November 21, 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 24
Milken Award, Dubbed the “Oscar Of Teaching,” Presented To Miami-Dade Elementary School Teacher
Florida’s Deputy Chancellor of Educator Quality Pam Stewart was on hand in Miami to congratulate Math and Science Facilitator LaKenya Sanders-Sharpe for her extraordinary achievement in teaching. Ms. Sanders-Sharpe of Van E. Blanton Elementary School received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. Ms. Sanders-Sharpe received her $25,000 award during a surprise school assembly at Blanton Elementary School. Co-workers and education officials nominated Sanders-Sharpe for her creative and enthusiastic teaching methods, the increased academic achievement of her students, her strong presence as a role model and her proven commitment to the teaching profession. For more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org.
Applicants Needed! Florida Learn & Serve School-Based Competitive Program Seeking Applicants
The Department of Education announces that approximately $173,200 in federal funds will be available to public schools and school districts for school-based competitive service-learning projects for 2009-2010. Funding comes from the Corporation for National and Community Service, and should be available for project awards effective Feb.1, 2009, through Jan. 31, 2010.
The Florida Learn & Serve School-Based Competitive program is designed to build infrastructure at the school and district levels for sustained service-learning. The goal is to engage K-12 students in models of service-learning to improve student academic and social development, promote civic engagement and career exploration, and address unmet critical needs in Florida in the areas of academic performance, dropout prevention/school failure, disaster preparedness, environmental needs, career preparedness, and crime prevention.
School districts and/or school district consortia with previous experience with service learning are eligible to apply. Previous recipients of Florida Learn & Serve district infrastructure-building grants are eligible. Applicants must have experience and success with service-learning implementation. Selected projects will be ready to take the next steps to expand, improve, replicate, and sustain service-learning.
The complete application packet may be found at http://www.fsu.edu/~flserve/apply/apply.html. The deadline for receipt of applications is Dec. 9, 2008. For further information, please contact Joe Follman, Florida Learn & Serve, at (850) 488-9661, (888) 396-6756-toll free, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
New Virtual Library Available
The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) Literacy Team released the FLVS Virtual Library, a free interactive resource site for students, teachers and school administrators. Teachers can use the Virtual Library to find information on general education, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and literacy resources. The site also offers students links to educational games, writing centers, study guide sites, college and career advice. To learn more, visit http://www.flvs.net/FLVS%5Flibrary.
Two Florida Community Colleges Win Grants for Workforce Development
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) announced that 20 community colleges nationwide will share $2 million in direct funds and technical assistance. The grants are made possible through a $2.5 million grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Brevard Community College and Miami Dade College were both winners of the grant. These colleges will work with their local workforce development community to improve economic prosperity, with a particular focus on under-resourced and rural communities.
Edison State College To Open Collegiate High School
Next fall, Edison State College will become home to an innovative new high school. The Charlotte County School Board unanimously approved the application submitted by Edison State to open a Collegiate High School on its Charlotte County campus located in Southwest Florida. The goal of the of the Collegiate High School is to graduate students in four years with both an Associate in Arts degree and a high school diploma.
Disaster Readiness Training Available for Communities
Travel along the Gulf Coast and we are reminded of the force that Mother Nature carries. Scars remain from Ivan, Charley, Dennis, Katrina, Wilma, Jean and Frances…some of the most devastating storms to hit the U.S.
To better prepare families for severe weather, the Volunteer USA Foundation is offering a train-the-trainer workshop to community and civic organizations. The Ready or Not © program introduces the “Ready Family” and the “Ornots” as a way to improve a family’s ability to survive and recover from a disaster.
The workshop provides community trainers the information and materials they need to then teach individuals and families about family plans, home mitigation and disaster budgeting, as well as steps to take during the recovery and rebuilding process. For more information on how to bring a Ready or Not© train-the-trainer program to your area, please contact Brandi Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (850) 562.5300.
Change the World Challenge Promotes Environmental Responsibility
The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge gives students the opportunity, tools and inspiration to become agents of change for the environment. Beginning in fall 2008 through March 15, 2009, middle school student teams from across the country are challenged to create sustainable, reproducible environmental improvements in their local communities.
The Challenge will engage students in identifying and solving local environmental problems, and allow them to utilize their creativity and involve their community. Top prizes will include a chance to appear on Discovery Network's Planet Green, a share in thousands of dollars in savings bonds, a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery Adventure trip and more.
For more details, visit http://www.wecanchange.com/.
Statewide Student Arts Contest Announced
Art Builds Florida! Statewide Student Arts Contest sponsored by Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc. in collaboration with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs, is open to all Florida high school students in grades nine through 12. Florida’s 67 counties have been grouped into four regions; each region representing one of the focus areas of the plan. Students can submit original, two-dimensional artwork to assist the Division in promoting the four key areas of Florida’s strategic plan, Culture Builds Florida’s Future. Finalists will be announced on the Division’s Web site by early February 2009. The four winners and their parent/guardian will be invited to Tallahassee in April 2009 for events recognizing their achievements in the contest. Simultaneously, an exhibition in the Division of Cultural Affairs Gallery for Innovation and the Arts will feature the work of the finalists next spring. The top winner in each of the four categories, Learning and Wellness, Strengthening the Economy, Design and Development, and Leadership will be awarded a $1,500 cash prize. For further information including the deadline postmark date and all contest rules and submission guidelines, visit the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Web site at http://www.florida-arts.org/artcontest or contact Laura Stone, Arts In Education Manager, at (850) 245-6475.
Nine Florida Schools Honored At Annual Healthy Schools Forum
The Third Annual National Healthy Schools Forum was held in Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 4-6, 2008, where 43 schools from across the country received awards. Of the 43 schools receiving the National Recognition Award, nearly one quarter were from the state of Florida. Kenly Elementary School and Clair Mel Elementary from Hillsborough County School District both earned a bronze level award as did the following seven schools from Miami-Dade School District: North Beach Elementary, Flagami Elementary, George Washington Carver Elementary, Silver Bluff Elementary, Edison Middle School and Felix Varela High School. Miami Springs Middle School received a silver level award. For more on the story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/10-28.asp.
Panama City High School Band to Perform at National Championship Game
Arnold High School’s 2008-2009 Blue Thunder Marching Band has been selected to perform during the half-time festivities at the 2009 Bowl Championship Series National Championship game in Miami. The Panama City band was the only high school band chosen to represent Florida. Seventy-five students will travel to Miami in January to perform under the direction of Mr. Jason Bennett.
Okaloosa County Students Are Most “Ready to Work”
Okaloosa County is not the largest school district in the state, but it boasts the most students who have been certified as "Ready to Work." Okaloosa led the state with 715 students who have passed the work skills test. Students from Crestview High School led both the county and the state, earning 400 of the certifications. Other programs related to the school district brought the total to more than 850. For full details, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/11-03-2.asp.
Sunshine State Teachers Receive Scholarships for Gifted Programs
Four Florida teachers recently received the Javits-Frasier Teacher Scholarship Fund for Diverse Talent Development from the National Association for Gifted Children. The scholarship program identifies passionate, innovative teachers in communities across the country where students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are historically under-represented in gifted programs. This year, there were 15 Javits-Frasier Scholars from 11 states. Congratulations to the following teachers from Florida:
Vyrtice Archie-Cross, Robles Elementary Academy & Foster Elementary Academy, Tampa, Fla.
Tanya Diaz, Thena Crowder Elementary, Miami, Fla.
Laura Roberts, Suwannee District Schools, Live Oak, Fla.
Karen Whelan, Vero Beach Elementary School, Vero Beach, Fla.
Largo Middle School Teacher Named Outstanding School Science Teacher
Leslie Pohley, who has spent her entire 30-year science teaching career in the same classroom at Largo Middle in Pinellas County, has been named the state’s 2008 Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher by the Florida Association of Science Teachers.
The award was presented at the State Science Teachers Conference in Orlando. Pohley received a wall plaque, $100 from the Florida Association of Science Supervisors and $500 from the Florida Association of Science Teachers. For more on the story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/11-07.asp.
2009 Effective Strategies Institute & Florida Summit
Jan. 12-16, 2009
Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Spa
The 2009 Effective Strategies Institute & Florida Summit will be held Jan. 12-16, 2009, at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Spa in Clearwater, Fla. The Summit will bring governmental leaders, business leaders, child advocates, school administrators, community-based and faith-based organizations, students and parents together to develop workable solutions and action plans for improving Florida’s graduation rate. The event is sponsored by the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC), the Florida Department of Education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers of Florida, the University of Florida, America’s Promise Alliance, and State Farm Insurance.
To register and submit proposals for presentation, visit the National Dropout Prevention Center Web site at http://www.dropoutprevention.org/ndpcdefault.htm.