- Click here to view the listing of Volusia County’s Lyonia Environmental Center’s education and nature-based indoor/outdoor programs.
- Click here to view the listing of Explore Volusia’s outdoor environmental exploration programs.
- Click here to view the listing of Ponce Inlet’s monthly nature and educational programs.
Libraries Offer FREE Passes to State Parks
Visiting a state park this summer just got more affordable. The Volusia County Public Library is partnering with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services and Florida State Parks to advance outdoor access through the Real Florida Reader Program.
Each Volusia County Public Library branch has two passes available on a first-come basis. The passes can be checked out with a Volusia County library card for seven days with no renewals.
Library patrons are encouraged to check out books about Florida’s wildlife and natural resources and then explore one of the award-winning parks to experience the resources firsthand.
Did you know? Volusia County has seven state parks:
- Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park
- Blue Spring State Park
- Bulow Creek State Park
- De Leon Springs State Park
- Hontoon Island State Park
- North Peninsula State Park
- Tomoka State Park
All seven parks are participating in the Real Florida Reader program.
Kids can get FREE Meals at 55 County Sites this Summer
Volusia County’s Community Assistance Division is sponsoring a Summer Food Service Program from June 6 through Aug. 12 to provide free breakfast and lunch meals for children ages 18 and under. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides nutritionally balanced meals during summer break when schools are closed.
The following sites will serve meals on weekdays. Children must eat the meals on site.
The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides nutritionally balanced meals regardless of race, color, sex, disability or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. All children age 18 and younger are eligible for meals at no charge, and there will be no discrimination in meal service.
The programs are approved only for geographical areas where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced-price meals during the school year.
Meals will be served Monday through Friday unless otherwise indicated. Find a location near you by texting the word “Food” or “Comida” to 304-304 or dialing 211 on your phone. You can also visit the Summer BreakSpot website and clicking “Find a Site.”
If there are no sites listed in the search results for your area, please check back later, as sites are being added to the map twice daily at 4 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Visit the website to find locations, learn how to become a meal site or a sponsor at: SummerBreakSpot.org
Libraries Offer Teen Summer Programs
Teens can beat the summer slide with Volusia County Public Library’s myriad of summer offerings just for them.
Volusia County Public Library will offer a variety of services and programs designed for middle and high school students this summer. Studies show that easy access to books during the summer can reduce a loss in reading skills from one school year to the next. Educators and librarians refer to this loss as a “summer slide.”
Teens can register for the Teen Summer Challenge, which runs from June 6 through Aug. 12, at https://volusialibrary.org/teens. They can track their reading by using the Beanstack digital reading tracking platform and be rewarded as their progress counts toward summer reading goals.
In addition to this reading challenge, the library system will offer a lineup of in-person teen programs, from hands-on maker activities to special presentations. Select library branches will offer free meals to children 18 and under through the Summer BreakSpot program throughout the summer.
Teen are also invited to take part in the Recipes and Reads program, a family culinary literacy series. Teens and family members of all ages can visit the six regional libraries for in-person programs on basic cooking, meal stretching tips, nutritional information and more.
As always, with a library card and PIN, teens can download free books, magazines, audiobooks, music, movies and more on the library system’s website. The digital library also includes a wide range of research databases.
The teen page at https://volusialibrary.org/teens offers a helpful lineup of college prep and tutoring resources. Also on the page are links to virtual teen programs, from Kahoot trivia games to the Volusia Teens Read YouTube channel.
Information about all the library’s summer offerings, including an event calendar, is available at https://volusialibrary.org.
Libraries Offer Summer Programs for Kids
Children in grades K-5 can beat the summer brain drain by taking part in the Volusia County Public Library’s summer reading programs.
Registration for this summer’s reading challenge, “Oceans of Possibilities,” begins May 30 at https://volusialibrary.org/slp/. Then, from June 6 through Aug. 12, kids can track their summer reading online with the digital platform Beanstack. Those who read at least four days a week over the summer will earn prizes from the library and can record their reading for their local public school goals.
The library system will also offer a lineup of free programs, streaming resources and online databases this summer. Select branches will offer free Summer Breakspot meals for children 18 and under beginning June 6.
Additionally, the library system will continue its popular Lit Kits to Go! and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten services.
The award winning Lit Kits to Go! program is designed for children from birth through fifth grade. After completing a questionnaire at their local library or on volusialibrary.org/kids, parents can check out a weekly lit kit bag for each child. The bags include library books, crafts, reading suggestions and educational materials. A library card is required for the bags to include library books. Bags may also be requested without library books.
Children from birth to age 6 can take part in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which is designed to help build pre-reading skills necessary for kindergarten. Register at www.volusialibrary.org/kids.
Registration for the summer reading challenge and details about the library’s summer offerings will be available online at https://volusialibrary.org beginning May 30.
The Great NSB Surfboard Hunt
June 15 – July 5, 2022 along Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach. Participants pick up a map from a host along Flagler Avenue. Search up and down the street for each of the 15 hidden surf boards and receive a map stamp from each host site. Once all the surf boards are found and stamps are collected, participants will drop off their map at a central location.
Walk the street and look for all 11 “hidden” Surfboards. Once you find one, receive your hunt stamp at the Surfboard host business. Once you have collected all 11 stamps, drop off your Surf hunt map at The Seahorse Inn (423 Flagler Avenue.) A lucky winner will receive a free stay at The Seahorse Inn!
One winner is chosen from among the completed maps to win a free accommodation weekend along Flagler Avenue. 600 expected.
County Hosts FREE Training on Health Care Facility Disaster Plans
Volusia County Emergency Management will be putting on a series of free training sessions beginning next month to assist local health care facilities with the filing of their state-mandated disaster preparedness plans.
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requires health care facilities to develop comprehensive emergency management plans detailing how they’ll continue to operate and protect and care for patients during emergencies such as a hurricane, flooding or other disaster. The requirement to have a plan in place applies to hospitals, nursing homes, adult day cares, assisted living facilities, ambulatory surgical centers and intermediate care facilities.
State statutes require local emergency management agencies to approve the plans, which must be reviewed annually. The mandate applies to approximately 167 health care facilities in Volusia County. The plans are designed to address such topics as hazards and vulnerabilities that could impact health care facilities, policies regarding the operation of the facility before, during and after an emergency and procedures for evacuating patients should it become necessary.
Because of the increasing time and workload for Volusia County Emergency Management staff to review the plans, the Volusia County Council in February approved the implementation of a plan review fee. Authorized by state statutes and levied by many surrounding counties, the fee will take effect in Volusia County on Oct. 1. It’s based on the type and size of the facility. For instance, the fee to review a first-time plan ranges from $93.75 for small adult day care, adult living and intermediate care facilities and nursing homes with less than 16 beds to $500 for a hospital. And the fee for the annual plan review ranges from $31.25 to $93.75. There’s an added fee if the plan requires multiple revisions and reviews.
The purpose of the upcoming training sessions is to help Volusia County agencies understand the requirements of the plans and avoid mistakes or incomplete submissions that could result in multiple reviews and additional fees. Currently, up to 60% of the annual plan submissions are routinely returned to agencies due to lack of completeness.
“These multiple reviews cause inefficiencies and added time for everyone involved in this process,” said Jim Judge, Volusia County’s interim emergency management director. “We’re hoping the training will help avoid that. But more importantly, these comprehensive emergency management plans for health care facilities are designed to protect lives. We want to help our facilities ensure that their plans adequately address all of the criteria necessary to ensure that patients are safe and their needs are taken care of during an emergency.”
The 3-hour training session will be repeated six times at the Volusia County Emergency Operations Center, 3825 Tiger Bay Road, Daytona Beach. The times and dates are as follows:
- Monday, July 11: 9 a.m.-noon
- Wednesday, July 20: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 8: 9 a.m.-noon
- Thursday, Aug. 18: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Monday, Sept. 12: 9 a.m.-noon
- Wednesday, Sept. 14: 1:30-4:30 p.m.
To register for one of the sessions, click on the link here.
Deltona Library Plans Programs for Adults with Disabilities
The Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave., has introduced “We are CapABLE” programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Participants should be accompanied by a family member or caregiver.
The programs are open to everyone, but keep in mind that participants may enjoy the programs by talking, singing, standing or walking around.
Here’s July’s lineup:
- Music and movement: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 1
- Visually impressive science experiments: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 22
Registration is not required. For more information, call the library at 386-789-7207, option 1, then 1.
NSB library plans adult programs
The New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, 1001 S. Dixie Freeway, offers a variety of free programs to help adults learn new skills and make new friends.
Genealogy assistance: 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays, July 11, 18 and 25. Library volunteer Carolyn Carlisle will explain how to use the library’s free databases, which include Ancestry Library Edition, Heritage Quest, America’s Historical Newspapers and Fold 3. Find her in the computer lab.
Knit and Crochet Club: 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 14. The Knit and Crochet Club will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 14. All are welcome to drop in and learn how to knit and crochet. All levels of experience are welcome. Yarn and needles will be provided.
Select & Reflect Book Club: 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 19. Members and guests will review “Nowhere Girl” by Cheryl Diamond. Newcomers are welcome to participate in this no-pressure book club.
Create jewelry: 10 a.m. Thursday, July 21. Create unique pieces and share tips with others. Bring your own materials and tools. Jewelry and supplies cannot be sold, but swapping and sharing are encouraged.
Registration is not required. For more information, call 386-424-2910, option 3.
The library is open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Port Orange library offers free programs for adults
The Port Orange Regional Library, 1005 City Center Circle, will offer a variety of fun and informative programs in July. Stop by one of these free programs to meet new friends and learn a new skill or two.
Trivia night: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6. Test the limits of your knowledge of random facts against others in this ocean-themed trivia night.
Ask a master gardener: 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 19. Master gardeners from the University of Florida/Volusia County Extension will share gardening tips and answer questions. Bring your plants for a free check-up.
Book club: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 20. Join library staff for a lively discussion of Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s novel “Before the Coffee Gets Cold,”which ponders the idea of traveling back in time.
Genealogy interest group: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 22. Meet and work with other family historians in an informal, small group setting. Basic assistance with genealogy research is available.
Paper craft club plus adult coloring: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 26. Express your creativity and design something beautiful. Paper crafters of all skill levels are welcome and are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills with others.
Reservations are not required. For more information, call the library at 386-322-5152, option 4.
Edgewater library plans adult programs
The Edgewater Public Library, 103 W. Indian River Blvd., offers programs for fun and educational enrichment.
June programs include:
Summer reading Bingo: through Aug. 31. Pick up a card each week at the information desk, complete it and return it to win a certificate for a free item from the Friends of Edgewater Library’s sale area.
Book Talkin’: 10 a.m. Friday, June 17. The group will share their insights into “The Women of Copper County” by Mary Doria Russell. The novel revolves around 25-year-old Annie Clements, who stands up for herself and her Copper mining town in 1923 to the ire of her husband.
Spa-turday: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 25. Participants will fashion scented oil infused clay medallions. Registration is required.
Crafting on a shoestring at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 28. Participants will paint a heart-shaped faux rock. Registration is required.
Registration is required only for the spa and crafting programs. Call the library at 386-424-2916 or register online at volusialibrary.org.
Mosquito control pop-up educational events
The fourth week of June is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, and Volusia County Mosquito Control has pop-up educational events scheduled throughout the county Monday through Friday, June 20 through 24, with a different mosquito-related theme each day. The events offer an opportunity for residents to learn about the county’s integrated pest management program and the best mosquito prevention and population control practices. The interactive Fight the Bite trailer will be on-site, providing hands-on learning and education opportunities. The scheduled events are as follows:
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, June 20, Smyrna Dunes Park, 2995 N. Peninsula Ave.
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, Halifax Humane Society, 2364 LPGA Blvd.
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, Seminole Rest, 207 River Road
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, June 23, Bulow Creek State Park, 3351 Old Dixie Highway
- Noon to 4 p.m. Friday, June 24, Bass Pro Shops, 1880 Checkered Flag Blvd.
Along with the in-person events, Mosquito Control will host digital educational events on its Facebook page. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/VolusiaCountyMosquitoControl