Jacksonville Children's Commission

  Today on “First Coast Connect,” our weekly Media Roundtable included Tessa Duval, reporter for the Florida Times-Union; blogger Fred Matthews, WJCT reporter Ryan Benk and Lynn Jones of the Jacksonville Free Press (01:12). We heard about the upcoming comedy event “Solid Laugh Advice” to benefit Stronger Than Stigma with organizer Nick Davis and Stronger Than Stigma Executive Director Gabrielle Magid (39:42), and we heard about this weekend’s Apex Theatre Studio production of “Godspell” with director Ian Mairs including a live, in-studio performance by Joshua K.A. Johnson (44:46), who plays the role of Jesus.   

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry Wednesday announced his plan to consolidate the city’s two major child-welfare programs and focus on those most in need.

Curry, a former Florida Republican Party chairman and self-described fiscal conservative, said a decade ago he changed some of his views on government intervention after meeting a 93-year-old Lakeland woman who was caring for six children.


Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is working with City Council President Anna Brosche to expand the city’s after-school program, he announced Monday.

Under the plan, nine more sites will offer after-school services to 740 more children.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

More than a 1,000 Duval County kids will be able to go to camp this summer thanks to $541,000 the Jacksonville City Council approved Tuesday.

To celebrate, children from about 20 different summer camps were at Randolph Heritage Park for a field day Friday morning.

Duval County Public Schools / Facebook

This Friday, school’s out this summer for more than 125,000 students in Duval County Public Schools.

But Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says Jacksonville needs more summer programs to keep them out of trouble.

When he spoke to Jacksonville’s City Council in May, Vitti warned of the possibility of increasing violence over the summer.

As the nation marks Child Abuse Prevention Month, several Northeast Florida organizations, including the YMCA, the Monique Burr Foundation, the Jacksonville Children’s Commission and WJCT, have partnered to form the Darkness to Light Stewards for Children Coalition. The group is working to train 50,000 adults to develop the skills to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. We speak with Tammy Miller, VP of Risk Management, and Linda Burr, Lead Trainer, for YMCA of Florida’s First Coast.

The Jacksonville Children’s Commission is once again partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Department of Health to offer kids in its city-sponsored afterschool programs a free nutritious snack and dinner before going home each day.