Children from the Bridge of Northeast Florida got to take an extraordinary visit recently. For many people it would not seem to be anything very special or different, but to these children it meant the world. They got to visit for the first time a Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Many of them did not even know what a place like this would look like. A few of them had visited a library before, but they had no idea what to expect.
The children who are a part of the Bridge of Northeast Florida come from low-income families of Jacksonville, and often do not even have food to eat. They are all a part of Duval County Schools subsidized lunch program. This afternoon was a very special treat for all of them.
As an added delight to the visit, Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee paid a visit to the kids and read a few short stories to kick off their field trip. "The Real Story of the Three Little Pigs" and "Baghead" were the two stories of choice that Scobee shared with them. The children were extremely excited to have a Jaguars player there with them.
"Josh was wonderful. He was incredible. He was very good at interacting with the children with the stories that he picked to read to them," said Zoe-Ann Boyle, development director of The Bridge. "It was the real highlight of the trip having Josh read to them. This was something that these kids will never forget or take for granted."
After Scobee finished reading the book "Baghead," he told the kids that the boy in the story reminded him a whole lot of himself when he was a kid. The boy in the story had spiky hair just like Josh, and he tried to cut his own hair like Josh did when he was a child.
"This was a fantastic visit. I think I enjoyed this just as much as they did," said Scobee. "I hope these kids see that reading is cool."
When storytime finished the children received a tour of the bookstore and got to see all that a bookstore has to offer. As they were leaving each child got the opportunity to pick out a book to take home with them.
The Bridge of Northeast Florida is a part of the Jaguars Plays for Purpose program. Each time the Jaguars make a field goal or down a punt inside the 20-yard line The Bridge receives money from various organizations.