January Student Citizens of the Month
The East Pasco Chamber Foundation in partnership with The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce recognized 10 students from local schools as Greater Zephyrhills Student Citizens of the Month. Students are chosen by the teachers and administration of their individual schools for exemplary effort, achievement and contribution to their school, family and community. Those honored were: Michael Barnes, Academy of Spectrum Diversity; Chase Sheffler, Children’s Educational Services Elementary Campus; Kayleigh Skinner, Children’s Educational Services Secondary Campus; Rosalinda Sosa, Chester Taylor Elementary School; London du Mont, Heritage Academy; Cheyanna Warren, Raymond Stewart Middle; Gabriel Rivera, West Zephyrhills Elementary; Ava Robinson, Woodland Elementary; Michael Smith, Zephyrhills Christian Academy; and Joseph Stosh, Zephyrhills High.
Dollar Book Fundraiser
The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will host a Dollar Book Sale Fundraiser through Feb. 14. All donations will benefit the Tom Jones Tuition Assistance Fund, which helps families send their kid(s) to camp. For information, call 813-922-8167.
Pasco County Schools will host a Turnaround event on Feb. 8 at 9 a.m., at the PHSC Instructional Performing Arts Center, 8657 Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel.
Each year, the school district celebrates students who have overcome obstacles to discover success in education and life. The event will recognize one student from each middle school and each high school.
Also, PHSC (Pasco-Hernando State College) recruiters will be on site waiving application fees for the day.
The Starkey Ranch Theatre Library Cultural Center, 12118 Lake Blanche Drive in Odessa, will host “Homeschool Pottery for Beginners” on Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon, for homeschool students ages 9 to 15.
Participants can learn the basics of throwing on the wheel. No experience necessary. All supplies will be provided. A signed safety waiver and closed-toe shoes are required. Waivers will be available to fill out before class begins. Part 2 of the class is on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m., to glaze the pieces.
Registration is required. Call 727-815-7126.
The importance of reading habits
In recognition of the Florida Department of Education’s Literacy Week, Jan. 22 to Jan. 26, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative took a look at 2023 reading habits to help raise awareness about the importance of daily reading.
Library customers borrowed a record 8.5 million library materials last year, according to a news release. That amount of books, when placed end to end, could reach from Tampa to Boston, Massachusetts. Customers checked out more than 3.6 million books, movies and audiobooks from library branches and borrowed more than 4.9 million digital items like e-books and e-magazines.
The Jimmie B. Keel Public Library branch had the highest circulation last year with a total of 412,604, the release said.
Library customers also attended more than 7,500 events at library branches in 2023 and more than 48,000 new customers signed up for library cards.
These are the top books checked out in 2023 in the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library branches and online:
Top Five Adult Fiction: “Desert Star” by Michael Connelly; “The Boys from Biloxi” by John Grisham; “Long Shadows” by David Baldacci; “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus; and “No Plan B: A Jack Reacher Novel” by Lee Child.
Top Young Adult Fiction: “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson; “The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han; “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Barnes; “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo; and “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins.
To apply for a library card, visit HCPLC.org/account/get-a-card.
Pasco-Hernando State College East Campus will present its annual Love Symposium on Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at 36727 Blanton Road, Building A, Room 240, in Dade City.
The theme will be “Love Over Time” and will feature presentations by faculty and staff exploring “Love in the Age of Social Media,” “Love in the 80s,” “Love Yourself!” and others. There also will be light refreshments, a dedicated art show and raffle prizes.
Chinese artist exhibit
Pasco-Hernando State College will exhibit the artistic talents of Nan Liu through March 1, at the West Campus, Rao Musunuru M.D. Art Gallery, 10230 Ridge Road in New Port Richey.
Liu began to study Chinese brush painting and calligraphy at a young age in Tianjin, China. At 16 years old, he was given the title of “Young Artist of Tianjin” by the Cultural Committee of Tianjin City. The artist brings cross-cultural perspectives on contemporary America through a variety of art forms, such as drawings, watercolors, tempera, ink and oil paintings.
The event is free and open to the public.
Staff Hall of Fame
Land O’ Lakes High School marked a significant moment in its history with the unveiling of the inaugural Staff Hall of Fame, a tribute to the educators and staff members who have played a pivotal role in shaping the institution.
The Hall of Fame features the portraits and accomplishments of 34 staff members. These individuals, selected for their exceptional service and positive influence on generations of students, represent the foundation upon which the school’s legacy is built, according to a news release.
The evening festivities on Jan. 24 included a presentation at halftime of the school’s basketball game, during which time each inductee was honored and introduced to the community.
Land O’ Lakes High School remains committed to celebrating its history and fostering an environment where learning and excellence thrive, the release says.
The individuals recognized to the Staff Hall of Fame are: Diane Baraket, Frederick Beauchamp, Vanie Benedetto, John Benedetto, Nancy Browning, Allen Claggett, Patrick Connolly, Maureen Dieffenwierth, Bill Gebauer, Rebecca Gleaton, Terri Granger, Vicky King, Ingrid Lachotta, Joan Lilly, Cindy Little, Charlie McBride, Caryn McDermott, Douglas O’Brien, Kathy O’Connor, Mark Pearson, Yvonne Perkins, David Puhalski, Romona Quave, Rock Ridgeway, Mark Rulison, Paul Russell, Joan Saperstein, Annemarie Schunemann, Katherine Sims, Amy Smith, Doris Souto, Terry Stanley, Kurt Sturm and Mary Jane Walker.
Sticker design challenge
The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer is challenging high school students to design a new “I Voted” sticker for Hillsborough County voters. Three finalists will be selected and one will be named the grand prize winner.
The first-place winning design will be reproduced as a 2-inch round sticker and given to voters who vote early or drop off their mail ballot during the two weeks leading up to Election Day for the 2024 Primary and General Elections.
This year’s contest is sponsored by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Busch Gardens. All of the finalists will be recognized at a school board meeting and receive prizes from the sponsors.
Artwork must be two-dimensional, nonpartisan and original. Submission deadline is March 8.
To read more about the rules and submission requirements, students should visit VoteHillsborough.gov/VHContests.
For information on voting and elections in Hillsborough County, call 813-744-5900, visit VoteHillsborough.gov, or follow @HillsboroughSOE on social media.
Victory High enrollment
Victory High School in Pasco County is now enrolling for the 2024-2025 year. The nonprofit, private school is for teens in recovery from substance-use disorders or co-occurring disorders.
Students can earn their diploma away from the pressures and temptations of traditional high school. Academics are delivered in a safe, healing-centered environment, and all staff and volunteers are trained in trauma responsive services and mental health first aid, according to Victory’s website.
Scholarships are accepted at the school. To refer a student, visit www.refertovictory.com.
For information, visit https://www.floridarecoveryschoolsoftampabay.com/schools/, call 813-444-7766, or email .
Spectrum Scholars applications
Charter Communications Inc., has opened applications for Spectrum Scholars, the company’s annual scholarship program for underrepresented college students with financial need.
Each of the rising college juniors selected for the 2024-2025 program will receive a $20,000 scholarship, a Charter mentor and the opportunity for a paid internship with the company.
In its fourth year, Charter has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships through Spectrum Scholars, but the benefits for students of participating in the program extend far beyond financial assistance.
The selected students for the new class of scholars will have the opportunity to complete the two-year professional development program, designed to introduce them to new career paths and expand their networks, with the potential for full-time employment with Charter post-graduation. Students also get unique access to networking and professional development opportunities including the Scholars Summit, a three-day event hosted at Charter’s corporate headquarters in Stamford. Fifteen students will be selected for the 2024-2025 Spectrum Scholars class.
For more information on how to apply, as well as program eligibility and selection criteria, visit https://apply.mykaleidoscope.com/scholarships/SpectrumScholarsApp2024.
The deadline for applications is March 1. Winners will be announced in May and scholarships will be awarded in August.
Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian E. Corley is now accepting applications for the Florida Supervisor of Elections (FSE) Scholarship.
The association will award four $1,200 scholarships statewide to a political science, public administration, business administration or journalism/mass communication major and be at least a junior in college. Students must be enrolled or accepted as a full-time student in a senior college or university in Florida and have at least a C average or above for the previous year.
Additional requirements, guidelines and eligibility information can be found at PascoVotes.gov, by selecting the 2024 FSE Scholarship Application under the Noteworthy tab on the homepage. Applicants will be personally interviewed by Corley, who will then select one finalist from Pasco County for consideration.
Applications are due by March 8.
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer invites college students to apply for a scholarship provided by the Florida Supervisors of Elections (FSE). The FSE is offering three $1,200 scholarships to eligible Florida residents who are accepted or enrolled as full-time students in a senior college or university in Florida.
Students also must be at least a junior in college, or have enough credits for enrollment as a junior prior to the application date.
Hillsborough County residents must apply through the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office. Students who apply must be either a political science, public/business administration, or journalism/mass communications major.
The application deadline is March 8.
To learn about the full list of requirements and how to apply, visit VoteHillsborough.gov/Scholarship, or email .