ABC Program is a benefit
Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano’s five offices this summer collected donations for the Pasco County School District’s ABC (Assist, Believe & Care) Program.
The program was created to provide financial assistance to students and their families who are experiencing economic hardship, especially when those needs interfere with the student’s ability to be academically successful.
The monies collected go into a fund that teachers can use when they see or learn of a need a child may have.
“The management and staff of each of the five tax collector offices in the county chose which school in their respective community they wanted to donate their funds to,” said Fasano, in a news release.
“Each office earmarked $1,000 for a school in need. In addition, due to the generosity of the community, a sixth school was also the recipient of a $1,000 donation,” commented Fasano.
The schools chosen by each office were:
- Dade City Office: Rodney Cox Elementary School, Dade City
- Gulf Harbors Office: Marlowe Elementary, New Port Richey
- Land O’ Lakes Office: Pine View Elementary, Land O’ Lakes
- New Port Richey Office: Chasco Elementary, New Port Richey
- Wesley Chapel Office: Veterans Elementary, Wesley Chapel
- Additional school: Gulfside Elementary, Holiday
“The strain of COVID only adds to the pressure families are under during these uncertain times. Children without food, adequate clothing or other unmet needs often suffer academically. The ABC Program was designed to help students and their families who are experiencing hardship or crisis,” said Fasano.
For more information, visit PascoTaxes.com.
College Success Awards
Three Pasco County high schools — Land O’ Lakes High, J.W. Mitchell High and Wiregrass Ranch — have been named recipients of the College Success Award, which recognizes high schools for college preparation and enrollment, as well as postsecondary success, according to a news release.
In winning the award, the schools join 1,838 high schools in 25 states that met the standards to earn the Great Schools College Success Award. GreatSchools.org is a nonprofit that provides a wealth of school information to parents and families to help them make informed decisions to guide their students’ futures.
Award-winners are determined by a methodology that evaluates school-level data on college preparation, college enrollment, and college performance.
In addition to a review of overall student college readiness and test scores, the schools are rated on their record of success with students, broken down by demographics, race and ethnicity, socio-economic status, and disability status.
“Congratulations to the high schools that earned this honor,” said Pasco County Superintendent of Schools Kurt Browning, in the release.
“This truly reinforces the district’s vision of students achieving success in college, career and life,” said Browning.
To see a full list of Florida award winners, as well as details on how the schools earned the recognition, visit GreatSchools.org/gk/csa-winners/.
Peace Corps prep partner
The Peace Corps announced the University of South Florida (USF) ranked No. 2 among schools on the agency’s list of top Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing partners in 2021.
USF issued 58 Peace Corps Prep certificates to the graduating class of 2021.
Two-hundred-fifty students were enrolled in the Peace Corps program during the 2020-2021 academic year.
“At this pivotal time in our history, young people have a crucial role to play,” said Carol Spahn, Peace Corps acting director, in a news release.
“Through the Peace Corps Prep program, these schools have equipped students with the skills and understanding necessary to help communities near and far recover from the multidimensional and global shocks of the pandemic,” said Spahn.
The top certificate-issuing partners, ranked one through 10, are: Virginia Commonwealth University; University of South Florida; University of Florida; Mercer University; Monmouth University; University of California Education Abroad Program; Elon University; University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Walsh University; and Pacific Lutheran University.
For information about the Peace Corps Prep program at USF, contact Lauren Strange at or 813-974-6148.
Social work conference
Saint Leo University will host its seventh-annual Social Work Conference on Oct. 8, using a virtual platform, for both established professionals and those interested in the field.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Social Workers are Essential.”
Those attending can learn the ways in which social needs and social work practices have evolved and changed since COVID-19.
There will be a keynote panel at 9 a.m.
Other speakers and session presenters will share information on issues including: mental health and substance abuse; trauma and sexual assault response; social work and counseling needs in public schools; patterns evident in school shootings; food insecurity; improving cross-cultural connections; and more.
Sessions will end around 3:30 p.m.
Admission is $20. Admission and continuing education credit will be available for $40 (payment accepted online).
Saint Leo students and alumni will be admitted free, but must register.
To learn more and to register, visit SaintLeo.edu/annual-social-work-conference.
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