Museum prepares to welcome more students
The Tampa Museum of Art will welcome nearly 15,000 additional students in Hillsborough County Public School’s Transformation Network next year as part of a new Community Arts Education Initiative supplementing the museum’s existing school tour programs.
A federal grant of $1.9 million for the museum and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts will provide local students with experiences critiquing works of art, as well as practicing critical thinking skills that will help students in many different subjects, according to a news release.
“All Hillsborough County students should have an opportunity to develop creative skills and enjoy the arts in partnership with the expanding Tampa Museum of Art education initiative and local cultural arts centers. I am proud to champion federal support so that a greater number of Hillsborough students can engage, grow and thrive through arts education,” said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, in the release.
The federal grant funding will support an 18-month cycle of staff training, curriculum development, school visits, teacher and facilitator training, and assessments to determine the impact of the arts experiences on the students’ critical thinking skills.
In addition to the federal funding secured by Castor, the education initiative also made possible the museum’s recent Centennial Renovation project, which doubled the size of the gallery space and opened the Vinik Family Education Center, the release says.
The number of students the museum can serve will continue to grow with the upcoming Centennial Expansion.
Student Illustrative Contest
B&B Theatres in Wesley Chapel invites students to submit original artwork for its illustrative contest entitled, “Enjoy the Magic of the Movies.”
Artwork should feature one of the movie titles listed below, using any art medium, limited to 11-inch by 14-inch size.
Entries should be submitted with the student’s name, school and grade level, and delivered to the theater, 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 14.
Works of art will be featured in the theater and the winners will receive a popcorn party in January for their class, as well as a movie pack for two.
Movie titles to select from are:
- “Disney’s Wish”
- “Aquaman & the Lost Kingdom”
Student volunteers needed
The Concourse, 11919 Alric Pottberg Road in Shady Hills, is looking for student (and adult) volunteers for its 2023 Celebration of Lights that will run on select dates through Dec. 30. The drive-thru light display includes a holiday train and Pasco Safety Town features Santa Claus. For more information or to sign up, visit tinyurl.com/2bwppzpt.
Student Citizens recognized
The East Pasco Chamber Foundation in partnership with The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce honored 11 students as Student Citizens of the Month for November. Students are chosen by the teachers and administrators of their individual schools for exemplary effort, achievement and contribution to their school, family and community. Back row, from left: Chick-fil-A cow; Yirer Hernandez, Raymond B. Stewart Middle School; Chief of Police Derek Brewer, Zephyrhills Police Department; Melonie Monson, Zephyrhills mayor; and Karly Jarrett, Jarrett Ford Dade City. Center row, from left: Justin Cleary, Children’s Educational Services Secondary Campus; Anjolaolywa Olatunji, Zephyrhills High; Dustin Simons, Academy of Spectrum Diversity; and Ashley Breaux, marketing coordinator, AdventHealth Dade City and AdventHealth Zephyrhills. Front row: Chris Sarhaddi, West Zephyrhills Elementary; Tayze Smith, Zephyrhills Christian Academy; Mia Cortez-Hernandez, Woodlands Elementary; Katalia Arriaga, Heritage Academy; Duane Clower, Chester Taylor Elementary; and Liela Villanueva, Raymond B. Stewart Middle).
Pasco Citizens Academy
The Pasco Citizens Academy is for those interested in gaining a deep understanding of Pasco County’s budget development, the county’s structure and the essential functions of its constitutional officers and departments. Students of the academy will engage directly with elected officials, state agency partners, department directors and county staff. Participants can become well-informed ambassadors for the community and eligible to serve on advisory boards and volunteer.
The Spring 2024 session is limited to 25 participants. Apply online at PascoCountyFl-services.app.transform.civicplus.com/forms/26223.
VPK program applications
Pasco County Schools’ Early Childhood Programs will begin accepting applications for the free Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) for the 2024-2025 academic year, beginning Jan. 8 during the School Choice open application window.
The VPK Program offers three free hours of instruction Monday through Friday, at select school sites. Extended hours are available for an additional fee. VPK extended hours will follow the school site’s regular bell schedule. Partial-day VPK will take place the first three hours of the school day.
To be eligible to participate in VPK, children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2024. A Certificate of Eligibility/Voucher must be obtained from the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando prior to completing the Pasco County Schools VPK application.
The Pasco Schools’ sites for the 2024-2025 school year are:
VPK Inclusion Site (VPK & ESE Students) – Bexley Elementary, Centennial Elementary, Chester Taylor Elementary, Connerton Elementary, Denham Oaks Elementary, Double Branch Elementary, Gulf Highlands Elementary, Gulf Trace Elementary, Hudson Primary Academy, James Marlowe Elementary, Lake Myrtle Elementary, Longleaf Elementary, Oakstead Elementary, Odessa Elementary, Quail Hollow Elementary, Seven Springs Elementary, Seven Oaks Elementary, Schrader Elementary and Watergrass Elementary.
VPK Site (VPK students only) – Kirkland Ranch K-8, Mittye P. Locke Early Learning Academy, Trinity Elementary and Veterans Elementary.