Historic City News was watching as a proclamation was read by Mayor Joseph L. Boles, Jr., declaring June 11, 2012 to be St Augustine’s 450th Youth Ambassadors Appreciation Day during the regular meeting of the St Augustine City Commission Monday evening.
The students, who applied in the spring of 2010 to be part of the 450th Youth Ambassadors Program are sponsored by the St. Augustine Historical Society and are committed to assist with the 450th commemoration activities leading up to 2015. This month marks the first year of their pledge.
They have toured the Spanish Quarter, the Castillo de San Marcos, the Mission del Nombre de Dios, the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, Flagler College, the St. Augustine Record, the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Art Association, the Lighthouse, and have taken part in an historic trolley ride and ghost tour.
Historic City News editor Michael Gold observes, ironically, “The kids have actually accomplished more, on that score, than some of the high-priced adults pledged to do the same.”
The Ambassadors come from schools throughout the county; Bartram Trail, St. Joseph Academy, Pedro Menendez, Nease, St. Augustine high schools and St. Johns Academy, ABLE, home school, Murray, Swiss Point, Fruit Cove middle schools.
Each month, the students gather to visit selected local historical sites or attend presentations that teach them about the people, places and events that played a part in St. Augustine’s history in order to learn how to represent our city. In addition, students sign up to assist with events celebrating our city’s history. They can be identified by their official red shirts emblazoned with the St. Augustine 450th logo.
After the City Commission meeting, the students were hosted by the women of the Women’s Exchange for a dinner party and a tour of the Pena-Peck House. Hand-sketched artwork decorated the tables depicting events and historic places around our city.
Each student received a copy of the proclamation and a certificate of recognition.
For more information about the 450th Youth Ambassadors, contact Nancy Birchall at 904-794-2883 or Jeani Taliaferro at 904-829-8372.
Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News contributed photograph by Raphael Cosme