Venetia challenges students to give, read and learn

A PTA officer at the school helps gather items for the food drive.

Third graders Devin Morris, Casey Miller and Chase Stultz lead the parade with McGruff the Crime Dog.

Students at Venetia Elementary School have been busy lately participating in various campus activities. In addition to giving, the students also learned how to receive.
The school participated in the annual Red Ribbon Wee activities, which focuses on drug awareness. The program encourages students to make wise choices as they grow. As part of the weeklong event, the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Police K-9 unit visited campus, where they shared canine demonstrations. McGruff the Crime Dog paid a visit to the school to help children pledge to remain drug free.
Students also got a visit from Chum, the mascot of the Jacksonville Sharks. Part of Chum’s Challenge Reading Initiative, the team helps students meet their reading goals, and rewards them for their efforts. Chum plans to return at the end of each quarter to personally distribute the students’ rewards.
In an act of kindness and giving, students also participated in the annual Salvation Army Food Drive — it brought in more than 400 food items for local families in need. Venetia students brought in nonperishable food items and other necessities for victims of Hurricane Sandy, too.
When you give, sometimes you receive — and that was another lesson learned at the neighborhood school this year. Members of Jacksonville’s Riverside Rotary Club brought dictionaries to all of Venetia’s third grade students. The Dictionary Project gives students their own personal dictionaries that they can take home to assist with homework and increase their vocabulary. The Rotary Club has provided hundreds of dictionaries to Venetia third graders throughout the years

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