Coconut Grove Cares/The Barnyard has been in existence for more than 60 years. And rightly so. The after-school program for at-risk kids in the West Grove , Miami offers these kids unbelievable nurturing and encouragement. Instead of having no place to go and nowhere to do their homework, they come to the Barnyard where help is offered, a good snack provided and lots of hugs. Not to mention help in math, reading, history and science.
A friend brought me to the Barnyard many years ago. I started as a volunteer and subsequently became a board member. I fell in love with these kids, not very hard to do. While they have artists working with them on art projects, and musicians teaching violin, viola and drums, dancers, they also have playtime, after homework, in team sports, and running. They go on field trips all over Miami. I have been leading creative writing workshops. Over the years, I have seen kids write stories, fantasies, poems, songs and even a play. I have watched these kids grow up and go on to high school and college.
The executive director and her team do an amazing job. The director has seen not just these kids but their older siblings, parents and some grandparents come through the Barnyard over the years.
I have been volunteering at the Barnyard for four years and I can honestly say there is no place I love to volunteer more at than the Barnyard. It creates a safe and welcoming environment for children, allowing them to express themselves through programs focusing on education, arts and culture, science exploration, literacy, and fitness. My time there has been filled with beautiful experiences and it has given me the opportunity to see the children develop into wonderful individuals who are ready to take the world by storm!
Coconut Grove Cares, Inc. has a wonderful After School and Summer Camp program, The Barnyard, that has helped countless children learn and play while improving the community it resides in, Village West Coconut Grove. They provide strong academic reinforcement programs that develop their Math and Reading levels along with a wide variety of activities such as music classes, drama, dance, and drum circle. A child's knowledge here is not only increased but broadened to inspire their every dream.