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Education key for 350 Honor Rows recipients

Staying in School, Exploring

Career Options, Making Healthy Life Choices, and Involving Parents – all good ingredients for success!

More than 350 youth and chaperones from the organizations listed below focused on staying in school, improving their reading/writing skills, and learning about the consequences of making good and bad health-related decisions. Even parents of participating youth got in on the action. These youth and their parents and mentors are excited about attending the Jaguars game against the Cleveland Browns.

Seated in the 300-level section of the North End Zone, boys and girls earned their seat to today's game by, among other things, improving their academic skills, engaging in positive behavior, and participating in a variety of community service projects. In addition, all youth made and kept a tobacco, alcohol and drug-free pledge with support from their parents and mentors.

Note that at the end of the first quarter, Delores and Wayne Weaver will wave in congratulations to the youth and their agencies for persevering and earning their seat to today's game. Please join the Weavers and other fans in The Wave.

Now in its eighth year, Honor Rows is a unique program that uses seats at Jaguars home games as incentives for young people to set and achieve ambitious but realistic goals. The flexibility of the

program allows agencies to determine how best to use seats for their particular program.

In 2002, more than 4,000 seats have been awarded to 40 agencies with multiple programs. Each Honor Rows participant receives a special T-shirt, hat, free meal, certificate of achievement and recognition at the stadium during the game. The personal goals and skills each youth attains have a long-lasting impact on their future.

Honor Rows was instituted in 1995 during the Jacksonville Jaguars inaugural season, "The Season of Firsts." The Jaguars Foundation is sponsored by Reebok, with additional support by ALLTEL and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The United Way of NE Florida mobilizes game-day volunteers who ensure the safety and enjoyment of Honor Rows participants. The Jaguars Foundation received the 1996 Governor's Community Investment Award for this program and, through the Sports Philanthropy Project, the Foundation serves as a demonstration site for other sports leagues and franchises.

The following agencies are present today:

Bethel Baptist B.E.S.T. Academy – 45 (seats)

Early Saturday mornings, youth work to improve their reading/writing skills and learn about making basic financial decisions and healthy life choices.

EPIC Community Services – 72

Youth at both an elementary and middle school fulfilled their individual academic plans while their parents attended weekly parenting classes.

Girls Inc. of Jacksonville – 110

Girls worked to improve their reading/writing skills, were exposed to various career options, and learned how to make good health-related decisions.

Guardian of Dreams – 96

Students from Holy Rosary and St. Pius schools improved their academics while they and their parents volunteered with various school projects.

Jacksonville Marine Institute – 30

Youth in this Dept. of Juvenile Justice program maintained their grades, fulfilled mandated public- service hours, and acquired important life skills.

For more information about The Foundation's Honor Rows Program or other Foundation initiatives, please contact Tarek Tabet or Peter Racine at 633-6579.

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