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Wells Fargo is partnering with The Education Fund to host the annual Teach-A-Thon, which challenges local business leaders to each teach for an hour in a Miami-Dade County public school to raise awareness about the importance of educators and public-school funding.

Miami business leaders stepping up to take the public school teaching challenge Wells Fargo teams up with The Education Fund on the Teach-A-Thon

MIAMI – The Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that develops innovative programs for public schools in Miami-Dade County, is challenging business leaders to test their savvy and skill and teach an hour in a local public school.

The Education Fund’s Teach-A-Thon, presented by Wells Fargo is all about understanding the job of a teacher and what is happening in our public school classrooms. The only way to really know about the job is to do it BUT ONLY FOR AN HOUR.

Who is stepping up to the teaching challenge? Wells Fargo, Assurant, Saponznik Insurance, and South Florida Business Journal are all in and they’re helping The Education Fund recruit local business executives.

The Teach-A-Thon experience spans all grades K-12, and all professions. Each volunteer or Teacher Champion selects the grade level, subject, and geographic area where they want to teach. Each volunteer is matched with a public school teacher who helps them prepare a lesson and teach a class.

By participating, the Teacher Champions learn what it’s like to be a teacher. The Education Fund’s goals are for each Teach-A-Thon volunteer to share their experience in the classroom, spread the word about why the community needs to better support our teachers, and raise needed funds for public school classrooms.

Already, many top executives have committed, including: Hector Ponte, Wells Fargo; Rachel Sapoznik, Sapoznik Insurance; Melanie Dickinson, SFBJ; Nick Tootle, Kaufman Rossin; Beth Bailey, Verizon; Ana Veiga Milton, Jose Milton Foundation; Zack Bush, Ball and Chain; Carlos Orta, Carnival Corporation; Penny Schaffer, Florida Blue; Jose Mallea, Biscayne Bay Brewing Company; Phillis Oeters, Baptist Health; Ernest Modock, Ford Motor Company; Alan Alvarez, Miami Marlins; and 50 others.

The goal is 200 participants signed up by the end of August, with a kickoff at the beginning of October at the Biltmore Hotel, and teaching occurring any time between mid-October and mid-December.

“We’re asking everyone to consider participating. The experience will open your eyes to the experiences teachers have every day and, and you’ll feel energized – at least for the hour you spend in the classroom. And, everyone walks away with a story about what it is like to teach – which is the purpose,” says Linda Lecht, president of The Education Fund.

The deadline for business people to sign-up is Friday, August 31 at or by emailing Kirsten Lyon at with your contact information and your preferences: 1) school level (elementary, middle or high school), subject(s), and geographic area in Miami-Dade. For more information, call Kirsten Lyon at 305-558-4544 ext. 108.


About The Education Fund: The Education Fund’s current initiatives, including Food Forests for Schools, Ideas with IMPACT, Teach-A-Thon, Ocean Bank Center for Educational Materials, SmartPath, For The Love of Art Annual Charity Auction and Taste of Education, bring innovative methods to our schools, inform the community about public education, and encourage private sector investment in public education. A winner of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s NOVO Award for non-profit excellence, The Education Fund’s investments to improve public education have totaled more than $52 million. The Education Fund’s goal is to ensure all students succeed. Visit

With funding for public education always in question every legislative session, it’s evident that local, state, and federal governments can’t be the sole funding sources.

The task of educating our youth falls on all of us. Individual and corporate giving has become essential to ensuring the best education possible. Our local schools need not just dollars. (3/27/2016)

The Education Fund's "For the Love of Art" charity auction will be held Tuesday, June 26, to raise money for art programs in public schools, and to recognize 20 outstanding Miami-Dade public school graduates who have been successful in their respective fields.

The Education Fund is happy to announce that it has been selected as a Miami Marlins charity partner for the next year.

The partnership includes a $25,000 grant to expand the Food Forests for Schools program in five additional local public elementary schools, and also supports harvest distributions and parent workshops. The Marlins donation will help the existing 16 food forests to fully recover from Hurricane Irma.

"We couldn't be more honored by the support of the Miami Marlins. This investment ensures more schools will benefit from our food forest education and the fresh produce that will be available for school lunches," says Linda Lecht, president of The Education Fund.

The American Red Cross of Greater Miami & The Keys will honor Linda Lecht, president of The Education Fund, on Thursday at the 24th Annual Sara Hoffman Woodruff Spectrum Awards luncheon recognizing outstanding women whose efforts have made significant contributions to the quality of life in South Florida. 

Health Foundation of South Florida has awarded a $200,000 grant over two years to The Education Fund ( to expand its Food Forests for Schools (FFS) initiative in public elementary schools in Miami-Dade County.

edible South Florida profiles students who excel in the kitchen and in the garden, including Jose Silva a student at Twin Lakes Elementary who has mastered the art of growing yuca.

The South Florida Garden Show features Food Forests for Schools.

The first day of school is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to stock up on supplies. Whether you’re looking for free backpacks, want to donate to needy families, or just want a tax break, here’s a roundup of events across Miami-Dade County —including one for teachers.

"Everything, really, you never know what you're gonna get here, I always say it's a thrift store for teachers and you gotta come in, everything's in a box, and great teachers think outside the box," said Stacey de la Grana of The Education Fund.

Desde Medley, varias organizaciones sociales se encargan de donar útiles y herramientas a los maestros que se alistan para iniciar un nuevo año escolar.

The Education Fund honored Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem and 24 business and industry leaders who graduated from the county’s public school.

The Education Fund raised a record $215,000 to benefit its programs like the Ocean Bank Center for Educational Materials during its sold-out annual charity auction, For The Love of Art, presented by Ocean Bank on May 10.

The Education Fund, based in Miami Lakes, raised a record $215,000 to benefit its programs like the Ocean Bank Center for Educational Materials at its sold-out annual charity action, “For the Love of Art,” presented by Ocean Bank on May 10.

The Education Fund raised a record $220,000 to benefit its programs like the Ocean Bank Center for Educational Materials at its sold-out annual charity auction, For The Love of Art presented by Ocean Bank, on May 10.

This year’s Sapoznik Insurance Public School Alumni Achievement Awards will honor a Key Biscayne resident who has had a major positive impact on her hometown and South Florida: Melissa McCaughan-White, Executive Director of the Key Biscayne Community Foundation.

The Education Fund will honor 25 high-achieving Miami-Dade public school alumni Wednesday evening, including Miami Herald reporter Carol Marbin Miller. The Sapoznik Insurance Public School Alumni Achievement Awards will be awarded at the annual For the Love of Art Annual Charity Auction.

For the first time, crops grown in the schools’ food forest are going on the menu. Farm-to-table dining has come to Miami-Dade school lunches.

Culinary students from 25 high schools across Miami-Dade County prepared dishes for a table of judges and a few hundred guests to raise money and awareness for their schools’ culinary programs at The Education Fund’s A Taste of Education event.

The Education Fund ( kicks off 2017 with A Taste of Education, presented by Sapoznik Insurance, on Thursday, Feb. 9. It will be an evening dedicated to celebrating volunteers and the culinary dreams of high school students.

The Education Fund edible garden program seeks to get kids, teachers and cafeteria staff excited about growing their own food. The all-inclusive initiative takes it a step further by sending a team leader to work with teachers and kids throughout the year.

More than 280 business people and other professionals participating in this year’s Teach-A-Thon, which aims to raise awareness about the challenges teachers face and the need to compensate them fairly. Volunteers team up with Miami-Dade teachers to plan a lesson and teach a class at a local school, and ask their friends and family to sponsor them with donations.

Corporate philanthropy has played a critical role in growing our edible garden initiative. Citibank US paved the way for the creation of food forests and so much more.

School lunch is about more than eating healthy in Miami-Dade; it’s about developing healthy habits that last a lifetime. That’s the message district officials want to send to students and parents in the country’s fourth-largest school district, which serves nearly 200,000 lunches a day.

Nearly 200 business people are stepping into the shoes of a teacher as part of The Education Fund's Teach-A-Thon sponsored by Wells Fargo and Verizon Foundation.

Health Foundation of South Florida has awarded a $50,000 grant to The Education Fund to expand its Cafeteria Connections program to 51 public elementary schools in Miami-Dade County, ensuring that fresh produce from each school garden will be used regularly to prepare student lunches.

The Education Fund, a nonprofit that funds programs in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, stepped in to convert its beloved container garden at the school into a food forest that will supply the cafeteria with fresh produce for meals, and students with harvest bags to take home to their families regularly. Scores of students joined The Education Fund garden staff, teachers and volunteers to lay the foundation for the garden and plant greens that will blossom during the hot summer months.

Three South Florida students shared their recipe for success in the kitchen as part of a cooking contest that highlighted the importance of healthy eating.

People are always on the phone, according to art teacher Michael Flaum, who recently created a piece of work depicting a scene in which different types of figurine people are glued on top of an old rotary telephone.

The work is part of the Art of Found Objects Exhibition, a showcase supported by The Education Fund that encourages students from all grades up to high school, and their teachers, to create art using repurposed materials.

The Education Fund gathered students, parents, and teachers, and volunteers from the Miami Dolphins and Fresh for Florida Kids at Royal Palm Elementary School on Feb. 19, 2016 to build a Citi Gardens food forest. The edible forest will serve as an outdoor learning lab for al subject areas, and will provide the cafeteria with produce and fresh vegetables for students to take home to their families regularly.

The Education Funds FAFSA marathons at area high schools to assist students and their families apply for financial aid for college.

Paving the way for instilling healthy eating habits in South Florida's youth is The Education Fund's Citi Gardens program, which kicked off in 2007. The mission? To provide learning opportunities and fresh produce to serve in elementary school cafeterias and share with students' families via gardens on campus tended to by teachers and students.

The Education Fund's Ocean Bank Center for Educational Materials provides free supplies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools teachers.

Health Foundation of South Florida has awarded a $60,000 grant to The Education Fund to train school cafeteria managers to create healthy meals using produce from school gardens and for teachers to hold “Cafeteria Teach-Ins” demonstrating healthy table and eating practices.

Citi Gardens food forest kick off at Kelsey Pharr elementary

Students at ten other Miami-Dade elementary schools also will soon be eating kale, tomatoes and guava they grow themselves. In a couple of years, the banana and jackfruit trees will be ready too. The project is run by The Education Fund, a nonprofit which supports Miami-Dade schools.