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Happy Holidays 2019

 Dates to Remember

Dec 5th: Fiddlesticks Field Trip

Dec 6th: Gartner Group Volunteers

Dec 17th: Gingerbread Houses with Wells Fargo Volunteers

Dec 18th: Women in Business Volunteer Day

Dec 19th:Page Field Convalescent Socks with Love

Dec 19th: Fabulous Fruits and Veggies with the University of Florida Parent Workshop 5:00pm-6:00pm

Dec 24th-25th-31st-Jan 1st: Center Closed

Dec 23, 26, 27, 30, Jan 2, 3, 6, 7: Public Schools Closed. Messina Center Open


Be Sure to check out our Facebook page!

Joseph H. Messina Children's Center News



socks-scarvesPlease help us collect socks and scarves for the residents of the Page Field Convalescent Center. This will be our fifth year collecting socks for the residents.  The staff at Page Field have also asked the children for scarves. Children will be busy creating Holiday Cards to give to the residents.  On Wednesday, December 19th, the children will go from room to room delivering Holiday Cards and the gift of warm socks and scarves as they sing Holiday songs through the hallways. Please help us reach our goal of 300 pairs of warm socks and scarves, to keep the feet and hearts of our elderly warm. Parents are welcome to join us on December 19th at 10:00AM.  Come feel the JOY!



family nutrition program

December 19th, 2019

The University of Florida, Family Nutrition Program with be presenting Family Workshops designed for parents of preschool children 2-5 years old. The curriculum is designed to help parents shape homes and lifestyles to grow healthy and happy children. Join us for the workshop entitled, “Fabulous Fruits and vegetables.”

We encourage all of our parents to attend to help us help you become a healthy and active family. From 5:00pm-6:00pm.

We would like to wish everyone a Safe & Happy Holiday season from all of us at
Joseph H. Messina Children's Center!


December 17th, 2019 at 5:00pm

The Tigers will be celebrating the Holiday Season with our friends from Wells Fargo on December 17th at 5:00pm.The children and volunteers will be making Gingerbread Houses and decorating cookies. This is the second year Wells Fargo has donated their time to make our holiday season special.

Messina 2015 Santa hug


December 20th, 2019

Join the children as they celebrate the Holiday Season on Friday, December 20th. Messina is hosting a Winter Wonderland Event. The children will be making Holiday gifts and ornaments and they will be decorating cookies and constructing gingerbread houses. Come enjoy holiday songs, friendship and cheer with the Messina staff. Parents are welcome to join the children in their celebration.





1cup graham cracker crumbs
12cups fine coconut
1(6 ounce) package red Jell-O, any flavor
1(3 ounce) package red Jell-O, same flavor
1(14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk


Mix graham crumbs, coconut, large package of jello (dry mix) and milk together really well.

Shape into 1 inch balls.

Roll in remaining package of jello (dry mix).

Reshape if necessary (You can shape them like strawberries if you want).


Keep them in the fridge or freezer-they taste better cold.



1. Wash your hands often. Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

2. Mange stress. Get enough sleep. Do not over manage and over commit. Get support from family and friends.

3. Handle and prepare food safely. As you prepare holiday meals, keep you and your family safe from food-related illness. Wash hands and surfaces often. Refrigerate left-overs promptly.

4. Eat healthy and be active. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Find ways to be active such as dancing around the room to your favorite holiday music.

To learn more, including the holiday song The 12 Ways to Health, visit 

"Everything we do improves the lives of children.”

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