Inclusive prom fills a need for many
A group of local homeschooling parents banded together to create Tampa Bay’s Homeschool Inclusive Prom, the first of its kind in the area that welcomed LGBTQ+ teens and allies, according to a news release.
Denise Mestanza-Taylor, founder of the prom, saw a need and wanted to make a change.
“As a homeschooling parent of an LGBTQIA+ teen, I wanted to create a safe, welcoming, and affirming space for all teens to formally dress as they identify. Through word of mouth, other homeschool parents stepped up to build something beautiful for our teens,” Mestanza-Taylor said in the release.
Local businesses donated services, too, including event space provided by Metro Inclusive Health; music and entertainment provided by the Rose Dynasty Foundation; and photography by Elizabeth Dugan Creative.
About 100 area homeschool students attended the “Starry Night” prom.
Young birders learn about bluebirds
Students from Learning Gate Community School in Lutz recently took a field trip to Lake Park and met with bluebird handlers and monitors, Joni Hatzler and Gary Krotz of Tampa Audubon.
Led by teacher Jim McGinity, students were able to help with the bluebirds’ nesting habits and install a new nest box, adding to the 25 boxes that currently are maintained and monitored at the park.
They also helped by prepping the inside of the new box, installing a predator guard, and securing the box at the needed height and location on a pole.
Tampa Audubon is an active chapter whose mission is to conserve and restore ecosystems, focusing on birds, wildlife and their habitats through education, advocacy and community involvement.
To learn more about Tampa Audubon, visit TampaAudubon.org.
Fundamental Minds Education Services, 26809 Tanic Drive, Suite 102, in Wesley Chapel, will host an open house on May 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Academic services are offered for kindergarten through 12th-grade students, including tutoring, test preparation, foreign languages (Spanish, French and Chinese), life skills, and elective classes (art, coding/computer science, STEM, and more).
Classes are taught by a certified teacher in a private or small group setting of up to eight students, both in person and virtually.
Summer classes include Academic Preview/Review; Coding; Financial Literacy; Arts & Crafts; and Spanish.
For information, visit FundamentalsMinds.com, or call 813-618-3559.
Lift Up Pasco!, Pasco Advocates PTSA, and Gary Cucchi LLC Florida Educators Insurance will sponsor “Lift Up Pasco! Parents Speak Up” on May 23 at 7 p.m., via Zoom.
The forum will provide information and answers to parents’ questions about the school board’s Aug. 23 ballot referendum, according to a news release.
The referendum, which was approved May 3 by the Pasco County School Board, asks voters to allow the board to increase property tax millage by up to one mill with proceeds going exclusively to increase non-administrative employee pay. It would be effective July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2027, unless extended by voters, and the school district would be required to report annually to the public on its expenditures, the release said.
Representatives from Lift Up Pasco!, the political action committee led by school district retirees and established to educate the public about the referendum, and school district experts will present details of the proposal and take questions submitted to the moderator.
Participants need to complete the Pasco Advocates PTSA Google form, at tinyurl.com/yckpcrec, to be admitted into the meeting.
Transfer student info
Saint Leo University welcomes prospective transfer students who recently received their associate degrees from Pasco-Hernando State College.
Saint Leo’s East Pasco Education Center will host a virtual Transfer Student Information Session on May 26 at 6 p.m., for those interested in pursuing a bachelor degree.
Registration is online at tinyurl.com/4hvwwe9w.
Free summer program
The City of Zephyrhills will present the 2022 Free Summer Recreation Program from May 31 to July 7, Mondays through Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to noon, at Stewart Middle School, 38505 10th Ave., in Zephyrhills.
The program is limited to 120 students who have completed any grade in kindergarten through fifth grade, in 2021-2022.
For information and to register, visit www.ci.zephyrhills.fl.us/225/Summer-Recreation-Information.
Kaylyn Burr, of Lutz, received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Burr graduated summa cum laude.
Planet Fitness offers pass
Planet Fitness is offering a High School Summer Pass program through Aug. 31, for all high-schoolers ages 14 to 19.
Students will be able to work out at no cost, at any Planet Fitness location.
The fitness center aims to help teenagers stay physically and mentally fit over the summer, by providing a way to exercise for free while school is out.
The program, which used to be called the Teen Summer Challenge, first launched in 2019, and more than 900,000 teens signed up.
To encourage teens to take advantage of the program, all participants automatically will be entered into a sweepstakes awarding one person, in each state, with a $500 scholarship.
Additionally, one grand prize of a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded at the end of the summer.
The scholarships can be used for academic or athletic activities, or other programs.
Teens can preregister for the program online at PlanetFitness.com/summerpass.