StoryWalk signs offer literary outdoor adventures in Jacksonville

A second children’s book was installed in Klutho Park in Springfield in the form of StoryWalk, a series of child-sized signs with the disassembled pages of a picture book – in the correct order and on a sidewalk several feet apart.

“Tap the Magic Tree” by Christie Matheson is an interactive story about a magical tree. The StoryWalk project was created by the Jacksonville Public Library in collaboration with the City of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department and the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council. It invites children and adults to read, be outdoors and be active at the same time.

A new book is to be installed every three months. Klutho Park is located at 204 W. Third St.

StoryWalk at Klutho Park in Springfield features a series of child-sized signs with the disassembled pages of a picture book - in the correct order and several feet apart along a sidewalk.

Here is more good news:

• Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the military baby shower is at Jacksonville Elks Lodge # 221 was a little different this year: a drive-through matter instead of a traditional gathering. But the February 20 event offered gifts to mothers in 22 families at the lodge on West Road 1855.

Lodge members and volunteers gathered during the week to separate gifts and donations for each family who had been asked to “wish lists” of their most wanted items for their new babies. Elks Lodge originally planned to help 16 families; supported by Blue Star families and the TO USE, six more were added. Each family was given a time slot to collect their gifts, which were loaded into their cars by volunteers.

The shower took place with funding from the Spotlight Grant and the Gratitude Grant from the Elks National Foundation. It was the second year that the lodge hosted the event.

Wendy Layton (from left), Director of the Blueville Families Jacksonville Chapter, AJ Jones,

• • Family of wounded warriors support featured military veteran and St. Augustine residents Brandon Long At the end of February with a new Ford F-150 XLT equipped with mobility as part of the “Mobility is Freedom” program.

Long lost both legs while serving with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan in 2010 after stepping on a 40-pound improvised explosive device while on foot patrol. He was medically retired in 2012.

The non-profit organization Mobility is Freedom was founded in 2015 to provide modified Ford vehicles for combat-injured veterans. The program aims to improve their quality of life by ensuring freedom and independence in their daily life.

Long is actively involved in his daughter ClaireDaily activities in taekwondo and ballet. He enjoys taking her on adventures to teach her life skills and prepare her for adulthood.

Marine Corps veteran St. Augustine resident Brandon Long poses in his new, mobility-equipped Ford F-150 XLT.  Wounded Warriors Family Support provided Long with the vehicle in February as part of its program

• To celebrate Read Across America Day Fleming Island Primrose School held a book campaign that donated more than 1,000 books to charity.

The ride was part of a reading program at the daycare and preschool center that encourages parents to read at home with their children and send books to school to share with classmates. Students donated the books to Palms Media in Orange Park, St. Vincent’s Pediatrics in Clay County, and Island Pediatrics.

Read Across America Day, established by NEA in 1998 to motivate children to read, takes place annually on March 2nd.

• • Mover & Shaker, a Jacksonville-based bartending lifestyle brand, has donated 1,500 cocktail-inspired face masks to bars and restaurants across the country. The company has partnered with Cocktail Critters, another bartending lifestyle brand, to sell colorful animal and cocktail-themed masks and to help companies affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Hotel workers “come in contact with tons of people every day,” he said Nick Hogan, Founder of Mover & Shaker, “and the donation of these masks is our way of helping them exercise caution for the well-being of themselves and their families.”

Masks are distributed including 150 restaurants and bars across the United States Toscana Little Italy and sidecar in Jacksonville, Bottle and cannon and Shim Sham Room in Jacksonville Beach, Julep in Ponte Vedra Beach, Friends and The ice plant in St. Augustine and Cent in Gainesville.

Kai LumCocktail Critters founder started donating masks in the US, UK and nine countries across Asia at the start of the pandemic. “Since we work closely together in the US market, Kai asked us if we would like to participate in the next fundraising round.” Shannon Michelle, Marketing and Event Manager at Mover & Shaker, said. “We took the opportunity.”

Do you have any good news? You can email The Florida Times-Union, PO Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231, or email [email protected]

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