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HEAT President Pat Riley, City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, City of Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer HEAT Players & Community Dignitaries Dedicate Center At Grand Opening; Special Presentation of All-Star Reading Team and ‘Reading Timeout’ With Kids

Miami HEAT and NBA Team Up with Home Depot, Dell and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida to Unveil Reading and Learning Center on Thursday

Feb 13 2004 11:09AM
MIAMI, Jan. 26 - Continuing with their efforts to put education first, the Miami HEAT, with the support of the NBA, Home Depot and Dell, Inc., has taken their successful and effective Read To Achieve and HEAT Academy programs to a new level, as they unveil the grand opening of their first-ever Reading & Learning Center on Thursday, Jan. 29 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary, 505 N.W. 20th St., Miami. Pizza Hut will be providing food for all guests.

Teaming up to build the educationally enriching haven for students, HEAT President Pat Riley, City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, City of Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer, several HEAT players and coaches, community dignitaries and surprise local celebrities will attend. The Center will immediately be put to use, as the HEAT players will conduct a Read To Achieve “Reading Timeout” with area youngsters, and guests will be given a site tour of the newly completed Center and a preview of the HEAT Academy classroom area. Riley will also introduce the HEAT’s recently developed partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, the newest sponsor of HEAT Academy. In addition, the HEAT will present their first All-Star Reading Team to the community, which is a group comprised of several familiar faces from the South Florida area, including Miami-Dade County School Board Chief Education Officer and Deputy Superintendent of Schools Mercedes Toural, School Board Chair District 3 Dr. Michael M. Krop and School Board Member District 8 Dr. Marta Perez. LeapFrog SchoolHouse, which publishes curriculum and assessment content specifically designed for the classroom, will be distributing giveaways to the kids, as will Humana Inc., who supported several HEAT holiday outreach events.

To create a special environment for learning, the working partnership among the HEAT Group, the NBA, Home Depot and Dell, Inc. will, as result, provide students with Dell computers and servers, printers, educational software, books, resource guides, reference materials and more.

Dunbar Elementary is one of three sites where the HEAT Academy program is implemented, along with Little River Elementary in Liberty City and Riverside Elementary in Little Havana. The HEAT Academy is an after-school instructional program, sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, Citbank, Lucent Technologies, JPMorgan Chase and, now, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, and provides instruction by certified teachers via an exciting academic-based curriculum designed to help students improve in reading and math, with special emphasis placed on preparation for the annual FCAT exam.