Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.

To provide vision rehabilitation, eye health services and education that promote independence,
to collaborate with and train professionals, and to conduct research in related fields.

It's Possible to See Without Sight™

601 Southwest Eighth Avenue, FL 33130 · Ph: 305.856.2288 · Fx: 305-285.6967 · info@miamilighthouse.org 

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Summer Camp

2014 STAR Summer Campers Enjoy a Carnival Day

On Friday July 25th, campers in the Summer Training and Recreation (STAR) program had a fun-filled Carnival Day complete with a bounce house, slide, rock climbing wall, and golf cart and limousine rides. The summer campers, ages 5 to 13, enjoyed the festivities by getting their faces painted, being entertained by Ziggy the Clown and eating snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn. Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ students performed a concert for all those in attendance followed by a pizza feast. We are thankful to Harvey and Ellen Amster, Dario Gomez, and Steven Solomon for helping make this a memorable end-of-summer event.

The STAR program is a six-week summer camp providing services to blind or visually impaired children ages 5-13. The program offers fun, engaging, and enriching activities including Braille literacy, physical fitness, social skills development, art and music.

Miami Marlins Host Second Annual Marlins Ayudan Beep Ball Classic at Marlins Park

On Tuesday, July 8th, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind joined the Marlins Foundation for the Second Annual Marlins Ayudan Beep Ball Classic at Marlins Park. Thirty-five Miami Lighthouse teenage summer camp students and Marlins interns, volunteering through Marlins Ayudan, teamed up to compete in an exciting game of Beep Baseball. Three games were hosted simultaneously, and through this adapted version of the game the teenagers were able to experience the popular game of baseball first-hand. The competitive and playful nature of the Beep Ball Classic brings to life Miami Lighthouse for the Blind’s slogan – ‘It’s Possible to See Without Sight™’. We thank the Marlins Foundation for once again making this exciting experience for our students possible.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Holds a Special Fire Safety Demonstration for Miami Lighthouse Summer Program Students

On Tuesday, June 24, fifty Miami Lighthouse summer program students attended a special fire safety demonstration at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s training facility in Doral, FL. The students, ages 14-22, received training in fire extinguishers and kitchen safety and had an anti-venom presentation. They also participated in a fire truck demonstration. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief David Downey spoke to the students about the importance of fire safety, pre-fire preparations and steps to take in case of an emergency.

Through a recently awarded FEMA grant, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue will soon be providing and installing fire extinguishers and performing home safety inspections for the families of the participating Miami Lighthouse students. We thank the Mayor Gimenez, former Fire Chief Ed Donaldson and the entire Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Team for the great presentation to our Miami Lighthouse summer camp students.

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind students perform at U.S. Naturalization Ceremony

On July 26th Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Better Chance Music Production Program™ students performed in front of a standing room only crowd taking part in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony where 195 individuals from 30 countries were sworn in as new U.S citizens. This is the fifth time our students have been invited to perform at a naturalization ceremony. This year’s performance included the National Anthem, God Bless the USA, Coming to America, and more. We are grateful to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, District Director Linda Swacina and Acting Field Office Director Eileen López Tomé of the USCIS Miami Field Office for providing this opportunity. The Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ is funded by The Children’s Trust and community foundations. Photos courtesy of Erick Hueck, aide to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

2013 Miami Marlins Foundation Invited Miami Lighthouse Summer Program Students to Second Annual On-Field Touch Tour at Marlins Ballpark

On Wednesday, July 10th thirty Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired summer program students, ages 13 to 18, got the opportunity to take part in an exciting hands-on tour of Marlins Ballpark and learn about the traditions of America’s national pastime. With the help of Marlins Foundation staff, Miami Lighthouse summer camp students used their other senses like touch and smell to learn about the Ballpark. The students were exposed to a multi-sensory experience by having a special touch tour on the Marlins Ballpark field and were able to meet catcher Rob Brantly. After the tour, summer program students were able to experience the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2. We thank President David Samson, Alfredo Mesa, Executive Director, and Joanne Messing, Director of Partnerships, of Miami Marlins Foundation for making this wonderful interaction for our summer camp students possible.

2012 “The Pillar of Hope” STAR Summer Camp Art Project

This ceramic column was created by students participating in the Miami Lighthouse 20012 Summer Camp Program with the help of visiting artists Carlos Alves, Jane Carroll, and staff artist Nelba Gonzales. During the 2012 summer camp, children created individual ceramic pieces which the artists used to create the column.

2012 Miami Lighthouse Transition Summer Program Students Experience Exclusive Wildlife Tour at Miami Seaquarium

On Friday, August 17th Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Transition summer program students, ages 14 to 18, spent the day and got the opportunity to experience a private interaction with dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, iguanas, horseshoe crabs and birds through the Miami Seaquarium’s touch tour. Twenty Miami Lighthouse students attended the exclusive wildlife tour that not only helped educate the participants, but it also helped them gain the confidence needed to learn through their other senses. Mr. Arthur Hertz and Andrew Hertz are sincerely thanked for their kindness in providing this wonderful interaction.

2012 Miami Marlins Foundation Invited Miami Lighthouse Summer Program Students To Experience Special On-Field Touch Tour At Marlins Ballpark

On Wednesday, August 15th thirty Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired summer program students, ages 13 to 18, got the opportunity to take part in an exciting hands-on tour of Marlins Ballpark and learn about the traditions of America’s national pastime. With the help of Marlins Foundation staff, Miami Lighthouse summer camp students used their other senses like touch and smell to learn about the new Ballpark located just blocks from the Miami Lighthouse facility.

The students were exposed to a multi-sensory experience by having a special touch tour on the Marlins Ballpark field and in the dugout. The students also got to feel and handle equipment used in the game, including bats with pine tar, gloves, a catcher's mask, a batting helmet, balls and batting gloves. After the tour, summer program students were able to experience the Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-2 and were greeted by Miami Marlins President David Samson. We thank Alfredo Mesa, Executive Director, and Joanne Messing, Director of Partnerships, of Miami Marlins Foundation for making this wonderful interaction for our summer camp students possible.

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind students perform at U.S. Naturalization Ceremony

On July 25th Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Better Chance Music Production Program™ students performed in front of a standing room only crowd taking part in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony where over 208 individuals from 30 countries were sworn in as new U.S citizens. This is the fourth time our students have been invited to perform at a naturalization ceremony. This year’s performance included the National Anthem, God Bless the USA, Coming to America, Waving Flag and more. We are grateful to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, District Director Linda Swacina and Acting Field Office Director Eileen López Tomé of the USCIS Miami Field Office for providing this opportunity. The Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ is funded by The Children’s Trust and community foundations.

2012 Miami Lighthouse Better Chance Music Production Program™ Students Experience Wildlife Tour At Biscayne Nature Center

On Thursday, July 19th Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Better Chance Music Production Program™ students, ages 14 to 18, spent the day and got the opportunity to take part in an exciting hands-on marine science lab and learn about environmental studies with multisensory observations within Biscayne Nature Center’s extensive seagrass beds. With the help of trained marine biologists and lifeguards, Miami Lighthouse summer camp students were able to use other senses like touch and smell to learn more about local sealife. The students were exposed to a multisensory experience by learning about, catching and touching the sealife that lives in our very own backyard. Every student, whether blind or visually impaired, was able to see the aquatic life through physical interaction. Twenty-one Miami Lighthouse blind and visually impaired music students along with their sighted peers experienced the wildlife tour that was not only educational, but it also reinforced what we teach at Miami Lighthouse—it’s possible to see without sight™. We thank Theodora Long, Executive Director, and Claudia Succar Ferre, Assistant to the Director, of Biscayne Nature Center for making this wonderful interaction for our music summer camp students possible.

2011 Miami Lighthouse Summer Camp Students visits The United States Coast Guard

On August 11th students from the Miami Lighthouse summer program participated in an event sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. The children explored a U.S. Coast Guard airplane and helicopter, got to examine the equipment used to fix the aircrafts, they got to wear U.S. Coast Guard gear and everyone received a model U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. We thank the Opa Locka Coast Guard Station for allowing Miami Lighthouse summer camp students to spend the day learning about what it takes to be in the United States Coast Guard.

2011 Miami Lighthouse Star Summer Program Students Experience Exclusive Wildlife Tour At Miami Seaquarium

On Friday, July 8th Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired STAR summer program students, ages 5 to 13, spent the day and got the opportunity to experience a private interaction with dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays and birds through the Miami Seaquarium’s touch tour. The students were exposed to a multisensory experience by feeding, playing with and petting the animals at the Miami Seaquarium. Every student was able to see the aquatic life through touch and interaction. Forty Miami Lighthouse students attended the exclusive wildlife tour that not only helped educate the participants, but it also helped them gain the confidence needed to learn through their other senses. Mr. Arthur and Andrew Hertz are sincerely thanked for their kindness in providing this wonderful interaction for our STAR summer camp children.
 

2011 Miami Lighthouse Family Support Group visits Miami Children’s Museum

On June 18th eight families participated in a family support group session at the Miami Children’s Museum. Thirty-two children and parents explored the vast array of exhibits the Miami Children’s Museum offers. The event was funded through the generosity of a wonderful community philanthropist Gloria Martin who said, “I am very happy to bring these two organizations with rich traditions in the community together. This is a great program for the Miami Lighthouse where they can bring their blind and visually impaired children to the Miami Children’s Museum to enjoy the exhibits they have to offer. I am delighted to have made it happen.”
 

2010 “The Pillar of Hope” STAR Summer Camp Art Project

This ceramic column was created by students participating in the Miami Lighthouse 2009 Summer Camp Program with the help of visiting artists Carlos Alves, Jane Carroll, and staff artist Nelba Gonzales. During the 2010 summer camp, children will again create individual ceramic pieces which the artists will use to create a second column. These projects are underwritten by Scott Miller and the Opa Locka Hialeah Flea Market.
 

2010 Miami Lighthouse Transition Program students swim
with dolphins at Miami Seaquarium

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Transition students, ages 14 to 22, spent the afternoon playing with dolphins at Miami Seaquarium Dolphin Harbor. On July 29, 20 students fed, played with, pet, hugged and posed with bottlenose dolphins. Every student, whether blind or visually impaired, was able to see the dolphins through touch and interaction. The students saw the dolphins through feeling their textured skin, kissing their beaks and playing catch with them. The Miami Lighthouse is grateful for this wonderful experience provided by Andrew and Arthur Hertz.
 

2010 STAR Summer Campers Enjoy a Carnival Day

On July 9, campers in the Summer Training and Recreation (STAR) program had a fun-filled Carnival Day complete with a bounce house, train, slides and golf cart rides. The carnival was generously provided by Harvey and Ellen Amster, Elsa Dela Cruz, Dario Gomez and family, and Jack and Patricia Tierney. The summer campers, ages 5 to 13, enjoyed getting their faces painted by a clown and eating unlimited snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn. Miami Lighthouse music program students performed a concert in the sensory garden for all those in attendance followed by a pizza feast.

The STAR program is a six-week summer camp providing services to blind or visually impaired children ages 5- 13. The program offers fun, engaging, and enriching activities including Braille literacy, physical fitness, social skills development, art and music. In addition to the STAR program summer campers, Transition students also enjoyed the day’s carnival activities. The Transition program provides students ages 14 to 22 with the experience needed to live independent, successful and fulfilling lives, while teaching students how to succeed together and build meaningful relationships with their peers. The Transition program offers students work experience that suits their individual interests, personal and home management, assistive technology training, orientation and mobility, field trips, and community integration.
 

2009 “Touching Our Dreams” STAR Summer Camp Art Project

On July 29th, parents of children participating in the Miami Lighthouse STAR Summer Camp were on hand to witness the unveiling of a very special project entitled “Touching Our Dreams.” With the help of local artist Carlos Alves, Miami Lighthouse Instructor Nelba Gonzalez, and many volunteers, students created a mosaic column that was installed in the sensory garden at the Lighthouse.

When working with ceramics, a child’s imagination is stimulated allowing the child to recreate figures using primarily their sense of touch. Using their hands helps children develop fine motor skills, spatial relation and orientation allowing them to see through the sense of touch. This project was conceived with goal of having the children interact and develop social skills while learning to work together as a team.

Special thanks to Mr. Scott Miller, President, Opa-Locka Hialeah Flea Market, for his generous donation which helped make this dream come true.
 

2009 Miami Lighthouse Transition Summer Camp Students
Visit Coast Guard Air Station Miami

On July 28th, students participating in the Transition Summer Camp visited Coast Guard Air Station Miami. Students were paired with either a pilot or crewmember and received a personal tour of a Dolphin helicopter and Falcon jet in addition to learning about Coast Guard missions. This was the first time students from Miami Lighthouse have had the opportunity to visit a military facility. A special thank-you is extended to Board Member David Turner and Coast Guard Captain Robert Grant for facilitating this once-in-a-lifetime visit.

 

 
 
   
   
   

 

 

Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.

 

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned nine consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.

 

Miami Lighthouse has earned the Silver participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse’s commitment to data transparency.

 

 

                 

 

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.

 

Miami Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2013 Switchboard Miami All Star Most Valuable Non-Profit Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.

 

Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.

   
                     

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

 

Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

 

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.

 

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.