FLEMING ISLAND – AMIkids Clay County needs a new home, so the nonprofit which helps children with behavioral or academic problems achieve their goals in a positive atmosphere will host a …
FLEMING ISLAND – AMIkids Clay County needs a new home, so the nonprofit which helps children with behavioral or academic problems achieve their goals in a positive atmosphere will host a fundraising lunch at noon on Saturday, June 17, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Sullivan Hall, 7190 U.S. Highway 17.
AMIkids believes every child has the potential to be successful and have a bright future. AMIkids was founded in Fort Lauderdale but has since branched out to locations all across Florida. AMIkids Clay County is gender-specific to boys 11-17 years old.
The purpose of the fundraiser is to help raise money for the new school. Currently AMIkids is located next to Clay High, but the organization hopes to move to a more central location in Green Cove Springs. The new school will include one building rather than multiple portables, and it also will include a gymnasium.
The goal for the fundraiser is $20,000.
AMIkids was first started in 1969 by Judge Frank Orlando and his friend Bob Rosof. Judge Orlando originally came up with the idea after continually seeing the same people over and over again in his court. At the time, the only options for teenagers breaking the law were reform school or prison.
Orlando decided to team up with Rosof to find an alternative solution that would not only create healthier habits for teenagers, but also give them better skills to learn and grow as people. Since then, AMIkids has helped more 125,000 children.
Angela Sheppard, the diversion program director for Clay County, believes AMIkids is helping to change the lives of boys in the county.
“They give these boys opportunities that they may not have otherwise in public schools or in their home lives...AMIkids is a great resource to have in Clay County,” Sheppard said.
In addition to helping boys with problems, AMIkids Clay County is also a nonprofit school where the boys can continue receiving their education while in the program. Recently the Green Cove Spring city council approved AMIkids to lease classroom buildings from August Savage Arts and Community Center along with approving funding to be made to renovate these classrooms.
Sheppard and the rest of the employees are excited for the organization’s future.
“It’s something to be proud of. When you have something nice like that...It makes them feel better to be in a really nice location,” she said. “I think when you have something like that, you do better.”