About Us

Dragonfly Academy was founded with the goal of providing accessible science and nature education to the
Greater Jacksonville Area. At Dragonfly Academy we provide a safe and structured environment for children to learn about the natural world and help develop the socio-emotional skills that will help them through adulthood. 

We believe that kids learn best by doing and experiencing, so we try to incorporate as much hands-on learning as possible in all of our camps and classes. These techniques help children to connect information to the real world in a way that is difficult to accomplish in a traditional classroom setting.

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Lizzy Ellis

Elizabeth (Lizzy) received her Bachelor's degree from the University of North Florida in Environmental Science. She went on to work at Tree Hill Nature Center as the Lead Naturalist, where she discovered her passion for education and environmental stewardship. After receiving an Education degree from Jacksonville University, she taught elementary science at KIPP Jacksonville Schools to K-5th graders. In 2020 after the school shut downs, it became apparent that there was a gap in education when it came to hands-on science, and because of this, Lizzy founded Jax Dragonfly Academy.

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Javana Messersmith

Javana Messersmith joined the JDA team in 2021 to assist in bringing outdoor education to Jacksonville. She got her degree from UNF in Zooarchaeology and is passionate about conservation. She is pictured here with a Terrapin from her time working in the Herpetology Lab at UNF. 

What are people saying?

Ms Lizzy hosts amazing classes that my entire family learns something new from! She is engaged with the students and so much fun and full of energy! Each class is a unique and special experience and we always leave so excited for the next one!  - A Dragonfly Parent

I can't believe I learned something at a birthday party. - An 11 year old

Excellent program! The kids were engaged and are still talking about what they learned. Lizzy was patient and was able to work well with kids from 5 - 11!  - Anonymous Parent

The activities were well planned, and the kids had a great time. - Parent and Homeschool Teacher

I love both Lizzy and Javanna's style with the kids. They are respectful and calm in all interactions. They are extremely knowledgeable on a breadth of areas of science. I feel that the camp had the perfect balance of both structured and open times. I also appreciated the size of the group. It was not too small nor too big. I also appreciate that they trusted the kids with whittling and making fire. I feel that other camps don't respect the fact that kids can do difficult things responsibly and carefully. I am so thankful that we were able to participate this year!  - Summer Camp Parent

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