Helping children stay on track, or get back on track in life.
Over 10,000 children are invited each year to participate in our outreach programs and events at no cost!
Our historic collection is shared for the children to not only enjoy and learn about the pieces themselves, but also they are used as examples of how with love and care things can be restored, or saved from destruction, including children.
See a program that you would like more information on? Would you like to contribute to an Outreach?
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Friends of a Hero Program:
Established 2013 This intervention and behavior program is for children ages 7-17 years old. The farm is the friend, and the child is the Hero for enduring the situation they are in. The focus is children who are in a difficult environment, or have experienced a recent tragedy. Children receive homework help, participate in a farm activities, and have some fun. More importantly, each child has one on one time with a leader about anything they wish to talk about or is troubling them. This program is free for children and their families.
Foster The Future Foster Children Programs:
Established 2013 There are several ways the farm reaches out to foster children. Groups visit the farm of all shapes and sizes. We have encouraging and educational programs for each size. This area has many programs within a program ranging from one on one mentorships to hosting hundreds at a time for special events.
Foster Care children are always free to come to every family event happening on the farm. Preregistration is required.
When appropriate, Foster children can also volunteer and help make memories on the farm. Children realize a sense of accomplishment and witness the happiness that they can make happen through the efforts they share as a volunteer.
In May, 2017, the 1st annual “Big Birthday Bonanza” for foster children happened! Approximately 2,900 foster children, from nearby Florida counties, along with the host families, are invited out for a full day of fun and learning on the farm. From learning and riding the historic railroad and several other activities the foster children are the VIPs of the day! Lunch and other special treats are also included at no charge. It’s important to note that this Mega-Event is a Big Birthday party because so many children in foster care have never experienced a Birthday party, or have been celebrated in a way like they deserve. The foster children also receive a gift of a free backpack and other goodies. The backpack is significant because many children are given a trash bag when they relocate from home to home and we want to make sure that doesn't happen. Kirby Family Farm and the Chick-Fil-A Leadership Academy partner to bring this event to life along with several community sponsors. The Leadership Academy consists of 19 high school students who have been working hard to make this a day to remember. This Free event requires preregistration.
Medically Needy Children:
Established 2013 Programs for children with medical setbacks are hosted throughout the year. Visits are designed individually depending upon the child or group of children visiting. Some medically needy children require private visits due to the amount of time they can be away from machines, energy levels, or other requirements or setbacks. An example may be a child battling cancer having a private visit not only riding the train, but learning how to operate it and how the railroad evolved over time. Another, learning to plant a vegetable or flower that they can take with them, or other activities depending upon the individual’s abilities. Another example is a group of children from a hospital or facility visiting and experiencing similar activities. We work with hospitals, directly with the family, or partner with other organizations like Make A Wish, to fulfill these experiences.
Children with Special Needs:
Established 2013 Programs for children with special needs are hosted throughout the year. From a private visit, to large groups of special guests. Children of any age with special needs are welcome to enjoy a day of learning and fun. A typical visit may include learning the operation of the railroad, then taking a train ride, helping in a garden and planting something to take home to grow, and other available activities. Each visit is individually planned by Mrs. Tracy along with professionals to the specific needs of the child or children visiting. Large events for the special needs community are regularly hosted as well.
Street Camp Program:
Established 2014 The farm hits the streets during the summer to bring camp activities and snacks to children right in their own neighborhoods. First the volunteers along with children do a street cleanup, then the fun begins learning life skills and respect for themselves and others through various activities. Low income housing communities are typically where street camps are held. Staffed by teen and adult volunteers, directed by Mrs. Tracy Kirby.
Brave Girls Teen Girl Outreach Program:
Established 2016 This program on the farm focuses on helping teen girls find hope, discover their beauty, respect themselves, and develop a real authentic faith of their own. Girls are matched up with mentors and also have the support of each other to tackle life’s obstacles. Any girl can join!
Children of Incarcerated Parents:
Established 2017 The farm works with children of incarcerated parents throughout the year. Among the goals of this program are to help the child realize they can choose a healthier path. An emphasis is placed on self-esteem and obtainable goals unique for each child. When appropriate, we assist in building a bridge between the child and incarcerated parent. Most incarcerated parents step out of, or never establish a relationship with their child because of shame. Most children are desperate to just be acknowledged by the incarcerated parent.
Together with Florida Prison Ministries we are hosting the 1st Annual event for children of incarcerated parents soon on the farm to bring children from throughout the state of Florida together for a day of learning, sharing, and fun. Children receive guidance, relate to others, and build healthy relationships.
Educational Field Trips:
Established 2013 We assist teachers outside the classroom. We offer a unique field trip experience on the farm with hands on learning about railroad history and agriculture. Kids love learning how to build a railroad at Kirby Family Farm, and meeting Mr. Kirby. From picking peanuts, to harvesting cotton, there’s always fun learning happening on the farm.
Through these programs and others Kirby Family Farm’s outreach programs reach thousands of children annually offering hope, confidence and self-esteem, emotional support, education, and skills that will assist them throughout life at no charge to the participants. Each of these programs utilize our museum collection of historic railroad equipment, agriculture, science, education, and the arts to enrich children’s lives. Each program shares a different opportunity to exhibit these items, using history and nature, to prepare our future.
These programs are available year around.
Kirby Family Farm hosts fundraising events occasionally throughout the year, opening the farm to the for anyone to enjoy and assist in the development of the farm, as well as inform and educate them about the purpose of Kirby Family Farm and its available programs.
Kirby Family Farm is currently completely donation funded and receives no government funding.
All contributions received are collected as a donation supporting the cost and development of the Kirby Family Farm, a 501c3 not for profit educational organization.