BACK TO SLAM!
I simply couldn’t wait to go back to SLAM. To see and feel the warmth of friends, students that feel more like family and the new SLAM 2 building and SLAM RadioXM in action.
Each time I visit this groundbreaking school I am blown away to the point it’s not possible anymore. Wrong, each time I am yet again floored by the curriculum, progress and structural developments since the last visit.
Always learning something about what I like to think of as the ‘magical school in the Magic City’, an interesting design fact about the SLAM school in Miami building is how the classrooms have floor to ceiling glass windows letting in as much light and ‘Miami’ as possible. With views of Little Havana, Brickell, the downtown Miami skyline. Inviting the scope and imagination to see beyond the horizon. It is said that this was Armando’s vision and idea. To enable students see possibilities of bringing development and entrepreneurship into their city and as they study to show and remind them about the world that is out there waiting for them.
Constantly thriving, last year on the Pitbull Cruise, Pitbull highlighted that SLAM School was at the time passing students at 95% and “we aren’t going to stop until it’s 100%” Today, a year on the school are having students pass at 100%. A place which binds together a partnership between sports and education where youngsters can grow, follow their passion for sports and learning is made fun through the school’s engaging and entertaining curriculum. A revolutionary first ever school in Florida to offer sports related broadcasting, management and medicine middle and high school education program. A cutting edge school making radio history in being the first to launch a national radio station in partnership with SiriusXM produced and presented by high school students at SLAM Radio broadcasting from within the school premises. SLAM is not only ground breaking in what it does but also the those that are a daily part of it. The drive, positivity, team spirit and ‘happy’ warm feeling oozing from everyone from being a part of this wonderful school can be felt.
Walking around the school it is visible how each student is able to express their ‘uniqueness’ through a varied choice in style of uniforms yet are part of the bigger SLAM team, as demonstrated by the group of colour schemes and SLAM logo displayed on each garment.
Let’s take a look through more areas of SLAM 1 new SLAM 2 in pictures:
Walkway connecting SLAM 1 and SLAM 2:
SLAM 1 original main basketball court which is also open to professional basketball teams to use for practice:
New basketball court SLAM 2. Detailed windows shaped as an ‘A’ for Armando:
Mural on side of wall by the walkway connecting SLAM 1 and SLAM 2 which are put up by the Miami Heat. Look closer and there is a touch of Pitbull’s catchphrase amongst other elements of basketball and Little Havana:
A young Armando Christian Perez in the basketball team:
Open space court yard which is used for physical education and can also be rented out. The beauty of this space is there are no windows and can be seen. A PE/rent out space the flat courtyard/open space where can see the Marlins Stadium:
Back inside on the ground floor we have SLAM Shop which will be opening soon:
I remember when the vicious ‘can’t get a job without experience, can’t get experience without a job’ cycle was even heavier than today. One of the things I absolutely admire about SLAM school is that they instil positivity, motivation, energetic drive, outside the box thinking, team spirit, inspire students after they leave SLAM and be the best version of themselves and reach career goals. Equip students with the tools they need to reach these goals. Every corner you turn in the building from the main corridors, classrooms like Mr Milian’s ‘Quote Wall’ and teacher offices there are inspirational quotes all around the walls. Which is very promising. However, it’s all very well putting up quotes and words of inspiration and leaving them up there to see. It’s how we take them in to use them ourselves or are guided to use these or not. Let’s put it another way, a seed can be planted but how can you encourage it to grow?
SLAM aids this growth process and takes it further. For example let’s take a student that wants to study broadcast. Yes, inspire the students vision through teaching and quotes. My interpretation of what I see at SLAM is ‘OK you want to do Broadcast? Here, let’s create our own history making radio station you as students run it. Here are the tools and equipment to help you gain experience, knowledge and confidence that will give you a head start in the industry when you leave for the real world out there. We will give you the tools and equipment AND show you how to apply it’
I can recall listening Rene Ruiz, the President of SLAM Charter Schools on SLAM Radio emphasise that at SLAM they aim to show and help students see what they can achieve beyond their current circumstances. “Our mission is to provide these students with opportunities that will change the trajectories of the rest of their lives” Says Rene
I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to Rene Ruiz, Larry Milian, Frank Fernandez, Danny Bueno, Amanda Milian and students for the warm welcome and to everyone behind the scenes who made this happen. Giving me more wonderful memories from my time at the school.
Make sure click onto follow the accounts below! Dale!
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