Citizens of the Month honored
The East Pasco Chamber Foundation in partnership with the Greater Zehyrhills Chamber of Commerce recognized 10 students as the Greater Zephyrhills Student Citizens of the Month (September). Students are chosen by the teachers and administration of their individual schools for exemplary effort, achievement, and contribution to their school, family and community. These students received the honor: Adam ‘AJ’ Byro Jr., Academy of Spectrum Diversity; Nickolas Kluge, Chester Taylor Elementary School; Brantley Raza, Heritage Academy; Kimberly Zurita, Stewart Middle; Ethan West and Rebekah Santiago, The Broach School; Lilly Saunders, West Zephyrhills Elementary; Abdiel Ruziga, Woodland Elementary; Arya Thurston, Zephyrhills Christian Academy; and Alyssa Rojas, Zephyrhills High.
ABC program supported
Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano’s five offices collected funds and distributed checks to five schools identified as high need for their respective ABC (Assist, Believe & Care) Programs.
The programs were 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 cash donated goes into a fund that teachers can use when they see or learn of a need a child may have.
Managers and staff from all tax office locations in Pasco County delivered a $1,000 check to each of these schools: Rodney B. Cox Elementary, West Zephyrhills Elementary, Denham Oaks Elementary, Chasco Elementary and Sunray Elementary, according to a news release.
“Life in general, the uncertainty that COVID brought to so many families and other factors have put economic pressure on many Pasco residents,” said Fasano in the release.
“The strain can be enormous, especially when a parent loses a job, or a single parent is struggling to raise children while doing all they can to make ends meet. Children without food, adequate clothing or other unmet needs often suffer academically….The assistance provided helps students get back on track and stay on track,” said Fasano.
Financial aid deadlines
Students should keep a close eye on deadlines when applying for student financial aid, according to a KHEAA (Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority) news release.
Every scholarship or grant a student receives can reduce their dependence on student loans.
Here are some helpful tips from KHEAA, according to the release:
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible, beginning Oct. 1. The FAFSA submission must be completed to qualify for most state and federal student aid.
- Check with the financial aid offices of the schools applied to, to determine if they require any forms other than FAFSA.
- Look for scholarships using a free online scholarship search.
- Attend college fairs and financial aid seminars offered. If a company charges a fee for helping with applications, remember that a student can do it themselves, for free. If paying for help, make sure the company is reputable by checking with the attorney general’s office or the Better Business Bureau in your area, as well as the area where the firm is located.
KHEAA is a public, nonprofit agency established to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy, at no cost to students and parents.
For more about the services, visit KHEAA.com.
Aaron Hatrick, of Zephyrhills, earned a Doctor of Philosophy, English, from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, during summer commencement ceremonies.
Early release dates for Pasco
Pasco County Schools is utilizing a monthly, two-hour early release time again this year, to allow for staff to engage in professional development aligned with student needs, and district and school priorities, according to a news release.
Scheduled early release days for the 2022-2023 school year are: Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Jan. 11, Feb. 1, March 8 and April 12.
On each of these days, students will be release two hours early. The bell times and early release times for each school, can be found at Pasco.k12.fl.us/site/pcs_bell_schedule.
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with its annual Poster and Bookmark Contests for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The art contests are a way for kids and teens to celebrate the culture and traditions of Hispanic Americans reflected throughout the community.
The contests are open to elementary, middle and high school students, and prizes will be awarded to the winners.
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade can design a bookmark using crayons, markers, colored pencils or paint.
High school students can participate in the poster contest that celebrates Hillsborough’s Hispanic heritage. The poster must be 8 ½ inches by 11 inches.
Winners will receive prizes including art supply packages and the opportunity to have their creation professionally printed.
For inspiration, students can view last year’s winning bookmarks and posters at HCPLC.org/events/hispanic-heritage-winners-2021.