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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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                  708 Shelagh Gombarcik. PER David Green Author and Laura Jones Lodge Treasurer   708 Author David Green signs an autograph for a middle school student

708 David Green hands out his books to the after school care crowd  708 the refreshment crew L R Mike Volpe Patty Volpe Christien Elkins Richelle Nickle 002

708 A beautiful day to sit outside and read

On Feb. 24, Tampa Lodge partnered with private charter school Bridgeprep K-12 to hold a family literacy night. Florida State Elks Association-matched funds of their Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant were used for this project. Author David Green was hired to bring his children’s comic books and read them to the students. The event took part in two phases. At 3 p.m., all the middle school students were issued books and then they spread out on the lawn to read along with the author. They also received posters, bookmarks and autographs. At 4 p.m., the elementary school families were invited to attend for a similar safe outdoor event. Twenty-eight families attended with the students. The students in the after-school program also attended and received a book and participated in the reading. They also received a poster and bookmark from the author as well as a Drug Awareness bookmark. Green gave autographs as requested. The Elks even had cardboard picture books for the toddlers who came with their families. The Elks’ participation included the purchase of all the books and supplies, the refreshments and the volunteers to make it all come together. Shelagh Gombarcik, PER; Laura Jones, treasurer; Bonnie Atwood; Patty Volpe; Richelle Nickle; Mike Volpe; and Christien Elkins gave up their afternoon to help these children develop a love of reading. Elk Christine Harris is the principal at Bridgeprep, and she along with Suzanne Mizzi, assistant principal, made sure everything went smoothly. Pictured are Shelagh Gombarcik, PER; David Green, author; and Laura Jones, treasurer. David Green signs an autograph for a middle school student. Green hands out his books to the after-school students. Mike Volpe, Patty Volpe, Christien Elkins and Richelle Nickle are on the refreshment team. Students are gathered for the reading.