Grand Opening/Ribbon-Cutting to Be Held For New Kimmel Milagro Junior Teen Center

Milagro Center, which provides after-school cultural arts and academic programs for underserved, academically at-risk youth in Delray Beach, today announced the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of its new Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Milagro Junior Teen Center will take place on Monday, April 15, at 5:30 p.m. at 346 S.W. 6th Avenue, Delray Beach.

"Our long-time dream of a dedicated middle school center has become a reality," said Barbara Stark, President and CEO at Milagro Center. "The new Junior Teen Center will focus on the unique needs of 6th, 7th and 8th-graders and provide a vital bridge between our S.T.A.R.S. (K through 5th) and Teen Leadership (9th through 12th) programs. Milagro Center now has three key centers to ensure that each and every one of our students achieves success in school - and in life!"

Milagro Center is partnering with the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce on the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The grand opening will feature student musical performances and a DJ. Student art will be on display and attendees will enjoy light bites and beverages.

"Please join us as we thank Virginia and Harvey Kimmel, DPR Construction and their trade partners, as well as our many valued donors, funders and volunteers who made this vision possible," said Stark. "Many local dignitaries will also be on hand."

The Kimmels, who have supported numerous programs benefiting children and the arts in Florida, Philadelphia and Michigan for 30-plus years, played a central role in making the middle school center a reality by committing a major challenge grant last year, said Stark. They had already been providing a significant annual grant to support Milagro Center's music program.

"Without the generosity of Virginia and Harvey Kimmel, and DPR Construction, we would not be able to achieve this miraculous milestone," said Stark. "The Kimmels not only provided funding, they made invaluable contacts and connections with other dedicated supporters and partners throughout the community to bring the project to fruition. We are eternally grateful for their passion and commitment to our center and our children."

The new Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Milagro Junior Teen Center, located adjacent to Milagro Center's current Teen Center, will offer a full after-school program, including academic support and tutoring, one-on-one mentoring and cultural arts enrichment, as well as summer, winter break and spring break camps. More importantly, the center will focus on the unique social and emotional needs of middle school students, said Stark.

"These 'tweens' face major physical changes, social pressure and the real threat of bullying - both directly and online," she said. "For kids in impoverished neighborhoods the 'tween' years can be doubly severe. The new center will be a special place of comfort, learning and support for middle school children during after-school hours, when the threat of violence and gangs is at an extreme high."

Stark said the new Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Milagro Junior Teen Center will help Milagro Center fulfill its mission of providing the community's most at-risk and most deserving children and youth with award-winning, success-building programs.

"Now, middle school students will be able to benefit from art, dance, music, technology, sports and other programs. Most importantly, they will gain the camaraderie and confidence to grow into successful, self-driven adults," she said.

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