For Immediate Release
November 04, 2011
Contact Information

Matthew Beatty
T: (305) 948-8063 ext: 209


"" South Florida's well-known leaders promoted literacy to Liberty City kids ""

(BLACK PR WIRE) – MIAMI – Florida lawmakers, civic leaders and community activists got dressed in their Halloween best for the Miami Children’s Initiative (MCI) “Character Day” celebration. Rallying countywide support for Liberty City children, MCI’s “Character Day” brought City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Florida Senator Oscar Braynon, and a host of others to Charles R. Drew Elementary School. Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students were treated to Where the Wild Things Are! read personally by local community leaders. “Character Day” promoted literacy and reading enjoyment to students and parents.

“Today, we ignited a community-wide love for reading!” said Renee S. Ward, president/CEO of Miami Children’s Initiative. “A child’s ability to read proficiently early in life is a strong indicator of future success well into young adulthood. That’s why events like “Character Day” must be the spark for parents and kids to share in the joy of books.”

Children and parents of Liberty City were asked to come to school dressed as their favorite character in a book they've read. The goal was to redirect the Halloween holiday into one that inspires a love of reading. The day also featured a “parade of characters,” including “Billy the Marlin,” led by the Miami Northwestern Senior High School Marching Band.

“The present high-ranking officials, local sports stars and powerful leaders send a message: that literacy is a city-wide priority and reason for us to rally not just today, but every day,” said Luisana Cavallo, communications development coordinator for MCI. “We are charged to empower each child in this community and with continued support, we can make sure each child has a ‘Character Day’ everyday … just by reading a book.”

The line-up of “Character Day” guest readers included (but was not limited to):

o Florida Senator Oscar Braynon, II, District 33
o Florida Representative Daphne Campbell, District 108
o Florida Representative Dwight Bullard, District 118
o Mayor Tomas Regalado, City of Miami
o Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, Miami-Dade County
o President Dr. Henry Lewis, III, Florida Memorial University
o CEO Annie Neasman, Jessie Trice Community Health Center

About The Miami Children’s Initiative:
The Miami Children’s Initiative (MCI) is a 501(c)(3) organization providing the families of Liberty City with a network of quality education, accessible health care, youth development programs, opportunities for employment, safe neighborhoods and more. Through fundraising, advocacy and education, MCI supports its vision; lending its hands to build a prosperous community for Liberty City’s children and families who live in the 33127, 33142, 33147 and 33150 zip code areas. In collaboration with the Liberty City community, local network service providers and its funding partners, MCI is transforming the Liberty City community by changing the “life direction” of Liberty City’s children and youth.

** Media note: For additional event photos, please visit the online photo album: You may contact Matthew Beatty for assistance with identifying key persons in photos and developing captions at or (305) 948-8063.**