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- Location Jacksonville, FL
CSX Transportation is among the proud sponsors of the 2009-2010 Mayor's Book Club program in Jacksonville. CSX sponsored the book We Love Our River! because of the company's proximity to the St. Johns River and commitment to safeguarding it. This year, CSX donated $12,000, covering the cost of printing 12,000 books.
The sponsorships by CSX and other organizations total more than $92,000 in value, and will support nine of the 12 Mayor's Book Club books, as well as a parent guide, flash cards, book organizer, bookmark, door hanger and coloring book for up to 12,000 4-year-olds who join the club this year. All of these goodies, plus a Jacksonville Public Library card application, are given out in reusable cloth bags.
All 12 books in the series were written by local author Fran Peacock Coker and illustrated by Ethan Long.
Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton presided over a registration launch on August 31 for the sixth year of the program. The mayor, City Council Member Dr. Johnny Gaffney and sponsors distributed book bags to new book club members.
The book club is part of RALLY Jacksonville!, Mayor John Peyton's initiative to make literacy a core value in Jacksonville, increase the number of children who are ready for school at the beginning of kindergarten and improve the quality of Jacksonville's childcare sites.
"In these challenging budget times, collaboration and partnership with community-minded organizations like these is more important than ever," said Mayor Peyton.
Each year, 9,500-10,000 children in Duval County join the Book Club, and since the program's inception five years ago, nearly 45,000 4-year-olds have participated.
Registration for the 2009-2010 school year is open now through May 2010, or while supplies last. Duval County children who will turn 4 by Sept. 1, 2009, and are entering kindergarten in 2010 are eligible to join Mayor Peyton's Book Club. Visit the Jacksonville Children's Commission at www.jaxkids.net for more information.