Tag: Children

Guy Harvey

Anna Maria Elementary Makes History with Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Our special “Little School by the Bay” just got a lot more special with an exciting announcement. Locally, you can see many people doing Guy Harvey designs on their clothes year-round but now, our Anna Maria area just gained an even closer connection with the famous artist. Collaboration and common interests lead to the first-ever Guy Harvey Academy of Arts and Sciences at Anna Maria Elementary.

The School District of Manatee County announced their partnership with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) to establish the Guy Harvey Academy of Arts and Science at Anna Maria Elementary School (AME). The academy, named for the world-renowned wildlife artist, conservationist and businessman, will focus on marine sciences, conservation and the arts.

What does that mean for AME? The same little school we’ve all known to love and support over the many years is just adding another layer to the hands-on world-class education it offers students. The collaboration between the district and GHOF will begin this school year with development of a K-5 curriculum that will include a special aquarium to be installed at the school for the program, and accompanying art components. Students who finish the program will receive a certificate of completion from the academy.

On the partnership, Manatee County Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said “It is a goal of our school district to bring innovative educational opportunities to our students to expand their career and life possibilities. It’s been a genuine pleasure to work with Dr. Harvey and everyone associated with his ocean foundation to make this academy a reality.”

Guy Harvey

Dr. Harvey earned high honors in Marine Biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland and obtained a Doctorate in Fisheries Management at the University of West Indies. His vivid and colorful artwork has earned international prestige and is viewed in art galleries, exhibits, stores and adorns a wide array of popular products including apparel. You can even pick up a variety of Dr. Harvey’s unique designs at many of our local shops and boutiques!

In a thoughtful recorded statement, Dr. Harvey and his daughter Jessica Harvey, expressed their avid support for the academy. Jessica Harvey is an Environmental Conservationist and Co-Chair of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. They have both been searching for the right fit for an opportunity like this and AME fit just right for their goals to educate, empower, and inspire.

Doug Evans, Chief Philanthropy Officer for the GHOF was at the School Board meeting in Bradenton Tuesday evening when the Board approved the agreement for the academy.

“I don’t think there could possibly be a better fit for the very first Guy Harvey Academy of Arts and Science than Anna Maria Elementary,”

We are so proud of the staff at Anna Maria Elementary who eagerly sought this advancement and for the teams that came together to make it happen. We know that this will only further positively impact our local community, environment, and cause a ripple effect of care.

Anna Maria Elementary always welcome school-choice students, transfers, and “hardship” students with open arms. While the school has historically been the go-to public school for the many kids growing up on the island, they’re seeing even more children coming from neighboring towns to AME. So, if you live on the mainland and are just looking for a more individualized education in a warm environment for your child with an emphasis on marine biology, environmentalism, and the arts — reach out to see how your child can benefit from this exciting collaboration.

Congrats, Anna Maria Elementary! Welcome to the neighborhood, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation!

Photos from School District of Manatee County

Shopping

Anna Maria Island Guide to Holiday Shopping

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Although this season is really about so much more than gift-giving, we think gift-giving thoughtfully can be really great. There are simple ways to shop responsibly and give back while doing your regular holiday shopping. Especially, if you choose to shop local and support a small business.

Some of the best shopping on AMI can be conveniently found on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach and Pine Avenue on the North End of Anna Maria. Both streets host plenty of walkable shopping! We’ve compiled some of our favorite island shops to get everything from sunglasses to surf gear and art to toys. Speaking of toys, some of our local shops would be GREAT to pick up some donations for our office Toys for Tots drive!

Original Sand Dollar
5302 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 

The Original Sand Dollar Gift Shop is an incredibly cute shop located in Holmes Beach. It was recently re-opened, and is now run by the family that originally opened the store back in 1960! They’ve thoughtfully curated beautiful items for anyone’s home or closet.  This store is very popular with locals and visitors alike because they have such a unique and trendy selection. Everything from sea shells and candles to jewelry and clothes awaits at The Sand Dollar!

West Coast Surf Shop
3902 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL

West Coast Surf Shop has been on Anna Maria Island since 1964! If you’re looking for a real surf shop, than this is the place to go! At West Coast Surf Shop, you will find beachy apparel, the best brands of swimwear, sunglasses, jewelry, surfboards, skateboards, etc. If you have a water sport enthusiast, this is the place to get the latest and greatest gear.

Shopping

The Island Cabana
403 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL

The Island Cabana, located at Pine Avenue on Anna Maria Island, is a resort lifestyle beachwear and gifts boutique for both you and your home. Quaint, local shop with women’s brand-name resortwear & trendy jewelry, plus home decor & souvenirs. In 2015 The Island Cabana become a Lilly Pulitzer Premier Specialty Store.

Pink & Navy
216 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL

This adorable boutique features hip and trendy clothing and accessories for women, men and children of all ages and sizes. With a focus on buying brands that give back and do good, you can feel good about your purchases and hopefully find clothes that make you feel beautiful. Because you are – inside and out. Very trendy!

Sun & Surf
5418 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL

Here you’ll find a large selection of beach clothes. Tons of beach themed T-shirts, cover-ups and swim wear too. All the typical things you find a beach shops are here including a few out of the ordinary items. Sometimes you’ll find furniture and other knick-knacks.

Shopping

Egret Shops
10006 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL

The White Egret is full of original treasures including home accents, bedding, bath goods, candles, linens, and more. They also offer custom floral designs! They have on staff designers that can create all types of original displays for all occasions.  The owner’s actually own three different spots on the island: The White Egret, The Egret’s Nest, and The Egret’s Landing.  Each of the stores specializes in it’s own unique gifts and decor.

The Egret’s Nest – Ladies’ Apparel& Baby Boutique

The Egret’s Landing – Home Furnishings& Interior Design

Island Bazaar
3304 E Bay Dr. Holmes Beach, FL 

Bridge Street Bazaar
117 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL

A family-owned small business since 1987 that has grown over five times through the years to offer our customers a wide selection of quality goods. Definitely known for its wide variety of funky souvenirs but they also have a great selection of sunglasses! They have everything you need for the beach from Tshirts and beach novelty items as well as everyone’s favorite beachwear brands: Costa and Salt Life.

Shiny Fish Emporium
306 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL

1950‘s Palm Beach elegance and style meets the tranquil low-key lifestyle of Anna Maria Island. Beach Glam© gifts are found next to unique toys for kids of all ages at the Shiny Fish!

And don’t forget…

Toys For Tots!

Giving back is a major part that makes the holiday season so lovely. Toys for Tots is an incredible initiative that we at A Paradise are happy to partner with each and every year. Just drop off a toy to either our Ellenton or Anna Maria Island office to take part in making someone’s Christmas special!

Photos from Pexels.com

Day Trips

Family Day Trips from Anna Maria Island

While Anna Maria Island is known to be one of the most relaxing beachside vacation spots in Florida, sometimes you might be looking for a little taste of adventure! Especially if your family is planning a longer stay here on AMI and wants to make a quick day trip to somewhere exciting, there are so many options for everyone in the family. From theme parks to museums to sporting events, the quick day trip from AMI is certainly worth penciling into your island vacation plans. We’ve compiled a variety of popular recommendations below, all within a reasonable driving distance from our little slice of paradise on the Gulf of Mexico.

Walt Disney World

Of course, we had to start big here! While we may think Anna Maria is the happiest place on Earth, it doesn’t hurt to make a trip to the other Happiest Place on Earth. Did you know that Disney World is only about a 2-hour drive from AMI? If you’re planning a family trip to AMI it’s definitely worth the trek to Orlando for a Disney day! Then, you can come back and unwind on our calming beaches.

Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure

Day Trips

Also in Orlando, this a great option for some of your bigger kids or thrill-seekers. Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the recently-updated Harry Potter World are all just about 2 hours from AMI and are great choices if you want to get your adrenaline pumping on some roller-coasters or visit Hogwarts, and then retreat back on the Anna Maria beaches afterwards.

Downtown Tampa

Day Trips

With so much to offer, you can pack a plethora of activities into a day trip to Downtown Tampa. From catching a sporting event like a Tampa Bay Lightning Game or a big concert at Amalie Arena, to exploring the wonder of the Florida Aquarium, to trying many different cuisines and taking in the sunset at Armature Works. Downtown Tampa is safe, walkable, and picturesque!

Busch Gardens

Rollercoaster lovers and adrenaline seekers: Busch Gardens is a must-do. Only a little less than an hour drive from AMI and offers the best of both worlds— fast-paced rides, and lots of zoo life. It’s home to over 200 different species of animals AND Florida’s tallest roller coaster. Our closest and most beloved local theme park. 

Adventure Island

Right across the street from Busch Gardens is Adventure Island! This expansive water park is a particularly popular destination in the warmer Florida months. Wave pools, lazy rivers, and LOTS of wild slides. Adventure awaits at Adventure Island.

MOSI

Also in that area near Busch Gardens and Adventure Island in Tampa, is MOSI. The Museum of Science & Industry is a must for inquiring minds and imaginative spirits. It’s fun for kids of all ages and adults alike, with a variety of interesting activities and consistently exciting visiting exhibits.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Get wild at Lowry Park. ZooTampa at Lowry Park is a 63-acre nonprofit zoo located in Tampa, Florida. It was previously voted the #1 Family Friendly Zoo in the US by Parents Magazine, and is recognized by the State of Florida as the center for Florida wildlife conservation and biodiversity. 

You can really have the best of both worlds with an Anna Maria Island vacation. Come relax on the beach and take a day trip to some of our easily accessible adventures! Give us a call and we’ll help find you the perfect place to relax and unwind amidst all the fun ahead: 941-778-4800

Photos from Pexels.com

Elementary School

Anna Maria Elementary School

As the lazy days of Summer wind down and the upcoming school year quickly approaches, we thought it’d be a great time to shine a light on one of the most wonderful things that make our island so special… The gem of The Island: Anna Maria Elementary School (AME).

Their mission: “Growing together as we plant seeds to learn, dream and succeed. We strive to support student experiences that will provide them the tools to be successful individuals and members of our community.”

Elementary School

The school has some of the greatest teachers and support staff in the state and the incredible support from the community allows AME to offer so many special opportunities for its students, often with an emphasis on culture, the arts, and the environment! Not to mention, test scores at this school are far above the state average, suggesting that most students at this school are performing at or above grade level. It has proudly had over 19 years as an A-rated school, with small classes and big goals for the future.

While the school has historically been the go-to public school for the many kids growing up on the island, they’re seeing even more children coming from neighboring towns to AME. So, if you live on the mainland and are just looking for a more individualized education in a warm environment for your child— a large percentage of the students at AME actually school-choice or “hardship” into AME. Definitely worth the trip!

But, even if you may not be at the stage of life of enrolling little ones into elementary school- there’s no denying that Anna Maria Island is better for ALL of us because of the value AME brings.

If you’re looking for a way to get involved and give back to this institution, there are a plethora of ways throughout the school year. Be sure to follow the PTO page on Facebook where they will be posting about upcoming events like the numerous class performances, donation drives, Read Across America Day, the Book Fair, Fall Fest, and so much more! You can always reach out to find out ways you can give back, donate on the PTO website, and take part in making a difference through AME.

Many of our A Paradise team members have important ties to Anna Maria Elementary: whether from being a parent, a past parent, a volunteer, supporter, or even an alumni themself! We are so grateful for the vibrancy that AME brings to our community. Our island would truly not be the same without it and we look forward to many years of supporting this beautiful school by the bay.

Photos courtesy of AME PTO.

Toys for Tots

Donate to Toys for Tots on AMI

Make a difference this holiday season and donate to Toys for Tots! Provide joy to children over the holidays.

The holidays might look quite different this year for your family, but the opportunity to make a child’s eyes light up is still there! In fact, this uncertain year is even more of a reason to give back this season. More families are struggling financially and many are finding it harder to get into the holly jolly spirit. There is still a chance to spread holiday cheer, even right here in our community, through Toys for Tots.

Toys

Last year in Manatee County, our area really showed up to give back! 60,671 toys were distributed to almost 14,400 children through Toys for Tots. We know this holiday time has really snuck up on many of us, but it’s not too late to join the gift-giving goodness! Just pick up a new toy and drop it off at one of our 2 convenient locations in Ellenton or on Anna Maria Island!

Easy outside drop off available at both office locations from Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm.

Holmes Beach office

5201 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Ellenton office

945 25th Drive East, Suite 10
Ellenton, FL 34222

Toys for Tots 2

Or, if you can’t make it to either of our locations to drop off a gift there are convenient ways for you to give online as well! You can make a monetary donation to our local Toys for Tots campaign by clicking this link. Or, you can make a virtual toy drop at their link here!

Whether you’re shopping and dropping in person at one of our A Paradise locations, donating online, or selecting toys virtually- thank you for answering the call and joining us to make this season merry and bright for kids who really need it right here in our vibrant community!

Your kindness is the gift that keeps on giving, and we’re grateful to be a part of the holiday magic.

Happy Holidays from our A Paradise family to yours!

Photos courtesy of Pixaby.com

Holmes Beach Office

On Anna Maria Island
5201 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
941-778-4800
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Ellenton Office

Located in Ellenton Plaza
945 25th Drive East
Ellenton, Florida 34222
941-729-2381

Questions or comments?

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Please call with any of your questions or concerns. Our friendly staff is here to help. Please call or email us at info@paradiserealty.com.

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