Keeping Up With The Kids

July 11, 2024 at 2:23 p.m.

Florida’s Haunted Paths
A great adventure starts with a first step, wide eyes, sweaty palms and a racing heart. On Monday, July 15, 4 to 5pm, tweens and teens are invited to join author and podcaster, Christopher Balzano, as he takes you around Florida to explore some of the creepy legends and ghostly lore of the Sunshine State that live on even after death. The free program is at the Else Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn St, 941•861•1225.

On the Road with Ringling
Come and have some fun at a special story time on Thursday, July 18, 11am to noon, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. Kids and their caregiver will connect art with early literacy with ROAR! Everyone will read together, make art, and learn about an object in The Ringling Museum located in Sarasota. Seating is limited to toddlers and preschoolers and a caregiver. For questions, call the library at 941•861•1110.

80s Ice Cream Party
Dress up in big hair, bangles, and/or flared jeans and enjoy a cold treat to beat the heat on Saturday, July 20, 2pm, at the Port Charlotte Library, 2280 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte. This free event is open to kids and families. For more information, contact Ashley at 941•764•5562.

Both the Englewood Charlotte Library and the Elsie Quirk Library offer a free program that allows children to practice their reading skills by reading aloud to a therapy dog from the Suncoast Humane Society. Children can be signed up for a 15-minute reading slot to read with their pet partner to build reading confidence and have fun practicing their literacy skills. The next “Dog Tales” at the Englewood Charlotte Library (3450 N. Access Road) will be Wednesday, July 24, 3:30 to 4:30pm, and you can sign up by calling 941•681•3736. At the Elsie Quirk Library (100 W. Dearborn Street), sign up to read with a pet partner on Monday, August 12, 3:30 to 4:30pm, by calling 941•861•1110.

Kids’ Craft
Children, ages five to twelve, are invited to join Englewood Charlotte Library staff for a fun craft with summer reading on Friday, July 26, 11am to noon. The program is free, but registration is required at The library is located at 3450 N. Access Road and can be reached at 941•681•3736.

Endless Summer Community Event
Get ready for the new school year with the Endless Summer Community Event on Saturday, July 27, 9am to noon,at the Englewood YMCA, 701 Medical Blvd. Formerly known as the Back to School Bash, this reimagined event is designed to support families by providing essential tools, resources, and fun activities. There will be free haircuts, health screenings and dental check-ups, school supplies drive and distribution, tutoring & literacy resources, scavenger hunt, and interactive activities and games for all ages. To register, call the YMCA at 941•475•1234 or find the event on the Englewood YMCA Facebook page and click on the link to register.

Family Art Day
Family Art Day at Creative Liberties in Sarasota will be Saturday, July 27, 9:30am to noon. Kat Sjogren will lead a mixed-media painting project at this free monthly event held at the gallery/studio at 927 N. Lime Avenue, Sarasota. This event is open to all ages and skill levels. Learn more about Creative Liberties at or call 941•799•6634. 

Family Fun Day
The Venice Art Center, Inc. will be hosting a free Family Fun Day on Saturday, July 27, 10am to 1pm, at the art center, 390 Nokomis Avenue South, Venice. There will be arts & crafts, food & drinks, and a family photo booth. Visit or call 941•485•7136 for more information.

Pizza Party
Kids & teens – if you have completed your summer reading log, then you are invited to attend a Pizza Party on Saturday, July 27, 11:30am to 1pm, at the Englewood Charlotte Library, 3450 N. Access Road. Celebrate the end of the summer reading program. Get your ticket for the event when you turn in your summer reading log and be entered for the raffle prizes. For questions, call 941•681•3736

School Supplies Sales Tax Exemption Holiday
Plan to shop for back-to-school supplies during the 2024 Florida Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday that begins on Monday, July 29 and ends on Sunday, August 11. Certain clothing, footwear and accessories with a sales price of $100 or less per item, certain school supplies with sales price of $50 or less per item, learning aids & jigsaw puzzles with a sales price of $30 or less, and personal computers & related accessories for home or personal use with sales price of $1,500 or less are exempt from sales tax. Note: if an item sells for over the set price limit, sales tax will be charged on the full cost. Find the full list of sales tax-exempt items and FAQs at

Junior Commission Program
The Charlotte County Commission is accepting applications for the Fall 2024 Junior Commission youth civic education program. Participants will learn the functions of their local government by meeting with commissioners, touring county facilities, attending a commission meeting, pre-agenda meeting, workshop and code enforcement special magistrate hearing and holding a Junior Commission mock commission meeting. The program runs Thursday, September 12 to Tuesday, November 19. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors enrolled full-time in a Charlotte County high school or accredited home school program. Applications and the program schedule are available online at or in person in the commission office lobby on the fifth floor of the Charlotte County Administration Center, 18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte. Each county commissioner will select applicants to make up the Junior Commission. Applications may be hand delivered to Executive Assistant Diane Whidden in the commission office, emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Diane Whidden, 18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948. The application deadline is Thursday, August 1st and selected students will be announced on Wednesday, August 14th. For information, call the commission office at 941•743•1300. 

Summer Story Time
This summer, children 12 and under, and their caregivers are invited to drop into the children’s room at the Englewood Charlotte Library, 3450 N. Access Road, on Thursdays at 11am for an interactive story time. These story times will have a variety of books and songs to celebrate the summer reading theme “Adventure Begins at Your Library”. For more information, contact Holly at 941•681•3736.

Champs Summer Feed Program
Charlotte County Public Schools offers their annual Summer Feeding program for students to ensure that children have access to nutritious meals throughout the summer break. In Englewood, students ages 18 & under can receive a free lunch at Lemon Bay High School, 2201 Placida Road, Monday through Friday, 11am to noon. The walk-in program runs through Wednesday, July 31st. For questions, call Charlotte County Schools Food Service at 941•575•5400, Ext. 1406.

Snack Bags for Kids
Kids, ages 18 & under, can receive a free snack bag from All Faiths Food Bank simply by coming to the desk at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street, during regular library hours. The snack bags contain nutritious and kid-friendly snacks and are designed to help kids who have food insecurity during the summer school break and are also available year-round. Library hours are Monday & Wednesday, 10am to 8pm, Tuesday & Thursday, 10am to 6pm, and Friday & Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more information, call the library at 941•861•1225.

YMCA Summer Feed
The Englewood YMCA is offering a free lunch or snack for children, ages 18 and under, during the summer school break. The free meal and snacks are offered Monday through Friday, 11am to 1pm, at the YMCA located at 701 Medical Blvd. Just go to the front desk and ask. A parent/guardian accompanying a child may also receive a meal or snack. For more information, call the Y at 941•475•1234.

Snack Backpacks
Children can receive a backpack filled with kid-friendly nutritious snacks at the Jubilee Center located at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 401 S. Broadway. Stop by the food pantry during regular hours, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 10am to noon, to request one. Then return every two weeks for a “refill”. For questions, call 941•681•3550.