Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Boynton Beach, FL, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Boynton Beach, FL, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!973-587-8638
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — It's the first of its kind in Florida and only the second in the country.Students at Rolling Green Elementary School in Boynton Beach are participating in a dual language Haitian Creole program.The School District of Palm Beach County has close to 10,000 Creole-speaking students, and this is a new way to reach their community.When you walk in the front office of Rolling Green Elementary School, there are signs of Haiti everywhere. With a more than 60% Haitian population at the school, it was a...
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — It's the first of its kind in Florida and only the second in the country.
Students at Rolling Green Elementary School in Boynton Beach are participating in a dual language Haitian Creole program.
The School District of Palm Beach County has close to 10,000 Creole-speaking students, and this is a new way to reach their community.
When you walk in the front office of Rolling Green Elementary School, there are signs of Haiti everywhere. With a more than 60% Haitian population at the school, it was a no-brainer to start the district's first Haitian Creole dual language program.
From Creole to English, the kindergartners at Rolling Green are the only students in Florida learning their lessons in both languages.
"Some of them, they hear the Creole, but they don't speak it," said teacher Patricia Michele.
In Michele's classroom, it's Creole only. The lessons, the posters on the wall, and everything in between.
"They've never been to Haiti. By me teaching that, I can teach them culture and what the Haitian culture is all about," Michele said.
WATCH: Teacher Patricia Michele instructs students in Creole
This new dual language program is a nod to the strong Haitian community in the area, giving students the opportunity to learn in the language they hear at home.
"The community has wanted something like this, so to be able to give back to them, that's something we're most proud of," said principal Allyson Manning.
Across the hall from Michele's class, students spend the other half of their day in Marquita Brown's class learning English.
"This is a way to affirm their language and culture, as well as to educate them in English and Creole and inspire them to achieve success academically," said Jameson Stell, the School District of Palm Beach County's program planner for world languages and global studies.
Stell helped the program come to fruition and calls it a bridge for all students.
"We have students more comfortable in English. We have students more comfortable in Creole. And they have the opportunity to feel that comfort in their home language, as well as the productive struggle in the second language they are learning at the same time," Stell said.
Manning said it's proving beneficial already.
"A lot of the parents say, before, they weren't able to help their students at home. And now they are coming home and trying to learn things in their native language and they can actually assist. And that's a huge boost for the parents and they are really excited," Manning said.
Michele hopes teaching in her native language helps inspire these young students for years to come.
"I am praying this program is successful," Michele said. "That one day I will see the kids that I taught one day in kindergarten, and now they're improving to high school. That's my goal."
The dual language program is only in kindergarten at Rolling Green Elementary School, but each year the school will add another grade level.
A second elementary school will also begin the program next year with hopes of eventually expanding to middle school and high school.
For more information about the dual language Haitian Creole program, click here.
This real-estate feature from the South Florida Sun Sentinel highlights the latest plans for new construction as demand rises for more housing, offices and stores across the region. You can submit questions through this form or by emailing [email protected], if you’re wonderin...
This real-estate feature from the South Florida Sun Sentinel highlights the latest plans for new construction as demand rises for more housing, offices and stores across the region. You can submit questions through this form or by emailing [email protected], if you’re wondering about “what’s being built there?” in your community. Here’s one of the latest projects.
The location? 7499 Boynton Beach Blvd. in West Boynton by Hagen Ranch Road, just east of Florida’s Turnpike.
What’s planned? A massive 69,000-square-foot shopping center, Boynton Beach Marketplace will feature a variety of new businesses, highlighted by a Whole Foods Market. The development, which is being run by SJC Ventures, will also include sit-down restaurants, fast casual eateries, service establishments and boutique fitness options.
Jeff Garrison, principal for SJC Ventures, said they will likely have between eight to 14 businesses in Boynton Beach Marketplace. While no tenants have been officially announced, Garrison said they’ve sold about 80% of the available space.
The addition of the upscale grocery store will make it the sixth Whole Foods in Palm Beach County, joining other locations in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. The Whole Foods Market in Delray Beach, which is just off Linton Boulevard and east of Interstate 95, opened in 2020.
The absence of an upscale grocer in Boynton Beach made the location an appealing spot for a Whole Foods Market, Garrison said.
“It has all the characteristics of a great specialty grocery location: high density, high income, high traffic, high visibility and it’s an underserved market as it relates to specialty grocery,” Garrison said.
“Whole Foods looks at all those factors and we were able to convince them that this was the right location where all those items come together.”
Boynton Beach Marketplace comes amid a housing development boom in West Boynton. Less than three miles west, luxury homebuilder GL Homes is planning to build at least 277 homes — and likely hundreds more in the future — south of Boynton Beach Boulevard and west of Lyons Road as part of a new upscale community.
The project will be directly south of Valencia Reserve, a GL Homes property with more than 1,000 homes. Since 2009, four Valencia communities have opened along Lyons Road just south of Boynton Beach Boulevard, creating over 3,000 new homes.
What’s being replaced? Boynton Beach Marketplace will replace a vacant 8-acre lot.
When will project be completed? Construction is slated to begin within the next few months, Garrison said. The hope is for the project to be finished by either the first or second quarter of 2024.
Seeing demand: Boynton Beach Marketplace is the latest major development in the area. Farther east, The Pierce will encompass an eight-story apartment building with 236 units and more than 16,000 square feet of commercial and restaurant space on the corner of Boynton Beach Boulevard and Federal Highway.
Additionally, a massive 73-acre mixed-use complex is currently under construction in Lantana, just east of I-95. An Aldi grocery store and two luxury apartment complexes have already opened at the site, while a Chick-fil-A, a Wawa gas station and a Dunkin’ Donuts are expected to be finished within nine to 12 months.
Every so often, a beleaguered Florida consumer proposes a way to fix Florida’s property insurance availability problem:The state legislature should require big national insurance companies that bombard the state with auto insurance ads to also sell homeowners insurance.After all, they ask, why should the big companies be allowed to cherry-pick the easier and most profitable motor vehicle risks while avoiding potentially costlier property risks?Ed Huber, a Boynton Beach resident, wrote to the Palm Beach Post in 2013...
Every so often, a beleaguered Florida consumer proposes a way to fix Florida’s property insurance availability problem:
The state legislature should require big national insurance companies that bombard the state with auto insurance ads to also sell homeowners insurance.
After all, they ask, why should the big companies be allowed to cherry-pick the easier and most profitable motor vehicle risks while avoiding potentially costlier property risks?
Ed Huber, a Boynton Beach resident, wrote to the Palm Beach Post in 2013 that “Any insurer that is a national/international company will not be allowed to do business in any state unless all of its coverages are available in that state ... To exclude some coverage because of higher risk could not happen.”
Turns out they weren’t the first to come up with that idea. In 2007, such a law was enacted during a special legislative session on homeowner insurance convened by newly elected Governor Charlie Crist. And the new law was apparently forgotten soon afterward, with little discussion or evident enforcement.
In his 2006 campaign for governor, Crist criticized big insurers for “cherry picking” auto policies while dropping homeowner policies after unusually active hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005. Florida subsidiaries of Nationwide and Allstate announced they had stopped writing new property insurance business in Florida and were non-renewing tens of thousands of existing policies.
The crisis then resembled the one facing Florida now: skyrocketing rates, companies pulling out of the state, and more than 1 million stranded homeowners forced into state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
Crist argued that the solution included a law banning “cherry picking” by large insurers that sell home, auto and other products.
“I know in my heart that companies who would write property insurance in other states but not Florida, yet benefit enormously from writing auto policies in our state, need to stop discriminating against Floridians,” Crist said after winning the election, according to a 2007 story in the Palm Beach Post.
Almost immediately after taking office, he convened a special legislative session to address insurance costs and availability. Lawmakers passed measures expanding windstorm mitigation credits and stronger building codes, along with immediate 10% rate cuts for Citizens customers and a short-term freeze of Citizens rates. They also provided small insurers access to cheaper reinsurance though the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, as long as they agreed to pass some savings along to customers.
Additionally, they passed a version of Crist’s cherry-picking ban, with a provision barring companies from selling auto insurance in Florida if they sell homeowner insurance in any other state but not in Florida. Insurers with affiliates that sell homeowner insurance in Florida were exempted.
But the legislature declined to enact another Crist proposal that would have given the provision teeth: He wanted to prohibit large insurers from concentrating their business into spinoff companies — or affiliates — that were allowed to price their policies based solely on loss risks in Florida, and not their entire books of national business.
After Hurricane Andrew pulverized parts of southwest Miami-Dade County in 1992, the state allowed the large companies to spin off Florida-based subsidiaries in hopes of persuading the insurers not to leave the state entirely. State Farm created State Farm Florida Insurance Company. Allstate had Allstate Floridian (later Castle Key). Nationwide had Nationwide Insurance Co. of Florida.
Because of those Florida-only companies, the affiliate exception in Crist’s cherry-picking provision would have protected those large carriers from the possibility of losing their licenses to write auto insurance in Florida.
The provision contained no requirement that companies selling auto insurance write a minimum number of homeowner policies, said Mike Fasano, a former legislator from the Tampa Bay area who later tried unsuccessfully to strengthen the law to one that required insurers to sell everything in Florida that they sell elsewhere in the country.
The provision that was enacted “doesn’t say how many policies they have to write,” Fasano said in a recent interview. “It allowed them to say, ‘OK, we’re writing 10 policies in Hardee County. Therefore we’re writing both.’ It definitely was watered down. It should have said, ‘If you write 1,000 auto policies, then you should write 1,000 homeowner insurance policies’.”
That’s closer to a suggestion by Hollywood resident Pat Crowdery in a May 2021 email to the South Florida Sun Sentinel addressing insurer pullouts and rising rates. “If our state government did its job, they could pass legislation that would require any company that wants to write auto policies in the state to also take a certain percentage of homeowner policies.”
She noted that the idea might be complicated to implement “but doable.” The big national companies “all spend lots of advertising dollars trying to lure consumers into purchasing an auto policy from them while they shirk their responsibilities to the state by not offering home policies to those same consumers,” she said. “It’s immoral to put this current crisis on the middle class.”
Fasano lamented that the legislature “never came down on these insurance companies long ago, especially the big boys.” He sympathizes with consumers “who see the State Farms and the Allstates reporting billions in profits each year while their rates go up because their companies in Florida are crying poor mouth. You think, ‘What is the state doing for these consumers?’”
Most recently, the legislature held another special insurance session and enacted a package of reforms that lawmakers hope will eventually reduce high claims costs, stabilize insurance rates and encourage national companies to offer more policies in the state. Time will tell whether the reforms will be enough to lure more insurers back to the Florida market.
John Rollins, former chief risk officer for Citizens and current director of ventures, at Texas-based Evans Insurance Group, called Crist’s cherry picking ban a “showpiece provision” and said he was unaware of any enforcement activity.
Asked to comment on whether the “cherry picking” provision had any impact on Florida’s insurance market, Crist’s campaign issued a statement that sidestepped the question and defended the package of reforms.
“Ron DeSantis is the worst property insurance governor in Florida history,” the statement said. “We are in the middle of a hurricane season and under Ron DeSantis, homeowners are getting dropped left and right. I am proud of the law I signed as governor in 2007 that stabilized the insurance market, held companies accountable, and lowered rates 10 percent.
“But not only do we need strong legislation that will protect Floridians, we need a governor who wants to enforce it. When I’m governor, I’ll be on the side of the people, not the insurance companies.”
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation did not respond to questions seeking to know how or even whether the provision is enforced when the office reviews auto insurers’ requests for approval of rate increases or coverage changes. A search of the statute number on the office’s website yields no results.
Also unknown is how the provision could affect a large auto insurer like Progressive, which earlier this year said it stopped writing new homeowner policies in Florida and would not be renewing existing policies.
Then there’s Geico, which, according to the price-comparison website Value Penguin, bundles home insurance with its auto insurance policies but only sells home insurance underwritten by third party companies.
A comparison of publicly accessible insurer filings to the Office of Insurance Regulation’s website turned up a handful of auto insurers that advertise homeowner policies but have not requested approval of homeowner insurance rates or rules in Florida since May 2018.
One of those companies reported insuring nearly 190,000 motor vehicles this year in Florida. It sells homeowner insurance in four other states but only sells auto insurance in Florida, according to a member of the company’s marketing team reached by phone.
A search of filings to the Office of Insurance Regulation turned up no home insurance rate or form filings by the company.
If the provision has not been enforced, perhaps it’s because insurance regulators know it would be challenged in court, Fasano said.
Some insurance industry insiders say it’s ludicrous to consider forcing companies to sell specific product lines in specific states.
“Forcing auto insurers to offer home insurance in Florida would most likely drive these companies out of the state,” said Mark Friedlander, director of communications for the Insurance Information Institute, a consumer-focused website funded by national insurance companies. “Also, we have some carriers that only write commercial lines coverages in Florida but personal lines in other states. Would you also force these companies to write home and auto as well? Another way to drive insurers out of the state.”
Friedlander also disputed the idea that auto insurance companies are awash in cash, saying profitability of the segment is deteriorating due to increasing claim severity and inflationary impacts on replacement costs.
Stacey Giulianti, chief legal officer at Boca Raton-based Florida Peninsula Insurance Co., said companies cannot commingle funds from separate lines of insurance and cannot be expected to offer all types of insurance everywhere.
“Every line of insurance has to stand on its own in terms of solvency,” he said. “You can’t use money from your auto carrier to subsidize homeowners insurance rates or vice versa. That’s simply not permitted.
“Moreover, shouldn’t companies be permitted to write how and where they want? Government shouldn’t force someone to write even one policy if it’s not in their Florida wheelhouse.”
Giulianti and Friedlander each said that insurers will be reluctant to offer homeowners policies in the state until it becomes possible to turn a profit consistently. As a whole, the property insurance industry in Florida has lost money in each of the past five years, according to data submitted to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The situation won’t improve “until the state legislature takes strong actions to disincentivize the endless flow of lawsuits against property insurers,” Friedlander said.
Giulianti said that until the Florida market makes financial sense, “all the insurance companies in the world won’t make a bit of difference.”
Ron Hurtibise covers business and consumer issues for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He can be reached by phone at 954-356-4071, on Twitter @ronhurtibise or by email at [email protected].
BOYNTON BEACH — Patricia Michel's kindergarten classroom at Rolling Green Elementary School in Boynton Beach has all the usual things inside: 19 biwos, or desks arranged in groups of five, one tablo elektronik, or SMART board, at the front and its own twalèt, which her students ask to use throughout the day by saying, "eske mwem ka ale nan twalèt?" or "Can I go to the bathroom?"Michel's kindergarten class is ...
BOYNTON BEACH — Patricia Michel's kindergarten classroom at Rolling Green Elementary School in Boynton Beach has all the usual things inside: 19 biwos, or desks arranged in groups of five, one tablo elektronik, or SMART board, at the front and its own twalèt, which her students ask to use throughout the day by saying, "eske mwem ka ale nan twalèt?" or "Can I go to the bathroom?"
Michel's kindergarten class is the first Haitian Creole dual language program in Palm Beach County. It's one of just a handful of programs like it across the country in select Miami and Boston public schools.
Their classroom's posters and their math workbooks are written in Creole, and Michel exclusively speaks in her heritage language as she teaches.
But the 18 students are far from bilingual.
Like most 5-year-olds, they're antsy — switching between Creole and English with their peers and getting stumped on words they don't know.
Her students speak Creole, or Kreyòl, at home, Michel said, but like many speakers of heritage languages in the United States, there's no formal teaching of sentence structure or vocabulary lessons by groups of items such as fruits or pieces of clothing.
"A lot of them learn and hear Creole at home, but they're not reading or writing it," Michel said. "Only one of my students knew the alphabet in Creole before coming to my class."
At home, she said it's more likely they learn Creole words and sentences by being asked to pick up things or by listening to older generations talk about family goings on.
Which is why some Creole words such as jako stumped most of the class on the morning of Sept. 1 as they ran through different alphabet sounds and words with Michel.
It means "parrot."
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About 60% of Rolling Green Elementary's student population has ethnic roots in Haiti.
Allyson Manning, the school's principal, said most of her students are second- or third- generation Americans — the generations whose parents or grandparents emigrated to the United States and who are at greatest risk of losing their heritage language.
The "third-generation expectation," presented by sociolinguist Joshua Fishman in 1966 and again by Calvin Veltman in 1983, is a model of heritage language loss where members of the immigrant generation learn as much English as they can but speak their mother tongue at home. The second generation speaks the heritage language at home but shifts to unaccented English at school and work.
In Fishman's and Veltman's model, the third generation speaks English at home and heritage language knowledge disappears.
While sociolinguists have observed different patterns in U.S.-born English language learners, staff and school leaders at Rolling Green Elementary are trying to disrupt the erasure of Creole by renewing students' interest and access to the language.
To work with parents, members of the school's front desk staff slide seamlessly between English and Creole. They call out to most people who enter the office's front door in Creole first.
In Palm Beach County, nearly 100,000 residents speak Creole out of 1.5 million who live here, according to the school district, which pulled data from the U.S. Census Bureau to support its push for the dual language program. About 9,500 students in the district say they speak Creole at home.
And the language is part of the fabric of dozens of communities here: Palm Beach County bus schedules, voting information and school district flyers are available in Creole along as well as English and Spanish. Therapists advertise their ability to work with Creole-speaking clients, and El Presidente supermarkets carry items labeled only in Creole.
But as younger students consume more videos, books and music in English, they risk losing the ability to use those services in Creole and communicate with elder generations of their family.
"Our goal is for these students to be bilingual and biliterate," district world languages and global studies coordinator Jameson Stell said. "That's how we help preserve intergenerational connections."
Creating the dual language program wasn't as easy as borrowing school materials from Haiti, Michel explained.
Most classes taught on the island are conducted in French, although a small number of schools focus on transitioning children from Creole to French through elementary school.
"I could only speak it at home," Michel said of using Creole where she grew up in St. Marc, Haiti. "Because you could not speak it in school. I had to speak French in school."
That meant teaching materials in Creole are hard to come by for U.S.-based programs, Stell said.
Most curricula available in Creole are produced by a company in Pompano Beach started by Haitian-born researcher Féquière Vilsaint, who left his work in biochemistry at the University of South Florida to translate math and language arts materials into Creole for U.S. students. He now works with 54 other authors to develop workbooks and classroom materials.
That curriculum had to go through official adoption by the Palm Beach County School District — and be reviewed by a committee of three Creole-speaking staff who could understand and assess it.
Rolling Green's dual language program won't stop at kindergarten.
The 18 students in Michel's classroom and the 18 other students in the program will go into first grade next year with a new Creole-speaking teacher. They'll continue to do 50% of their language arts and math class in Creole and the other 50% in English.
Because of this, the school has to commit to building a roster of Creole-speaking teachers for every grade over the next six years, Stell said.
Michel, in her second year of teaching at Rolling Green, was eager to take the Creole fluency test last year and begin teaching in the program. Her energy radiated as she corralled the students around the classroom and read children's books aloud with a booming voice that demanded their attention.
She said her dream for the program is to see her kindergartners become high school graduates who are fluent in English and Creole in 12 years.
"I want to see those kids grow, and I want them to be able to say 'I was the first one that was in kindergarten class and in that program, and that Ms. Michel was my teacher,'" she said.
Now, they're one step closer.
MIAMI GARDENS — The most-anticipated performance at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon wasn't that of NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders or Florida A&M's renowned marching band.Travis Hunter Jr., a West Palm Beach native, made his college football debut for Jackson State in the Tigers' 59-3 blowout of FAMU in the 2022 Orange Blossom Classic.The undisputed No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2022, Hunter made waves earlier this year when he chose Jackson State over traditional college football powerhou...
MIAMI GARDENS — The most-anticipated performance at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon wasn't that of NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders or Florida A&M's renowned marching band.
Travis Hunter Jr., a West Palm Beach native, made his college football debut for Jackson State in the Tigers' 59-3 blowout of FAMU in the 2022 Orange Blossom Classic.
The undisputed No. 1 overall recruit in the Class of 2022, Hunter made waves earlier this year when he chose Jackson State over traditional college football powerhouses like Florida State.
He shined immediately in his debut, breaking up FAMU's first pass attempt of the afternoon and later deflecting a pass directly into the arms of a teammate, who could've walked in for pick-six had he caught the deflection.
Head coach Deion Sanders said Hunter suited up at about "60 percent health" against FAMU. Hunter wore a boot this offseason while nursing a lower body injury.
"You see what he's able to do at 60 percent," Sanders said. "60 percent of Travis Hunter is worth 100 percent for a lot of people."
The win was a South Florida homecoming for one of college football's most tantalizing talents.
Hunter transferred from Palm Beach County to Collins Hill (Suwannee, Ga.) before starting his varsity high school football career, a move that took him away from the fertile grounds on which his father used to dominate.
Travis Hunter Sr. was a football and track star for Boynton Beach High School in the early 2000s.
As a 15-year-old freshman, Hunter Sr. was clocked electronically in the 100-meter sprint at 10.82 seconds.
In 2004, he set Boynton Beach's school record in the 4x100-meter relay (41.63s) with Odiles Jeune, Jodson Noel and Cameron Rolle. The record stands to this day despite near-misses by relay teams featuring future Heisman Trophy winner and unanimous NFL MVP Lamar Jackson in 2014 and 2015
Travis Hunter Sr.'s football exploits made use of his impressive speed on offense, defense and special teams, even when the Tigers weren't the most competitive team.
In 2004, Travis Hunter Sr. scored an 82-yard kick return and a 46-yard pick-six against Martin County to help Boynton Beach snap a 14-game losing streak.
Hunter Sr., a 2005 Boynton Beach High graduate, had his own ambitions of playing college football. He told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2008 that he planned to join a JUCO roster in Kansas upon high school graduation, but held off due to his children.
Instead, Hunter Sr. played semipro football in the Florida Football Alliance and Southern States Football League, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year for the latter in 2007.
"I am trying to chase a dream," said Travis Hunter, Sr., then 22. "I would be willing to go arena first and I'll go from there. I'll see who picks me up. I will go to the Canadian League, or the NFL, whoever wants me.
"I just want to play ball. I was supposed to go to Dodge, Kansas [after graduation], but I had two kids so I couldn't leave them."
With his son now living that "dream" of playing college football, Hunter Sr.'s exploits at Boynton Beach beg an unanswerable question: What if Travis Hunter Jr. stayed in Palm Beach County for his high school football career?
Whether he stuck with his father's high school or caught on at a private school, Hunter's appearance on a Palm Beach County roster likely would've encouraged some of the county's other top players to join forces, rebalancing the pecking order in the county.
Hunter's presence (and absence) also lend an insight: Boynton Beach went 19-19 over the last four years while Collins Hill went 36-17, including a 14-0 run to the Georgia state championship with Hunter last fall.
Eric J. Wallace is the deputy sports editor for The Palm Beach Post. He can be reached at [email protected]