ORANGE PARK – The Asbury United Methodist Church’s Touch A Truck event on Sept. 18 attracted more than 1,000 members – and three dogs – of our community to come out to engage area agencies …
ORANGE PARK – The Asbury United Methodist Church’s Touch A Truck event on Sept. 18 attracted more than 1,000 members – and three dogs – of our community to come out to engage area agencies and their amazing trucks.
Representatives from the Clay County Fire Rescue, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Century Ambulance, Florida Highway Patrol, Scott’s Affordable Towing, Mission BBQ and Gordon’s Chevrolet gave guests the thrill of the imagination as young ones sounded sirens, poked their heads out the hatch of the CCSO BearCat, and sat in the drivers’ seats of fire trucks, ambulances and cruisers. One child exclaimed, “This is the best day of my life!”
The entire event was advertised as a free, fun and safe event for families in the area of Orange Park. However, members of Asbury United Methodist Church collected donations of children’s books so that each child and caregiver walked away with several books to start a new library at home, or maybe find some new favorites for young readers. The church imagined the project in response to recent literacy statistics: 45% of children in Florida are not ready for kindergarten; 43% cannot read at a minimally proficient level by the end of third grade; and, 90% of those who do not graduate struggled to read in third grade. Clay County is among the top ten schools in the state for the number of families receiving state reading scholarships. Early literacy and language skills are essential to students› success. The church believes it can make a difference when it starts young.
This event and future events like it are part of Asbury’s renewed commitment to being a blessing to others. Future events will focus on literacy and invite all members of Orange Park and surrounding communities to care about our youngest members and their school success.