Middle school students are learning about life at the river for the first time in their lives, thanks to a public private partnership dedicated to providing access to the St. John’s River to low income students.
A group of happy fifth graders from Carter G. Woodson Elementary boarded the water taxi at Friendship Park and immediately began to try and glimpse anything in the murky water
“I know we’re excited we’re on the boat, but it’s time to pay attention,” said their teacher Nyeika Thorne.
For most of the students the tour was the first time they had been this close to the river.
The first timers included 11 year old Jerome Davis and his mother, Latoya Anderson.“It’s very exciting to be able to spend time with him here,” Anderson said.
Jerome wants to be a veterinarian. He was eagerly anticipating getting up close to dolphins and other aquatic animals. The closest he had ever been to the river before was Jacksonville Landing.
“We just went out to eat and stuff on the Landing,” he said.
The Duval County Public Schools partnered with CSX and the local St. John’s Riverkeeper environmental advocacy group to provide hands on lessons to 4500 students from the 69 poorest elementary schools about the river’s ecosystem.