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In this issue: Best Of Winners


December 2016

Dec 9 - 11, Dec 16 - Jan 7 | | Closed Christmas Day

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December 2016

Dear Readers,



his is our “Best” issue of the year – it’s the issue where we present your picks for the Best businesses in North Florida for Families. Turn to page 16 to find out who this year’s Winners are. Congratulations to all of the winners on the high honor of earning the praise and recognition from you, the parents of the children they serve. We’ve got the “Best” holiday events North Florida has to offer families on page 12. Visit us online all season long for an always updated Holiday Events Calendar. Our resident expert on Pediatric Nutrition, Aurea Thompson is giving us her “Best” Nutrition Tips for Families. Find out what they are on page 6. Wondering what the “Best” toys are for your kids? Toy Notes has 102 ideas and we’ve highlighted the “Best” Educational Toys from that list for you on page 20. There’s something for children of every age. You can find the complete list online at If you have a child with Special Needs on your gift list, turn to page 27. Thank you to our experts Megan Hyman Outpatient Pediatric Program Coordinator with Brooks Rehabilitation and Shelby Heiser, Occupational Therapy Student at Florida International University for an excellent resource. We’ve posted the list to our Blog for you for future reference at

The Key to Happiness and Success......................................................... 4 Community Profile: Santa’s Special Kids................................................. 5

EATING WELL Best Nutrition Tips for Families................................................................ 6

HEALTH & SAFETY Protect Kids from Negative Social Influence ............................................ 7


6 Parenting Lessons From the Happiest Country in the World .................. 9

HOLIDAY GUIDE Zoo and Gardens. Every December 31st, we gather to celebrate “Noon” Year’s Eve – a family-friendly New Year’s Celebration with an apple juice toast at Noon and live entertainment and great prizes. This year, you could win a family ski trip to Cataloochee Ski Area in beautiful Maggie Valley, North Carolina*! Join us beginning at 10am on the Great Lawn. The first 500 kids will get a goody bag. Noon Year’s Eve is free with Zoo admission. See you there! We hope this holiday season is your “Best” ever!

The “Best” read of your day today will be Jon Gordon’s Keys to Happiness and Success on Until next month, Page 4 and our Community Profile of Santa’s Special Kids on page 5. Enjoy these uplifting Alison Peters-Carlson Editor columns. One of the “Best” Events we bring you each year is Noon Year’s Eve at the Jacksonville

*No purchase necessary

Winter Camps .....................................................................................10 WinterFEST..........................................................................................11 Holiday Events .....................................................................................12 Christmas Books Around the World .......................................................12 Holidays at Walt Disney World...............................................................14

BEST OF 2016 ..................................................................16-17 EDUCATION Use Holiday Shopping to Teach Math ....................................................19 That’s My Job! Brandy Hilboldt Allport, Books Page Editor ......................19 Educational Toys ..................................................................................20

DUVAL COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS School Choice Expo .............................................................................21 Food Truck Project Is A Recipe for Success ......................................22-23 I Choose to Teach ................................................................................24


Florida’s 2016-2017 State Ambassador................................................25 Here Comes the Bus ............................................................................25 Davis Elected Superintendent ...............................................................25


Follow us... Alison Peters-Carlson Editor....................................... Linda Bigbee Graphic Tim Chavez Graphic Designer........................................... Judi Fields Circulation Doug Berle Advertising Sales......................................... Beth Canonica Advertising Sales.................................... Donna Paunetto Advertising Sales.............................. Mary Gustafson Business Manager............................... Published by Child Enrichment, LLC, 12620-3 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246. Copyright 2016. Reproduction of any artwork or copy prepared by To Go is strictly prohibited without written consent of the publisher. We will not be responsible for any errors and/or omissions. The Publisher’s liability for error will not exceed the cost of space occupied by the error. Articles for publication are welcome and may be sent to For more information concerning advertising, call 904-710-2020 or e-mail

Character Counts! Followers Recognized .............................................26 School Board Names Tim Forson As New Superintendent of Schools......26 Next Year’s School Calendar OK’d ........................................................26


What Toys Are Appropriate? .................................................................27 Things To Do: Special Needs.................................................................27


Show Me The Money ...........................................................................28 Things To Do: Teens .............................................................................28


Pet Photos with Santa ..........................................................................29 Holidays and Pets ................................................................................29


December Events ................................................................................30 DECEMBER 2016 • •

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The Key to Happiness and Success


believe I have found the key to happiness and success and it can be observed first hand in millions of homes and children’s hearts this holiday season. The key is to be like a kid on Christmas morning—Thankful for the gifts you have received and optimistic and excited about the new gifts that are coming your way.

This was something I learned a number of years ago. At the peak of my misery, struggles and failures I realized I had to stop being disappointed about where I was and needed to start looking forward to where I was going. Once I started being thankful for the simple gifts in my life and became excited about the road ahead I experiIt’s all about energy and when we project grateful enced a completely different journey. When you energy we receive more gifts to be grateful about. change your heart and mind you change the That’s why abundance will flow into our life when direction of your life. gratitude flows out of our heart. We become a gratitude magnet and experience more joy, look So what are you thankful for? What is right about love, thumb peace, ailment happiness, and your life? Be sincerely grateful. Then think about prosperity. what your brighter and better future looks like. What do you hope for? Trust it is happening. Get But what about my desire for a promotion, a excited. We often think that we’ll get excited better job, more money, more friends, better about life when we have a life that is exciting but health, more abundance you might ask? Isn’t it actually it works just the opposite. important to strive for more? Doesn’t gratitude breed contentment and stagnation? How can I be When we get excited about life is when we will thankful when I know my life can be so much get a life that is exciting. better? In this spirit may you experience amazing gifts That’s why it’s important to also be optimistic and this holiday season and may your 2017 bring you excited about the new gifts that are coming your even greater gifts than you could ever imagine. j way. Sure you are thankful for what you have but you also look forward to more. Instead of projecting the energy of “lack” and focusing on what you don’t have you focus on your gifts and you trust that even better gifts are coming your way.

Jon Gordon

“Kids go where there is excitement. They stay where there is love.” – Zig Ziglar

ect f r e P

Gi y a d li


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Community Profile: Santa’s Special Kids syndrome, pediatric cancer and other special needs.

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. No really, there truly is and his name is Santa Dan. We have known Santa Dan for many years now and to our 12-year-old (who also has Down syndrome), he is the only Santa. He will even refuse to see anyone other than Santa Dan during the Christmas season. “I have always said that my son has a sixth sense when it comes to people. He seems to be able to tell within minutes if they are someone worth getting to know or someone he doesn’t care to spend his time with. But with Dan, his eyes light up at the sight of his ‘tanta.’ He knows there really is a Santa Claus. “Dan is a remarkable human being who makes us believe. His kind and generous heart is unlike anyone I have ever met. His love for children and adults with special needs is what makes him very special to us. And his enthusiasm is contagious. His organization, Santa’s Special Kids, was founded with one simple notion: To do something to enrich the lives of children with special needs and their families – not just at Christmas, but year-round. “How can he be anything but the real thing?” -- a review by Jennifer 391 on the website


anta’s Special Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit organization located in northeast Florida dedicated to providing year-round programs and assistance that enhance the quality of living for children with special needs. It focuses efforts on helping kids with autism spectrum, Down

The organization founded by “Santa Dan” Gallagher of Jacksonville has provided equipment and supplies to enhance the quality of life for these children. In 2015, it bought $3,000 worth of exercise equipment for special needs children to use during summer camp for therapy purposes. Santa’s Special Santa Dan Kids also strives to create wonderful moments for children with special needs. The current project is to raise $11,000 to send 20 special needs children to summer camp. Santa Dan also has numerous toy drives during the season for all special needs children in Northeast Florida and, as “Santa,” Dan does many home visits as well as corporate and charity events. Sign up to become a volunteer with Santa’s Special Kids. Individuals, groups, businesses,

Santa and his helpers teams and churches are all invited to join in helping enhance the lives of special needs children in Northeast Florida. You can find out all about Santa’s Special Kids at santasspecialkids. com. j

DECEMBER 2016 • •

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Best Nutrition Tips for Families


nother year has come and gone, and hopefully it has been a healthy, happy year for everyone. Strive for every day to be a healthy one for you and your children. Here are a few nutrition tips I have put together from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Organize Your Snacks Children are always looking for snacks. Their stomachs are smaller than ours, so they tend to fill up quicker and then need something else to eat sooner than we do. Healthy snacks make an important contribution to a child’s overall nutrient intake. If you want to encourage your kids to eat healthier snacks, here are some tips: • Keep fresh fruit on the counter where kids can see it. Kids usually want what they see. • Wash and cut up vegetables ahead of time so they’re ready to eat and store them in see-through containers or plastic bags so kids can see what’s inside. • Put nutrient-dense foods (low-fat string cheese, yogurts, fruits, vegetables, hardboiled eggs, dried fruits/raisins, and humus for example) where they can be seen and easily reached. • Keep cookies and chips in cabinets or on higher shelves where they will be less convenient to reach, or better yet, don’t buy them at all and you will be less tempted too.

• Keep regular meal schedules: when meals aren’t regular or when meals are missed, children tend to snack more heavily to make up the missing calories, and then are less hungry at mealtime.

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• Empower your children: Involve them in planning meals and snacks – let them choose one meal a week that they would like, and help them to make it healthy. For example, if the meal is spaghetti and garlic bread, use whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti sauce with vegetables, lean ground beef or turkey, and homemade garlic bread with olive oil instead of pre-packaged garlic bread w/saturated fats. Encourage a salad on the side for extra veggies and fiber.

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• Encourage your children to try new foods. • Eat as a family at least once a day – it doesn’t have to be dinner. Try eating breakfast together for a change. Or, if your family has varying work/school schedules, designate certain nights of the week as “family dinner nights” to make sure that you have time together with your kids. • Physical Activity: Children need to move for good health. Go for a bike ride, walk the dog, play tennis, or shoot hoops. Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity a day – which will keep mom and dad in good shape too. Whatever changes you make to your eating habits and behaviors, I hope you continue to grow in knowledge with your children about the right choices for you and your family so you can all enter 2017 a little bit healthier. j

Healthy Eating for Growth Depending on their age, children can learn basic healthy eating practices including MyPlate. Most children can also learn how important it is to Aurea Thompson, MSH, RD, CSP, LD/N move their body to stay healthy. Parents’ food and Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition lifestyle choices influence how a child will make Wolfson Children’s Hospital their own food decisions and eating behaviors later in life.

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Protect Kids From Negative Social Influence


hat exactly is social influence? Social influence is the effect of modeling. Clearly, I do not mean runway models with their fancy clothes. Instead, I mean the effects that happen when kids see others behave. Social influence can be a good thing, such as when kids see good role models that makes them want to work hard or be kind. However, social influence can be negative if they see others acting out inappropriately, rudely or aggressively, followed by that person coming out ahead.

ing, but even those with higher levels of social understanding demonstrated more social aggression, and also girls (aggressive television viewing leads to more bullying among girls in school settings. Hence, it is clear that kids may receive influence from violent or aggressive media and engage in lower intensity aggressive acts (pushing, name calling, verbal disrespect), even if they never engage in some of the exact acts that were shown on social media (shooting guns, fist fighting, etc.).

First, social learning—does it change behavior? It absolutely does. A classic experiment shows 2 different groups of kids a video, one at a time. One group sees a child treating an inflatable child-sized clown blow-up doll with respect. The other group sees a child punching, kicking, and knocking over the doll while laughing. After seeing the video, the kids are put into a room with the exact replica of the doll in the video. In both groups, the kids treat the doll how they were shown that other kids treat it—either with respect or with aggression.

1. Choose holiday gifts wisely. Consider videogames with strategy, sports, or role playing games that includes dialog and problem solving, but not graphic violence. Video games have ratings, just like movies do—M for Mature is a clue that it may be unwise to buy it.

Negative social learning can happen as a result of any media source that a child or teen is exposed to—video games, TV, movies, social media, or even the news. What kind of incentives are viewed in media for negative social behavior? Videogames like Grand Theft Auto show prostitution as being paid off with health, and aggression/robbery with more items, cars, and cash. Other videogames give more money, more experience points for increased killing. TV or movies may depict criminal life and drug use with the characters receiving higher amounts of money, fame, respect, attention from romantic partners, etc. In various countries, dictators or other leaders who are socially aggressive can be revered and described as being “great,” “powerful,” or “strong leaders.” Violent protesters can be seen as being “heroes” fighting for a just cause—even when they are actually causing people to get hurt or property to be destroyed. Ironically, even if these acts shown in the media ultimately push many people away from the behavior, it can still influence kids or teens to do these behaviors due to the short-term positive impact. Social media, such as YouTube and Facebook may show aggressiveness, crudeness, or recklessness that has a high positive view rating. Does viewing negative media result in negative behaviors in kids and teens? Yes. Research shows both short-term and long-term promotion of physically violent and/or other negative social behaviors. The effect is shown to be greater when someone develops a preference to choose violent/aggressive media, leading to further exposure to negative role models. The effects were measured to impact both boys (direct physical aggression after playing violent video games for children with less empathy and social understand-

What can parents do to prevent negative social influence?

2. Consider movies and TV shows that your child is allowed to watch—limit exposure to those with negative or “adult” themes, and encourage pro-social themes like achievement, respect, or kindness. 3. Consider internet and/or cable box filters for various sites, and/or monitor online behavior. There’s a lot of advice out there on how to do that. 4. Limit exposure to graphic or extensive news about negative events or role models. Stay informed as a parent.

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5. For kids who are mature enough, describe in age-appropriate ways what is happening in relation to something that you both just viewed on TV. Explain the choices that were made, and the negative result of that choice—even if the show only demonstrated the positive short-term result.

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6. Related to news, young adolescents often talk about current events in their classrooms or view news stories online. Talk with a younger child if they bring up something that another kids told them in school. We cannot keep kids in a bubble. They will encounter these things. However, we can limit exposure, and help to process what they’ve seen or heard.

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7. Parents can also talk to their children about ways to behave that allow them to be positive role models for others, as well as how to deal with negative influences in real life. Further, parents can demonstrate how to use these positive strategies so that their child has a positive role model to follow in their own home. j

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6 Parenting Lessons from the Happiest Country in the World


enmark is the planet’s happiest nation, and part of its secret has to do with their people’s upbringing. Here’s how you can raise your kids like a Dane, according to the book ‘The Danish Way of Parenting’ by co-authors Jessica Joelle Alexander, an American mom with a Danish husband, and Iben Dissing Sandahl, a therapist in Copenhagen, (TarcherPerigee, 2016).

weight,” “I’m not a good writer,” etc.—you’re setting the example to your children that there are preexisting limits, rather than that anything is possible. E is for empathy

Empathy unquestionably makes the world a better place. In the Danish school system, there is P is for play a mandatory program called Step by Step. Kids are shown pictures of other kids demonstrating American kids seem to have every minute of their different emotions, like fear, anger, and happiday stuffed with classes and activities; even ness, and they’re asked to put into words what playtimes are scheduled. Danes, on the other the other person is feeling. This helps teach hand, follow a philosophy called “proximal children empathy, as well as how to read facial development,” which basically states that kids expressions. Danish parents continue this need space to learn and grow (with a little help, if process by helping their children learn to put necessary). Children are left to pursue their own themselves into another’s shoes so they can interests, enabling them to try new things and better understand their relationships with their build their own trust in themselves. While parents friends and family members. are present and available, they’re not in control or in the middle of activities. Keep in mind that the N is for no ultimatums Danes invented Legos, a toy in which the whole point is free and creative play. Danish parents are firm but also responsive, setting high standards for their kids but being A is for authenticity supportive of them. They don’t expect total obedience, but they do expect appropriately Americans who watch Danish movies or Danish mature behavior from their children. In Danish books will notice pretty quickly that they seem a families, respect goes both ways. Above all, little downbeat and do not offer Hollywood-style adults must remember to be kind and patient happy endings. For example, in the original even when their children are going through version of The Little Mermaid, writer Hans stubborn phases. Christian Andersen did not let his heroine get the prince; in the Disney movie, not only does Ariel T is for togetherness get married to Prince Eric but she also gets to remain human forever. The Danes possess a The Danes have the unusual word hygge realistic outlook on life, and they share it with (pronounced hooga) in their language—it literally their children. This can be seen in how they means “to cozy around together.” Families play praise their children—they believe in praising games together, take a tea break, enjoy nice them for the right reason in the right way. Danish meals, and generally spend time enjoying each parents will praise a child for their hard work in other’s company. Many Americans, on the other learning to conquer a task, rather than praise hand, seem to have a limit to how much family them for the inherent intelligence that enabled bonding they can take without a break. How to them to do so. This approach teaches kids that bring it to your family? Think “we” over “I”; find they can learn to do anything, as opposed to activities in which everyone can participate; play possessing only the capabilities they were born non-electronic games; sing songs or play music, with and being incapable of improvement. and celebrate everyday togetherness. Keep in mind that this goes beyond parent-child time: The R is for reframing more friends you have, and the more your extended family enjoys one another, the happier The Danes like to take situations, especially you will all be. stressful or unpleasant ones, and try to reframe their perception of them. For instance, if the Every year since 1973, the international Organweather is miserably cold and stormy, a Dane isation for Economic Co-operation and Developmight say that at least he’s glad he isn’t on ment has voted Denmark as having the happiest vacation. Danes believe it’s all in how you look at people in the world. Why? The answer lies largely things, so they try to use language with children in how their people are raised: to be resilient, that doesn’t limit them or their circumstances. emotionally secure, and content adults. j Parents strive to find the brighter side of things— and they start with themselves. So if your own expressed thoughts are negative—“I can’t lose

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Winter Camps 2016 MOSH Winter Discovery Camp December 26 – December 30 | 9am - 3pm Extended Care: Before Care: 7:30am - 9am. After Care: 3pm - 5pm. Subzero Science Kindergarten through 2nd Grade Camp Grab your winter clothes and bundle up for a week of freezing temperatures! MOSH campers will discover the wild weather behind snow, investigate the coldest parts of our galaxy, and travel pole to pole to learn about animals that brave some of the lowest temperatures on earth! Through chilly experiments, science shows, and hands-on activities, campers will learn what it means to be cold! Lights, Camera, Science! 3rd through 5th Grade Camp Get your popcorn ready! MOSH campers will learn how their favorite superheroes, villains, princesses and other characters use science, as well as examine some of the behind-the-scenes magic of the movies. From sampling special effects to creating their own stop motion short films, campers will be ready to take on Hollywood with their scientific knowledge. Cost: $164 for MOSH Members / $205 for Non-Members. Extended Care: $10 per child, per day. Please select all applicable dates when registering. 1025 Museum Circle, Jacksonville, FL 32207 904-396-6674 x226  Tommy Hulihan’s Christmas Sports Camps Session #1- December 19 - 23 Session #2- December 26 – 30 8am - 3pm Extended Day: 7:30am – 8am and/or 3pm – 6pm Boys and girls 5 years old - 6th grade. Campers will participate in a variety of team sports and age appropriate activities.  Some of these include: basketball, soccer, flag football, kickball, tag and more. Campers are required to bring a lunch Monday – Thursday. If your camper will be in extended care, please remember to provide an extra snack. Every Friday the campers get a pizza lunch and an afternoon of bowling. Campers will be divided into groups based on their age. All family and friends will be allowed to be grouped together, regardless of age. Cost: Weekly $120 (Mon – Fri). Daily $30 (Mon – Thurs) or $35 (Fri). | St. Paul’s Gym, 212 5th Street North, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 | 904-349-2611  KidsPark Winter Camp December 17 – January 8 KidsPark is happy to offer fun Winter Break Camps just in time for the shopping and party season. Whether you need them for the whole break, a week, a few days or just a few hours, KidsPark is the solution for your holiday childcare needs! KidsPark, known for hourly drop in childcare for children ages 2-12, offers gift making workshops, imaginative play, arts, crafts, music and movement, circle and story time, group games, as well as outdoor play. Camps are charged at their hourly rate. The discounted day rate is available for visits up to 8 hours. Rates: First Child – $8.00 Second Sibling – $4.00 Each Add’l Sibling – $2.00 Family Registration $25 Valid at all KidsParks. A visit once every 12 months keeps registration active. | 4274 Herschel St, Jacksonville, FL 32210 | 904-387-8602 | 9726 Touchton Rd #111, Jacksonville, FL 32246 | 904-683-4554  MOCA Winter Art Camp December 26 – December 30 January 2 – January 4 Grades Kindergarten – 5th. MOCA Jacksonville provides half-day and full-day sessions during winter break. Experienced art educators teach a variety of media and skills while providing the contemporary art history context for

each project. Daily Themes Include: Contemporary Creations, Art of Egypt, Nature of Art, Animalistic Art, Mixed Media, Landscapes and Cityscapes, Under the Sea, Op/ Pop Art, Masters of Art, Art of Animation, Materials in Art, Welcome to Florida, Fiber Creations, Realistic Masterpieces, Science of Art, and Art in Color. Cost: 9am - 1pm: $25 each day. 1pm - 5pm: $25 each day. 9am - 5pm: $50 each day. | 333 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 | 904-366-6911  Jacksonville Zoo Winter Break Camp December 28, 29, and 30 9am - 4pm Extended Care: 7:45am - 8:45am and 4:15pm - 5:15pm Don’t let the post-holiday blues get to you! Instead, get ready to chill out by sending your kiddos to Winter Zoo Camp at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. While you sip cocoa at home, your campers will see some of their favorite furry and feathery friends enjoy the cooler weather. They will also participate in hands-on activities and crafts which will enhance learning of each day’s topic. Pick one day or sign up for all three! Members $45; Non-Members $50 | 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32218 | 904-757-4463  Winter Camp at Camp Immokalee December 26 – December 30 Ages 7 – 15. Winter Resident Camp at Camp Immokalee provides an exciting, safe community for campers to explore the outdoors, build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills and make lasting friendships and memories. Activities include: Archery, Cooking, Evening Campfires, Holiday Crafts, Horseback Riding (limited availability), Ice Skating, Nighttime Zip Line, Paintball, Polar Plunge and more. Cost: Camp: $290. Paintball: +$30. Horseback Riding: +$50. | 6765 Camp Immokalee Road, Keystone Heights, FL 32656 | 352-473-4213  Sylvan Winter STEM Classes December 27 - December 30 Sylvan Learning offers Winter STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes in Coding, Robotics and Engineering for grades 1st – 8th. Cost: $39/per class. Math Edge, ACT/SAT® Test Prep classes and personalized tutoring programs also available. 2416 Dunn Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32218 | 904-757-7414 | | 1414 Kingsley Ave, Ste 4, Orange Park, FL 32073 | 904-2693561  Karate America Winter Camp Karate America Winter camp offers constructive fun with traditional martial arts benefits. Super fun but also teaches kids powerful life skills like focus, discipline and respect while learning cool martial arts moves. Enroll today at select locations. Hodges at JTB | 904-223-7079 7:30am to 5:30pm - Weekdays during Winter Break Mandarin | 904-268-4424 7:30am to 5:30pm - Weekdays during Winter Break Blanding at College | 904-276-2344 7:30am to 5:30pm - Weekdays during Winter Break Ponte Vedra | 904-285-4031 Call for info – LIMITED SPACE Wells Road | 904-264-7555 Call for info – LIMITED SPACE Julington Creek | 904-230-2791 8 am to 5:30pm - Weekdays during Winter Break Monument Road | 904-996-8111 Call for info – LIMITED SPACE Eagle Harbor | 904-264-9111 Call for info – LIMITED SPACE | 904-724-7544 | Multiple Locations Throughout Jacksonville

Page 10 • • DECEMBER 2016




here’s Snow Falling at the Beach!

The 6th annual WinterFEST is underway. Adventure Landing has transformed its Shipwreck Island Water Park and wave pool at 1944 Beach Blvd in Jacksonville Beach into a cozy alpine experience complete with an outdoor ice skating rink, a 130-foot long alpine slide, Blizzard Bluff Village for WinterFEST goodies and collectibles, Crystal Creek Lodge for coffee and hot chocolate and other winter eats & treats. There is also s’mores roasting over an open fire, ornament making, sugar-cooking decorating, a teddy bear factory, a hologram light display, a carnival of reindeer games, and ice sculpturing. You can visit Santa’s Workshop, visit with the jolly old fellow, get your picture in his sleigh and drop your letters in his mail box.

And as a special treat, there is snow falling every night – every hour beginning at 5pm. See for tickets, pricing and a complete schedule of events and times. WinterFEST is open through January 8, including Christmas and New Year’s, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. most days and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and the week after Christmas. So zip up those parkas and get ready for the frosty chill, as Adventure Landing transports you to this charming winter event you won’t want to miss. j


Dec 2 & 3 at 8 pm • Dec 4 at 3 pm

Courtney Lewis, conductor • Guest vocalists Jacksonville Children’s Chorus Florida Blue Masterworks Series Sponsored in part by Mayo Clinic

Semi-staged opera for the whole family.


Dec 8 at 7:30 pm • Dec 9 at 11 am & 8 pm Dec 10 at 3 pm & 8 pm • Dec 11 at 3 pm Nathan Aspinall, conductor

A special surprise from the Bethel Baptist Institutional Choir Fidelity National Financial Pops Series • Coffee Series

Concert sponsors: SunTrust • Stein Mart • Westminster Woods Drummond Press • Jess and Brewster J. Durkee Foundation Harbinger Sign

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T I C K E T S : 9 0 4 . 3 5 4 . 5 5 4 7 • J A X S Y M P H O N Y. O R G DECEMBER 2016 • •

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HOLIDAYS 14th Annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza November 30 through December 23 The Jacksonville Historical Society presents this beloved holiday tradition for three weeks each December. Visitors enjoy gigantic, creative gingerbread houses built by chefs, bakers, architects, engineers, culinary school students, families, young people and other individuals. The creations are placed on display at the Jacksonville Historical Society headquarters, historic Old St. Andrews Church, immediately across the street from the Veteran’s Memorial Arena. The suggested donation for Adults is $5. For children aged 3-16, the suggested donation is $3. Weekday hours: 11am to 5pm; Saturday hours: 10am to 5pm; Closed Sundays. Jacksonville Historical Society / 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32202 / A Christmas Story • Thru December 24 The Alhambra presents an adaptation of A Christmas Story, November 23 thru December 24. Ticket prices start at $49.95, plus tax, per person. Kids 12 and under are $35 plus tax. No performances on Mondays. Price includes dinner and a show. Alhambra Jax / 904-641-1212 / 12000 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32246 / Enchanted Christmas Village • Thru December 31 Enchanted Christmas Village with holiday activities, through December 31. General admission tickets are $22 per adult, $12 per child (3-12), and Ages 2 and under free. Season passes and family packages are available. Admission includes live entertainment, gingerbread display, face art, balloon art, santa’s workshop, Frosty’s Fun Zone, and more. Some activities, such as the Holly Hayride, Christmas Maze, and Carousel Rides, do cost extra. Parking is $10 per car, cash only. Enchanted Christmas Village / 888-4866413 / 17255 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32234 / Downtown Dazzle • Thru December 31 The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC) is proud to present its second annual downtown holiday celebration by illuminating the outside of its downtown office, located at 225 East Duval Street, with festive lights synchronized to recorded songs of the season performed by JCC. Holiday, Christmas and Hanukkah songs will be broadcast on 94.5 FM radio for onlookers to enjoy. Downtown Dazzle continues through New Year’s Eve. Each night, 12-minute presentations will begin at 6pm and conclude at 9:30pm. Jacksonville Children’s Chorus / 904-353-1636 / 225 East Duval Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 / www. Christmas at Gaylord Palms • Thru January 1 During Christmas at Gaylord Palms, families can enjoy holiday displays that include more than 2 million twinkling Christmas lights and acres of larger-than-life decorations. Enjoy visits with Santa, Cirque Dreams UnWrapped Live Stage Show, ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas and Alpine Rush Snow Tubing. Runs thru January 1. Tickets for ICE! start at $14.99 for children and $28.99 for adults. Season passes, Florida resident discounts, and combo tickets are available. Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center / 407-5864423 / 6000 West Osceola Parkway Kissimmee, FL 34746 / Jacksonville Beach Deck the Chairs Thru January 1 Deck The Chairs (DTC) is an annual lighted sculptural exhibit using the iconic red chairs of The American Red Cross Life Saving Corps. Free and open to the public. All net proceeds from DTC will benefit the historic Jacksonville Beach Life Saving Corps. Kick off is the day after Thanksgiving and the event runs through the month of December. Featured Events: December 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-24, 30-31 -- Shine Hope & Peace Light & Music Spectacular December 10, 17, 3pm and 4pm -- Players By The Sea

Holiday Youth Performances December 11, 4:30pm to 7:30pm -- Night Of Music & Dance Seawalk Pavilion / 11 1st Street North, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 / Holly Jolly Nights of Lights Trolley • Thru January 4 Old Town Trolley offers special Nights of Lights tours, nightly from November 20, 2016 – January 4, 2017 and then on Fridays & Saturdays from January 6 – 28. The trolley tours depart from 6pm to 9pm continuously. No reservations are required. Tours begin at the Visitors Information Center, located at 10 W. Castillo Drive, next to the downtown parking facility. On weekend nights and on the busy nights around Christmas, there will be live entertainment at the Visitors Center. Tickets are $12.99 for adults and $5.99 for children (ages 6-12), while kids under 6 are free. St. Augustine Visitor Center / 904-829-3800 / 10 W. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084 / Ripley’s Red Train Nights of Lights Thru January 5 Hours are 6pm to 8pm Sun thru Thurs and 6pm to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Prices are $10.99 for adults and $5.99 for kids. A “no waiting” option is available with a reservation-based VIP tour on Fridays and Saturdays. The cost for VIP option is $14 for adults and $7 for kids. All passengers will receive a pair of magical viewing glasses, to take in the special effects of the lights, and passengers are invited to participate in caroling while “lightseeing”. Tours depart from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum at 19 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. Combo tickets are available and include Nights of Lights Train, a Red Train Pass, and a round of miniature golf at Bayfront Mini-Golf. $29.99 for adults, $14.99 for kids. The Super Combo Tickets (includes a ticket to Ripley’s Odditorium) for $43.98 for adults, $22.98 for kids. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum / 904-824-1606 / 19 San Marco Avenue St. Augustine, FL 32084 / Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Fourth Annual ZOOLights • Thru January 7 Thousands of LED lights will transform the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. Guests will have the opportunity to view sculptures and performances by local artists including students at UNF and JU, a fairy village in the Range of the Jaguar, and yarn bombing by Yarn Bomb Jax. In addition to walking among the thousands of lights strung throughout the Zoo and listening to spirited holiday music, guests can enjoy a unique view of ZOOLights by boarding the Zoo’s lighted train (the train only runs from the back of the Zoo to the front). Guests can also enjoy carousel rides, the 4-D Theater Ride featuring the Polar Express, marshmallow roasting, warm weather “ice” skating and more. The cost is $10/Non-Members; $8/Members. Save $1 when you order online. Open December 9 - 11 and December 16 - January 7, closed Christmas Day. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens / 904-757-4463 / 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32218 / WinterFEST Thru January 8, 5pm to 9 pm most days and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and the week after Christmas The Alpine experience is complete with an outdoor ice skating rink, a 130-foot long alpine slide, snow falls every night, s’mores roasting over an open fire, ornament making, sugar-cooking decorating, hologram light display, carnival of reindeer games, ice sculpturing, Blizzard Bluff Village for WinterFEST goodies and collectibles, Crystal Creek Lodge for coffee and hot chocolate and other winter eats & treats and visits with Santa. Adventure Landing / 1944 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 /

Page 12 • • DECEMBER 2016

CHRISTMAS BOOKS AROUND THE WORLD Mexico A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas by Pat Mora

Sweden The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits by Ulf Stark

Africa A Stork in a Baobab Tree: An African Twelve Days of Christmas by Catherine House and Polly Alakija

Italy The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola

Russia Babushka: A Christmas Tale by Dawn Casey

Australia Christmas Wombat by Jackie French

Germany Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo

Japan Tree of Cranes by Allen Say

Bering Sea King Island Christmas by Jean Rogers

Iceland The Legend of the Yule Lads by Heidi Herman




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DECEMBER 2016 • •

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Holidays at Walt Disney World Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”at Hollywood Studios

create a sparkling icy centerpiece for the celebration. New this year, Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration”, a new castle stage show including medleys of holiday songs along with special effects and magical projections on Cinderella Castle.

New for the 2016 holiday season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”, an all-new nighttime spectacular. The facade of the Chinese Theater will come alive with state-of-theart projections. Experience special effects, fireworks and even snow on, above and around the theater. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will run Nov. 14 to Dec. 31, 2016. Candelight Processional and Holidays Around the World at Epcot The Candlelight Processional is the retelling of the Christmas story by celebrity narrators, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and choir. Performances are at 5:00, 6:45 and 8 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre from Nov. 25-Dec. 30. Candlelight dinner packages are available through Enjoy the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase at Epcot as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life with music and traditions. Explore what the holidays taste like around the globe at five new marketplaces and see the special seasonal finale of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth November 25 – December 30. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park

Enjoy “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade” featuring more than 160 performers and12 floats lighting up the streets of Magic Kingdom Park. Shows are at 8:30p.m. and 10:30p.m. each night of the party. 2016 party dates are Nov. 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, and 29 and Dec. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, and 22 Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party start at $86 for ages 3-9, and can range to $91 for ages 10 and up. This price may vary depending on the party night selected to attend, and does not include tax. To purchase tickets, visit Disneyworld. com or call 407-WDW-7679. The party starts at 7 p.m., but party guests with tickets will be allowed admission into Magic Kingdom beginning at 4 p.m. on party nights. Disney Springs With its multi-year makeover from Downtown Disney nearly complete, Disney Springs will be unwrapping its first full-on holidays gala. All four neighborhoods - West Side, Marketplace, Town Center and The Landing - will be filled with festive decorations, special events and entertainment fun for the whole family. Special events include: • Stitch’s Holiday Gift - A fun scavenger hunt including all four neighborhoods of Disney Springs. Guests pick up their Holiday Hunt booklet at any participating location, then explore Disney Springs in search of a unique Stitch icon at each participating location. Once complete, guests redeem the booklet at a redemption location to receive a free “completer” button. • The Festival of Toys - The Once Upon a Toy Fountain area (Marketplace) comes alive with a holiday dance party, hot chocolate, pin trading and a nightly tree lighting ceremony.

Photograph: Ryan Wendler On select nights from Nov. 7 – Dec. 22, guests with tickets to this special, after-hours event can enjoy an evening filled with magic and wintry wonderment with hot cocoa and cookies, snow flurries falling on Main Street, U.S.A., a jolly parade, fireworks show and A Frozen Holiday Wish, where Queen Elsa from “Frozen” uses her powers to

• Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail (Marketplace) - This immersive and enchanting walk-through experience features 15 custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme. Custom music and a light snowfall completes the Christmassy scene. In addition, byways and stages will be filled with holiday entertainment throughout Disney Springs. Share your Christmas wishes at Santa’s Chalet (Marketplace) daily through December 24 from Noon - 10:00 p.m. Santa Goofy joins the fun December 25-December 30 (Noon-10:00 p.m.). j

Page 14 • • DECEMBER 2016

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2016 Christmas Sports Camp

Session #1 - December 19th-23rd Session #2 - December 26th-30th

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Kids really do say the funniest things! Please share your favorites with us by e-mailing your story directly to One entry each month will be turned into a cartoon to be published in the next issue of Jax4Kids. We’ll send you the original cartoon as a keepsake.




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Page 16 • • DECEMBER 2016



BEST PLACE TO PARTY / AGES 7-12 Adventure Landing

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EDUCATION Use Holiday Shopping To Teach Math


eaching opportunities present themselves every day, in nearly any context. Parents and teachers alike are capable of providing engaging, challenging, and enriching moments intended to extend and apply learning to real-life situations. Computing in the Bulk Food Aisle The grocery store is a fantastic place to apply mathematical concepts taught in school. These suggestions can be implemented by a parent on a family shopping trip, on a class field trip to the store, or modified for use in a classroom setting. Begin by heading over to the bulk foods or produce aisle of your local store. On the way, review or introduce the concept of scale measurement and standard units. Once you get to that section, have younger children practice weighing items and reading the scale. Older kids can look at the price per unit, weigh the items, and mentally compute or estimate the total price. Be sure that they keep the price per pound or unit in mind as they figure out the totals.

shopping cart. An easy way to estimate totals is to assign an average price to each item. If you have 10 items and the average price for each item is $2, the total price estimate would be about $20. Play with the Packaging Mathematicians call the flat, unfolded designs of three-dimensional shapes nets. Use grocery store packaging to learn about nets. There are three steps to this process. Learner will first predict, then create, and then draw a set of nets. They will discuss what shape they think each of the items will make once they are flattened. Next, they will take the objects apart to see the net. You can also unfold a cardboard box, without showing the child the original box. Ask him to imagine what the original box looked like, and what shape will it be when it is put back together. Have the child trace all the faces of a box, or any other three-dimensional shape by laying every side, top, and bottom on the paper to be traced. After they study their shapes, see if they can draw a net (the unfolded version) of the box. Unfold the box to see how closely the drawn net corresponds to the actual net. What would the net of a pyramid look like? This is a good activity to use when discussing volume, capacity, area, or perimeter.

Comparing in the Candy Aisle Price per unit can also be used when comparing prices, values, and cost. Discover this as you move along to the candy aisle. Here, younger children can locate the items that cost the most and least per pound. Ask your shoppers to estimate or j calculate how much more one candy item costs than the other. Older learners can compare various candies via weight and price per unit to determine which of two items is a better value. Extend this idea by having kids compare pre-packaged sweets to those found in the bulk candy section. Calculating Coupon Savings Coupons and sale items are perfect when you want to practice calculating percentages. Start by ensuring that learners know that a percentage is a part of a whole, just like a decimal, or a fraction. Bring a calculator to the store to have kids in the middle elementary grades compute the savings of items that are discounted by percentages. Older shoppers can compare the data found at the store to determine if the discounted prices are really the best value. Cut out grocery store coupons and keep track of how much money is saved with coins. For example, if you save 20 cents on detergent. Ask learners what could be purchased using the savings from the coupon. A pack of gum? How much money could be saved with three, four, or five coupons? How could that money be counted out in coins and bills? What could be purchased with the savings? A magazine? What percentage of the original price is the coupon worth? Spotting Shapes Shapes are everywhere, and the grocery store is no exception. Start this activity by reviewing plane and prismatic shapes. Then have the kids go on a shape scavenger hunt where they check off each shape on their list and write the name of the object next to its shape match. This can be done with colors, letters, words, and numbers. For example, a cereal box is a rectangle, a can of soup is a cylinder, and an orange is a sphere. Counting at the Check Stand A lot of math happens at the check stand. Have your child estimate the total price of items in a


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Books Page Editor-The Florida Times Union How long have you been the Books Page editor?

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I started editing the entire Book Page in 2008. Before that, I was contributing reviews and columns to it on a regular weekly basis since 1997. I still write a column called Read All About It that runs every two weeks on the Book Page. It concentrates on literature for children and young adults. Why did you choose this job? I chose the job because I am in love with books and telling people about books. It’s fun to spread the word about good literature for all ages. What kind of education did you get to become a Book Page editor? I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in education. The journalism degree helps me with the editing and writing part of the job, and the education degree helps me choose appropriate books for children of specific ages.

a weekly article called Book Marks. It’s a round-up of book-related events happening on the First Coast that includes signings, author visits and literary news about newly published books. As I mentioned earlier, I also write a children’s book column called Read All About It that focuses on picture books for children ages 4 to 8. I also write reviews of beginning chapter books and titles for middle-grade readers. What do you like most about your job? The thing I like most about the job is reading the books and deciding which ones to share with the reading audience. Sometimes, people will call me and ask me for recommendations for their children or grandchildren. There is nothing more satisfying than matching people with books.

What are some of your responsibilities? Not only do I write book reviews, I edit book reviews written by other people. I also write DECEMBER 2016 • •

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Educational Toys Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Blast-Off Space Station™ by VTech® Little astronauts will help the rocket lift-off from the launch pad for an outer space adventure. They can maneuver down the space ramp, spin the solar system or even pretend to escape from a black hole. Includes a variety of manipulative features that strengthen motor skills and teach the concept of cause and effect. Ages 1-5.

MudWatt This bio-energy pet is an educational toy that gives your child the science basics from an early age. Build and grow a living fuel cell from mud. Light up an LED and run a digital clock using bacteria power. Experiment by adding stuff from your fridge (like Gatorade) to maximize your MudWatt's power. Track the growth of your Play Doh Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar bacteria population and power and unlock Fill and Develops important skills like problem solving, chapters of The Electric Microbe comic book Drill Set planning & sequencing and critical thinking. with the MudWatt Explorer App. Based on the Every time kids change and rearrange his Ages elementary school Classic Play segments, Code-a-Pillar™ takes a different path. and beyond. Doh sets that Kids can even configure the came out segments to make Monopoly 60 years ago, Code-a-Pillar™ Ultimate the Play Doh reach targets Banking Drill and Fill is a new edition designed to enhance they set up Edition your child’s imagination. Pretend to be a dentist throughout the Hasbro by filling cavities, making braces, and much more. room. Ages 3-6. introduces Features an electric drill and toothpaste. a new twist on the Ages 3+. Sphero SPRK+ STEAM Educational Robot classic game Monopoly. Monopoly Ultimate The Sphero SPRK is designed to encourage Banking is a cashless game allowing instant Osmo Coding Set curiosity, inventiveness and creativity. transactions between players. Event cards have Osmo Coding is one of Through the growing world also been introduced for an exciting game, the easiest ways to help of coding, they can now as property your child learn the basics program and play in values rise of programming. more ways than they and fall. Coding teaches ever imagined. Ages 8+. problem solving and The SPRK+ is far logic skills to help them succeed in an increasingly more than just a digital world. Osmo Coding includes coding blocks robot, with endless for use with the Osmo Coding app. Ages 5-12. programming possibilities ClickBlok ClickWhiz Magnetic that are bound to inspire. Ages 8+. Construction Toy Space Gear Scientific Explorer Young Architect City Planner 3D Master Gear set allows Design and build your dream city. kids to build moveable Use colored pencils, templates, aircrafts, rockets, and pre-made layouts to a space craft, animals, towers, bridges and more transform into 3D buildings. using 3DF magnetic blocks Includes stackable buildings and plenty of city accessories. and gears. Develops creativity, imagination, Ages 8+. mathematical and scientific thinking. Ages 6+. Piper Computer Kit ™ The Piper Computer Kit contains all the gadgets needed to build a computer from scratch. Kit contains electronic gadgets including led lights, motion sensors, buzzers, buttons and switches. Teaches critical thinking, building, electronics, coding, problem solving, and growth mindset. Ages 6-12.

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Math for Love Prime Climb This colorful, award-winning mathematical board game for 2 to 4 players inspires deeper mathematical understanding while mastering arithmetic. Players roll the dice and add, subtract, divide and multiply their way to the center of the board, picking up prime cards and bumping opponents back to start as they go. The first to hit the center with both pawns on 101 wins the game. Ages 10+

DECEMBER 2016 • •

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Each school was responsible for one aspect of the Food Truck Project. Raines focused on the culinary side, developing menus and what they would be serving. First Coast covered the logistics. Ribault oversaw the finance and business side. Ed White managed the marketing. Mandarin oversaw the health science portion of the menu, ensuring the Food Truck Project’s food choices were nutritious.

Food Truck Project Is A Recipe For Success

Since then, the Food Truck Project has grown to include five additional career academies and became a year-long competition. Throughout the school year, two teams of five schools challenge each other for points awarded based upon teamwork, professionalism, and profit. The two teams are Chop Chef – Terry Parker (culinary), Raines (marketing), Robert E. Lee (logistics), Ribault (finance), and Mandarin (health sciences) – and Fired Up (Frank H. Peterson (culinary), Atlantics Coast (marketing), First Coast (logistics), Wolfson (finance), and Andrew Jackson (health sciences). In the first two-team showdown, Fired Up edged out Chop Chef 1,563-1,450 points during the 2015-16 school year.

“The extra team was As a sophomore at Terry Parker High School, Jason Phipps is added in not already thinking of the future. He has already researched the cost of only for the purchasing a truck and realizes the vast range of prices. However, element of when Phipps is ready to buy his own food truck, there is one thing competition that will help set him apart from others who venture into the food truck and fun, but business. because it was such a great Experience. opportunity for students to Phipps is one of 72 Duval County Public Schools high school students get out of their participating in the Food Truck Project for the 2016-2017 academic classrooms year. As a student-led district initiative, the Food Truck Project takes and do what what career academy students are learning in the classroom and they love to do,” said Copeland. “We wanted to spread it to more high allows them to put that knowledge to the test in the real world. schools.” “When Dr. Vitti came to Jacksonville, he had a vision for a food truck,” said Regan Copeland, Supervisor of District Initiatives and Partnerships. “More specifically, it was an opportunity for students to take what they were learning in the classroom and apply it in a real world setting.” Students from career academies at five schools – Ed White Academy of Military Leadership, First Coast High School, Mandarin High School, Raines High School, and Ribault High School – were the pioneers in 2013-14. They developed a business proposal, garnered support from the Jax Chamber, and presented the plan to the Duval County School Board. The following year, the students participated in six events, using the approved business plan. Page 22 • • DECEMBER 2016

The opportunity to use the Food Truck Project as a method for training experience has even allowed one school to receive a national honor. “The students from Ribault handle all the finances for our team,” explained Phyleshia Jones, Director of Ribault High School’s VyStar Academy of Business and Finance. “We collect the money and count it. We make up spreadsheets and tally sheets for keeping track of cash and making sure it balances at the end of each event. It’s pretty good hands-on training. “We’ve used the Food Truck Project as our work-based learning project to earn our distinguish status with the National Academy Foundation,” continued Jones. “We were showcased at the NAF Conference in Anaheim, Calif. Lots of other districts liked the idea and they were going to take back our business plan to initiate something like this in their own districts. A big part of the NAF curriculum is that the students get work-based learning and internship-like activities that give them hands-on experience.” Word about the Food Truck Project is spreading – both among the students and Jacksonville community members. Student interest was at such an all-time high for the 2016-17 edition of the Food Truck Project that a maximum number of students per school had to be put into place. One school even had 27 students interested!

“At first four years ago, I was initially like ‘Nah, it’s not my thing,’” said Ribault senior Shakeria Smith. “My grandma got on my case about it and said that I should give it a try because I might like it. It turned out really good. I’ve learned a lot from the experience and it has helped me with my future career.” “When I first joined, I was excited when I heard about it because I like cooking,” said Terry Parker junior Cianna Thomas. “It’s been really fun and I’m glad I made the choice to join. If you’re into cooking, I definitely recommending doing the Food Truck Project. It’s a good experience, especially if you want to become a chef or a business owner.” Community support is becoming more apparent. Initially, the Food Truck Project only served at schoolrelated events, and quite a few of those events were at the schools that had students participating in the initiative. Eventually, the Food Truck Project began going to Hemming Park for family-friendly events. Copeland has fielded multiple requests for the Food Truck Project for 2016-17, including one that came before the start of the school year. “This year, before the school year even begun, the Jacksonville Public Library reached out and said ‘We’ve heard about the Food Truck Project and want to get involved. We want to reserve you now,’” said Copeland. “This was in August for an event that is in March.” Both teams will be at the Food Truck Project’s first and last event of the year. The competition started off at the Boys and Girls Club’s Collard Green Festival on November 19, while it will end later in the Spring with a showdown at the DCPS Administration Building. The remaining events in between will feature only one truck. The season-ending competition at the DCPS Administration Building will be a repeat experience for the veteran Food Truck Project participants. Last year, both Chop Chef and Fired Up had trucks parked outside of the building for a truck vs. truck battle during the lunch time hours. For many of the students, it was a memorable experience.

have that communication, it would not have gone as smoothly and we had A LOT of people to get food to.” And the various events – like the end-of-the-year cook-off – has helped to instill a very powerful feeling among the students who are working with the Food Truck Project. Pride. “You just get really proud of yourself,” stated Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology senior Quiron Burns. “You get into it more. There is a lot of pride going on all around. Everyone is happy to see you doing well in something that you love.” “It moves so fast that when you have to sit back and explain to people what actually happened, it makes you realize ‘Wow, I really did that,” added Phillips. “When you are in a fast-paced situation like a food truck, you’re trying to get the food out as fast as possible. Sometimes you don’t get to sit back and just realize I’m actually working on a food truck.” The Food Truck Project has helped many of the students bring with their future career goals into focus. Smith looks to use her skills as part of the finance group to open her own business one day. Phillips is looking more into dietetics and nutrition because she loved making sure a nutritious ingredients were included in their recipes and menus. Burns is unsure if he’ll be joining the military or going to college next year, but he really wants to be running the kitchen in a restaurant. And then there’s Phipps with his own food truck dreams. Regardless of the path each student takes, the education provided by each academy is on full display through the students’ work with the Food Truck Project. “You want public education to be praised throughout the city,” said Copeland. “We’re doing that with the Food Truck Project. We’re taking and revitalizing public education and making it more exciting and fun. We’re taking it out of the school walls.”

For more information about the Food Truck Project, visit www. “There was a whole lot of people! I had to open up two lines, so I had half of my team members go to the second line, while I worked the first line,” said Phipps. “I divided up the one with the wings and the Colleen O’Connell other one with the shrimp boil. At that time, I had people asking where they go, so I had to broadcast my voice and tell them the wings are here and the shrimp boil is over there.” “Last year, I was only a sophomore and Quiron [Burns] and I worked with the seniors,” added Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology junior Janasia Phillips. “We worked well together because of our communication and being able to talk with each other. If we didn’t


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Clay County School News

Florida’s 2016-2017 State Ambassador

Here Comes the Bus

Chase Carroll-Lake Asbury Elementary

The school district has adopted a mobile device app, Here Comes the Bus, that allows parents to track the real-time location of their child’s school bus. It gives parents the information needed to send children to the bus stop at just the right time, helping to protect them from inclement weather and other roadside dangers.

Last month a delegation of teachers and students from 16 Clay County schools assembled at Lake Asbury Elementary in Green Cove Springs for the first annual Clay County Fuel Up To Play 60 MiniSummit. The event was full of activities designed to help teachers and students become better ambassadors at their own schools for the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign’s goals of improving school nutrition and increasing physical activity among students. This event is the first of its kind in the state of Florida, modeled on the national FUTP60 convention in Indianapolis this summer.

Department of Agriculture, launched Fuel Up to Play 60. Based on youth input and in line with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, this program encourages the consumption of low-fat or fatfree milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and achieving at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The program is in more than 70,000 schools nationwide with the potential to reach more than 36 million children. Fuel Up to Play 60 combines the excitement of the NFL with challenges and rewards that inspire kids to get active and eat well. Students and schools work together to expand opportunities for physical activity and increase the availability of more kid-appealing, good-tasting, nutrient-rich foods, such as low-fat chocolate milk, yogurt and fruit parfaits, whole-grain pasta and salad bars. Students are the core of Fuel Up to Play 60. It is geared for students in fourth through tenth grades but all grade levels are strongly encourage to participate by getting healthy and active. Students decide on the plays for their school, help implement the program and become leaders in school nutrition.

Chase Carroll, a sixth-grade student at Lake Asbury Elementary School, currently serves as Florida’s 2016-2017 State Ambassador for the Fuel Up To Play 60 program. Lake Asbury student Chase Carroll, a 20162017 Florida state student ambassador and his 35-member student team have led the charge for this program, said Lori Nelson, the nutrition manager for the Dairy Council of Florida’s school health and wellness program. “The hard work, dedication and leadership from Chase and his peers, along with their program advisor Shannon Pellegrini, is what FUTP60 is all about. The Dairy Council of Florida is extremely proud of the team from Lake Asbury Elementary and are looking forward to more Clay County schools participating and leading the way with Fuel Up to Play 60.” “Fuel Up To Play 60 is engaging students in leading healthier lifestyles, and I’m a firm believer that active bodies lead to active minds,” said Pellegrini, who is also a physical education teacher at Lake Asbury Elementary School. In response to the growing obesity epidemic and declining physical fitness of America’s youth, the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in cooperation with the United States

“My school’s PE coach introduced us to the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program,” Carroll said. “At the time I didn’t know what the program was about but thought it was worth a try since part of its purpose was something I love, playing outdoors. I checked out some of the plays to see if I could do them with my friends. I found a play called Milk Mustache that our school ended up doing and after that FUTP60 really sparked in my school. Our school ended up getting so involved we won tickets to a Jacksonville Jaguars game. After doing so much with the program at our school and seeing the difference it can make with kids’, I decided to try and become the state ambassador for Florida. And believe it or not, I got selected! “FUTP60 is important to me because of the difference it makes in kids’ lives and because of the way it makes healthier choices become easier choices. I loved the way it gave kids’ goals to try and achieve.” Fuel Up to Play 60’s ambassador program allows students to have a voice along with the adults. To become eligible to be a local, state or national ambassador you must earn qualifying points. You can earn points by registering, participating in plays, getting other students involved, working with a program advisor, completing challenges, and much more. Students can log onto, join and start earning points to becoming a leader in their school. OP/Middleburg (904) 272-8100 Green Cove Springs (904) 284-6500 Keystone Heights (888) 663-2529 TDD (904) 284-6584

Here Comes the Bus is free for the school year, and enables you to: See the location of your child’s bus both before and after school; confirm that your child’s bus has arrived at the bus stop, at school or both; or receive a message when the bus is a certain distance from your stop. Here Comes the Bus is powered by Synovia Solutions, makers of the tracking technology used to increase safety and cost savings of the school bus fleet. With GPS (Global Positioning System) trackers now standard on most school buses, Here Comes the Bus translates that information into an easy to follow program, and customizable map, which works on either a computer, tablet or smartphone, that allows you to see where the bus is and how close it is to your home.

Available in three languages (English, Spanish and French), the app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. To sign up or to learn more visit herecomesthebus. com. For questions, please contact school district Director of Transportation Robert N. Waremburg via email at or by phone at (904) 213-2249. If you need to contact Here Comes the Bus customer support at provide your name, school code – 28465, your email address and phone number, and your child’s last name and student id number.

Davis Elected Superintendent Long-time educator Addison Gray Davis is the new superintendent of schools for the county. Official results show that Davis garnered 73,268 votes while his chief opponent, Rebekah R. Shively, a teacher at Bannerman Learning Center in Green Cove Springs, received 24,791 and write-in candidate Keith Nichols 363. Davis spent 17 years in Duval County schools. He was the district’s chief of schools, a position responsible for academics and discipline. He started as a teacher and has served as assistant principal and principal in high schools and middle schools. He has a master’s degree from Jacksonville University and lives in Davis and his wife (black hats in middle) are surrounded Oakleaf Plantation with his wife and two by his supporters. daughters. His brother, Mason Davis, is Connect with us! Duval’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. He replaces Charlie Van Zant, Jr., who became the 17th Superintendent in 2012. Davis defeated the Keystone Heights resident in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

December/January Calendar Friday, Dec. 16

2nd grading period ends

Monday, Dec.19 through Monday, Jan.2

Winter break, student/teacher holiday

Tuesday, Jan. 3

Teacher planning day, student holiday

Wednesday, Jan. 4

Inservice Day, student holiday Classes

Thursday, Jan. 5

Students return

Monday, Jan. 16

Martin Luther King Day, student/teacher holiday DECEMBER 2016 • •

Page 25

St. Johns County School District News CHARACTER COUNTS! Followers Recognized

CHARACTER COUNTS! is an educational framework for teaching universal values and a national coalition of organizations that support each other. CHARACTER COUNTS! of St. Johns County held its annual Community Breakfast to honor school business partners and sponsors of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Initiative as well as students who exemplify the Six Pillars of Character. The following eighth-grade students were recognized: Fruit Cove – Connor Ambrose Alice B. Landrum – Trish Balser Liberty Pines Academy – Nathan McGinnis R.J. Murray – Ro’Nyia Williams Pacetti Bay – Jacey Cable Patriot Oaks Academy – Mackenzie Foster Gamble Rogers – Jaden Nosse St. Johns Technical – Ethan Duross St. Johns Virtual – Nina Acosta Sebastian – William Abare IV Switzerland Point – Max Petlick Valley Ridge Academy – Anthony Tomkunas Beacon of Hope Christian School – James Dulin Cathedral Parish School – Chiara Brambilla Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind Blind School – Veronica Harris Deaf School – Ja’Myra Harris The CHARACTER COUNTS! Community Service Award was presented to Flagler Hospital for its generous support and their continued support of the school district. Nigel Pillay, principal of Otis A. Mason Elementary School, was presented with the Marjorie Davidson Individual Service Award for his steadfast commitment to CHARACTER COUNTS! in his school and as a leader on the steering committee.

December is an “all-pillars” month. They are:

School Board Names Tim Forson As New Superintendent of Schools The St. Johns County School Board voted to name retired Deputy Superintendent for Operations Tim Forson as the next superintendent of the St. Johns County School District. He will succeed Dr. Joseph Joyner on Jan. 4.

energy management program that has produced a $36 million cost avoidance in utility expenses. The department also implemented an energy management system for all facilities that improved building performance and efficiency.

Board members cited Forson as the best qualified and most suited candidate to further the success achieved during Dr. Joyner’s tenure. Forson’s 36 years with the SJCSD, proven leadership skills, varied curriculum and operations experience, and familiarity with the school district and community were also touted.

Prior to serving as a district administrator, Forson was the principal at Bartram Trail High School during a time of unprecedented growth. Bartram Trail was an “A” school during his tenure and he fostered the development of both accelerated academic program offerings and career academies. He also served as principal of Mill Creek Elementary School for six years where he helped to transition it from a predominantly rural school to a school serving a growing community of new families.

Citizenship – Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a “I knew this would be the single most important decision good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect we would make together as a board, and I appreciauthority • Protect the environment • Volunteer ate the work of the Florida School Boards Association Responsibility – Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be selfdisciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others Fairness – Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Treat all people fairly Caring – Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need Trustworthiness – Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country Respect – Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreement

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Holiday Calendar

Wednesday, Dec. 21 Thursday through Wednesday. Dec. 22-Jan.3 Wednesday, Jan. 4 Tuesday, Jan. 5

2nd Quarter, First Semester ends Winter break, student/teacher holiday Classes resume/Second Semester begins Winter break, student/teacher holiday

Monday, Jan. 16

Martin Luther King Day, student/teacher holiday

and Assistant Superintendent Martha Mickler as they assisted us through the steps,” said school board Chairman Patrick Canan. “This proved a difficult decision as I felt as though we were in a win-win situation in choosing between Dr. Vickie Cartwright and Mr. Forson. In the end Mr. Forson has the familiarity and trust of the community coupled with the confidence from the board which made him the perfect choice to continue the excellence under Dr. Joyner’s leadership.” “Tim is a superior leader and an even better person,” said Dr. Joyner. “His integrity and character have made him one of my most trusted advisors. His commitment to this district gives me great pride and I am honored to have worked with him for almost 14 years.” Forson led the school district’s Facilities and Operations Department for 10 years until his retirement in May of this year. During that time the district implemented an

Next Year’s School Calendar Ok’d The school board has approved the 2017-18 school calendar. Optional Teacher Planning Day Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 Teacher Inservice Day – Thursday, August 3, 2017 Teacher Pre-Planning – Friday through Wednesday, Aug. 4, 7, 8, 9, 2017 Students Report to Class – Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 Labor Day-Student/Teacher Holiday Monday Sept. 4, 2017 First Quarter Ends – Friday Oct. 13, 2017 Teacher Planning Day-Student Holiday Monday Oct. 16, 2017 Veterans Day - Student/Teacher Holiday Friday Nov. 10, 2017 Thanksgiving Break - Student/Teacher Holiday Wednesday - Friday Nov. 22-24, 2017 Second Quarter/First Semester Ends Thursday Dec. 21, 2017

Forson has been a lifelong resident of St. Johns County beginning his career as a secondary social studies teacher and coach. He was recognized as St. Johns County Social Studies Teacher of the Year in 1992. He also was awarded Principal of the Year in 2005 and went on to become a state finalist for this honor. Forson attended school locally at St. Joseph Academy and later received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and his master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University. His wife, Janice, has been an educator in St. Johns County for more than 25 years and presently works as an instructional coach for pre-kindergarten teachers in the county. The Forsons have been married for 38 years and have four children.

Winter Break, Friday Friday Dec. 22, 2017-Jan. 4, 2018 Teacher Planning Day-Student Holiday Friday Jan. 5, 2018 Classes Resume for Students/Second Semester Begins – Monday Jan. 8, 2018 2018 Martin Luther King Day - Student/Teacher Holiday – Monday Jan. 15 Teacher Inservice Day - Student Holiday Monday Jan. 29, 2018 Presidents Day - Student/Teacher Holiday Monday Feb. 19, 2018 FSA Writing (Grades 4-10) Monday - Thursday Feb. 26-March 1, 2018 Third Quarter Ends – Thursday March 15, 2018 Teacher Planning Day-Student Holiday Friday March 16, 2018 Spring Break - Student/Teacher Holiday Monday-Friday March 26-30, 2018 Classes Resume for Students Monday April 2, 2018 FSA Testing (Reading, Math & Science) Monday April 9-May 4, 2018 Last Day for Students – Thursday May 24, 2018 Last day for Teachers – Friday May 25, 2018

Visit St. Johns County Schools online at for more information.

Page 26 • • DECEMBER 2016


What Toys Are Appropriate?


he holiday season is approaching fast, and with that questions arise as to what toys are appropriate to buy my child? Are they too old or too young for this toy? One common challenge that parents face is buying toys based on their child’s age verses their developmental level. For example, if your child’s chronological age is 5 years old but he/she possesses skills at 2 year old level, then you want to look for toys that support their skill level. We want parents to buy toys that are entertaining as well as build educational skills, fine/gross motor skills, social skills, and visual-perceptual skills. Below is a list of developmental milestones for each age range to keep in mind when choosing a toy. 6-12 months • Scoots and crawls (push carts, scooters, push toys) • Imitates sounds (musical/animal toys) • Looks at pictures and books • Uses hands to bang toys (musical instruments, blocks, rattles) • Understands cause/effect (light up/pop up toys, switches/buttons on toys) 1-2 years old • Throwing balls • Fits toys into spaces (puzzles, peg boards) • Emerging pretend play (doll houses, kitchen aides) • Functional use of objects/ tools (stacking blocks, utensils for feeding, crayons) • Distinguishing colors and shapes • Naming pictures and animals (matching games) 3- 4 years old • Jumping and hopping (trampoline, tricycles) • Turn taking and sharing (simple board games) • Copying letters and numbers (alphabet games) • Using tools for functional play (tongs, tweezers, scissors) • Pretend role/play (dress up) 5-7 years old • Balance and coordination (bicycle, sports sets) • Learning the fundamentals of reading, writing, and basic math • Encourage imaginative play (doctor kits, dress up, tea party set, tool set) • Improve finger dexterity and coordination (crafts, jewelry making, Legos) • Multiple direction board games (involving strategy & movement, Twister, Guess Who, Sorry) 8-11 years old • Hand-eye coordination (sports equipment)

• Developing concrete reasoning (board games) • Group or social activities (team sports, clubs) • Imaginative/constructive play (building and creating imaginative play schemes such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.) Here is a list of resources that provide a selection of toys you can purchase this holiday season to meet your child at their level. 1. –Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Another common question asked by parents is, “Is it okay for my child to play with technology. If used appropriately, it can benefit children by increasing their educational level, communication skills, and visual motor skills. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated their policy on Media and Young Minds recommending no more than 1 hour/day for children 2-5 years old. They also recommend no screen time 1 hour before bedtime. Please consider applications that will meet the needs and goals you have for your child. Apple/IOS

• • • • • • • •

Hidden Curriculum for Kids Bugs and Buttons Dexteria TeachMe Fruit Memory Match Game Bloom Crazy Copy Social Skill Builder

Android • AutismXpress • Spelling Monster • 5 Little Monkeys Wash the Car • My Playhome App • Giveaway: Learn prewriting skills with ready to print j Megan Hyman, MS, OT/L Outpatient Pediatric Program Coordinator Brooks Rehabilitation Shelby Heiser, OTS Florida International University

Things to Do Special Needs

Jumpstreet Special Needs Event December 3, 9am to 11am Jumpstreet hosts a special event for children with special needs and their siblings. The semi-private event will be held the first Saturday of the month. From 9am to 10am, the event is private; from 10am to 11am, the event is open to the public. Cost is $8 for children 4 and up; $4 for children 3 and under. Parents/guardians are free. Jumpstreet / 904-853-5721 / 1214 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 /

Santa’s Special Kids Inc at the Enchanted Christmas Village December 6, 2pm Santa’s Special Kids hosts Santa at the Enchanted Christmas Village. Santa’s Special Kids, Inc is a nonprofit organization located in northeast Florida dedicated to providing year-round programs and assistance that enhance the quality of living for children with special needs. They focus their efforts on helping kids with Autism spectrum, Down Syndrome, pediatric cancer and other special needs. Enchanted Christmas Village / 888-486-6413 / 17255 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32234 / www.

Special Needs Gaming Party at Microsoft December 10, 9am to 10am Buddy Breaks at Raiford Road Church The Microsoft Store hosts a Gaming Party for kids December 3 with special needs. XBox One consoles will be set up Buddy Break is a free kids respite program where in the theater space for gaming. While the children kids with special needs (VIP Kids) make new friends are gaming, the parents have a breakout session and enjoy all kinds of activities, while caregivers get on internet safety and parental controls. Register a break. This program is provided by partnerships online in advance. This event is open to families with with local churches. Raiford Road Church / 904children with special needs and their siblings. 40 259-6015 / 9201 South State Road 121, Macclenny, spots are available on a first come first serve basis. FL 32063 / Microsoft Store / 4791 River City Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32246 / Caring Santa at the Avenues Mall December 4, 8:30am to 10:30am Buddy Breaks at Deermeadows Baptist Church Caring Santa provides a sensory-friendly environDecember 10, 9am to 12noon ment for families of children with special needs, to Buddy Break is a free kids respite program where safely experience the time-honored tradition and kids with special needs (VIP Kids) make new friends magic of Santa. The Avenues will host this special and enjoy all kinds of activities, while caregivers get a event on Sunday, December 4 from 8:30am to break. This program is provided by partnerships with 10:30am, prior to mall opening. Guests can register local churches. in advance online. Deermeadows Baptist Church / 904-302-9766 / Avenues Mall / 904-363-3054 / 10300 Southside 9780 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256 / Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32256 / Special Gathering December 4, 10am to 11am Special Gathering is a worship service designed for individuals with developmental disabilities. The gathering is held at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville the first Sunday of each month at 10am in the small chapel. For more information call Pastor Richard Stimson at 904-6369755. Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church / 904-6369755 / 4001 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207 / Rebounderz Sensory Friendly and Special Needs Nights December 5 and 19, 3pm to 7pm Available on the 1st & 3rd Monday of each month from 3:00pm-7:. To make it more sensory friendly, there will be no music, and fewer distractions (arcade games will be off). Access is for one hour of time on the trampolines and/or ninja course. One parent/caretaker/therapist is admitted for FREE with each child’s $12 paid admission. Parent/caretaker/therapist is permitted to assist child while on the jumper. Only one person is permitted to jump per square. Rebounderz Jump socks are required for anyone going out on the trampolines. Jump socks are available for $2 per pair and are reusable on future visits. Admission is limited. Pre-purchasing tickets is recommended. Rebounderz / 904-300-0070 / 14985 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32258 /

Angelwood Holiday Kids Camp & Parents’ Night Out – Winter Wonders Workshop Day December 10, 9am Angelwood is offering parents with school age children with disabilities and their siblings “off-time” during the 2016-2017 School Year. They will make arts and crafts with the kids and other fun activities. A meal and snack will be served. This is your time to get shopping done or have a adult time. Complete the pre-registration form (click here for form) as soon as possible and return with a non-refundable $10.00 payment (per session) in order to save your child/ children’s space. Once your child(ren)’s spot has been secured you will receive a registration packet with the necessary forms to be completed. Angelwood Career Development Center / 904-2887259 / 11251 Philips Parkway Drive East, Jacksonville, FL 32256 / AMC Sensory Friendly Films December 10, 13, 27 AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to bring you unique movie showings where you can feel free to be you. The theater will turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing. The Sensory Friendly Film program now offers four showings per month. Tickets are available to purchase in advance. December 10, Moana December 13, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them December 27, Rogue One AMC Regency 24 / 9451 Regency Square Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32225 / Visit for more event listings.

DECEMBER 2016 • •

Page 27


Show Me the Money E

ngineering and technology are among the most challenging fields of study in college, but all of that hard work apparently is paying off, as many of the top-earning entry-level jobs are tied to related majors, according to a recently released Glassdoor study.

14. Accounting – Median Base Salary: $52,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Accountant, Auditor.

The job search engine analyzed more than 500,000 resumes and self-reported salaries to determine which majors pay the most during the first five years after graduation. Eight of the 10 most-bankable majors are tied to engineering or technology, such as computer science, electrical engineering and information technology. Nearly half of the majors listed are in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, though business-related majors, such as accounting and marketing, crack the top half of the 50 majors listed.

17. Biotechnology – Median Base Salary: $50,000. Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Laboratory Technician, Quality Control Analyst.

Having a bachelor’s degree of any kind from a reputable school gives young workers a better chance in a job market that increasingly demands a college education. Four-year college graduates now comprise a larger share of the workforce than people with just a high school diploma, according to another Georgetown study.

15. Economics – Median Base Salary: $52,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Financial Analyst, Accountant. 16. Physics – Median Base Salary: $50,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Physicist, Research Fellow.

41. Education – Median Base Salary: $43,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Special Education Teacher, School Teacher. 42. Anthropology – Median Base Salary: $43,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Project Coordinator, Research Assistant .

18. Architecture – Median Base Salary: $50,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Architect, CAD Designer. 19. Fashion Design – Median Base Salary: $50,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Fashion Designer, Textile Designer.

44. Biochemistry – Median Base Salary: $42,672. Entry-Level Jobs: Pharmacy Technician, Chemist.

20. Business – Median Base Salary: $47,850. Entry-Level Jobs: Account Manager, Market Research Analyst.

45. Liberal Arts – Median Base Salary: $42,500.

21. International Relations – Median Base Salary: $45,880. Entry-Level Jobs: Marketing Associate, Research Assistant. 22. Graphic Design – Median Base Salary: $45,846. Entry-Level Jobs: Graphic Designer, Web Designer. 23. Marketing – Median Base Salary: $45,475. Entry-Level Jobs: Marketing Coordinator, Account Executive. 24. English – Median Base Salary: $45,000. EntryLevel Jobs: Teacher, Editor.

1. Computer Science – Median Base Salary: $70,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Software Engineer, Web Developer.

25. Political Science – Median Base Salary: $45,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Law Clerk, Paralegal.

2. Electrical Engineering – Median Base Salary: $68,438. Entry-Level Jobs: Systems Engineer, Software Developer.

26. History – Median Base Salary: $45,000. EntryLevel Jobs: Research Assistant, Teacher.

4. Chemical Engineering – Median Base Salary: $65,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Chemical Engineer, Process Engineer.

40. Sports Management – Median Base Salary: $43,156. Entry-Level Jobs: Personal Trainer, Sales Associate.

43. Hospitality Management – Median Base Salary: $44,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Food and Beverage Manager, Front Desk Manager.

Highest Paying College Majors

3. Mechanical Engineering – Median Base Salary: $68,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Mechanical Engineer, Design Engineer.

39. Public Relations – Median Base Salary: $43,156. Entry-Level Jobs: Account Executive, Event Planner.

27. Human Resources – Median Base Salary: $45,000. Entry-Level Jobs: HR Coordinator, Corporate Recruiter. 28. Journalism – Median Base Salary: $45,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Reporter, Public Relations Coordinator.

29. Advertising – Median Base Salary: $45,000. 5. Industrial Engineering – Median Base Salary: Entry-Level Jobs: Account Executive, Media Planner. $64,381. Entry-Level Jobs: Quality Engineer, Production 30. Philosophy – Median Base Salary: $45,000. Planner. Entry-Level Jobs: Teaching Assistant, Writer. 6. Information Technology – Median Base Salary: 31. Environmental Science – Median Base Salary: $64,008. Entry-Level Jobs: Programmer Analyst, $45,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Environmental Scientist, Systems Engineer. Laboratory Technician. 7. Civil Engineering – Median Base Salary: $61,500. 32. Social Science – Median Base Salary: $45,000. Structural Engineer, Field Engineer. Entry-Level Jobs: HR Assistant, Visual Manager. 8. Statistics – Median Base Salary: $60,000. 33. Spanish – Median Base Salary: $44,256. Entry-Level Jobs: Data Analyst, Statistician. Entry-Level Jobs: Teacher, Translator. 9. Nursing – Median Base Salary: $58,928. Entry-Level 34. Communications – Median Base Salary: $44,190. Jobs: Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse. Entry-Level Jobs: Public Relations Coordinator, 10. Management Information Systems – Median Journalist. Base Salary: $58,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Network 35. Interior Design – Median Base Salary: $44,098. Administrator, Help Desk Analyst. Entry-Level Jobs: Interior Designer, Visual Merchan11. Finance – Median Base Salary: $54,900. diser. Entry-Level Jobs: Financial Analyst, Investment 36. Chemistry – Median Base Salary: $44,000, Banking Analyst. Entry-Level Jobs: Chemist, Laboratory Technician. 12. Mathematics – Median Base Salary: $54,018. 37. Music – Median Base Salary: $44,000. Entry-Level Entry-Level Jobs: Teacher, Software Engineer. Jobs: Music Teacher, Audio Engineer. 13. Biomedical Engineering – Median Base Salary: 38. Film Studies – Median Base Salary: $44,000. Entry$52,814. Entry-Level Jobs: Biomedical Engineer, Level Jobs: Production Coordinator, Video Editor. Service Engineer

Page 28 • • DECEMBER 2016

Things to Do Teens

Mandarin Mini-Con: A Very Merry Day of Comics & Cosplay • December 3, 11am Mandarin MiniCon is a free family-friendly event that celebrates comics, cosplay, arts and crafts, and local talent. MMC4 will feature a DJ, food trucks, store sales, performances by the Jedi Academy of North Florida and a wide array of vendors selling a variety of merchandise. The MMC4 costume contest will be holiday themed requiring each contestant to bring their creativity to the judge’s panel with their holiday cosplay creations. Be sure to register in advance for the costume contest. Mythical Mountain / 904-680-1308 / 11570 San Jose Blvd Ste 13, Jacksonville, FL 32223 / Hour of Code at the Jacksonville Public Library December 6, 7, 8, 9, 14 Several branches of the Jacksonville Public Library are hosting Hour of Code activities for Computer Science Education Week. At the various events, teens will be introduced to coding skills, create games, write code for computer games, create animations, and more. December 6, 6pm to 7pm -- Hour of Code: Scratch Lab -Mandarin Branch Library December 7, 4:30pm to 5:30pm -- Hour of Code -- South Mandarin Branch Library December 7, 5pm to 6pm -- Hour of Code: Coding with Minecraft -- University Park Branch Library December 8, 4:30pm to 5:30pm -- Teen Hour of Code Week -- Highlands Regional Library December 8, 5:30pm to 6:30pm -- Hour of Code: Coding with Minecraft -- Webb Wesconnett Regional Library December 9, 3:30pm to 4:30pm -- Computer Coding for Teens -- Regency Square Branch Library December 9, 3:30pm to 4:30pm -- Coding Unplugged: Computer Traffic Jam -- Brown Eastside Branch Library December 9, 4pm to 5pm -- Hour of Code - Coding with Minecraft -- Pablo Creek Regional Library December 14, 3pm to 4pm -- Coding with Minecraft -- Olga L. Bradham and Etta L. Brooks Branch Library December 14, 4pm to 5pm -- Coding for Teens: Python 2 -- Beaches Branch Library Jacksonville Public Library / The World of Dual Enrollment December 13, 6pm This course provides the qualifications for Dual Enrollment. The Parent Academy of Duval County Public Schools is a family resource designed for parents, caregivers, and community members. All Parent Academy courses are free of charge. Edward White High School / 904-390-2960 / 1700 Old Middleburg Road, Jacksonville, FL 32210 / www. Safe Sitter Class at St. Vincent’s Riverside December 17, 9am to 3pm

Entry-Level Jobs: Sales Manager, Receptionist, Teacher. 46. Psychology – Median Base Salary: $42,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Case Manager, Mental Health Counselor. 47. Sociology – Median Base Salary: $42,000. Entry-Level Jobs: HR Assistant, Administrative Assistant. 48. Healthcare Administration – Median Base Salary: $42,000. Entry-Level Jobs: Medical Assistant, File Clerk. 49. Social Work – Median Base Salary: $41,656. Entry-Level Jobs: Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor. 50. Biology – Median Base Salary: $41,250. EntryLevel Jobs: Lab Assistant, Paramedic. j

Girls and boys ages 11 and up have the opportunity to acquire competencies in rescue skills, basic first aid, and safe and nurturing childcare. Safe Sitters learn babysitting business skills, what to do when a child chokes, safety for the sitter, and how to call for emergency help. Classes are held from 9am to 3pm. You do not have to be a St. Vincent’s patient. Everyone is welcome. Be sure to register in advance. St. Vincent’s Riverside / 904-308-7325 / 1 Shircliff Way, Jacksonville, FL 32204 /

Visit for more event listings.





904-800-8828 614 Pecan Park Rd. Jacksonville FL 32218


Holidays and Pets T

he holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations

Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe. Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet. Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel. That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out! Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract. Avoid Holiday Food Dangers Skip the Sweets: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from

Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.

Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer. Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session. Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too. A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

Pet Photos with Santa Pet Photos With Santa December 10, 2pm to 4pm Pawsmopolitan Magazine hosts Pet Photos with Santa at The Copper Pig. There will be food, raffles, prizes, and photos with Santa. All funds raised will benefit No Kill Glynn County. Copper Pig BBQ & Smokehouse / 912-289-9879 / 704 Mall Blvd, Brunswick, GA 31525 / Pet Photos With Santa - Avenues Mall December 11, 6pm to 7pm The Avenues Mall hosts Pet Photo Night on Sunday, December 11 from 6pm to 7pm. Avenues Mall / 10300 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32256 /

Yappy Hour Christmas “PAW”ty December 18, 2pm Dogs and their owners are invited to the Jacksonville Landing for the 2016 Yappy Hour Christmas New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new “PAW”ty. Have your pooch’s picture taken with Santa, enjoy live music, and more. Have a photo of year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown your pooch under the Christmas tree? Email your pup’s best Christmas photo and watch it rotate on confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if the 14ft. jumbotron in the Courtyard during Yappy Hour. Send jpeg pictures to bainsworth@jacksoningested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy by December 16. For photos with Santa, receive one complementary print when you poppers can terrify pets and cause possible donate any pet food item; receive one complementary print when you donate $5 (all proceeds go to a damage to sensitive ears. And remember that local humane society); or bring your own camera for as many digital photos as you’d like. Santa will many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area be available for photos from 2pm to 3:30pm. Only the 1st 100 owners get free photos, so arrive early. Jacksonville Landing / 904-353-1188 / 2 W Independent Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202 / www.jacksonvilas midnight approaches. j j DECEMBER 2016 • •

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THINGS TO DO Hansel and Gretel with the Jacksonville Symphony December 2-3, 8pm and December 4, 3pm Opera returns to Jacksonville with one of the most successful fairy tales ever created. Hansel and Gretel has been internationally popular since its debut in 1893 and has become a holiday tradition in many countries. Join Courtney Lewis, an international cast of opera stars, the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and larger-than-life puppets in a magical production. Pre-concert activities will begin at 2pm for the Sunday show. Tickets range from $27 to $77.  Jacoby Symphony Hall / 904-353-1636 / 300 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 / www.jaxchildrenschorus. org Breakfast with Santa and Santa’s Workshop at the Avenues Mall December 3, 8am to 10am On Saturday, December 3, everyone on the nice list is invited to Breakfast with Santa from 8am to 10am in the Food Court. After breakfast, join Santa and his elves for crafts and activities in Santa’s Workshop in Center Court, brought to you by Jax4Kids. Avenues Mall / 904-363-3054 / 10300 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32256 / Breakfast With Claus Family December 3, 9:30am to 11am December 10, 9:30am to 11am December 17, 9:30am to 11am Enjoy Breakfast With Claus Family at the Enchanted Christmas Village.  A breakfast buffet will be served in the Enchanted Custom Igloo, followed by storytime with Mrs. Claus.  Tickets are Adults: $19.99, 3-12 Years Old: $14.99, and Children Under 3: Free.  Enchanted Christmas Village / 888-486-6413 / 17255 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32234 / St. Mary’s Railroad Santa Express December 3, 10am to 4pm December 10, 10am to 4pm The magic of Christmas comes alive at Santa Land where

Jolly Old St. Nick himself boards the train for the return ride with gifts for all the good little boys and girls. Entertainment all along the way. The perfect old-fashioned holiday celebration. All rides depart at 10am, 12noon, 2pm and 4pm, November 26, December 3, and 10.  Tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under.  Children 2 and under are free, but must sit on someone’s lap. St. Mary’s Railroad / 912-200-5235 / 1000 Osborne Street, St. Marys, GA 31558 / A Frozen Christmas December 4, 3pm Fairy Tail Celebrations hosts A Frozen Christmas, with food, songs, and a visit from the Snow Sisters.  Funds raised will help the fairytale friends deliver toys during the holidays to children in the hospital.  Tickets are available from 9:30am to 5:30pm, at A-Auto Insurance, at 212 San Marco Ave, St.Augustine, FL 32084.  Tickets are $10 per person or $30 for a family of 5.  Downtown St. Augustine / 259 St George Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084 / Alhambra Children’s Theatre Matinee: The Ugly Duckling December 9, 13, 20, 10am to 11:30am Alhambra Theatre and Dining presents a children’s theatre matinee performance of The Ugly Duckling. Prices for all ages are $12 per person and $9 per student for school groups, including home school groups.  Taxes not included.  Bring your own brown bag lunch to enjoy after the show, as there is no food or drink service for these performances.  Doors open at 10am, and the show begins at 10:30am.  Show lasts about 45 minutes.   Alhambra Theatre & Dining / 904-641-1212 / 12000 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32246 / www.alhambrajax. com Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops December 8, 7:30pm; December 9, 8pm; December 10, 3pm and 8pm; December 11, 3pm The annual Holiday Pops Concert returns on December 8 - 11.  The shows feature the talents of the Jacksonville Symphony and Symphony Chorus, guest performers and

the area’s only guaranteed snowfall.  Tickets range in price from $27 to $77.  Jacoby Symphony Hall / 904-354-5547 / 300 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 / Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas December 11, 3pm The Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas features a warming holiday story, and includes holiday hits from Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky.  Tickets start at $13.  Thrasher-Horne Center / 904-276-6815 / 283 College Drive, Orange Park, FL 32065 / Tag! You’re a Scientist: Air Play December 14, 3pm Tag! You’re a Scientist!  Join the tagteam mad scientists for mind blowing adventures with air, from windbag challenges to soda bottle races and air cannons. For ages 7 to 12.  Cost is $20.  Register online in advance. St. Augustine Children’s Museum / 904-647-1757 / 76 Dockside Drive, Suite 105, St. Augustine, FL 32084 / www. Foster Parent Orientation and Interview December 15, 2pm to 4pm Children’s Home Society of Florida hosts a Foster Parent Orientation and Interview from 2pm to 4pm.  Families who are interested in becoming a foster parent will have the opportunity to have an interview and learn more about the programs.  RSVP is required by calling Tanisha at  904493-7711, so they know how many families to expect. Children’s Home Society of Florida / 904-493-7711 / 3027 San Diego Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32207 / Jacksonville Symphony’s First Coast Nutcracker Ballet December 16, 8pm; December 17, 2pm and 8pm The Jacksonville Symphony’s First Coast Nutcracker Ballet has been a tradition in North Florida for 40 years.   Tickets range from $18 to $50.   Jim and Jan Moran Theater / 300 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 /

Brunch with Santa December 17, 10am – 12noon Join Jax4Kids at Whole Foods Market for Brunch with Santa. Enjoy some one on one time with Santa, hands-on fun and all you care to eat brunch items from Whole Foods’ Hot Bar.  Tickets are $10 per child.  Infants and children under 2 are FREE.  Order tickets online at Space is limited. Whole Foods Market / 904-288-1100 / 10601 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32257 /   The Greatest Story Ever Told December 21 - 23, 6pm and 8pm; December 24, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm Enjoy an experiential approach to some of your favorite Christmas traditions – the experiences will immerse you in the story of Christmas as told through the birth of Christ. There will be special elements that will be fun for the whole family.  Tickets are free and required for entry. You can reserve your tickets online. Celebration Arena / 904-737-1121 / 9555 RG Skinner Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32256 / Noon Year’s Eve December 31, 10am – 1pm Join Jax4Kids at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for our annual family-friendly New Year’s Celebration. The fun kicks off at 10am. The first 500 kids will receive a goody bag. Enjoy live entertainment on stage and throughout the Zoo, an apple juice toast at Noon, prizes and giveaways! Noon Year’s Eve is Free with Zoo admission. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens / 904-757-4463 / 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32218 / www.jacksonvillezoo. org

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dates, times and locations are accurate at time of publication; events and activities listed in this guide are subject to change without notice. Visit for updated information and more events!

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DECEMBER 2016 • •

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Jax4Kids December 2016  

This is our “Best” issue of the year – it’s the issue where we present your picks for the Best businesses in North Florida for Families. Tur...

Jax4Kids December 2016  

This is our “Best” issue of the year – it’s the issue where we present your picks for the Best businesses in North Florida for Families. Tur...