is a team looking out for its community.  What the Dolphins did today will give us better students, better schools, and a better South Florida.  Forget scoring touchdowns — this is what makes you my hero.”

Fins Weekend, presented by Estrella Insurance, will begin Friday,  May 15 with the Fins Weekend Golf Tournament presented by Waste Management at Trump National Doral Golf Club, followed by the Hook & Tackle Captains’ Party presented by South Florida Ford. On Saturday, May 16, the Fins Weekend Fishing Tournament and Fishing Awards Ceremony and Live Auction presented by Simrad will be held at the Miami Beach Marina. For more information, visit or call (305) 943-7900.