As Commissioners, we spend a lot of time thinking about our City’s basic underpinnings: managing development, improving traffic conditions and storm water drainage systems, mitigating beach erosion and growing our classroom space, to name a few. Sometimes our policy initiatives are focused on the cultural and community programs that we can offer. We continue to find ways to improve the quality of life of our residents.
Recognizing that more and more, new residents will be living here full time instead of just seasonally, we need to continually evolve. We need to offer enhanced and sophisticated cultural and educational out- reach. Our ultimate goal is a “one stop shop” City, fostering a community environment that keeps our residents within our city for all of their needs, without ever having to drive outside.
That’s the richness and diversity of our community – providing education and enrichment in a demographic continuum, from school age children to retirees. That’s the catalyst for the “Sunny Isles Beach Learning Annex”, or shorthand, the “SIB Learning Annex”.
As we embark on planning our budget for the next fiscal year, the City Commission hosted a workshop to vet emerging ideas in special events and programming. The SIB Learning Annex was discussed and considered to be a worthwhile endeavor amongst other special events. Now the planning begins.
City administrators are in discussions with Daniel Cormany, of the FIU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, (OLLI) headquartered at the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus to bring the OLLI program to Sunny Isles Beach. The proposed program is a variety of lecture series provided by FIU Professors. Course options to be considered are the Foreign Film Series with Shelley Isaacs, Art History and Art Appreciation, to name a few.
OLLI is a nationally accredited continuing educational program for interested adults age 50 and over. Initial classes are anticipated to be held in the fall at Commission Chambers.
Courses will range from 6 – 8 week sessions. We will start with the Foreign Film Series, with the ever popular Shelley Isaacs. Course fees, funding opportunities, and sponsorships are all in the planning stages to bring the quality of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to Sunny Isles Beach.
Kudos to the Pelican Community Park team for the sheer breadth and scope of programming through our City’s Cultural and Community Services Department, for the multitude of activities at Government Center, the Pelican Center and in our great special events in the City Parks throughout the year, at Heritage Park, Town Center Park, and soon to be completed Gateway Park. Our City is a model for how special events and programming can benefit the quality of lives of so many. The SIB Learning Annex, with the proposed professorial level of education, will add one more dimension to the programming that currently exists in Sunny Isles Beach for our residents.
As always, I welcome your feedback on the new “SIB Learning Annex” and other important quality of life issues. Please contact me at 305- 792-1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.