“Grew-up in Ormond; Now, Grown-Up in Daytona”
By: Michelle Rutkowski, Health/Fitness/Wellness Coach
Someone once asked me, “why do you live in Daytona Beach, and is it a good area to raise a child”? Well, here is my story and some of my opinions.
I grew up in the Ormond Beach area (Ormond by the sea and the mainland side of Ormond). I remember my school days, summer camps, sports & recreational activities, quick weekend get-a-ways, and the awesome beach days. My neighborhood where I lived most of my adolescent years was full of other kids my age, we swam together, played at the playground, and spent most of our days outdoors. I remember going to the local re-center for holiday activities/parties, lock-ins, gymnastics and other sports. I lived close to my elementary and junior high school, and knew my neighbors well.
Now, as an adult, with a family of my own; I look for these same things for my toddler, and what she will have available to her while growing up, and things to do before she starts school.
We currently live in Daytona Beach. We live in the house my husband grew up in, and the neighborhood reminds me of my old one in Ormond. People who live there have lived there for years, OR, they are like us and are 2-3rd generation of family living there. We are close to shopping, highways, parks, beach, and highways. The only negative thing I have about our neighborhood, is the recent increase in crime (car and home break ins), but, we are seeing it slow down, with the help of the police department, and neighborhood watch.
When my daughter was born, I met some other new moms while out and about, we started to hang out, have play dates, and added more moms along the way; our kids have all basically grown up together the past 4 years, and I love how close they all are. Also, being involved in other mom/child groups that we found in the area, helped with meeting other moms; we were involved in J.E.L.L.O in Ormond, and MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers) in Daytona and Port Orange. There are many resources in the area for new moms.
There are many free things to take advantage of in the area, as well as inexpensive things too, and of course, the awesome beach. We take advantage of the libraries, and the free programs they offer, free day at the museum, splash parks, playgrounds, and enjoy other things that are still nearby, with a short car drive. Being in Daytona, we are just a 15 minute drive to things in Ormond and Port Orange, and, Orlando is a quick, easy drive for fun weekend get-a-ways too.
My daughter is not school aged yet, but, she does attend preschool part-time, and we researched many schools before she started, and absolutely LOVE the staff, teachers and parents of the school we chose. Having many highly recommended ones in the area was great, and being able to talk to other moms on facebook (VCM page) helped too.
We are starting to look at school options for Kindergarten, and there are many in the area to look at (public, private, charter, virtual, and even homeschool co-op groups); I am glad I have another year to look in to this, and feel the area has many great options for all.
We are looking to move sometime in the future, and will definitely be staying in the same general area (just something bigger).
I enjoyed growing up in Ormond, and Daytona has been great to me since I moved back.