Mayor Deegan to Preview New Citywide Literacy Initiative and Library Foundation's New JaxKids Book Club Books

Contacts: Scott Evans, (330) 351-3107,

Free books will be distributed for free to nearly 8,000 preschool children through the generosity of Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket and other local organizations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., September 8, 2023 – Mayor Donna Deegan will preview a new citywide literacy initiative at a press conference held Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 2 p.m., located at the Conference Center at the Main Library. In alignment with the mayor's commitment to literacy, the Library Foundation of Jacksonville, with support from Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket will release eight newly-authored and illustrated JaxKids Book Club books. The books will be distributed to nearly 8,000 children in VPKs throughout Duval County this fall.

WHEN: Tuesday, Sep. 12 2 p.m.
WHERE: Conference Center at the Main Library, 304 N. Main St. – 32202 (Please use Main St. entrance to the Conference Center)
WHO: Mayor Donna Deegan, City of Jacksonville
Library Foundation of Jacksonville
Winn-Dixie Gives
Harveys Gives

Since its inception in 2004, the JaxKids Book Club has provided 1,100,000 free books to more than 130,000 four and five-year-olds throughout the city. As a national model, 19 states and 40 municipalities have consulted with Jacksonville officials to create similar programs that promote early literacy.

The Club provides access to books tp promote early literacy and a love of reading for all children throughout Duval County. JaxKids Book Club has everything kids and their families need to make learning and reading fun. Each year, the Club distributes free backpacks filled with books to all Duval County VPK students (public and private). Children of VPK age who don't receive a backpack through VPK may get a backpack at any Jacksonville Public Library location (while supplies last).

The Winn-Dixie Gives and Harveys Gives Foundations provided the Library Foundation of Jacksonville with a generous grant of $50,000 to refresh the JaxKids Book Club collection and commission new books from diverse authors and illustrators with a focus on reflecting the diverse Jacksonville community. The new books will be previewed at the conference, and local JaxKids Book Club authors and illustrators will be in attendance.

Additional JaxKids Book Club program sponsors include the Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Kids Hope Alliance, PNC, JM Family Enterprises, Southeast Toyota Distributors, Florida Blue, VyStar Credit Union, and Pajcic & Pajcic. 

About the SEG Gives Foundation (Winn-Dixie Gives and Harveys Gives

SEG Gives Foundation is the charitable arm of Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG), parent company of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores. The SEG Gives Foundation aligns giving with causes that are priorities to the communities SEG serves, including the fight against hunger, support for military service members and their families, relief to those affected by extreme weather and natural disasters and championing belonging, inclusion and diversity by combating social injustice to bridge the gap of inequities faced by many individuals, families and communities. Southeastern Grocers strives to be ingrained in its communities and, through the SEG Gives Foundation, better the lives of its customers and neighbors.

About the Library Foundation of Jacksonville

The mission of the Library Foundation of Jacksonville is to inspire, advocate and grow philanthropic support for the Jacksonville Public Library in service to lifelong learners throughout our diverse community. The Foundation—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization—provides the community members, corporations, and other stakeholders with opportunities to invest in the success of the Library. With private financial support, the Foundation expects to support and enhance the Library’s current funding system, not to replace the tax base and public community dollars so essential to the core of the Library mission. Managed by the Board of Directors, the Foundation is wholly independent of the City of Jacksonville, the Library, and the Library Board of Trustees. To learn more call 904-255-6192 or visit

About the City of Jacksonville

About the City of Jacksonville
The City of Jacksonville is the largest city by land mass in the contiguous United States, serving approximately 900,000 residents. Located in Duval County, City of Jacksonville leadership includes the mayor and a 19-member City Council. To learn more about the City of Jacksonville, visit [http:.//]

About Jacksonville Public Library

The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community and foster success by bringing people, information and ideas together. Last year, more than 3.1 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Libraries, items were checked out more than 4.7 million times, and over 15,000 programs and services were offered to Duval County residents at the Main Library and 20 branch locations. For more information about the Jacksonville Public Library, call 630-BOOK (2665) or visit

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