Women Uncensored Interviews Rachel Spector on New Initiative By The Children’s Trust(Miami, FL)

Thrive By 5

Father reading a book with his young son and daughter.

On Thursday’s Women Uncensored Raw Talk with Tico & Addi (on WSRF 1580AM, http://www.wsrf.com, at 6pm-8pm), we had the esteemed opportunity to interview Rachel Spector, of the Thrive by Five initiative which the Children’s Trust approved to begin late last year. Together with one of their grant recipients, Merline Pierre, of Garden of Light Academy, Ms. Spector shared this amazing initiative with us. We’ve added a blurb from the organization’s site, and compiled information regarding their goals for the benefit of parents, childcare workers and centers!

We would also like to thank Rachel Spector, Merline Pierre, and The Children’s Trust for sharing the information with the community, and for graciously entertaining the interview.

Taken from The Children’s Trust Website:


The Children’s Trust recognizes the importance of early brain development and its impact on later life success. As a result, we have invested in an array of strategies to support young children’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional readiness for starting school. Thrive by 5 aims to coordinate a continuum of service supports.

The Trust reviewed its systems of how it awards money, and has consequently re-vamped its structure to assure it is getting into the hands of professionals delivery high quality service. And Miami-Dade County is the only community in the country this mix of strategies, systems and assessment tools to insure that the money is spent wisely.

To support this endeavor, The Children’s Trust Board unanimously approved four funding resolutions linked to  their Thrive by 5 initiative. Altogether, these grants total $2.752 million to support high quality early learning childcare programs here in Miami-Dade.

And, this funding draws down an additional $20,120,000 in state and federal funding, grants that support over 2,660 early learning childcare slots for families that earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty rate. 

The money focuses on agencies and organizations that provide programs and services that support young children’s physical, cognitive social and emotional readiness for starting school. (This investment also includes Early Head Start and early learning slots for the working poor and migrant families.)

Such as:

1). Early Intervention: Specialized autism evaluations, early intervention services, early childhood summer programs for children w/disabilities and early childhood research 

2). Early Learning Quality Improvement System Money supports on-site coaching, teacher scholarships, teacher salary supplements, tiered payment differentials and child scholarships. These incentives have been proven to encourage programs to improve and sustain their delivery of high-quality early learning services, which impacts young children’s readiness to enter school.

3). Parenting and Home Visiting Services focus on nurturing parent-child relationships, language-rich environments, age-appropriate child development, behavior management, child health, safety and injury prevention.

4). Early Literacy Support provides funding for Reach Out and Read, Read to Learn Book Club, Read to Learn Books for Free, and Summer Reading Explorers 


For your reference, The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their future.

My children make me sick!

So I’m not the best mother in the world. I have an administrative professional position at a non-profit, private university. I’m an artist, musician, singer, writer, and Ph.D. student. I volunteer in the community; love my community. I love people, and care about the world. My heart is with my people in Haiti. I feel their struggle and wish to help anyway I can. I try to teach my children social responsibility, love for self and people, kindness, respect. I teach them how to love; how to appreciate art, history and music. I let them be. I like to flow. So we flow-we have fun! I like a peaceful house. But lately, my home has not been peaceful. It’s been a tyrannical energy of me being sick and tired of their bullsh*t. You’d think that at 13, my daughter would just clean her room without my swearing, ultimatum promising, lamenting, crying and finally making physical threats. You’d think my once sweet 8-year old would not cry just to avoid her evening bath. You’d expect my once very creative 11-year-old would just do her goddamn homework and submit it to her teacher so I wouldn’t have to get phone calls about how poorly she’s doing due to NEVER submitting homework. They make me sick. And it seems, no matter how much support, stability and firmness they receive, they’ve decided that they’re going to do it their way. So, I’m so sick of them right now. They’ve taken my love and attention for weakness and really utilize it to manipulate the hell out of any situation. They would make fine lawyers! I see them starting their own firm.

And that’s the fine line in parenting: Cultivating their talents by guiding them, even in reprimand, and to not suppress or put down their spirit. And this is a conscious decision I make; I’m very careful how I curse my daughters out. This is for several reasons. I’m not just raising girls. I’m raising African Haitian American girls. I’m demonstrating how to move about this world which treats us as the Other. I’m teaching them self-governance, choice, responsibility, and most of all, love for self-pride in self. I’m teaching them how to not depend on anyone, how to work for what they want. I want them to care about me, my efforts. I want them to show gratitude for the quality of life I ensure they enjoy. But all they’re exhibiting is entitlement and apathy.

So this morning, after I had awakened them up, and lovingly reminded them where I had neatly hung their clothes, I proceeded to get myself ready. I had taken my shower, gotten dressed, coifed my afro, applied make-up, gotten my bags together before realizing that my youngest was just getting out of the shower; my second was still in bed-with the dog! My eldest put aside the beautifully embellished sweater I laid out for her for a disgusting and stained (I should add-which hasn’t been washed in weeks) NIKE hoody/sweatshirt! Aren’t girls supposed to be dainty and clean? All the princess talks of old was apparently for the birds! They’re disgusting. Yeah I said it! Just plain…Big Sigh. So, with only five minutes left for me to walk into my office, and realizing that an additional second spent on the horrors of this morning would render me dead due to an unavoidable coronary or stroke, I said, “You girls have a nice day. I’m leaving.” And with that, I walked out of the house.

I started my car, lit a cigarette, and listened to the garbage talk on the urban radio station. I saw red. But imagined yellow. And I said a prayer of thanks, that my girls are okay. They’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. Deep breath. Fuck it.