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Duval's Venetia Elementary Recognizes Military Kids

Lindsey Kilbride


It was Purple-Up day at Venetia Elementary School. Kids showed up at the school wearing the color Thursday to represent the military, and to recognize kids in military families.


Venetia, the neighborhood school for Naval Air Station Jacksonville, is recognizing that students also make sacrifices when their parents are serving. The school is celebrating April as “Month of the Military Child.”

Fifth-grader Stephanie Weaver was wearing a floral top of pinks and purples, along with her highlighter-yellow safety patrol belt.

“I’ve been going there since half of first grade,” she said.

Stephanie’s dad is in the Navy, and she says a lot of kids enter and leave her classes throughout mid-year.

“So it’s a lot to get used to since they’re just moving here and they got to get used to all the different school schedules and the different areas,” she said.

Stephanie says having a month to recognize kids like her is a good thing.

“It’s almost like an honor for us as kids — the military kids — because we go through a lot,” Stephanie said.

Venetia Principal Jennifer Collins said about a quarter of her students are military and she recognizes when parents serve, so do the kids.

“And we’ve gone through so much with them,” Collins said. “Their parents will be deployed while they’re here and so we just are able to provide that support system and that stability for students.”

Collins says the school will continue the month with celebrations of each military branch and a semi-formal purple ball parents can attend with their kids.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.