Essay contest winner announced
Alyssa Gardiner, a student at River Ridge High School’s New Teacher Academy, was selected as the winner in the Pasco County Tax Collector’s essay contest. Gardiner wrote about the expansion needs and environmental challenges associated with the Ridge Road Extension. ‘The New Teacher Academy has given me, as well as many other students, an abundance of opportunities….Participating in this contest was a special opportunity that I have never had before. I was able to connect with this essay because I love writing, while also connecting with the community,’ said Gardiner in a news release. Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano presented Gardiner with a $500 Visa gift card.
Registration for Hillsborough County’s after-school programming is now open.
The two-week sessions, offered through Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation, run from the end of the school day until 6 p.m., for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Parks & Recreation also has inclusive and adaptive after-school programs for those with special needs.
Activities include indoor and outdoor games, athletic leagues including flag football, soccer and basketball, and a character-building curriculum.
The cost is $76, or $60 with a reduced lunch letter, or $40 with a free lunch letter.
The programs follow the Hillsborough County School District calendar.
For information or to register, visit HCFLGov.net/AfterSchool.
Eschool student scholar
Camden Moors, a Pasco Eschool student from Land O’ Lakes, was honored as a 2022 Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholar during a special virtual program.
Denny’s scholarship program recognizes and rewards students who show initiative and creativity in helping Denny’s bring communities together.
Partnering with 11 leading nonprofit, minority advocacy organizations, Denny’s awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships this year to deserving elementary, high school and college students.
Moors, selected by Partners for Youth with Disabilities, said in a news release, “To help bring the commuity together, connecting food waste with homeless shelters, food banks and direct to the needy willing to pick it up would most certainly help bring the community together. We all need to have a hand in helping solve hunger in our communities.”
The virtual celebration focused on the winners, along with their family and friends, and can be viewed at DennysHungryForEducation.com.
School Supply Drive
Florida Avenue Brewing Co., 2029 Arrow Grass Drive in Wesley Chapel, will host a School Supply Drive from July 18 through July 27.
Taproom guests, age 21 and older, will have the opportunity to donate $4 toward the purchase of school supplies for Wise Supplies, a free school supply center in Land O’ Lakes for economically challenged students, founded by the Pasco Eduction Foundation.
Each $4 donation will include a free pint, one per guest, one per day.
Stuff the Backpack
The team at First National Bank of Pasco is hosting a Stuff the Backpack Drive through July 22, at all four of its county branches.
Items that are needed include: pencils/pens; scissors; ear buds (wired); spiral notebooks; folders; paper; glue sticks; colored pencils/crayons; liquid soap; Ziploc bags; Kleenex; highlighters; erasers; pencil boxes; rulers; and hand sanitizer.
Monetary donations will be used to purchase additional school supplies.
Back to School event
The Church at Myrtle Lake, 2017 Reigler Road in Land O’ Lakes, will host a Back to School Drive-Thru on July 23 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Children in kindergarten through 12th grade must be in attendance to receive one free backpack and school items, while supplies last.
For information, visit MyrtleLake.org.
Wiregrass Ranch High School, 2909 Mansfield Blvd., in Wesley Chapel, will host a “Freshman & New to Wiregrass Round-Up” on July 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Student drop-off begins at 8:45 a.m.
Participants will have the opportunity to meet some of the teachers, tour the school, and create a freshman memory box to take home. A pizza lunch will be provided.
For more information and to register, visit WRHS.pasco.k12.fl.us.
All five offices of the Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano will accept donations during July 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.
Monetary donations go into a fund that teachers can use when they see or learn of a need a child may have.
For information and office locations, contact Greg Giordano, assistant tax collector, at 727-847-8179, or visit PascoTaxes.com.
AdventHealth Center Ice is looking for volunteers for the U.S. Figure Skating 2022 National Showcase, Aug. 1 through Aug. 6.
Available opportunities include: spotlight operators; performer check-in; registration assistance; and assistance with performers on and off the ice.
Necessary training will be provided prior to the event.
Students can receive applicable volunteer hours for the Bright Futures program.
For information, visit tinyurl.com/2j66krk4.
Physicals & backpacks
Premier Community HealthCare will offer $15 back-to-school physicals through Aug. 31, on Mondays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Tuesdays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Students can receive complete physical examinations, state-required screenings, and a free backpack with starter supplies. (Backpacks are available for all school-aged students, while supplies last.)
To schedule an appointment at one of Premier’s eight locations, visit PremierHC.org, or call 352-518-2000.
Poster contest winners
Pasco County Utilities, the Florida Govermental Utility Authority and Pasco County Schools hosted its 13th annual Water Awareness Poster Contest for students in Pasco elementary schools. The theme was “Do Your Part, Be Water Smart.”
Judges used science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning standards to choose the top posters.
Winning posters are on display in the lobbies of the West and East Pasco Government Centers.
These students in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area came out on top, in their respective grade levels:
- First Grade: Jayden Chavez, first place; Ezhil Vashisht, second place; and Rishaan Gandhi, third place, all from Odessa Elementary
- Second Grade: Anderson F., first place; Judy Ahmed, second place; and Elle Patel, third place, all from Countryside Montessori
- Fourth Grade: Mariska Jarboe, first place, and Adelee Buntin, second place, both from Wesley Chapel Elementary
- Fifth Grade: Payton Burton, first place, Lake Myrtle Elementary; Jazmin Ayo, second place, San Antonio Elementary; and Gian Figueroa, third place, Wesley Chapel Elementary
- Honorable Mention “Hope the Dolphin’s Choice” was awarded to Max Weiss, Wesley Chapel Elementary.
To see all the winning entries, visit WaterContest.org.
Published July 13, 2022