As part of a year long campaign showcasing Jacksonville's diversity, City Council President Lad Daniels, Group 3, At-Large, announced his plans for a privately funded, non-profit two week residential summer camp, 'The Faces of Jacksonville Village.' This camp for area youth will be held at a local public school from June 2 – 16, 2004. Daniels wanted to initiate this project locally in order to bring children together from all around Jacksonville who have different experiences and cultural backgrounds, in hopes of helping them find common ground, build a foundation based on understanding, and bridge their diversity through discovering the richness of everyone's heritage.
Council President Daniels said, 'Our children are our future so it is paramount to impact those pivotal times in each young person's life when they are not only learning about academics, but learning about art, culture, and our diversity – for it's believing in expressing our personal freedom through the strength of our diversity that truly makes America great!'
Council President Daniels has been working out the details of the Village with co-planners, Carol Daniels (his wife) and Vickie Breedlove. They are organizing the village concept in conjunction with two non-profits, the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) and the Children's International Summer Villages (CISV). NCCJ is an educational agency committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds gain a better understanding and respect for each other. CISV is a worldwide youth exchange program offering opportunities for young people to meet each other and learn about other cultures. The Daniels have been involved in CISV for over 27 years.
Carol Daniels remarked, 'This is a great opportunity for children all over Jacksonville to interact with each other by doing the day-to-day things - laughing, working, playing – that foster camaraderie and bring everyone closer together.'
These CISV and NCCJ will help select 10 delegations, each made up of four rising 6th graders and one adult leader, who will be representative of the different neighborhoods and cultures that make up Jacksonville. Other partners in the event will be the Girl Scouts, the Boys and Girls Club, the Bridge of Northeast Florida, Lutheran Social Services, and the Jewish Community Center, along with the Korean, Islamic, Chinese and Hispanic communities.
Co-planner Vickie Breedlove added, 'Learning to respect and understand each other is key to building a sense of community and it must start with children.'
Anyone wishing to help should contact NCCJ at 306-6225.
Carol Daniels (904) 641-6484