Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ponte Vedra Parents Reach out to Youths in Need

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ponte Vedra Parents Reach out to Youths in Need

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND & MARY MARAGHY

When some Ponte Vedra Beach parents discovered that children in some parts of St. Johns County faced hardships due to poverty, neglect, homelessness and abuse, they created Hugs Across the County.

"It started out as a service project, parents, kids and some teachers," said Brette Reiman, chairwoman. "It's definitely become a very fast-growing movement. The message is there are kids facing so many challenges and we want them to be able to go to school with some dignity with the things they need so they can focus on learning."

Today, more than 30 volunteers, in partnership with the St. Johns County Education Foundation, are helping low-income students with reading and math mainly at Webster and Crookshank elementary schools, where a majority of students are on free or reduced lunch. Mainly, the volunteers provide high-fives, hugs and encouraging words. Also, they have donated new and gently used clothes and shoes to students, including 50 pairs of new sneakers for students at Crookshank. During Christmas, through Books-A-Go Go, another nonprofit, the volunteers purchased new books for 150 kindergarten and first-grade students at Webster. E-mail countyhugs@yahoo.com.

Here's more good news:

- Check it out, mate.

The following students were winners in the 2010 Jacksonville Scholastic City Chess Championship: Kindergarten-second grade - Henry Li of The Bolles School, Kevin Daniel of Greenland Pines and Jacob Stancil, homeschooled. Grades 3-5 - Seth Hayden of San Jose Catholic, Jack Kellmanson of Jacksonville Country Day, Ian McNeil of Hendricks Avenue, Alexander Dominguez of Hickory Creek and Adin Brown, homeschooled. Grades 6-8 - Samuel Kenney of Bolles, Brianna Coleman of Green Cove Springs Junior High, Martin Cohen of Bolles, Greg Meyer of Christ's Church Home and Brian Adkison of Greenwood School. Grades 9-12 - Angelo Piner of Orange Park High, Grant Broadhurst, homeschooled, and Justin O'Dell of Greenwood School.

Team standings: Kindergarten-second grade - Clay County homeschoolers, J. Allen Axson Montessori and Hendricks Avenue. Grades 3-5 - Clay County homeschoolers, Beauclerc and Hendricks Avenue. …

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