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Coach and quarterback together again
Former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his ex-coach, Urban Meyer, were reunited over the weekend for a good cause. Tebow’s foundation hosted its fifth annual celebrity gala and golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. Meyer is now the head coach at Ohio State University. Other celebrities included Jake Owen, Cam Newton, Evander Holyfield, Danny Wuerffel, Artis Gilmore and Paul Azinger.
Students help peers learn to read
Communities In Schools of Jacksonville students from Hogan-Spring Glen Elementary School who once struggled with literacy volunteered to help pre-K students at the Chappell School learn to read.
The students read a variety of books to the younger children as part of Duval Reads Reading Day. The program placed an emphasis on early literacy development and student empowerment.
The Duval Reads Reading Day was an example of collaboration in the community to support early learning, said Nancy Dreicer, president and CEO of Chappell Schools and a Communities In Schools board member.
“Those elementary school students used to struggle with reading themselves, and by passing on their success to younger children, they serve as a clear demonstration of how children can positively impact each other,” she said.
Operating within schools since 1990, the Communities In Schools Jacksonville affiliate serves more than 6,900 students in 37 schools annually with case management, mentoring, literacy and after-school initiatives. For more information, visit CISJax.org.
500K Can Challenge for Feeding Northeast Florida
Students at 13 schools in St. Johns County collected 8,815 pounds of canned goods for Feeding Northeast Florida as part of the nonprofit food bank’s 500,000 Can Challenge.
The schools were among many groups that set up collection boxes to collect canned foods requested by the 150 food pantries and charities served by Feeding Northeast Florida — specifically more canned fruits and vegetables, pop-top canned meats and peanut butter.
“Our member food pantries are always short of these high-value items, and the students really took that to heart in collecting for the food drive,” said food bank President and CEO Bruce Ganger. “We were overwhelmed by how much food these students collected and very grateful for their help.”
Participating schools included Crookshank, Cunningham Creek, Hickory Creek, Osceola, Ocean Palms and Wards Creek elementary schools, Landrum and Switzerland Point middle schools, Patriot Oaks Academy along with Bartram Trail, Creekside, Nease and St. Johns Technical high schools.
Based on pounds collected per students, the top three schools were St. Johns Technical High School, Hickory Creek Elementary and Creekside High School.
“The real winners are the St. Johns County residents in need and the philanthropic organizations that assist them,” said Megan Laubacker, community partnership coordinator with the St. Johns County School District.
Although the agency didn’t reach its goal, Ganger said the agency plans to build on what it learned to generate more teams and engagement in the food drive when it kicks off later this year.
For more information, visit feedingnefl.org
Charity poker March 26 to benefit chamber foundation
JAX Chamber and bestbet Jacksonville will host a March 26 charity poker tournament to benefit the chamber’s foundation.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. with poker lessons, networking, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tournament play will be 5:30-8 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers.
Additional opportunities to win include bounties, a bubble prize, first player out and more throughout the tournament. Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m.
Several members of the chamber’s board of directors will have bounties on them, meaning players who knock them out of the tournament will win prizes.
Be a player in the competitive Texas Hold’em poker tournament for $50.
Spectators are invited to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres for $15 per person.
For additional information, visit myjaxchamber.com or call (904) 366-6675.
Sheriff’s Posse hosts roundup March 28
The Police Athletic League of Jacksonville invites the community to join it for the 2nd Annual Sheriff’s Round-Up for PAL on March 28 at Deerwood Country Club.
The event, hosted by Sheriff’s Posse members Andy Baggs, Ted Baker, Earl Benton, Rick Cox, Clarence Gooden, Kent Stermon, Steven Vining and Michael Ward, will honor outgoing Sheriff John Rutherford for what he has done to help young boys and girls grow up to be nonviolent, law-abiding citizens.
This country-western themed event will benefit the educational, athletic, summer camps and teen leadership programs of the Police Athletic League.
From 6:30-10 p.m. guests will eat, drink, dance, play a round of blackjack and bid on silent auction items.
Every sponsor and ticket purchaser will be supporting PAL’s mission of enriching the lives of children by creating positive relationship between law enforcement officers and youth through educational, athletic and leadership programs.
“The event is an essential source of revenue for the Police Athletic League,” said Executive Director Lt. D.J. Valentine, “And we are looking forward to an evening of good old-fashioned fun all for a worthy cause.”
This year’s goal is to raise $150,000.
The league serves more than 2,200 children annually and 500 children daily in after school educational programs.
The organization provides a safe place for children to go during out-of-school time and offers them homework assistance as well as sports and leadership opportunities.
Tickets are $125 or $75 for young professionals under 35 years of age. Sponsorships are available for businesses.
To purchase tickets or sponsorships, call (904) 854-6555 ext. 319 or visit jaxpal.com.
Arts education for jailed youth
Through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cathedral Arts Project is providing opportunities for juvenile offenders to integrate arts education with their current curriculum. The hope is that participating youth will use the art they create to share their stories and convey a message to their peers about not following in their footsteps.
Local artist Tony Rodrigues holds art classes with 11 youth currently serving sentences at the Duval County Pre-Trial Detention Facility.
The twice-weekly sessions supplement the education provided by Duval County Public Schools. Classes began in January and will continue through June.
“Some students will be ending their sentences soon, and we want them to see the arts as a real opportunity for them in the future,” Rodrigues said. “Other students are serving much longer sentences, and their peers need to hear the messages they convey through the arts so they don’t make the same mistakes.”
The participants are focused on learning about and creating abstract artwork while incorporating additional elements like poetry and creative writing.
Combining the elements not only allows them to learn many key artistic concepts, but also provides an outlet to share their stories.
“One of the main program goals is to reduce recidivism as these youths become adults,” Josué Cruz, chief program officer of the Cathedral Arts Project, said. “We understand the importance of partnering with the Department of Juvenile Justice for this program and serving our greater community as a whole.”
Because students already participate in Duval County Public Schools academic classes, the Cathedral Arts Project’s goal is to ensure they receive a complete education through the inclusion of the arts.
“Our mission is to provide arts education to underserved students, and this was a very clear case of needing to ensure these youth were provided that opportunity,” Cathedral Arts Project President and CEO Kimberly Hyatt said.