Empowering Children to Succeed

Our Story

While humanity can send rockets to faraway planets and explore our deepest oceans, our schools have yet to ensure that every child has the support they need to succeed.

A child’s success in life, their ability to secure adequate housing, hold a well-paying job, and maintain their health and wellness is all dependent on their ability to master reading, writing, and math. Success in school is literally the launchpad from which children will either flourish or fade.

Miss B’s Learning Bees has been helping children from Indian River County’s poorest neighborhoods flourish since she sat around her kitchen table and began teaching them to master the fundamentals of learning. Working together with their parents or guardians, Miss B untangled the complex issues that faced each family. She:

  • Diagnosed the problem
  • Designed individual solutions for each child and their family.
  • Removed the barriers in the way and
  • Filled in gaps and met needs where she saw them

To tackle the barriers to transportation low-income families face, Miss B’s established neighborhood hubs to serve children afterschool in the poorest areas of Indian River County. And as Miss B’s staff and volunteers worked one on one with students, they began to show amazing progress. Children who had fallen far behind  focused in the classroom, developed confidence in their ability and began to dream of going to college.

Olivia Thomas struggled to raise her 7-year-old twin grandsons. One was shy and quiet while his brother Jose was outgoing and enthusiastic but could be loud and disruptive. It wasn’t long before Jose’ teacher noted he was not able to read and soon his outbursts were causing friction in the classroom, making learning harder for himself and others.

A referral to Miss B’s gave both boys a new foundation. Miss B’s care team met with school officials to discuss the twin’s academic and behavioral difficulties. Miss B’scertified teachers met one-on-one with each child, diagnosed their different needs, and implemented learning plans. Alongside their academic plan, a personalized behavioral plan was developed for Jose. Olivia did not own a car and was thankful the boys were picked up from school and transported to Miss B’s and then dropped at home after being fed a full evening meal.

“After just two weeks with Miss B’s, Jose asked if he could read to me,” Ms. Thomas said. “Well, I just sat there and cried.”

Now Jose wants to read all the time — books, signs, everything he sees. His confidence is restored, and he is more attentive and focused in class. “He’s a bright child,” his teacher says, “and it is clear he wants to succeed in school. Thanks to Miss B’s he now believes he can.”

PROJECT COPE: Cultivating Opportunities to Promote and Empower
The initial building blocks to success developed by Miss B’s were academic in nature. Leading into and out of the pandemic, the challenges of living in poverty grew, and Miss B’s developed additional programs to empower families with limited resources by providing the tools they need to COPE with life every day.

Children were increasingly going without food. Miss B’s implemented a program to provide them a nutritious snack after school and a full meal before they went home. Miss B’s provided transportation from area schools and back home for children whose parents lacked access to cars. The organization worked to upgrade students’ computer hardware, internet access and software so that all the children could work online and from home to complete their schoolwork.

Increasingly children were presenting behaviors that signaled that they had experienced multiple childhood traumas. Miss B’s hired a Certified Behavioral Analyst (CBA) to educate parents and guardians on behavioral issues. They worked with individual children to diagnose specific issues and offer solutions to help them.

As the success of the program grew, Miss B’s worked to connect with community agencies also working with at-risk children. School district administrators, teachers, the County Sherriff’s Department, and the local college all wanted to help.

Mica was a 8-year old tornado according to his mother. He was falling behind in school, refused to do his homework, and spent all his free time playing video games. She’d been called multiple times to school because of his behavior which included swearing, throwing things, lying, and kicking others. She was not sure of what to do. She knew if she did nothing, there was a good chance he’d have a run-in with the school resource officer, or worse.

As Mica and his mother began looking for solutions. She learned about Miss B’s from a member of her church. She reached out and soon had her son enrolled in Project COPE. After completing the intake process, it was clear that Mica’s childhood traumas were related to his father being in and out of jail most of Mica’s life. He idolized his father and the pain of his absence drove Mica’s behavior at school.

Miss B’s began developing interventions to assist in developing replacement behaviors to improve the child’s behavior at home and school. Mica, Mom, and Dad (from jail) worked with the Behavior Analyst to implement the behavior interventions at home to increase behaviors that would help him remain in the classroom and begin learning. Mica, Mom, and Dad began to see improvements in the child’s behavior. He talked on the phone with his Dad about his many accomplishments in the classroom. He is now able to complete classwork, homework, and improve outcomes on tests. Not to mention, the behaviors that were preventing him from learning no longer existed. Most notably, he was awarded, Stinger of the Year! Mica was able to develop confidence in himself. So much, he began to assist other children struggling with their schoolwork. When he recently graduated from 5 th grade, his Dad, Mom, and Miss B were all there to cheer him on.

Through both afterschool and intensive programs held during vacations and summer break, PROJECT COPE has helped lift more than 500 students ages 5-17 and their families from deep despair to pride in their accomplishments.

An amazing 98% of students in the program improve their performance and test scores. They tackle their behavior challenges head-on – abandoning behaviors which hold them back and learning new ones which help them accomplish their academic and personal goals. They grow in confidence and self-esteem. They not only survive, they thrive.

Become a donor to Miss B’s Learning Bees today and make a difference in a child’s future. If you have a child, or know of one who can use our help, contact us to put them on the path to success today.