United Way of Northeast Florida is excited to announce Joseph Simmons III and Susan Mankowski as its 2016 Sherwood H. Smith Children’s Champions.
Joseph Simmons III, Children’s Champion in Service, received a nomination for his leadership and guidance as a Boys Scouts troop leader. When Southside Church of Christ in God decided to adopt a scouting program, Simmons agreed to lead the troop without hesitation. In an effort to teach his scouts to learn by doing, Simmons attended every Boy Scouts adult-training course to help translate information into activities. In addition to teaching life-skills such as teamwork and goal-setting, Simmons serves as a mentor and role model for his troop.
Susan Mankowski, early childhood specialist in the youth department of Jacksonville Public Library, received a nomination from her supervisor for the Children’s Champion in Advocacy award. Mankowski played an integral role in the develop
ent of Jacksonville Public Library’s Early Childhood Literacy (ECL) program, a research-based library service available to parents and caregivers. From introducing ECL age-appropriate toys and library materials to creating a “Link Up to Literacy” website, Mankowski works tirelessly to ensure Jacksonville parents and caregivers have the tools they need to help children develop into strong readers.
United Way of Northeast Florida’s annual Sherwood Smith Awards are named after Sherwood H. Smith, an enduring part of Northeast Florida’s legacy of service and advocacy. Nominations for awards are open to United-Way-certified agencies and partners working to improve the lives of young people in the community. The award of $1,000 each will be presented to the recipients at a celebration event in the summer.