COCONUT GROVE CARES, INC.
THE BARNYARD COMMUNITY CENTER
"The story of Coconut Grove Cares is part of the history of this community"
-Founder, Elizabeth Virrick
Coconut Grove Cares, founded in 1948 by Elizabeth Virrick and Father Theodore Gibson, responds to the needs of the community by providing educational programs, counseling, social service referrals and outreach initiatives.
In 73 years the agency evolved from its original "slum clearance" mission, to civil rights work and urban planning in the '50s and '60s, to community outreach, boxing programs and prisoner counseling in the 70's, to ex-offender training and juvenile programs in the '80s, to its present programs for children and families at the Barnyard Community Center.
The goal of Coconut Grove Cares is to help compensate for the social, educational and self-esteem deficits that low income children experience as a result of the economic and social conditions of their young lives. By offering a safe, healthy and stimulating alternative to the harsh realities of a low income neighborhood, CGC provides programs designed to prevent academic failure and promote social responsibility.
Coconut Grove Cares provides free after school and summer camp programs for children with financial and domestic hardships. CGC operates The Barnyard, a fun, supervised community center for children ages 5- 13. Programs focus on education, arts and culture, counseling for children and their families, literacy, fitness and parental engagement. The Barnyard, located within walking distance of two elementary schools, is a magical place for children to learn, to play, to connect and to share.
Coconut Grove Cares partners with Arts4Learning, Shalala Music Reach, University of Miami's Crecer, Children's Survival Network and The Kampong Botanical Garden to provide innovative and quality programming.