More than 580 youth and chaperones from the organizations listed below focused their energies on acquiring good character skills, improving their reading levels, and learning about the consequences of making good and bad health-related decisions. These youth and their chaperones are winning the "game of life" and are looking forward today to a Jaguars win over the Washington Redskins. Seated in the 300-level section of the North End Zone, boys and girls earned their seat to today's game by 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. But, the rewards of the HONOR ROWS program go far beyond the earned seats. 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 Northeast 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 for today's HONOR ROWS game:
Children's Home Society – 131 (seats)
Youth worked to improve their reading/writing skills, maintained stable placements in foster homes, and participated in community-service projects.
Communities in Schools of Jacksonville – 360
Youth at 14 different middle schools learned about and practiced good character skills, while improving their academic performance.
Junior Achievement/ S.A.V.E. Program – 55
Improving reading skills and staying in school were keys to success in this dropout prevention program.
PACE Center for Girls – 40
Girls worked to improve their reading and writing skills, as well as learned how to make good health-related decisions.
For more information about The Foundation's Honor Rows Program or other Foundation initiatives, please contact Tarek Tabet or Peter Racine at 633-6579.