Parents and educators play a critical role in developing youth; now there are two new initiatives to shine a spotlight on their efforts. The Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) is an independent nonprofit organization that connects research with civic voice to achieve high-quality public schools for all children in Duval County. Through its many initiatives, which recognize and empower teachers, JPEF engages communities in championing public education.
Throughout grade school, I remember clamoring for every chicken finger, can of soda, and box of Cheez-Its I could find. I was notorious for arranging three- and four-person trades with my classmates to get my hands on as much junk food as possible. Despite my mother’s best efforts, I would almost always barter my way out of eating the healthy, balanced meal she packed for me. When I didn’t have a brownbag lunch, I would typically settle for one of my school’s “hot lunches” from restaurants like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and McDonald’s. I didn’t care about “eating healthy” because I didn’t think I needed to worry about it.