Seminole County

Former teacher runs program to help students from low-income families succeed

SANFORD, Fla. — A former teacher is now running a program to make sure kids who come from families struggling financially don’t struggle in school or in their future.

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The “Midway Safe Harbor Program” exposes more than 100 local children to new experiences, including trips, new meals and academic challenges.


Channel 9 reporter Phylicia Ashley spent a day with the program to see its impact.

It’s an all-hands-on deck project to make sure kids know there is more in life than just what they see on a daily basis.

Photos: Former teacher runs program to help students from low-income families succeed

To get there it takes a solid foundation, which one man is determined to give them.

The children are staying on top of their game, with the help of a man who’s walked in their shoes.

“Some people say they have skin in the game. This is an investment for me because I’m from this community,” said Quinn Byrd.

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Byrd runs Midway Safe Harbor and provides academic classes, physical activity and healthy meals over the summer to lower income families in and around Seminole County’s Midway community.

Byrd said Midway Safe Harbor gives students a safe and proactive place to be, instead of the alternative.

United Way of Central Florida reports 80% of kids in low-income communities lose up to three months of learning over the summer.

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Children who fall behind in school and don’t have access to books likely don’t ever catch up.

With freshly prepared meals, daily lesson plans, physical activity and even housing and health care support for their parents, Byrd said the goal is to make sure the kids in the program only move forward.

See more in the video above.

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