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UM Study Summary, October 2022

Research shows our Miami Lighthouse Academy inclusive model benefits students, teachers, and parents. For the fifth year in a row, researchers at the University of Miami found that the quality of teacher-child interactions in emotional and behavioral support exceeded the national average of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)*, an industry standard rating scale.

The collaboration began five years ago, with an initial exploration of the development and expansion of the Miami Lighthouse Academy, LLC and the program's influence on children's development.

Below is a summary of key finding from October 1, 2021- September 30, 2022, as The Miami Lighthouse Academy, LLC expanded to include the implementation of an evidence-based, high quality social-emotional intervention program, Conscious Discipline™.*

Executive Summary of Findings

  • Teacher-child interactions exceeded national averages across toddler and Pre-K classrooms.
  • Teacher job stress levels decreased across the school year.
  • Children displayed increases in executive functioning skills, and toddler children showed increases in their prosocial, peer interaction behaviors.
  • Children who have been enrolled in the program for more than one year displayed higher empathy scores, as rated by teachers, than children who have been enrolled in the program for one year or less.
  • Notably, our emotional support domain for toddlers scored 6.8 out of 7—more than two points above the national average of 4.62 out of 7.


* The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) is an observation instrument that assesses the quality of teacher-child interactions in center-based preschool classrooms. [link to University of Miami]

* Conscious Discipline™ is an emotional intelligence program that teaches children to manage life events, rather than react during life events. Everyday life events are used as teachable moments and guide children to develop self-control, utilize tools for conflict resolution, boost self-esteem, and foster positive relationships and social skills.


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Miami Lighthouse is honored by the following


AER accredited

Miami Lighthouse is AER accredited distinguishing that an agency or school operates at the highest level of quality and is positioned to generate the outcomes needed by the clients.

Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce

Miami Lighthouse received the coveted Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce 2023 Nonprofit Business Innovative Excellence NOVO Award with an organizational budget of $2 million and above.

Charity Navigator

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned 13 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.

The Children's Trust

Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.


Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ is a Florida gold seal and nationally Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)


Florida Blue Foundation

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.

The Beacon Council

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

Marlins Charity Partner

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.

Health Foundation of South Florida

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

Miami Today

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


Miami New Times - Best of Miami 2017

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

United Homecare

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

South Florida Business Journal

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

Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

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

PR Week

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2020 award for "Best in Nonprofit" campaign by PRWeek referred to as the "Oscars of the PR industry".


ABLE United

Miami Lighthouse is proud to be a strategic partner with ABLE United, Florida's disability savings program, to learn more visit


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