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Tag Archives: children

Marco Teen Ariana Garousi Travels to Tanzania

On safari in the Ngorongoro crater; in the background are zebras and wildebeest. PHOTO BY KELSEY HUEBNER

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Most teens, and adults for that matter, have a hard time being without their cell phones, internet and other technology- even for a short period of time. But this summer 17-year-old Ariana Garousi stepped away not only from technology, but virtually every other creature comfort in order to explore the world while serving others. From June 30 to July 23, Ariana travelled with a group called Rustic Pathways to Tanzania, Africa. A total of 11 teens from all over the world joined her on the trip. For the first week, the teens climbed Mount Kilimanjaro ... Read More »

Protecting Yourself From the Summer Sun When Out on the Water

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FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com Many flats fishermen have their boats set up for efficient casting. This involves minimizing items in the boat that can create obstacles and snags. Many anglers fishing out of flats boats do not have bimini tops or T-tops for this reason. Because of this, there is no shade or any way to duck out of the direct sun. You have to dress properly to stay cool and prevent sun exposure. Out on the water, you have sun baking you from two directions. The most obvious is from above, but few think about reflection. The ... Read More »

First Day of School for TB’s New Principal

By Don Manley Monday was a first day of school, of sorts, for Kathleen “Karey” Stewart. She is the new principal at Tommie Barfield Elementary School, replacing Jory Westberry, who retired in June after leading the school for 14 years. Stewart has been a school administrator in the Collier County district for 15 years, most recently serving as principal at Pine Crest Elementary School in Immokalee for four years. Prior to that, she was principal at Lely Elementary for six years. Stewart also has 23 years of classroom experience – 15 as an elementary level music teacher, and eight years ... Read More »

Donation to Shelter for Abused Women and Children

City of Marco Island employees “Give Back – Fill a Pack” initiative. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted On July 30, 2015, City of Marco Island employees, including the Police and Fire-Rescue Departments, donated 64 backpacks (all stocked with school supplies) to the Collier County Shelter for Abused Women and Children. We are especially proud to announce that we met our goal of surpassing last year’s donation of 60 backpacks. The Shelter, which provides services to Marco Island residents and visitors, assists more than 1,100 child victims and survivors of domestic violence annually through safety, intervention and direct support. This is the sixth year that City of Marco Island employees have conducted the “Give Back – Fill ... Read More »

Appreciation and Community at the Police Foundation Picnic

The annual Police Foundation Picnic on August 1 drew a crowd of police officers and their families, foundation members and volunteers. (left) Officer Ryan Montgomery and daughter Mary, age 8.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff An event like the Police Foundation’s Appreciation Picnic on Saturday, August 1, reminds us how lucky we are to live on Marco Island. The Marco Island Police Foundation’s Annual Police Department Appreciation Picnic brought together Marco Island’s finest and their families and Police Foundation members and volunteers. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church provided the setting for this community event. Most of the 127 people who RSVP’d attended, along with 15 Police Foundation volunteers who planned and worked the event so that the officers and their families could enjoy the day. Outside, Chief Al Schettino grilled hot ... Read More »

Kiwanis Summer Social Marco Style

Forty-five guests attended the Kiwanis Summer Social on August 1.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Kiwanis Summer Social on Saturday, August 1 brought together Kiwanis members and their spouses to socialize in Marco Island style. Marco Island Kiwanis members Bryan and Rondi Hauser organized the social event and acted as hosts. Rondi’s brother, also a Kiwanis International member, opened up his beautiful waterfront home to forty-five guests for the evening. Although billed as a “Pizza Party,” the guests each brought additional side dishes showing off their culinary talents. A birthday cake emerged and “Happy Birthday” was sung at the end of the evening to celebrate Ken Pagach’s birthday. Guests ... Read More »

Bike Safety at Camp Mackle

Officers teach bicycle safety to Camp Mackle campers.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff On Wednesday, July 29, Marco Island police officers George Guyer and Ryan Montgomery, along with school crossing guard Danielle Pisano, led Camp Mackle campers in bicycle safety training. Mindy Gordon, Recreation Manager for the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation, coordinates with the Marco Island Police Department to bring bicycle safety training to Camp Mackle campers. Mindy tells us that since 2009, the bicycle safety program has been an important part of the camp curriculum. Teaching was not limited to the classroom. The campers enjoyed an obstacle courses and a bike ride around the ... Read More »

Livvy Gets Some Wheels!

The Watt family poses in front of Livvy’s new car. From left - Jim, Jonathan, Jane, Jacob, Olivia, Payton, Mary Lou and John Watt.

By Barry Gwinn Jane Watt is known to many of us on the island as the founder and chairperson of Marco Island Academy on San Marco Road. She is likely to be sighted anywhere on the island. She attends unending meetings with supporters of MIA and has managed to author a book that was endorsed by Jeb Bush and Michelle Rhee called “Fighting for Kids” about how MIA came to be. Jane is ubiquitous and peripatetic. These adjectives must have been invented for her. Jane’s husband, Jim Watt, is the volunteer coach of the MIA girls’ soccer team. He coaches ... Read More »

“Hot Summer Nights” Lures Both Young and Old to Mackle Park

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By Don Manley Alejandro Ruiz-Vallejo would not be denied when it came to summiting the rock-climbing wall erected on Mackle Park’s lawn. The sure-footed 9 year old was slow, but steady in his technique, carefully moved upward, making sure each foot-and-hand-hold was secure, as onlookers oohed, awed and shouted encouragement. Upon reaching the top, Alejandro, protected by a harness and safety ropes, was lowered to the ground by deputies from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, which brought the climbing wall and other attractions to Mackle as part of the agency’s annual Hot Summer Nights festivals. Also known as Summer Fest, ... Read More »

Once Upon a Time…Camp Able 2015

PHOTOS BY STEVE GIMMESTAD & ALEXANDRA DIAZ

By Steve Gimmestad (with Alexandra Diaz) I’d like to tell you a story. Clean off your glasses, grab a cup of coffee and get comfy. It’s a good story, and it begins something like… ONCE UPON A TIME …in a land called Marco Island, there was an event. It was more than an event, it was an adventure. And it goes by the name of Camp Able. For five days, 55 campers with special needs and diverse abilities, join 110 counselors and numerous volunteers to experience a week of inspiration, joy, self-discovery and exploration that instills a sense of awe ... Read More »

The Wright Brothers

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By David McCullough Simon & Schuster 2015, 303 pages Genre: Biography Collier County Public Library: Yes   “Gentlemen, I’m going to fly.” – Wilbur Wright to onlookers at Le Mans, France, 1908 All American kids learn about the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk in very early grade school. We think we know them and their importance to aviation. Turns out we know nothing. David McCullough brings Wilbur and Orville to life in his inimitable style, fleshing out the rather stern looking men in the old black-and-white photographs. This biography gripped me within the ... Read More »

Rookery Seeks Volunteers & Offers A Special Night

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Submitted Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples is seeking volunteers for outdoor positions. Volunteers with some boating or captaining experience in local waters is preferred. The Team OCEAN program at Rookery Bay Reserve is seeking volunteers to operate vessels and provide other types of program support. The Rookery Bay Reserve protects 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters that serve as habitat for many of the state’s imperiled species. “It’s not necessary to be a licensed boat captain,” said Rookery Bay Reserve’s Volunteer Coordinator Donna Young. “We’ll provide the training.” Volunteers operating boats require some extra training, including ... Read More »

Police and Fire Departments Open Doors

Sharon McCarthy, the Marco police department’s administrative assistant, selects a toy badge for Ocean Musgrave, 5.

By Don Manley Children’s laughter and the smiles of adults were in generous supply as they toured the facilities of Marco Island’s police and fire-rescue departments. They were there for the departments’ June 20, joint open house, which gave the community the opportunity to chat with the island’s emergency responders and gets a bird’s eye view of the equipment they use on the job. Held at police headquarters and fire-rescue department Station 50, located behind city hall, the open house was indeed kid friendly, with vehicle displays – including fire-engine tours, fire safety games and prizes. There were also free ... Read More »

Life After the Test

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FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org Many schools across the country have spent the last eight months preparing for the end of year high stakes tests. For example, at Marco Island Academy (MIA), a public charter high school in Southwest Florida, we have administered countless numbers of tests in the past couple of months to comply with the state mandates. Out of ninety full-time instructional days in the second semester, we have administered tests forty-nine of the days. Since we are a small school, the logistics of the testing have been a nightmare. The teachers have juggled their lessons ... Read More »

Marco Island Academy 2015 Graduating Class

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Daring to dream, Jane Watt took on a mission. The goal was to see Marco Island high school aged children given the chance to stay on the island for a more individualized, caring classroom environment. Four years ago, after great effort, the dream became a reality. Now, for the first time in its history, Marco Island Academy has had a graduating class with students starting as freshmen and spending the entire four years within its classrooms. Like the dream upon which the school was built, these students will create their own dream. Congratulations to the ... Read More »

Collier Child Care Resources Receives $8,000 Grant from The League Club

Collier Child Care Resources, Inc. (CCCR)announced it has received an $8,000 grant from the Community Trust Fund of The League Club. The proceeds from the grant will provide funds to purchase an interactive board, projector and pre-installed learning activities for the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center classroom for three-year olds. Mabel Ramirez, Director of Program Administration at the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center says, “We are very grateful for this generous grant from The League Club. With the interactive board we can expose the children to state-of-the-art digital technology so they will become comfortable with the touch process that is becoming ... Read More »

COLLIER COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE DISCOUNT ON SWIMMING LESSONS FOR CHILDREN

In an effort to keep young children safe in the water, the Board of Collier County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a 20 percent discount for all Collier County children ages 5 and under for Level 1 swim lessons at county aquatic locations. Deaths from drowning for children age 5 or younger in Florida are more than double the national average and are higher than any other state in the nation, according to the Florida Department of Health. More than two-thirds of those deaths occurred in swimming pools. Drowning is the leading cause of death of children ages 1 to 4 ... Read More »

Naples YMCA and Collier Area Transit Announce Partnership to Create YMCA Stops in Collier County

The Greater Naples YMCA and Collier Area Transit (CAT) have taken a monumental step forward in making family-friendly health & wellness affordable and accessible to everyone in Collier County.  The partnership was announced Friday at a press conference held at a CAT Transit stop in the Golden Gate neighborhood. Starting this summer, CAT transit will offer five stops throughout the county that will be YMCA Stops. At four of those stops, children enrolled in YMCA’s Camp Wyhoway summer camp can ride the bus with a YMCA Camp Counselor to and from the Naples Y.  A fifth stop will service the ... Read More »

Rookery part of Blue Star Museums Program

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a proud participant of the Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission to active-duty military personnel, including National Guard, and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The Blue Star Museums program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage. “We are proud to connect military families with the history and natural resources here at the Reserve,” said Gary Lytton, director of Rookery Bay Reserve. “The ... Read More »

Be Authentic

Be yourself; everyone 
else is taken - Oscar Wilde SUBMITTED PHOTOS

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” ~ Brene Brown   Authenticity is one of those words that is easier to define through action than it is to describe with words. Babies are authentic. My dog is authentic. A tree is authentic. In fact, most living things are authentic. However, humans, as we grow older, have a tendency to lose our authenticity. We collapse under the pressures of life; we cave to the influence of others. All too often we ... Read More »