Keeping Up With The Kids

June 13, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

On Saturday, May 25th, Englewood Sailing Association (ESA) hosted a coaching clinic in preparation for their 2024 summer sailing camps. The “Learn to Sail” camps are conducted by experienced member sailors and youth coaches. Youth who have learned to sail in spring and fall, volunteer to share their knowledge with new summer participants as well. The coaching clinic teaches them how to pass on their skills. “It not only helps them with their own sailing knowledge, but also gives them leadership, communication, and teamwork skills that will benefit them all their lives,” said John Riehl, lead instructor for the clinic.” Pass It on” is one of the goals of ESA. There are two remaining youth summer camps set for June 17-21 and July 8-12 at Indian Mound Park, 210 Winson Avenue. For more information on all future classes, visit Photo: Conner Fijas (left), a youth coach for two years, said, “I made it a goal to become a coach when I started to learn. Now if the new students would just Tack when I say Tack, instead of Jibe, as they usually do, it would be great!” Vivienne Vega (right) is also coaching and will be getting her very own Sunfish sailboat soon. She said, “Coaching opened my eyes to the fact that us girls can be as good at sailing, or better than the guys!

Champs Summer Feed Program
Charlotte County Public Schools has launched 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 (please note: no lunches served on Thursday & Friday, July 4 & 5). 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.


 200 Backpacks FILLED!
The Jubilee Center extends a big thank-you to Girl Scout Troop 617 who worked tirelessly to fill 200 backpacks for the Summer Backpack for Kids Program. The program is open to all residents of Englewood with school age children. Children receive a backpack filled with kid-friendly nutritious snacks and they can return every two weeks to have it refilled during the summer school break. The program ends Wednesday, August 7th. To pick up a backpack for your child(ren), go to The Jubilee Center at St. David’s, 401 S. Broadway, Monday through Wednesday, 10am to noon. For questions, call 941•681•3550. This program is supported by Boca Cares and the Community Presbyterian Church. Pictured here with the backpacks they filled are: Front row (l-r): Samantha Morris, Kayley Anne Cornish & Abigail Cataloni. Back row (l-r): Rylee Hayes, Alivia Burritt, Hayley Brockman, Lola Cornish & Khloe Cornish.

Flora & Fauna Adventure
Come join Charlotte County Libraries for “Flora and Fauna Adventure” on Saturday, June 15, 2:30 to 3:30pm, at the Tringali Community Center, 3460 N. Access Road. Education Specialist Sara Weber, from UF/IFAS Extension Charlotte County, will be talking to children & families about the Florida-friendly landscape complete with caterpillars galore and a fun interactive story and activity. For questions, call the Englewood Charlotte Library at 941•681•3736.

Kids’ Free Vision Screenings
The Englewood Lions Club will be at the Elsie Quirk Library on Thursday, June 20, 10:30 to 11:30am, to provide free vision screenings for children ages six months to 12 years. A parent/guardian must be present with the child and sign a permission form. There will be crafts and activities available while you wait. For more information, call the library at 941•861•1225.

Junior Golf Academy
Rotonda Golf & Country Club is offering its Junior Golf Academy this summer. Instructor Rick Anderson, PGA, will teach your junior golfer the essential golf skill fundamentals, rules & etiquette, game-related life skills & sportsmanship, age-specific fitness component and lots of playing experience. Upcoming sessions are Monday, June 24 through Thursday, July 11, 8:30 to 10:30am, and Thursday, July 25 through Thursday, August 8, 8:30 to 10:30am. Instruction is held at the Long Marsh Club, 20 White Marsh Road., in Rotonda. Each session is $90. For more information, call 941•697•2414.

St. Francis of Assisi VBS
At St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, children in grades K to 6 for the 2024/25 school year, can plunge into VBS fun at “Celebrate the Savior, Jesus Gives Us Joy” Vacation Bible School, Monday through Friday, June 24-28, 9am to noon. A VBS adventure awaits each day as kids dive into five events in Jesus’ life and discover that Jesus’ love always gives them a reason to celebrate, praise, thank and love awesome God. Kids will meet new friends, do fun activities, act in skits, sing great songs, make crafts, play games, eat snacks and more! VBS is open for any child in the community, not just church members. Register in the church office at 5265 Placida Road or contact Jim Brantner at 941•697•4899.

The Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Association (CDBIA) supports local high schools through mentorship and on-the-job training throughout the year. It also awards scholarships to students entering the workforce directly from high school or furthering their education by attending a trade school or majoring in a construction field at a university. Gene Extejt Scholarships are awarded to students who enter a trade school or university to advance their studies in any field of construction, and three of those recipients are Lemon Bay graduates or alumni. Brady Kern, a senior at Lemon Bay High School, will be attending University of Central Florida majoring in civil engineering. Ashton Tucker, a Lemon Bay alumni and two-time recipient of this scholarship, is attending Valencia College majoring in engineering. Jacob Dagan, a Lemon Bay alumni and two-time recipient of this scholarship, is employed by Cantin Homes and is attending State College of Florida majoring in construction management. Recipients of the Charlotte DeSoto Building Association Professional Women in Building include Shantal De Los Santos, a senior at Lemon Bay High School, who will be majoring in Interior Design at Santa Fe or University of Florida, and Sierra Blaney, an alumnus of Lemon Bay High School and two-time recipient of the PWB Scholarship, who is attending Florida Institute of Technology, majoring in engineering. If you or your child has an interest in learning more about building a career in construction, please visit or call 941•625•0804.

Historical European Sword Fighting
Calling Teens & Tweens - learn about the history of sword fighting during the Renaissance period from Steel Ring Academy on Monday, June 24, 3 to 4pm, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. There will be a demonstration of techniques taken from historical manuscripts and share how this art has been revived into a martial sport. These experienced fighters will then have a clash in the ring. Seating is limited, so come early. For more information, call 941•861•1225.

Youth Pitch, Hit & Run
Charlotte County Community Services is hosting the MLB Pitch, Hit & Run from 8:30am to noon, Saturday, June 29, at the baseball fields located at Harold Avenue Regional Park, 23400 Harold Avenue, Port Charlotte. Pitch, Hit and Run is an event where children, ages 7 to 14, compete in three age categories, including pitching at a target, hitting off a tee and a timed run from home plate to first base. Age category winners advance to a team championship and then to the finals which is held in conjunction with Game 2 of the Major Baseball League World Series. Participants in the finals receive an all-expenses paid trip to the city which hosts Game 2 of the World Series. This is a free event. Registration is required. Participants can register online at or call Harold Avenue Regional Park Recreation Center at 941•627•1074.

Cabaret for Teens
Teens in grades 9 to 12 who are interested in musical theater can participate in a unique performance opportunity at Venice Theatre this summer. Teen Cabaret runs for four weeks, Monday through Friday, starting Monday, July 1st in the Raymond Center classroom, 245 N. Tamiami Trail, Venice. The class meets 1 to 4:30pm the first two weeks and then shifts to 5 to 8pm for the last two weeks. The class ends with three ticketed performances on the Raymond Center stage, Wednesday-Friday, July 24-26, along with the Teen Improv Troupe. Cost is $395 with payment plans available. Visit for more information and registration.

Girl Scout Distinction Ceremony
The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida proudly hosted their annual Young Women of Distinction Ceremony on May 19th at the Charlotte Harbor Convention Center in Punta Gorda. This year’s ceremony, a celebration of excellence and achievement, honored an impressive cohort of 618 girls, recognizing their remarkable contributions with over 800 awards, including the prestigious Girl Scout Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards, Journey Summit recognitions, Religious Recognitions, 10-Year Pins, as well as acknowledgments for graduating Girl Scouts, Girl Scout College Scholarship recipients and accomplished Cookie Entrepreneurs (selling over 1,000 boxes of cookies). Fourteen Girl Scouts from Englewood received awards at the prestigious event. The Englewood Girl Scouts are

Arabella B. - Bronze Award, Journey Summit Award; 

Alivia B. - Cookie Entrepreneur;

Emma C. - Journey Summit Award, Graduating Senior;

Maddie C. - Religious Recognition, 10 Years in Girl Scouts; 

Abigail C. - Cookie Entrepreneur;

Calisi G. - Cookie Entrepreneur;

Rylee H. - Cookie Entrepreneur;

Devyn H. - Silver Award;

Allyson L. - Journey Summit Award;

Samantha M. – Fall Product Program Entrepreneur; 

Lilah S. - Bronze Award, Journey Summit Award;

Madelyn S. - Silver Award;

Jarrah T. - Cookie Entrepreneur;

Autumn W. - Journey Summit Award. 

Learn more about Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida at

Charlotte County Youth Civic Education Program
The Charlotte County Commission is now accepting applications for the Fall 2024 Junior Commission youth civic education program. Junior Commission 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 Junior Commission 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. Applications may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Diane Whidden, 18500 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948. Application deadline is Thursday, August 1st. Selected students will be announced on Wednesday, August 14th. The program will run from Thursday, September 12 to Tuesday, November 19. For questions, call 941•743•1300.

The Learning Center (TLC) for Dyslexia Second Annual Awards Night On May 30th, The Learning Center (TLC) for Dyslexia celebrated their students’ achievements during the second annual Awards Night at Fellowship Church. Students use the Wilson Reading Program to learn to overcome their learning challenges. This program has twelve steps, and Noah Cooke was honored for completing all twelve steps. He was also the program speaker and relayed his experiences, starting in kindergarten where he first recognized he faced different challenges in learning to read, his progress in overcoming these challenges with the help of teachers at TLC, his success through the Wilson Reading Program, and his fifth-grade graduation this year. Six students were recognized for having completed six steps of the program (the half-way point of the program that takes 2 to 3 years to complete). Besides celebrating these students’ progress, each student received an award based on their unique personality and ways of learning, such as “Excited to Learn”, “Excellent Learner”, and “Excited Reader”. Teachers came on stage to praise each student’s hard work and accomplishments. Learn more about how TLC for Dyslexia is helping students overcome their learning difficulties at or call 941•473•2266.

Taylor Floyd Makes Dean’s List
Taylor Floyd of Englewood has been named to the Dean’s List for the Spring 2024 semester at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. To be on the Dean’s List, UA Little Rock, students must earn at least nine credit hours and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA.

WonderDads wants to make this the best summer ever for dads and their kids. Here are some of their suggestions for a fun and rewarding experience.

WonderDads Hack #1: Take a Dad-Kids Trip: The single best summer tradition for Dads.

WonderDads Hack #2: Start Screen Free Sundays: This Summer: Healthy for everyone and creates great memories.

WonderDads Hack #3: Check the Dad Feed: Trade 3 minutes of your daily Facebook scrolling to find quick ways to connect with your kids this summer.

WonderDads Hack #4: Conversation Starters: Lots of car time with the kids this summer? Take a break from the music and find use WonderDads conversation starters to avoid awkward silence.

WonderDads Hack #5: Before-They-Grow-Up Lists: Create a bucket list of summer items to accomplish with the kids. Start yours now, they grow up fast!

WonderDads Hack #6: Summer Daddy Days: Plan just one day a week or month to do something with just you and the kids…magical!

WonderDads Hack #7: Explore the Dad-A-Base: Get quick ideas, activities, and advice for Dads when you need it most this summer.

Discover more WonderDads Hacks at 

WonderDads is a subscription-based website/app that offers resources, life lessons, how-to guides, and things to do with your kids. Subscription plans range from $1 to $3 per week, billed annually. Visit to learn more.