All Aboard For A Better Future For Florida Children

Take Stock in Children Express Begins Tour to Recruit Mentors,

Support Scholarships

Feb 23, 1998, 00:00 ET from Take Stock in Children

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ --  Children, mentors, key
 legislators and prominent business leaders from sponsoring companies will be
 on board a special CSX Transportation train as it pulls out of Jacksonville
 Tuesday, February 24 on a 27 city tour that will challenge Florida to provide
 hope for children through education.  The 12-car, 1,200 foot train will criss-
 cross the state until March 4 on a mission to invite citizens to help change
 the lives of deserving local youngsters by becoming mentors or contributing to
 scholarships in the Take Stock in Children program.
     The Take Stock in Children Express will definitely stand out in a crowd
 with the exterior of one car specially decorated in a whimsical, child's
 artwork motif _- effectively becoming an 80 foot long, 9 foot high moving
 billboard.  This high visibility, fun effort will launch a 2-year campaign to
 add 4,000 children and 4,000 mentors _ tripling the size of the current,
 highly successful program.
     Eight of Florida's top companies have already answered the challenge and
 are leading the campaign:  NationsBank, Publix Super Markets, Outback
 Steakhouse, Florida Power Corporation, CSX Transportation, the Florida
 Lottery, JM Family Enterprises, and Republic Industries.  These companies not
 only provide scholarship funding, but volunteer mentors as well.
     Take Stock in Children is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership
 operating in 51 counties that profoundly changes the lives of low-income
 Florida children by providing four-year college scholarships (through the
 Florida Prepaid College Program) and vocational scholarships.  It also gives
 the individual citizen the incredibly rewarding opportunity to make a
 difference in the lives of these children.  Scholarship recipients sign a
 contract with their parents and schools promising to make good grades, stay in
 school -_ off drugs -_ and out of trouble, and meet weekly with a mentor.
     Sponsoring and/or mentoring a local child is as easy as calling
 800-TAKE-STOCK (825-3786).  The public can learn more about the program from
 brochures available at NationsBank locations and Publix Supermarkets.
 Individuals can make contributions at any NationsBank.
     Take Stock in Children is one of the nation's largest mentor recruitment
 and youth scholarship programs.  In just two years, the program has provided
 more than 2,000 scholarships with a remarkable 97% success rate.  It is
 modeled after the Pinellas County "Doorways" program, which is still active
 today.  Take Stock became a statewide effort in 1996.
     Complete information, releases and itinerary can be found on line at: and

SOURCE Take Stock in Children