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Mentorship

Tutoring

Etiquette Training

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The Lamplighters Program is a youth group of the Sigma Alpha Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the Omega Activity Center Foundation, Inc. It is located in Miami Gardens, Florida. Since its inception in 1995, participants of the Lamplighters Program are provided mentorship and social activities to guide their mental and social development while being instilled with the good life skills needed for becoming wholesome and productive members of our society

The Lamplighters Program’s goals are to provide participants with educational, cultural, social, emotional and psychological activities designed to provide good life skills and prepare them to become successful and contributing members of our community. To accomplish these objectives, the organization uses donations and grants to finance its activities, which include:

Mentoring, tutoring, role playing, good manners and etiquette training, FCAT preparation, computer literacy skill development, lectures, substance abuse prevention counseling & career counseling by successful professionals, along with field trips to plays, Florida Marlins baseball, Miami Dolphins football, Miami Heat basketball, Florida Classic activities, University of Miami games, Orange Bowl games, universities, community service events (e.g., Relay for Life Walk-A-Thon, Adopt A Highway Project, Thanksgiving Turkey Give-Away, Christmas Toy Drive and Antioch Church Feeding Ministries) and/or other educational and cultural events.

Through a financial grant it began receiving in 2005 from Miami-Dade County, the Lamplighters Program was able to increase its service to provide meals during meetings, a computer lab with 10 computers to provide training and enhanced test taking and technology skills, and to provide service to 16 to 28 boys, ages 9 to 17 in grades 3 through 12. The participants meet on the first and third Saturdays of each month at the Omega Activity Center, 15600 NW 42 Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida 33054 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

The Lamplighters Program selects many of its participants from homes with a single female as head-of-household. Additionally, many participants are underprivileged and on free and/or reduced price lunches at school. The program has to provide transportation to and from meetings for many of the participants. The program is designed to help in meeting the social and crime prevention services of our youth through counseling, lectures and fieldtrips centered on relevant topics. It provides for many of the health and welfare needs of our youth and their families through our various activities and fieldtrips.

The Lamplighters Club is a youth group of the Sigma Alpha Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. that is located in Miami Gardens, Florida. Participants of the Lamplighters Program are provided mentorship, social and educational activities to guide their mental and social development.

Beginning in October 2004, through a contact of its president, R. T. Fisher, the Omega Activity Center Foundation, Inc. (OACF) was able to secure a grant from Miami-Dade County to fund a program that provide participants with educational, cultural, social, emotional and psychological activities designed to provide good life skills and prepare them to become wholesome, successful, productive, and contributing members of our community. To accomplish these objectives, the Lamplighters Program uses donations and grants to finance its activities which include:

Mentoring, tutoring, role playing, good manners and etiquette training, FCAT preparation, computer literacy skill development, lectures, substance abuse prevention counseling & career counseling by successful professionals, along with field trips to plays, Florida Marlins baseball, Miami Dolphins football, Miami Heat basketball, Florida Classic activities, universities, and/or other educational and cultural events.

The Miami-Dade County grant provides subcontracts and stipends with outside vendors to provide the services necessary to properly administer the grant. These subcontracts and services, as well as all other components and aspects of the grant, are supervised by OACF President R. T. Fisher. The authorized subcontracts are for the following:

  • Counseling—A stipend is provided to the Program Coordinator to assist with program- related expenses associated with transporting, feeding, planning and coordinating the activities of the program (mentorship, field trips, monthly meetings, etc.).

  • Record Keeping—A stipend is provided to the Grant Manager to perform the secretarial duties including recordkeeping, writing of checks, paying bills, filing of monthly reports, writing of annual grant proposals and other documents required by Miami-Dade County.

  • Tax Preparation—A stipend is provided for an Accountant to quarterly review all financial transactions and prepare the documents and make the preparations needed for the annual filing of the IRS Tax Forms.

  • Rental—A rental agreement with Sig Al, Inc. provides meeting and storage space in the Omega Activity Center for meetings and activities of the Lamplighters Program.

  • Instructors—Stipends are provided for professionals who are secured by the OACF President to provide special training and/or services to Lamplighters that are not available through the Mentors.

Stipends for the above services are based on availability of funds as provided in the annual grant budget approved by Miami-Dade County.

The Lamplighters Program selects many of its participants from homes with a single female as head-of-household. Additionally, many participants are underprivileged and on free and/or reduced price lunches at school. The program has to provide transportation to and from meetings for many of the participants. The program is designed to help in meeting the social and crime prevention services of our youth through counseling, lectures and fieldtrips centered on relevant topics. It provides for many of the health and welfare needs of our youth and their families through our various activities and fieldtrips.

The Lamplighters Program service 16-25 boys, ages 9 to 17 in grades 3 through 12 and meets on the first and third Saturdays of each month at the Omega Activity Center, 15600 NW 42 Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida 33054 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Some of their social and community service activities include the following:

  • Christmas Baskets – Food is provided to needy families in the Miami Gardens areas during the Christmas holiday season. [Sigma Alpha Chapter & Lamplighters]

  • Thanksgiving Baskets – Food is provided to needy families in the Miami Gardens during the Thanksgiving holidays. [Sigma Alpha’s Terry Parker Committee & Lamplighters, in conjunction with the Miami Gardens Police Department]

  • Sickle Cell AnemiaWalk-A-Thon – The group participates in the Walk-A-Thon annually securing donations for the drive.

  • Adopt A Highway – The group has formally adopted a section of NW 42nd Avenue to maintain and keep clean.

The Lamplighters Program, a youth group started by Sigma Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., was born in 1995 out of the vision of the late Bro. Sherman B. Whites, Basileus, and the collaborative effort of Dr. Richard J. Strachan. The theme, “Reach One, Save One” was part of the Mission which is Enhancing and Developing Young Men with the underlying principles of discipline, etiquette, academics, and applying new skills in social environments.

Throughout the years the program has matured and has become more self sufficient. This has allowed the acquiring of a computer lab with over 10 new computers and printers. Various academic software will be provided to assist with teaching the latest skill sets taught in middle and high schools. The Lamplighter program seeks to help improve academic performance among young men.

The program was restructured in Fall 2005 in an effort to give Lamplighters more real world experiences. In order to do this, a hierarchal organization needed to be established. With approximately 20 new and existing Lamplighters, nominations were made, campaigns were debated, and an election process was executed. In the end, the 1st Executive Body was established for the Lamplighters. The post for President, Vice President, Treasurer, Administrator, Assistant Administrator, Step Master, and Historian were all filled.

With the newly devised hierarchy, the Lamplighters were more involved and organized for activities. These activities included trips to Marlins Baseball Game, Miami Dolphins Football Game, and University Of Miami Football Games. The organization also went on a trip to the Florida Classic. The trip included Battle of the Bands, Classic Football Game, and Island Of Adventures. Within the hierarchy, responsibilities were set with the Executive Board and it disseminated amongst the group. This gave all the Lamplighters a clearer direction on any intent or goal for a trip or an event.

The Lamplighter program has a very good support system, which includes parents and administrators. On many occasions the parents have been involved with the activities and trips of the Lamplighters. Also, the administrators, mostly fraternity members, have made it possible for activities and trips to become a reality. The backbone of this program has depended on both the parents and administrators.

The Lamplighter Program not only teaches etiquette, respect, academics, and responsibility. It also encourages friendship, teamwork, and creativity. This allows the young men to broaden their horizons while contributing to our communities. Adding to the program character is the ability to extend socially in an effort to understand all facets of life. The traits are all indicative to the familiar community service organization, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, which the Lamplighters derive from.