The Madelaine Halmos Academy’s (MHA) new state-of-the-art elementary school building, an expansion of Jack & Jill Center’s Early Education Center at its 1315 West Broward Blvd. campus in Fort Lauderdale, is scheduled to debut in 2021. Serving students from high-need working families in kindergarten–fifth grade, the transformational project, currently under construction, is geared to prepare students for success in career and life, and be one of the highest-performing schools in Broward County.
In October 2017, after careful financial and operational planning, along with parent and community feedback, Jack & Jill Center’s board of directors approved a plan to construct and operate a modern elementary school on its existing campus. The groundbreaking took place in August 2019.
Under the supervision of general contractor Herman Construction Services, Inc., the modern 2-story, 28,767-square-foot building will feature 12 classrooms, an arts ad science lab, music and media lab, rooftop play area, wellness room, dining room, and state-of-the-art security and technology. The architect is Miami-based Zyscovich Architects, which offers significant experience in school design.
The MHA project will be accomplished through the $11 million Madelaine Halmos Academy Capital Campaign, with $9.2 million needed to construct the state-of-the-art school building, and $1.8 million to provide initial operating funds. Currently, the campaign has raised $9.5 million. The campaign is seeking donors.
“We’re committed to Jack & Jill and supporting its effort to have an even deeper and enduring presence in the lives of children and families, particularly those living in the most challenging of circumstances,” said Madelaine Halmos, honorary co-chair of the Madelaine Halmos Academy Capital Campaign. “Establishing a new elementary school built upon Jack & Jill’s proven model of education and family support is, in our opinion, an important and necessary step to securing successful lives for families in need.”
“We’re proud to help launch this effort with our gift and will do everything possible to make the new school a reality,” said Steve Halmos, honorary co-chair of the Madelaine Halmos Academy Capital Campaign.
“We want to thank the community for its support in helping us to construct this new school, which will significantly enhance our ability to develop lifelong learners, launching them into bright, prosperous futures,” said Heather Siskind, CEO of Jack & Jill Center, Inc.
Students are expected to start at the new building in May 2021. Early education is offered year-round.
Most MHA students will receive tuition funding from Step Up for Students, a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer five scholarships for Florida schoolchildren. Every student who graduates from MHA is awarded a 2-year college scholarship.
Currently housed at a leased space at the Salvation Army Community Center in Fort Lauderdale, MHA provides safe, academically sound and socially supportive environment for all learners. By constructing a new building, MHA will significantly extend its offerings by providing an accredited school incorporating research-based best practices.
Some of its features include a technology-driven STEM curriculum; dedicated, highly-skilled staff and educators with low student to teacher ratios; extended school day for students; daily healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks; extracurricular activities fostering healthy social-emotional growth and personal development, educational field trips, a quality after-school program to include enriched after-school and summer camp experiences, and on-site counseling and therapeutic services.
MHA’s kindergarten–fifth grade program will serve 220 students, with 352 total students (including early education and elementary school education) benefiting from the Jack & Jill education program. MHA’s building will create 37 new full-time jobs.
For more information or to donate to the Madelaine Halmos Academy Capital Campaign, contact Chief Development Officer Maria Meyer at 954.463.8772 ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.jackandjillcenter.org/mha-campaign/.
About Jack & Jill Children’s Center
Jack & Jill Children’s Center’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty for children of high-need working families, through quality yearly childhood education and family strengthening programs. It achieves its mission by focusing on both the children and family units as a whole, so that the entire household, children and parents alike, are able to reach their full potential. For over 79 years, Jack & Jill Children’s Center has served more than 20,000 children and families in South Florida. It currently serves as a NAEYC-accredited year-round early learning program for children aged 6 weeks though preschool, as well as an elementary school ― with a brand-new elementary facility, The Madelaine Halmos Academy, housing kindergarten through fifth grade unveiled in spring 2021.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Jack & Jill Children’s Center is following all CDC guidelines including social distancing efforts and mandatory face masks for entry. The organization is monitoring updates from Broward County and public health officials, and will continue to respond based on their guidelines.