Jacksonville -1 Children

First Day of Service

We went to our service site during the day and helped clean their garden. We served today at The Bridge which is an after school program for children. The Bridge has targeted children of Jacksonville’s most overburdened, poor families where the risk is highest for negative outcomes like teen pregnancy, dropping out of high school and violence. All Bridge programs are designed to provide opportunities for healthy social development, foster healthy youth and adult relationships and instill a sense of connection and pride in the community.


The Bridge has over a dozen programs, one of which was the garden that allows children the opportunity to learn more about nutrition and gardening. They partner with a local university and the Nutrition students educate the children that go to The Bridge about healthy eating. We spent our time working clearing leaves and weeds from the garden area and around the school. We didn’t work directly with the students but our service will help provide them with future learning opportunities. Ally was the employee from The Bridge that instructed us on our tasks. We thought it was very interesting to hear about The Bridge and all of the ways it has impacted the community. The Bridge was founded to help combat teen pregnancy so it was interesting to see all the programs they have implemented to help with this.


Here are some quotes from our fellow participants:


“I liked the fact that we were helping their garden develop so the children could learn about the nutritional values of their plants.”---Aly


“I liked seeing all the progress we made.”---Gracie


P.S. We made it on their Facebook page ;-P  https://www.facebook.com/Bridgejax/


Since the church that housed us had a Boy Scouts meeting, we had a few hours to kill before we could return. We went and explored Jacksonville further and went to the beach, where we walked around until we were too cold to move. It was basically the equivalent of Missouri, but probably a little bit colder. We did manage to see a few surfers and lots of birds. We warmed up at Starbucks and then went to Target and Trader Joes. The boys especially enjoyed these shopping trips.


We arrived at the church and Fritz, Kayla, and Ally cooked a FABULOUS dinner of chicken nugs, macaroni and cheese and French fries. The rest of us listened to Disney music and hung out until we all ate together. The girls wanted to watch The Bachelor and the boys wanted to watch the football game so we compromised and had a reflection instead. 

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