renee_ward_web.jpgMIAMI — Arts for Learning (A4L) recently hosted a “Meet and Greet” event with members of the Miami Children’s Initiative (MCI) at Wine by the Bay in downtown Miami, and the two organizations plan to work together to further deepen A4L’s “neighborhood to neighborhood” reach, beginning with programs in Liberty City.

Currently, A4L’s services are delivered to more than 10,000 children and youth in approximately 100 schools, preschools, after-school programs, and summer camps throughout Miami-Dade. As a leading source of arts-integrated programs in Miami, A4L connects the arts to other subjects to support academic achievement and child development.

Renee Ward is CEO of MCI which  aims to create a community based network that provides accessible health care, youth development programs, opportunities for employment and safe neighborhoods for children and families living within the Initiative's boundaries. The organization has a 10-year plan that includes:  “create” infrastructure and programs; “develop and cultivate” an MCI preschool and K-to-8 charter school; and “expand” the MCI charter school to include grades 7 and 8.

Sheila Womble, Arts for Learning’s executive director, commented: “We have the same dedication to children and families and share a staunch belief in the power of the arts to enrich and change lives.“

The “Meet and Greet” event coincided with A4L’s celebration of  Young Audiences Week, designated by Congress and endorsed by President Barack Obama. Young Audiences is A4L’s national affiliate.

For more information, visit or call 305-576-1212 ext. 23.

Renee Ward