guest editorial

The Kids Issue: A Celebration of Family

Kids Picks columnist Jennifer Melville introduces Folio Weekly’s new and improved Kids Issue

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Northeast Florida is an incredible place to raise a family. Mine has been lucky enough to call Jacksonville home on several occasions, and two of my four kids were born here. While we’ve enjoyed every place we’ve been stationed as a military family, there’s something truly special about the First Coast. The people are warm and welcoming. The weather is undeniably glorious (although summers can swelter). I can’t get enough of the region’s rich history and bountiful natural resources. I feel our roots growing deep.

There’s so much to do: beaches, museums, hiking trails, classes for every interest, world-class dramatic productions and year-round, family-friendly festivals. I’m always on the hunt for new adventures, and Folio Weekly’s Kids Picks has given me the chance to share my favorites with you, too. In this special Kids Issue, I’ve expanded my weekly selection of Kids Picks to span the entire summer. We’ve also compiled a summer-camp and activity directory. If you’re looking for things to do with the kids this summer, this is the guide for you!

Folio Weekly’s Kids Issue is a celebration of family, but you don’t have to have children or subscribe to the traditional mom-dad-kids stereotype to be part of a family and positively impact young people. Family is the bonds we purposefully create. Nieces and nephews, grandchildren, foster children, neighbors and students—they are our collective future, and they need you. Let’s invest in them.

In this issue, we celebrate some remarkable young people who are making a difference in their communities. Our “18 Under 18: Northeast Florida Kids on the Rise” highlights incredible local youths doing great things. We also recognize our pets’ role in the family. Folio Pets columnist Davi offers sound advice for cultivating a strong (and safe) child-canine relationship.

This summer, we challenge you to be purposeful. Put down your phone, get out of your immediate locality, and make some memories with the young people in your life. It’s never too late to build relationships to last a lifetime. The Irish novelist and poet George Moore once famously said, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” It’s true. You don’t need to plan an expensive vacation in order to have an amazing summer. Northeast Florida has so much to offer. All you have to do is get out there and experience it.

Let’s make this a summer to remember.

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