HEAT Social Responsibility: Education

HEAT Academy

HEAT Academy

Through its flagship community affairs initiative, HEAT Academy, the Miami HEAT has embraced the importance of providing children in South Florida with the opportunity to have a quality after-school program with an academic purpose at its core. The HEAT Academy is supported by our corporate partner, Florida Blue. The funding for the program accounts for teacher wages, materials & supplies and any special activities planned throughout the course of the year. The HEAT Academy's primary goal is to provide economically disadvantaged students who are most at risk of academic failure or juvenile delinquency with a program of after-school tutoring and academic enrichment. The program is dedicated to strengthening the students' reading, writing, math and science skills so that they are able to increase their potential for success on the statewide assessment exam and compete on a national level.

Through a collaborative partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the HEAT Group corporate partners, the Miami HEAT has teamed up to facilitate HEAT Academy at three local inner-city schools:

  • Paul Laurence Dunbar K-8 Center (Overtown)
  • Jesse J. McCrary, Jr. Elementary (Little Haiti)
  • Riverside Elementary (Little Havana)

At HEAT Academy students practice reading, writing, math and science, receive assistance with homework, have a safe place to learn after school when their parents are usually not available, and most importantly, learn from positive role models who inspire our students to excel.

The HEAT Academy operates the majority of the school year-round every day of the week, Monday through Friday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 p.m. The HEAT Academy provides educational support to more than 200 students across the three Elementary schools from the 3rd to the 5th Grade. Although the program is free for students enrolled, students are required to meet certain attendance goals and abide by a strict code of conduct if they are to remain eligible.

HEAT Scholarships

HEAT Scholarships

X World Wallet and The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund is offering $25,000 in scholarship funds to high school seniors attending Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe or Palm Beach schools. Scholarship applications are available each school year and recipients are awarded between April and May. This year's application deadline was Saturday, February 10, 2024. This will be the 28th year that the Miami HEAT has offered scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and outstanding community service. Scholarships include the following:

  • Three (3) $5,000.00 HEAT Scholarships
  • One (1) $5,000.00 Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship
  • One (1) $5,000.00 Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship

The application deadline has passed for the 2023-2024 season. The above scholarships will be rewarded, and a Miami HEAT representative will contact the recipients of the HEAT Scholarships prior to June 30, 2024.

HEAT Fun-Raiser

The Miami HEAT realizes that fundraising is necessary for schools to keep programs properly funded. To help your school, we have created an opportunity for faculty, students and their families to enjoy the experience of a Miami HEAT game - LIVE, while simultaneously helping the school to meet its goals. In a fun and exciting alternative to a raffle or chocolate sell-off, etc., schools have the opportunity to receive money for every Miami HEAT ticket the school is able to sell through the Miami HEAT FUN-raiser program. For additional information on this program, please call  786-777-DUNK.

Program Duration: School Year

Learn To Play

HEAT Learn And Play Center

The Miami HEAT along with Florida Blue, have teamed up to create Learn and Play Centers throughout South Florida. As part of this incredible transformation, the HEAT renovates an existing room into a HEAT-themed area with fresh paint and then supplies it with new computers, furniture, books, audio/video equipment and games for children to enjoy & learn from. The concept behind the Miami HEAT Learn and Play Centers are to provide a safe place where children can spend time reading a book, working on their homework, or just having a good time playing video or board games. To date, the HEAT has established Learn and Play Centers at twenty one sites:

  • Each of our three HEAT Academy schools - Paul Laurence Dunbar K-8 Center, Jesse J. McCrary Jr. Elementary, and Riverside Elementary
  • Community Partnership for Homeless, a Miami based homeless shelter which helps men, women and children transition off the streets of Miami-Dade County and on their way to attaining greater stability and self-sufficiency in their lives.
  • Bucky Dent Gymnasium in Hialeah
  • His House Children's Home, a shelter and child-placing facility dedicated to restoring the lives of children and families.
  • Miami Rescue Mission
  • Grapeland Park in Miami
  • Shake-A-Leg Miami
  • Miami Springs Community Center
  • Chapman Partnership
  • Joe Celestin Center in North Miami
  • Branches
  • Little Haiti Cultural Complex
  • The Learning Experience School
  • Robert King High Park
  • Moore Park
  • South Dade YMCA Family Center
  • Jose Mart√≠ Park Community Center
  • HANDY, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale
  • The Motivational Edge Campus in Allapattah

To be considered for a Miami HEAT Learn and Play Center, all requests MUST meet the following criteria:

  • Submitted on Organization Letterhead
  • Thorough description of the organization and its mission
  • Thorough description of why your site should be considered for renovation
  • Location of the site

Please mail to:
Miami HEAT
Social Responsibility Department / Learn and Play Center
601 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132

HEAT Black History Month Challenge

HEAT Black History Month Challenge

Throughout February and beyond, the Miami HEAT and the NBA will celebrate Black history and support the ongoing pursuit of racial justice by taking leaguewide action that centers the voices, experiences and perspectives of Black players, coaches, employees and fans. As we honor the legacy and contributions of Black leaders from history, we will take collective actions in the present that demonstrate our shared commitment to building a more just, equal, and inclusive future.

HEAT Back To School

HEAT Back To School

The Miami HEAT treats local students in need with a back-to-school shopping spree. Each child will be provided with a gift card and is personally escorted by staff representing both the Miami HEAT to shop the store for much needed items such as school uniforms, notebooks, writing utensils, backpacks, and more. The event kicks off the upcoming school year and also helps alleviate any first day jitters students might be feeling. HEAT players and talent are also on hand to assist with the shopping spree. Miami-Dade County and Broward County are currently the 3rd and 6th largest school districts in the country, respectively. Through this initiative, The HEAT have donated more than 229,000 school supplies to local schools.

HEAT School To Work Program

HEAT School To Work Program

For the past seventeen years, the Miami HEAT has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami in providing former HEAT Academy students with the educational and life skills necessary for a successful future. The HEAT School to Work Program has provided hundreds of students with different life skill workshops along with pairing them with the front office staff at the HEAT to help prepare them for college and future employment as well as for consideration of one of fifteen Carnival Scholarships.

Mindfulness Champions Initiative

Mindfulness Champions Initiative

The importance of mental health, eliminating the stigma surrounding it and providing the education to achieve a more resilient and healthier state of mind has never been a greater need in our society than it is today underscored by the recent pandemic and the affect that will remain with us long term. In an effort to address some of these needs as students and teachers return to school after an extended period of isolation and to further challenge other entities in our community to help join the effort and meet the mental health needs of those living in South Florida and beyond, the Miami HEAT alongside Florida Blue have underwritten the costs of a unique program in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools - the Miami HEAT Mindfulness Champions Initiative (MCI). MCI has trained more than 354 teachers in mindfulness and mental health education, one for every K-12 public school throughout the school district so they can in turn educate students and other faculty at their respective schools. The trainings, which take place each year and since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, were conducted by Mindful Kids Miami.

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