Need a good read?

The Little Free Libraries is a free book exchange throughout the world that promotes literacy, creativity, wisdom and a sense of community. There are over 36,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 U.S. states and 70 different countries worldwide.

Little Free Libraries come in many different shapes and sizes but the most common is a small wooden box that is full of books for the community to share. It is always open for anyone to take a book, add a book or exchange a book.

Jackson County has its own set of Little Free Libraries located throughout Pascagoula. Some of the locations include Jerry Lee’s Grocery Store, Scranton’s Restaurant, Pascagoula Senior Center and the Pascagoula Police Department.

Pascagoula’s Little Free Libraries partners include Pascagoula Gautier School District, City of Pascagoula, local artist, Whimsy Books and Toys, and many more.

To support this great organization, visit and use Pascagoula’s LFL, donate new or used books which you can drop off at a nearby LFL or Whimsy Books & Toys, or be a steward for LFL.

For more information about the Little Free Libraries, email the organizers at LFLpascagoula@gmail.com or find them on Facebook at Little Free Library Pascagoula.

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Chevron plays big role in ‘Backpack Buddies’

The Backpack Buddies program was started in 1995 by a school nurse in Little Rock, Ark., who realized that children coming to her with headaches and stomach aches were actually suffering from hunger, not illness. At that time, she began sending food home with the children in their backpacks on Fridays. The school where she worked saw an immediate improvement in grades and in enthusiasm in the children. From that time, the program has spread throughout the country. In Jackson County alone, there are Backpack Buddies programs in Gautier, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula and Moss Point.

The Pascagoula Backpack Buddies program began in 2008.  Since then, Chevron has played an important role in collecting and distributing food donations to aid the Backpack Buddies organization in feeding hungry school children in our local area.

Last year, Chevron collected $2,878 and 9,192 food items to provide to Backpack Buddies for distribution. Chevron is hoping to collect even more money and food this year.

Chevron is doing a food drive for Backpack Buddies of Pascagoula (BPB) for the rest of the month into mid-August

Check out the flyer below to see how you can help! Contact Jaquelyn Modist for more info: Jacquelyn.Modist@chevron.com

 

Backpack-Buddies-Food-Drive-Flyer-2017-808x1024 Chevron plays big role in 'Backpack Buddies'

 

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Volunteers Prep for Racquets for Ronald

ronald-mcdonald-tennis-banner Volunteers Prep for Racquets for Ronald

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Thanks to the Chevron volunteers who recently helped prepare for Racquets for Ronald, a tennis tournament fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House.

The event is held annually at Treasure Oak Country Club in Ocean Springs, and proceeds directly benefit the Share-A-Night Fund, which helps to cover expenses for Ronald McDonald House. The House offers 38 guest rooms, which are available cost-free for families with hospitalized children and helps support families seeking respite at two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms located inside USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile.

Louis Henry, Refinery Strategy and Business Planning Manager, serves on the board of directors for the Ronald McDonald House.

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Feline a perfect family friend

For more information about Henna or other adoptable pets, visit the Jackson County Animal Shelter or call (228) 497-6350.

 

IMG_7436 Feline a perfect family friend

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Henna is a female domestic short hair who came to the shelter in early June. 

She is estimated to be 26 weeks old, born in early December. 

Two words to describe Henna are playful and lovable. She would make a great addition to any Jackson County family.

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Free Summer Library Programs for children at area libraries start June 5

Registration for the “Build a Better World” summer library program begins Tuesday, May 30, at all Jackson-George Regional Library System locations.

The summer program for children is designed to help kids discover the pleasure of reading and things their community has to offer. Programs this year will help children enjoy community projects, activities, and the fun of reading.

A full schedule of events will encourage children to be active and interested in reading all summer long. All programs are free and bring amazing topics right to the library; special projects, special guests, puppets, story-times, and so much more.

Weekly programs for each of three age groups will include pre-school story-time, elementary school programs, and teen programs.

“Every year more and more children are reached by our programs,” said JGRLS Youth Services Coordinator Bethany Carlisle. “We always have families moving to our area and we encourage them to get a library card and enjoy the fun and learning activities. We hope children and their parents will come and enjoy great programs for all ages.”

A registration card is filled out for each child who registers. Each time the child visits the library, their program activities will be recorded. Certificates of completion will be presented to those who complete an activity card along with a prize bag.

For more information and downloadable schedules, visit the library website or visit a JGRLS library.

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Summer camps offered sure to please all

School is out for the summer. What are you going to do with your kids until August? If you don’t want them staring at a screen all summer, various campus are being offered across Jackson County for children of all ages. Check out some of the campus listed below.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jackson County Campus

Summer camps offered at the Jackson County campus of MGCCC in Gautier cover topics such as robotics, chemistry, swimming, and outdoor adventures. 

Visit the website for details about prices and registration, or contact Terri Sasser at terri.sasser@mgccc.edu or at 228-497-7633.

Pascagoula River Audubon Center

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is offering fun, nature-based summer camp programming for a variety of age groups.

Elementary, middle school, and mini-camps run from 9 a.m. until noon at the center. The high school junior naturalist program runs 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day, and is field-trip based.

Visit the Audubon Center’s website for more details and to download the registration forms.

Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center

The center is all about the arts, whether performing, visual or culinary. This mission is reflected in the selection for their 2017 summer camps. 

Weeklong summer camps for all ages at the Mary C. run from the first full week of June all the way until the end of July, so there is plenty opportunity to for the kids to get their hands dirty learning how to cook, write, paint, craft and so much more. 

Visit the website for camp dates, details and pricing.

University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab

The GCRL’s three summer camp programs focus on the beauty of the ocean and all that inhabit it. 

Sea Camp: This summer Sea Camp is 30 years old. It has been the Coast’s most popular marine science day camp for children in grades 1 through 6.Activities include live animal encounters with coastal wildlife and opportunities to fish, crab, seine and sieve. 

Shark Camp: Why watch shark week on TV when you can live it? Visit the top shark fishing hotspots around the Barrier Islands aboard a research vessel. Catch and tag sharks to contribute to ongoing scientific research.

Shaggy’s Angler Camp: Fish everyday. This program introduces young people in grades 7 through 12 to fishing in the diverse waters of coastal Mississippi. The five-day camp includes sessions on the water, in the lab, and in the kitchen, as students learn everything from tying a hook on a line to finding and catching fish to cleaning and cooking their catch.

If you know of any other summer camps happening in Jackson County, sign up to become a contributor and write something up to let everyone know. Summer is fast approaching!

 

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Live Oak Arts Festival celebrates local natural beauty

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What started as a spring art festival to honor the beautiful oak trees that can be found all across Jackson County has now become the Live Oak Arts Festival, which held its eighth annual event on Saturday, May 13. 

Attendees gathered in downtown Pascagoula just blocks away from the Pascagoula River as well as the shore of the Mississippi Sound, which served as a perfect location to embrace the beautiful spring weather the day offered.

This year’s Live Oak Arts Festival truly offered something for everything this year. Children’s activities ranged from face painting, balloon art, and the 228 Rock scavenger hunt. Children who attending the Free Flowin’ on the Riverfront event in April had the opportunity to paint a rock, which they were able to hunt for at today’s event to receive a prize.

Artists from all over Jackson County and even other parts of the state, some as far away as Florence, gathered in downtown Pascagoula to celebrate spring and nature through their artwork. Some of pieces show involved handmade pottery, exterior patio plaques, patio furniture, and even some homemade jams and jellies from crops farmed in Jackson County. Gulf Life, a company that started in response to the 2010 BP oil spill, even took the opportunity to act as a vendor and raise more money to conserve the beauty of the Gulf Coast.

Not only did artists take the opportunity to show their work at this event, but different activities were offered through the day to give attendees plenty to do for the five-hour event. 

The Live Oak Arts Festival is at times referred to by the “LOAF” acronym, so it only made sense to add a bread baking challenge to the event. With fresh bread, cookies and pastries, the air was filled with the decadent scents of “LOAF.” 

Attendees of all ages also had the opportunity to participate in Chalk the Walk, which allowed artists of all ages to create on-site works of art with chalk pastels. Maybe some of the vendors got an attendee inspired, and this was the perfect chance to create in the moment of inspiration.

New to this year’s event was a lip sync competition that pitted teams of individuals against one another in creativity, lip sync ability and stage presence. 

With the weather cooled down from the previous day’s rain, the Live Oak Arts festival was a great way to get outdoors and appreciate all the art that celebrates Jackson County’s natural beauty. 

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Easter Egg Hunt brings many to Beach Park

It’s Good Friday. The kids are out of school and you have the day off work. What is the family to do on a day like this? Why not spend the day at the park? That is exactly what numerous families did as they spent the evening at Pascagoula Beach Park at the 39th Annual Easter Egg Hunt.

As the sun was setting over the Mississippi Sound, parents brought their children and their Easter baskets to the park. While waiting for the Easter Bunny, children had the chance to enjoy the playgrounds and get their faces painted. 

As 6:30 drew closer, families gathered by the designated egg hunt areas to watch the Easter Bunny arrive. Courtesy of the Pascagoula Fire Department, the bunny of the hour was escorted directly to the park, where the bunny was swarmed by children eager to meet the embodiment of Easter. By this point the line for pictures with the Easter Bunny was yards long.

Quickly, parents prepared their toddlers for the first egg hunt of the evening. Children divided into different groups by age for staggered hunt times, all wrapped up in time for Movie Night Under the Stars.

Families laid out their blankets and unfolded their chairs to relax and let the kids enjoy their treats. With the wonderful weather and beautiful location along the Pascagoula beach, no one could have wanted for anything more.

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Audubon Center holds spring break programs

17796024_1463180050380388_8764190110847778968_n Audubon Center holds spring break programs

 

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center will offer programs for students during spring break.

The Vacation Day programs are half-day programs for students to explore, through hands-on activities, nature and natural phenomena.

Designed like a typical summer camp day, students will learn about a topic through science, art, games, and more. 

Friday, April 14: Natural Egg Dyeing and All Things Spring

Let’s get creative! Each participant will take home at least 6 naturally-dyed eggs. We’ll do a nature scavenger hunt, plant some spring seeds, and learn about signs of spring. Pre-registration is REQUIRED by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 12th for the natural egg dyeing program!

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-2

Session 2: 1 p.m. til 4 p.m. for grades 3-5

Tuesday, April 18: Wild Weather 

Have you ever wondered about the weather in Mississippi? During this vacation day program, we’ll make a weather wheel and learn to use weather equipment. We’ll also talk about how to be safe during different types of wild weather!

Session 1: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. for grades k-5

Wednesday, April 19: Migration Station

Did you know that many birds from all over North America migrate through the Gulf Coast? Our beautiful coastal environments provide food, shelter, and rest areas in the fall and spring. We’ll learn all about birds, flight, migration, and more at this camp!

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-5

Thursday, April 20th: Life Aquatic

What lives in the bayous and bays that make up our backyard? Join us to get up close and personal with our fish and other aquatic creatures that call our coasts home. 

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-5

Friday, April 21st: Reptile Rendezvous

Our cold-blooded neighbors- from lizards to snakes to alligators- love our warm spring afternoons. Learn about how to safely find, observe, and identify the scaly critters that call Mississippi home. 

Session 1: 9 a.m. til noon for grades k-5

Outdoor Adventure Programs for Middle and High School Students 

Looking for something to get your middle or high school student out of the house over spring break? Try one of our afternoon outdoor adventure programs!

Kayaking Rhodes Bayou 

We’ll learn the basics of kayak strokes, how to use a map to figure out where we are and where we’re going (and how to get back!), and get a chance to explore the Bayou and Beardslee Lake via kayak. ALL participants must wear a life jacket (provided) and something more substantial than flipflops. Please dress to get a little wet and enjoy an afternoon of adventure.

Session 1- April 12: 1-4 p.m. grades 9-12

Session 2- April 19th: 1-4 p.m. grades 9-12

Session 3- April 20th: 1-4 p.m. grades 6-8

Cost is $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Each Vacation Day program requires pre-registration, including complete student paperwork. Visit the Audubon Center website for details.

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25th annual soap box derby to be in downtown Moss Point

The 25th anniversary of the Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby will be held in downtown Moss Point on Saturday, April 29.

The race, sponsored by the Chevron Black Employee Network (BEN) and Moss Point Active Citizens (MPAC), draws participants from across the Southeast. It is open to children between the ages of 7 and 17 who build their engine-less cars from kits purchased from a designated supplier.

Winners of the Moss Point divisions will travel to Akron, Ohio to compete in the All-American Soap Box Championship.

Originally known as the Magnolia State Soap Box Derby, the event’s name was changed to honor Deborah Washington after she lost her battle with breast cancer. Washington started the event in 1992, and was a beloved Refinery employee known for her active community involvement.

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