Homestead’s City Hall was buzzing with activity on May 8 when 60 children from Avocado Elementary School arrived for a tour hosted by Mayor Jeff Porter along with the Office of Florida Senator Dwight Bullard.
Along with touring the halls of municipal government, the children were also afforded a behind the scenes look into the mayor and council’s offices and the energy plant of Homestead Public Services Energy.
The visit was coordinated by KAPOW (Kids And The Power Of Work) a program of the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), which is a national network of business and elementary school partnerships which introduces students to career awareness through professionally designed lessons taught by business volunteers in the classroom and visits to work sites. Learning for Success, Inc. manages the KAPOW program throughout South Florida.
The program began in 1991 with one partnership between Burger King Corporation and Cutler Ridge Elementary. Today, 60 elementary schools, 423 teachers, administrators, and more than 400 volunteers from 90 South Florida businesses currently participate in the program, serving 6,000 students. Sixty percent of the students are minorities (primarily Hispanic and African American) who qualify for a free or reduced lunch.
Besides some colorful City of Homestead tote bags, the children walked away with valuable lessons to apply in their later lives as they prepare for the future. Said Mayor Porter, “Being able to expose these children at such a young, impressionable age to the basic principles of leadership and to ingrain in them the importance of a strong work ethic not only benefits them in the long run but also those who live in their communities down the road. The KAPOW program is invaluable and, based on the smiles on those kid’s faces, we were able to leave a positive, lasting impression on them.”