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Busch Gardens offers 2012 Grad Nite
Posted Oct 18, 2011 by Sherri Ackerman
Updated Oct 18, 2011 at 10:19 AM
A year after Disney said goodbye to its Grad Nite, Busch Gardens has taken on the event.
Graduating high school seniors are invited to the park on Friday, April 27, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The evening is not just a “walk in the park,’’ organizers say.
There’s live entertainment by rock band, Cobra Starship (you know, the folks who sing “Good Girls Gone Bad’’ – someone had to tell me that,) and the fluffiest stand-up comic around, Gabriel Iglesias.
The special after-hours celebration also will feature dance parties with “high energy’’ DJs and plenty of opportunities to ride some of area’s top coasters in the dark, including SheiKra, Kumba and the new, high-speed Cheetah.
Tickets are available at the students’ schools. Cost is $54.99 plus tax. Chaperons may receive a complimentary ticket with each 10 paid tickets for students.
Reservations are necessary as this is expected to be a very popular event.
Disney still offers Florida school groups a special, one day, one park ticket for $55 valid any time of the year.
The theme park said last year that an increase in spring attendance made it difficult to schedule an after-hours, separate-ticket event for seniors.
Hillsborough hosts Career & College Fest
Posted Oct 7, 2011 by Sherri Ackerman
Updated Oct 7, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Graduations aren’t the only school events happening at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Hillsborough County middle and high school students and their families are invited to come out for the fifth annual Career & College Fest.
Public school students are welcome early in the day, with high school students invited 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and middle school students at 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Anyone in the community can attend from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
The event is inside the entertainment hall. Admission and parking are free.
Representatives from colleges, technical schools and other postsecondary programs, and businesses and industries will be available to talk with families.
For more information, go to the district’s site or call (813) 231-1860.
Buy fruits and vegetables to help schools
Posted Sep 26, 2011 by Sherri Ackerman
Updated Oct 11, 2011 at 12:09 PM
A lot of corporate chains are pitching in during this struggling economy to help schools fill the gaps.
One is our local Publix.
The Lakeland-based grocery is launching a new campaign with Produce for Kids to raise money for salad bars in the lunchroom.
Some Hillsborough schools already have salad bars in their cafeterias. Others participate in a federal program that brings fresh vegetables and fruits into the classroom.
This public initiative is called Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, an idea to help students eat more fruits and vegetables.
It goes hand in hand with First Lady Michele Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to help end childhood obesity.
From now until Oct. 26, shoppers can help their local schools by visiting the produce section and buying select items. In return, a donation will be made to Let’s Move Salad Bars.
Items include Select One tomatoes, Buddy Fruits, Crunch Pak sliced apples, Del Monte Fruit Naturals, mini seedless cucumbers and organic green beans and Marie’s salad dressings.
Shoppers also can win gift cards for themselves.
And teachers can win up to $1,000 for their classrooms by participating in the Play With Your Produce challenge which encourages kids to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables based on the new USDA MyPlate guidelines.
To learn more about getting a salad bar in your school, go to saladbars2schools.org
And this week, Target will distribute 28,000 books to students at 15 elementary schools in Tampa, Miami and Orlando.
Each school also receives a $1,500 book grant to buy more books for the library and every student will receive three books to take home in a Target book back.
In Tampa, the two schools will get the donation on Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Tampa Bay Elementary at 3111 W. Tampa Bay Blvd. will receive the donation at 8 a.m., followed by Alexander Elementary at 5602 N. Lois Avenue at 10:30 a.m.
Hillsborough schools observe 9/11
Posted Sep 9, 2011 by Sherri Ackerman
Updated Sep 9, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Special 9/11 tributes are taking place at many Hillsborough County schools on Friday, Sept. 9, and throughout next week.
Today, Sept. 9, students at Caminiti Exceptional Center are wearing red, white and blue and will observe a moment of silence, recite the Pledge of Allegiance then hold hands as they sing “God Bless America.’’
At Carver Exceptional Center, students will participate in an essay contest on How 9/11 Changed America in addition to daily poetry readings.
Teacher Ryne LoJacono’s class at Chamberlain High School will write down their memories from that fateful day and talk about how 9/11 is similar to the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated or the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor.
Many schools, including Coleman Middle, Deer Park Elementary, Hillsborough High and Nelson Elementary will remember those who lost their lives with a moment of silence.
Others, like Marshall Middle School, Lowry Elementary School and Yates Elementary School will incorporate the 10-year anniversary into lesson plans.
At Marshall, students are interviewing people about their memories of 9/11. research what happened that day and since, and presenting a discussion using video clips from the last decade.
Dowdell Middle Magnet School is collecting toiletries for Operation Patriot to benefit U.S. veterans of armed forces.
Students are wearing red, white and blue and hosting patriotic celebrations Friday at Kingswood Elementary, Lake Magdalene Elementary, Nelson Elementary, Philip Shore Elementary Magnet School, Sheehy Elementary, Seffner Elementary, Sulphur Springs Elementary and Village of Excellence Academy.
Van Buren Middle School will feature a presentation honoring the memory of the 9/11 victims. Randall Middle school will create red, white and blue markers that will be placed on the lawn to form an American flag.
East Bay High’s senior color guard members of the JROTC program will dress in full uniform for a 9/11 memorial service Sunday in Sun City Center, while JROTC students and those who participate in student government at Hillsborough High will conduct a similar observance at their school.
Wharton High School will present a wind ensemble, theatre production and the JROTC for the presentation of “9/11: A Night of Remembrance and Reflection,’’ a special dinner and concert at the school on Sunday, starting at 5 p.m.
The event will honor the families and victims of that tragic day. Dinner is catered by Texas Roadhouse and costs $5 to $10. The concert is $5.
Freedom High School will host a memorial service at the school on Monday, Sept. 12, at 8:46 a.m. with the JROTC in the courtyard and a student assembly. Freedom High band members will play TAPS.
Also on Monday, Apollo Beach Elementary will have a guidance counselor read “September 12th We knew Everything Would be All Right’’ on the morning show.
Knights Elementary School will have students wearing red, white and blue on Monday, while reading their stories about what a hero means on the school’s morning show. Older students will interview adults about 9/11.
Lincoln Elementary will hold a Doing Caring Deeds month, focusing on honoring first responders and sending them letters, cards and baked goods to show appreciation.
Show your school spirit
Posted Sep 8, 2011 by Sherri Ackerman
Updated Sep 8, 2011 at 06:36 PM
I know I sound like a dork.
But I really loved volunteering at my son’s school this week.
My tour of duty was part of our agreement as parents to put in 30 hours of time doing things like staffing the book fair or helping with fundraising.
On paper, this sounded a little daunting to a working mom.
After my first gig, though, I can’t believe we only have 29 hours to go.
I chose the Nature Walk in my son’s class, which meant hanging around with 18 kindergartners and Mr. Jim while he showed off some slimy frogs.
Then we walked single file over to the pond, where we carefully dipped nets into the murky water on the hunt for tadpoles, snails and other slippery creatures.
The kids caught three tadpoles, a few snails and a rock, all of which were later released back into the water - and no one fell in.
Time at school also meant I got to hear my son read aloud to his classmates, meet his friends and bond a little with his teacher.
And my son got to see me not only volunteering, but taking time from work just for him and his school.
Next week, (note to boss) I’m pitching in at the book fair.
I can hardly wait for the field trips.