Ormond Beach Police Officers Jay Brennan and Marianne Durkin shared their best advice on becoming top notch citizens. We learned that we should support our community by being trustworthy, making responsible decisions and being kind to others. Our favorite part of their visit was taking turns sitting in the patrol car and blasting the police siren! Thank you for our safety booklets and for making our day so fun!


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Hot Air Balloon Adventures pic

Ms. Ellen Crotts, our guest of the day, shared her exciting career with us. Ms. Crotts and her husband have been the ultimate hosts of hot air balloon rides in Orlando. Ms. Crotts shared her secrets of success in running a business- plan ahead, set goals, and then follow through. Ms. Crotts and her husband set goals to start their own business, Aerostat Adventures 18 years ago. They have had wonderful adventures flying with their dog Cooper and joining the balloon fests in New Mexico.

Learning to be Responsible with Money pic

Great Kids welcomed Ms. Christy Oltean from Wells Fargo. Ms. Oltean offered valuable leadership advice while teaching us about earning and saving money. We learned to make careful decisions with money and the importance of earning and paying back money that we borrow. We love our new book, Brody Borrows Money and our awesome piggy banks!



Harvey Newton Tomoka

Great Kids honored a distinguished guest this week, a Marine Corps veteran, Sergeant Harvey Newton. Students sat spellbound while listening to Mr. Newton share fascinating stories. At the age of 10, Mr. Newton was inspired as he read Battle Cry, and began setting goals to become a Marine. During his junior year at Seabreeze High, he enlisted in the Marines. In 1966 at the age of 18, he began his infantry training and was deployed to Vietnam. Mr. Newton recalled adventurous Vietnamese children and the primitive life of the villagers. Our most memorable moment occurred when Mr. Newton shared his camouflage combat uniform and his service uniform decorated with a special Vietnam shoulder cord and medals, including a Purple Heart. Thank you for your bravery in serving our country. You are the perfect veteran to teach us about goals, self-discipline, teamwork, and the importance of a growth mindset.

 Harvey Newton Ortona


Sunday was the perfect day to celebrate our Pirate Fest with Great Kids & families, Krewe of the 13 Pirates, and our supportive community! Our scavenger hunt participants learned all about the infamous Captain Kidd and Blackbeard during their journey through the mini golf course. Guests were entertained by the Krewe of the 13 (the most popular present-day “pirates”) and “Mr. Brad” Yates provided the best music throughout the day. Our dedicated volunteers helped with face painting, scavenger hunts, and serving pizza. We are especially grateful to Pam Fitzgerald, Sarah & Isabel Pappa, Kayla Schoen, Joan Brockway, Amelia & Jacob Bonjour, Brittney Boyce & Michael & Bob Morelli, Christine Oltean, Ruth Cuenca and Pirate’s Cove staff for making this day such a fun & memorable event for our children. Special thanks to our awesome sponsors~ Daytona International Speedway, Walmart, Angell & Phelps, FPL, Bruno's Pizza, McDonald's, Hot House Yoga, Mitchell Noel Insurance, Daytona Racing & Card Club, Microflex, Learning Outsource Group, Glenn Yarborough, Bill's Custom Cabinets, Dr. Elizabeth Morejon and Ryan Ochipa State Farm Insurance for your continued support.






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