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Fight Summer Brain Drain!

books“… the best predictor of summer loss or summer gain is whether or not a child reads during the summer. And the best predictor of whether a child reads is whether or not he or she has access to books.” – Allington, Richard L. and McGill-Franzen, Anne. “Bridging the Summer Reading Gap,” Scholastic Instructor (2003, May/June).

This summer Marion County is arming our children with books to battle Summer Brain Drain! Did you know  (more…)


Welcome Back to School Soldier

veterancollegeGrowing up in the military there was a sign hanging on my kitchen wall. It said “Home is Where the Navy Sends Us”. Well, when it comes to applying for in-state tuition in Florida, now veterans (who were honorably discharged) will qualify for in-state tuition as long as they live in Florida while in school.

Even with in-state tuition, going to school can be costly and we can help you with the next steps to affording your education. The United Way has launched a “Going to College” texting project. Simply visit the website to find the code of the Florida school you want to attend, then text that code to 898-211. You will automatically begin receiving updates reminding you about registration deadlines, options for financial aid and other resources. While it won’t tell you when your class papers are due, it will help you get started on the right foot. You can opt out at any time.

Sometimes vicarious trauma and PTSD can make it hard to take the steps to apply and then to succeed in school. When you begin the process of applying, 2-1-1 can guide you to agencies who understand what you’re going through and provide that extra layer of support. We want you to thrive and succeed, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

2-1-1 can also let you know who to contact for scholarships, VA education benefits, child care subsidies, moving expense assistance for veterans and more.

Be Possible


“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” ― Audrey Hepburn

When the time rolls around to take that brave step on your own to be more independent in life, agencies like EPIC and ARC are there to share life skills with you to help you stay steady and grounded on the path to achieve your vision.

Some life skills programs focus on daily living functionality or learning job skills, other programs focus on building self-esteem, transitioning to adulthood, or stabilizing your family during life’s transitions. This week we are going to spotlight the two programs mentioned above. Check out 2-1-1 to learn about additional programs throughout (and nearby) Marion County! (more…)

What’s new at 2-1-1? Planning Ahead

WhatsNewBacktoSchoolParents, do you remember last summer… school year rapidly approaching, long lines to get school supplies, last minute appointments for immunizations? We wanted to help smooth out the process by letting you know when back to school programs will be happening so you can space things out this summer to help reduce Back to School stress!


Never Too Old to Learn Something New

adultedEducation as adults comes in many forms and 2-1-1 is here to get you connected. Are you looking for tips on saving money and spending it more wisely? Are you applying for a promotion and need to brush up on certain skills? Is English your second(or third, or fourth…) language and you’d like some assistance with honing your grammar skills?  Many of these classes are FREE or low cost, keep reading to learn more. (more…)

National Victim Rights Week

mystrengthpc1This week is National Victim Rights week! Check out the events below:

Mon 4/22 11a-12p Opening Ceremony, downtown Ocala

Tues 4/23 5:30-8:30p Safety Workshop @ Marion County Sheriff’s Dept (692 NW 30th Ave Ocala, FL 34475)

Wed 4/24 3-5p Domestic/Dating Violence Workshop @ Ocala Police Department (402 South Pine Avenue Ocala, Florida 34471)

Thurs 4/25 12p Victims Remembrance Ceremony @ the Courthouse (110 NW 1st Ave  Ocala, FL 34475)

Call 352-369-7139 to RSVP or for more info.

What Can I Do?

  1. Volunteer with an agency that works to Build Safe Communities. Contact 2-1-1 for volunteer opportunities near you.
  2. Shift from being a bystander to becoming an ally (this linked article refers to children, but it applies to adults as well). All community members play an important role in preventing and ending violence in our communities, through compassion, understanding and mentorship. Call 2-1-1 to get connected with local agencies who can teach you how.
  3. Begin within. Ask yourself these questions and if answering them leads to a self-awareness that you need support and want to change, give 2-1-1 a call. We want to support you and can connect you to resources who can support you through that change. Another good question to ask is, “Would someone else answer yes to these questions if they answered them about me?” Marion County has 4 agencies who support those who struggle with anger management and controlling behavior. Give 2-1-1 a call and we can share their information with you to get you started.

What’s new at 2-1-1?

WhatsNewIn March at 2-1-1 we added the following programs and agencies to our database for Marion County. Below each agency/program you’ll see “Ask 2-1-1”, these are the key terms you can use to look up the resources on your own via our online database, or when you call 2-1-1 you can mention those terms to the Information and Referral Specialist to get a list of resources for that service in your area. (more…)

Summer Savings

YMCA Camp WewaDunnellon GraduationWith the end of the school year on the horizon, whether you are headed to college or headed to summer camp, 2-1-1 can help connect you to programs to save you money. Some of the deadlines* are very quickly approaching in April, so start applying as soon as possible.

Are you college bound? 2-1-1 can tell you about some resources for scholarships.

Are you ready to jump in to summer camp? 2-1-1 can connect you with day camps, residential summer camps, and programs (camperships) to make them free or low cost.

Give us a call 24/7 to learn about scholarships and camperships for your family!

*Since these programs have deadlines, once the deadline has passed, the program will no longer be listed in our database until they begin accepting applications again.

Parents: Want someone to make you dinner, take care of your kids, and ease your stress for FREE?

Image from www.parentingnow.org

Image from parentingnow.org

You’re in luck! There are a few agencies in Marion County who offer parenting classes to help take the stress out of parenting. The Early Learning Coalition’s Success By 6 “Active Parenting” program is a class for parents with children birth to six years old. The next class will be on 3/13/13 and dinner as well as child care will be provided. “Topics include early literacy, behavior management, child health and safety, childhood development, sign language, car safety for your family, utilizing community resources, reducing parenting stress, and financial stability and budgeting.” All this is FREE! To see all agencies in Marion County who provide parenting classes, click here.

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