More than 250 inner city students from four different elementary schools visited Jungle Island — one of South Florida’s leading tourism attractions — as part of the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club’s new School Attendance Incentive Program.
Each of the four schools — Morningside, Phillis Wheatley, Eneida M. Hartner and Frederick Douglass — used the field trip to Jungle Island as an incentive to increase attendance for third and fourth graders. For most of the kids, this was their first visit to the popular attraction.
“When we met with the administrators from these partner schools, they told us that one of their key concerns was improving attendance,” said Nellie Hernandez, Biscayne Bay Kiwanis president. “So, to start the school year off right, we joined with Jungle Island to offer a field trip to their exciting park as an attendance incentive. It worked and the kids had a great time.”
In addition to admitting the students for free, Jungle Island also welcomed the individual schools by name at each of the two shows the students attended. The students, of course, responded with wild cheers and applause.
“Recognizing the schools at each of the shows was a very nice touch by Jungle Island,” Hernandez said. “It made the students, teachers and administrators feel special.”
The 66-year-old Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club is an all-volunteer organization of professional men and women based in downtown Miami dedicated to improving the lives — and brightening the futures — of disadvantaged children in Overtown, Allapattah and Midtown Miami.
Some of the club’s noteworthy ongoing service projects include: reading with elementary school students; providing a fully paid college scholarship to a deserving high school senior; distributing school uniforms, supplies and backpacks to children in need; providing guided tours of the Everglades and field trips to local attractions, museums and sporting events for children in shelters and public housing; feeding the homeless, and providing three months of free summer swimming lessons at Gibson Park.