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Dates to Remember

Oct 2nd: 4-H Mavericks Craft Day with School Agers

Oct 3rd: Pediatric Dentistry Presentation to children 10:00 am

Oct 14th: Public school closed. Center open. No VPK.

Oct 17th: Family Workshop. "Taming TV" 5:00pm-6:00pm

Oct 22nd: FieldEdge Volunteers Gardening and Classrooms

Oct 29th: School Age Pumpkin Carving/Painting, decorating cookies with Wells Fargo 4:00pm-6:00pm


Be Sure to check out our Facebook page!  


Joseph H. Messina Children's Center News



Messina 2013 (13) plantingWe are asking parents to bring in a vegetable plant for their child to plant in the garden. Each classroom has a vegetable bed and are responsible for planting, nurturing and sharing their vegetables. Classrooms will bag the surplus for parents to enjoy. We are always looking for gardening volunteers. So, if you have always thought you would love to garden this is the perfect opportunity. You can also claim a bed for your family.  See Tammy or Yolanda if you would like a family garden bed.


Our eating and living healthy initiative has been such a great experience for the children that we have extended it to the parents. Once a month through March The University of Florida, Family Nutrition Program will 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, “Taming TV.”   October 17th 5:00-6:00pm

family nutrition program


pediatricThursday, October 3rd Pediatric Dentistry will be visiting the Pre-school Classrooms to talk about the importance of Dental Care.  They will bring each child a new toothbrush. Parents are welcome to join their children at 10:00AM


halloweenMessina 4 and 5 year old children in the Lion and Bumblebee classrooms will be celebrating Halloween Fun with the residents at the Page Field Convalescence Center. Children have been invited over to go Trick or Treating with the residents. The residents have an opportunity to socialize with the children and enjoy seeing the children fill their trick or treat bags and parade through in their costumes. We are fortunate to have a great partnership with the Page Field Convalescent Center.  October 31st, 2019.


October 29th Wells Fargo Volunteers

Our favorite Wells Fargo Volunteer group is coming on October 29th the carve pumpkins, decorate cookies and join in the School Age Tigers pizza party. Children and volunteers will work together to carve or paint their pumpkin. Children will bake the seeds and will make decorate Halloween cookies. This is a truly fun evening.  The children love the volunteers and are looking forward to a great evening!

Messina 2014 (21) Pumpkin


Pumpkin Pancakes



1 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pancake mix


In a large bowl combine water, pumpkin, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, mix well.  Add the pancake mix and stir just to combine-the batter should be lumpy.

Ladle about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot griddle or oiled pan.

Cook until bubbles appear on the top of the pancake, then flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

Serve with delicious maple syrup or fresh fruit and powdered sugar.

Taste of Gateway 2019-1

"Everything we do improves the lives of children.”  

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