Delegate celebrates Earth Day with donation to elementary students


Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. This past Earth Day I was able to witness a great donation from Kathy Poe, one of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund’s ONE by ONE Delegates. Having attended a recent Discover Duval Schools visit to Mayport Elementary, she was inspired to make a tremendous gift to the students and teachers there.

Poe is a retired Science Teacher of Duval County Public Schools who continues to make an impact on the community. Last Wednesday, she donated more than  300 plus samples of sand and soil that has been collected from all over the world to Ms. Brandy Neudeck and her class of 2nd graders at Mayport Elementary.

Kathy Poe started her collection when she was a science teacher at Kirby Smith, her students would bring the sand and soil to class from places they visited with their families or went to on vacation.  With the 300 plus different samples. The students at Mayport Elementary were amazed by the sand and soil from places all around the world. They  interacted with Mrs. Poe on what the sand was composed of and where you could find similar types of sand in different places.

The samples ranged from lava magnetic sand from the island of Hawaii, red colored sand from Alpharetta-Georgia, gold sand from the Sapphire Valley white sand composed from coral reef, shells and animal bones to the white sands of Destin, Florida. While those were some of the easy places to reach, some samples were brought from Brazil, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Italy, Ukraine and Israel, with a story that comes with each sample. 

You may ask why sand and soil so important? Visit by clicking here to see a short video about The Role of Sand, Silt, and Clay Components in Soil Function. You can also share your questions in the comment section below and we can get them to Kathy Poe and post answers to your questions!

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” —David Attenborough

Happy 45th Anniversary Earth Day!




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.