Category Archives: Events

Nature Links Summer News Update!

Hello Everyone! We are excited to be getting back to classes on Monday July 22, 2019! The Summer session will end on August 28, 2019 – Stay on the lookout for our Fall start date as well.

There is still space- Apply here now: Apply

“… Facilitate social connection; Foster creative expression in our students…”

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What Our Students LEARN!

Gardening, Arts and Creativity, Environmental Science, Job Readiness, Communication, and Nutrition. Through lessons in Urban Farming, Recreation and Sports, Performance, Videography, Music and Movement Therapy. 

Weekly class field trips into the outdoors and community volunteerism, inspire social engagement and encourages team building. While learning a new craft, or creating a short film on the page and unto the screen, cultivates creativity and explores ones expression.

What Our Students Look Forward To!

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The mission of Nature Links for Lifelong Learning is to equip young adults with intellectual disabilities, the skills they need to lead fulfilling, productive lives.

Through our programs, students build living skills, make friends, connections, and prepare for jobs or further professional training opportunities.

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We foster creative expression in our students and the broader population through art, music, recreation, dance, and videography.

While building an understanding and appreciation of the natural world in our students and the community.

 

We work to expand community sensitivity to intellectual disabilities through public involvement in our programs and interaction with our students as well as interfacing students with the community.

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We seek to offer job readiness and employment training and facilitate our students’ access to work opportunities, mentoring, volunteer training, internships, and service opportunities in parks, restaurants, plant nurseries, museums, local businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

We facilitate social connection and support for independent living among young adults with intellectual disabilities.

Increasing  parent/guardian and student knowledge of local opportunities, agencies, civil rights, and benefits available to them while assisting in providing long term life planning for young adults with disabilities.

We make all kinds of art forms, perform, and dabble in music! We take class field trips into the great outdoors! And have been preparing students for their very own public artistic exhibition, that will be curated and opened in September 2019.

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So, COME JOIN US! 

Currently enrolled students interested in attending another session or program do not need to complete an application.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at naturelinksmiami1@gmail.com or call (786) 505-4657

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Enrollment is open for this program with classes beginning July 22 – August 28, M-W-F. 

 

 

The Last few weeks at The Center for Subtropical Affairs

We have been visiting the Center for Subtropical Affairs for a few weeks now. We would like to share a compiled video of a few of our visits. Featured in this video- we are getting acquainted with the Center, planting seeds, transplanting vegetable plants, and mixing the substrate to put into jars where students will be growing their own mushrooms! We will be posting more videos in the coming weeks and soon, student produced work. Thanks for All Your Support.

Nature Links Announces Partnership with Center for Subtropical Affairs

What an amazing first day at @centerforsubtropicalaffairs! We toured the Center and planted moringa, pigeon peas and pride of Barbados flowers. We can’t wait to return and practice environmental stewardship through the integration of persons with developmental delays into our community. #autism#developmentaldisabilities#disabilityawarenessmiami

We will be going to the Center on a weekly basis to learn about Ecology, Urban Farming, Landscape Design related to our South Florida Environment. As we progress we will learn about their Farmers Market Program and transitioning students into volunteer/work opportunities at Center.

 

Nature Links is Hiring!

 

 

 

Nature Links is Hiring!

 

Assistant Teacher/ Administrative Assistant

The ideal candidate should have experience working with special needs students. In this position, one would assist in building our curriculum which revolves around the local environment, health, job readiness and the arts. This position also involves various administrative duties such as: Quickbooks, invoicing, emails to parents, scheduling and field trip planning. Being sensitive, creative and collegial is central to making a positive contribution to our unique program. This person would be employed by The City of Miami Parks Department, part-time, 25 hours a week at $15.57 per/hr. The program runs M-W-F 10:00am -3:00pm at Shake A Leg Miami


Lead Teacher/ Curriculum Specialist

This role will develop curriculum and daily lesson plans related to the thematic subject matter in collaboration with the Nature Links team. The teacher should have familiarity/experience with the population of persons with special needs. Our program focuses on local environment, health, job readiness and the arts, the candidate should have familiarity and experience with these topics. This person will be hired through The Adult Education Program of The Miami Dade County Public School System. Pay rate is $ 24.18 per/hr 13 hours per/week. This candidate would also be hired by Nature Links and paid $20 per/hr for an additional 12 hours.

Please Email Your Resume and Letter of Interest to: jennabalfe@naturelinks.net

Pamm “Art To Go” Program and Visiting Artists

We are happy and grateful to say we have had the opportunity to work with some wonderfully talented and generous guest artists, so far this fall session!

Kerry Keeler and guest artist Neri Garcia Farraz from Pérez Art Museum Miami were able to visit us at Shake A Leg Miami through their community outreach program Art-2-Go . They taught our students about elements of art such as line, form, and color. They guided the class in creating a group art project they pieced together like a puzzle, which became the final piece.

Guest artist Natasha Teresa Velez came in to work with us on different ways we can use materials, such as shaped brushes and salt, to create watercolor pieces.

Thank you very much Natasha, Kerry, and Neri! Your support and guidance allowed everyone to display their incredible creativity and individuality.

The works created during these workshop’s will be part of a forthcoming art show presented by the students of Nature Links and members of the local Miami art community.

We look forward to continuing to work with Perez Art Museum Miami in the future. Thank You again for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students.

A Summary of our Spring Session “Climate Change Awareness”

     Nature Links for Lifelong Learning has moved our operations to Shake A Leg Miami this year, 2018. We have been welcomed by staff and administration which has made the transition to our new home easy and pleasant.

     We have had two sessions of the “Climate Change Awareness Program” since starting at Shake a Leg back in March of this year. Our participants learned about Climate Change issues such as: Sea Level Rise, Environmental Justice, Pollution, Ocean Acidification and more. We had a special focus on social/independent life skills with Allie  Klionsky our assistant teacher and worked one on one with some students to achieve goals of employment. Participants also received daily exercise and creative movement lessons from lead teacher Jenna Balfe. We also went on several field trips, one of them to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, thanks to the hard work and support of Citizens for a Better South Florida which made it possible 🙂

 

 

 

     

     We worked on making short news stories for our “Nature News” series which we will be working on more in our Summer session. These shorts will eventually be posted on our website and potentially beyond. We also made art related to the different issues that we covered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     We applied to the Public Space Challenge as a class, our proposal was titled: “ Nature Links Presents: Getting to Know Each Other”.

 

     Our proposal was that every month at a different park, we would host a social/informative event for young adults with developmental delays. Our class came up with the idea, that had the goal of providing transportation to natural area’s for this population that generally has issues getting to such places. Participants also wanted the event to highlight successful members of their community and create a safe social space to meet new people. While we did not get to the finals round, the class did become motivated towards finding means to work together as a group to get their voices and needs out into the community.

     We enjoyed many water sports activities provided by Shake a Leg including a guided tour of the history of the Bay by Karis Starkes! We ended the tour by having our end of the session party on Eco Island. It was a very informative and fun tour which our participants were very happy about.

 

 

 

     

     So far our time at Shake A Leg has been very positive, educational and inspiring. We look forward to what’s ahead for this partnership. Thank You Shake A Leg!