P.S. 305 believes that every child in Miami-Dade County should have access to an excellent and equitable education. And so does Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).
PAMM provides K-12 students and teachers interactive learning opportunities with art of the 20th and 21st century. Through the Knight Schools Program, students engage in critical thinking and explore personal meaning-making at the museum.
Through our fantastic partnership with P.S. 305, PAMM has forged many new partnerships with schools and other community organizations that are looking to improve education in Miami.
In partnership with P.S. 305, join us for our first ever Teacher Appreciation Happy Hour featuring an all-vinyl DJ set with Hiltronix. Discover why PAMM’s Knight Schools Program is #morethanafieldtrip by exploring all of the resources available for K-12 teachers. Network with educators from around Miami-Dade County and connect with community organizations looking to improve education for Miami’s schools. Participate in gallery tours led by PAMM’s teaching artists, art-making, giveaways, and other surprises designed especially for teachers. Join us for complimentary beer, ice cream, and pizza on Thursday, May 10 from 5 to 8pm. Be a part of the celebration and RSVP here.
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we chatted P.S. 305 Founder & Executive Director Yannell Selman. Check out our interview below.
Tell us about P.S. 305’s mission.
P.S. 305 believes that every child in Miami-Dade County should have access to an excellent and equitable education. While schools in Miami have been slowly improving over time, we believe that our community has a long way to go before ensuring that all children receive an education that is high quality, relevant to their lives, and supports the whole child. For example, we still have 110,000 Latino and 51,000 black students in our community that are not reading on grade level. There are few high quality school options in low-income neighborhoods. Many magnet and charter schools have exclusive entrance requirements, and do not serve all students. Too few students are seeing success in college, with low college completion rates and many students spending lots of time and money on remedial courses in college. We believe that those closest to the problems in schools should be leading the change to fix them. That’s why we inform, activate, and empower parents and teachers in Miami to improve their schools and communities. We are building a movement of people that want to raise the bar on what success looks like in Miami’s schools.
How did P.S. 305 start?
I’m a Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) alumna and former teacher. I’ve spent my entire life in and around public schools. As a student, I had great success in Miami’s schools, graduating with a 6.4 GPA, an IB Diploma, and going on to attend Northwestern University. This should have been a success story, but it wasn’t. Once I got to college, I realized I was unprepared to think critically, write effectively, and succeed in a rigorous college environment. This realization launched my commitment to educational equity. I became a second grade teacher, and became increasingly frustrated by the disconnect between my school and the people making decisions about my school. Through advocacy work, I was able to see how empowering parents and teacher could make real, sustainable change in the lives of students. I spent two years meeting with leaders all across Miami-Dade, conducting school tours, and learning about the realities of our school system. I realized that there was a big gap. Miami had no place for parents, teachers, students, and community members to come together to solve the problems in Miami’s schools. After almost 50 meetings, I launched P.S. 305 in 2017. Since then P.S. 305 has grown into a network of hundreds of parents, teachers, students, and community members that are getting informed about the challenges our schools are facing, and working in community to resolve them.
How does the organization’s relationship with PAMM stand out?
P.S. 305 works with community partners all over Miami-Dade County. PAMM stands out because of the incredible commitment PAMM has to social justice, inclusion, and critical discussions about our community. Since our first collaboration over a year ago, PAMM has consistently delivered on the promise of supporting educators in Miami. PAMM is serious about celebrating the education community, and is incredibly generous with the resources it provides to educators.
How can the community get involved with P.S. 305?
Our dream is for every Miamian to be informed and active in improving Miami’s schools! The best first step is to join our newsletter at ps305.org/sign-up.html. After that, we encourage folks to attend an event with us, such as our Teacher Appreciation Event at PAMM or a monthly M-DCPS School Board meeting. We will typically follow-up with a one-on-one meeting with any parents or teachers that sign-up, so we can learn more about their experience with schools. After that, we invite folks to participate in our monthly meetings and trainings, where we discuss key issues in Miami’s school system and how to solve them.