Chalk Talk 09/12/2018

(Courtesy of David Weekley Homes)

This team cares about students
David Weekley Homes hosted its annual companywide CA+RE School Supplies Drive in 17 cities across the country. Locally, supplies were collected for the Hillsborough Education Foundation, which is dedicated to more than 200,000 students in Hillsborough County Public Schools by providing educational resources and financial assistance. Approximately $900 in supplies came from homeowners and business partners, providing more than 1,100 pieces needed for the school year. In addition, the Weekley Family Foundation donated $5,000 to use toward classroom technology. David Weekley team members are shown with bags of supplies for the Foundation.

Looking for sponsors
Bexley Elementary’s PTO (parent-teacher organization) is planning to host a Movie Night on Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m., for all students and their families, and is looking for a local business to help sponsor the event.

A donation of $500 will cover the cost of the blow-up screen and projector.

The movie will be free, including popcorn, and will be in the school’s cafeteria.

Families who would like to eat dinner, can buy pizza, a cookie and soda for $3.

Bexley also is open to ideas on sponsorship benefits. Some of these ideas include: the business/logo mentioned as a sponsor in all promotions leading up to movie night; a Thank You message with logo displayed on the screen prior to the movie; a table on-site with information about the business; and, the business could provide branded popcorn bags or could provide stickers to put on the bags.

For information, email Kathy Hrach at ">.

SAT/ACT boot camp
More than 50 local students can now get help with free SAT/ACT prep.

Scholarships are available to students from low-income families.

Andrea Catsicas, of Mindworks Prep, is offering the scholarships for eligible students to attend one of her Tampa area boot camps.

Local students currently on free or reduced lunch can apply.

There will be a one-day boot camp at the University of South Florida Alumni Center on Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For information and to apply, visit

Early learning enrichment
Tinkergarten, an early learning enrichment program that focuses on nature and community, will host a free trial class Sept. 16 at 3:30 p.m., at the Meadow Pointe III Community Clubhouse, 1500 Meadow Pointe Blvd., in Wesley Chapel.

Tinkergarten’s mission is to elevate childhood and bring families together in a natural place in the community for classes, where kids learn through play.

Each class will have expert-designed, outdoor play-based activities, and will include capabilities such as empathy, collaboration, creativity, persistence and problem-solving.

The classes are for ages 18 months to 8 years.

For information, email Charity Henesy-Brooks at .

 Free homecoming dresses and accessories
The Belle of the Ball Project will once again provide free homecoming dresses and accessories, to in-need high school girls, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at its boutique at 1210 Holt Ave., in Clearwater. Upcoming dates include Oct. 6 and Oct. 20.

Dresses will be available for prom, homecoming and military balls.

No referral letter is necessary. No appointment is needed.

A small donation of $1 to $5 can be made, but is not required.

The project also will accept donations of dresses and accessories.

For information, call (877) 772-3553.

Civic literacy requirement
Pasco-Hernando State College has implemented the new Civic Literacy requirement for students seeking an Associate in Arts or bachelor degree.

First-time-in-college students must satisfy the Civic Literacy requirement prior to submitting an Intent to Graduate form in the term they plan to graduate.

The new requirement, Florida Rule 6A-10.04213, was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in 2017.

The requirement can be met by successfully completing one of the following courses or tests:

  • POS 2041: a college-level survey course on American government
  • AMH 2020: U.S. American History (II), since 1865, or
  • Successfully pass Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government & Politics test, with a passing score of 3; the AP U.S. History test, with a passing score of 4; or the College-Level Examination Program American Government test, with a passing score of 50.

To learn more about PHSC graduation requirements, students must contact a PHSC advisor.

For information on PHSC programs and services, visit

Best & Worst School Systems
WalletHub, a personal-finance website, released its report on 2018’s States with the Best & Worst School Systems, as well as videos.

In order to determine the best school systems in the United States, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 25 key measures of quality and safety.

The date set ranges from pupil-teacher ratio to dropout rate to median standardized test scores.

The quality and safety of schools in Florida were ranked this way (1=Best, 25=Average):

  • 3rd: Bullying Incidence Rate
  • 9th: Reading Test Scores
  • 17th: Math Test Scores
  • 30th: Pupil-Teacher Scores
  • 37th: Dropout Rate
  • 39th: Percentage of threatened/injured high school students
  • 39th: Median ACT Score
  • 46th: Media SAT Score
  • 49th: Percentage of licensed/certified public K-12 teachers

Massachusetts is listed as the top-ranked state overall for its school systems. Florida ranked 26th and New Mexico is listed in 51st place.

For a full report, visit

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