As many of you know, in April of this year JPEF moved to our new home located in the Jessie Ball duPont Center. On June 26, the Center held its grand opening. In the heart of downtown Jacksonville and completed in 2015, the Jessie Ball DuPont Center is a home for nonprofits in Jacksonville. Offering reduced rent to tenants, the Center helps nonprofits allocate resources toward causes, rather than overhead. The Center’s major purposes are to raise nonprofit visibility locally and encourage collaboration among organizations. In addition to individual nonprofit offices, the duPont Center offers several different meeting spaces (including an auditorium) and flexible workstations, a copy room, and several shared lunch spaces.
During the opening, we had four different stations to educate visitors about and our mission, initiatives and core values. The first station was a video feature in our Collaboration Room, a great space for team meetings and brainstorming. The next station allowed visitors to explore our website at the Data Learning Lab, using Chromebooks and our open “bench” space. The third station invited guests to share their story in our Conference Room, focusing on how they move public education forward and why public education matters. The final station offered refreshments and JPEF facts at our Café. Guests were also asked about their favorite teachers, school subjects, and part of school, regardless of age or graduation date. All staff, including the summer Fellows, were on hand to welcome visitors, talk about JPEF and public education, and give a tour of the office.
Over the course of a few hours, JPEF welcomed over 110 guests! We were able to reach out to teachers, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, former library employees, and members of the Jacksonville community. Each guest had an opportunity to learn what JPEF does and see our new workspace. The grand opening was a great opportunity to connect with community members and encourage others to get involved with making public education in Duval County great!
If you haven’t stopped by, come see our new home in the Jessie Ball DuPont Center soon! - Summer intern and guest blogger, Elizabeth Feustel