Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List
As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, students across Florida are encouraged to learn more about Hispanic culture by choosing to read a book from the Just Read, Florida! Recommended Reading List. This year's literary selections honor the rich legacy and many contributions Hispanic Americans have made to Florida's unique culture and way of life. The Just Read, Florida! Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List provides a wide variety of suggested books by grade level and includes selections for adult readers. To view this year's suggested reading list, visit www.justreadflorida.com.
More Florida Students Taking College Entrance Exam
More Florida public school students than ever before took the SAT exam last year according to data released by The College Board on Sept. 14, 2011. An increase of nearly 12,000 students over the previous year highlights the dedicated work of districts to introduce students to the rigors of college-level coursework. Florida also has the most diverse group of SAT test-takers in the nation, with more than half of all public school students taking the test indicating they are a minority and 31 percent reporting that English is not their first language.
Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson had this to say about this year's SAT results, "As the state moves forward with ensuring students have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful at the next level, some temporary decreases in overall performance may occur as more students become accustomed to higher standards and increased rigor. This is the case with Florida's average SAT scores this year, which declined significantly in all three tested subject areas. Although performance decreases are never welcome, the transition to higher standards is critical if students are to graduate from high school prepared for success in postsecondary education or a career."
Valencia and Miami-Dade Colleges Named as Finalists for The Aspen Prize
The Aspen Institute has named Miami-Dade College and Valencia College as two of the 10 finalists for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Schools were selected based on solid academic performance and workforce outcomes. Following a rigorous review process, the winner and three runners-up will be announced in December and will share the $1 million prize fund.
First Lady's Art Contest
Students in grades K-8 are invited to submit colorful, original works of art that depict healthy Florida lifestyles for First Lady Ann Scott's Florida, Fun & Sun Student Art Contest. A wide range of images depicting favorite Florida places, outdoor activities, foods and state symbols, as well as families having fun together can serve as inspiration for student artwork. Selected artwork may be featured in a variety of First Lady projects, including her upcoming Love. Read. Learn!™ Florida Baby Journal that will promote the importance of families reading, learning and enjoying a healthy lifestyle together. Once completed, the Baby Journal will be provided at no cost to parents of newborns at Florida hospitals and birthing centers. The grand prize winner will receive a personal visit by First Lady Ann Scott to their school. Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 11, 2011. For complete contest information, including guidelines and parental consent form, visit http://www.volunteerusafoundation.org/. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Hirst with the Volunteer USA Foundation at email@example.com or (850) 562-5300.
Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Mini-Grants Available
A new grant program designed to help Florida students learn about the importance of agriculture is now available. All Florida certified general education and agri-science educators who teach students in kindergarten through grade 12 and wish to create fruit and vegetable gardens to enhance students' understanding of agriculture are eligible to apply for the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom School Garden Mini Grant. More than 200 of the $500 mini-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are depleted. Those who receive funding will also receive a copy of Gardening for Grades, a new book for teachers to help them get the most out of their school gardens, including tips on securing funding, planting Florida fruits and vegetables, and using the garden to teach more than a dozen lesson plans and activities in math, science, nutrition, language arts and social studies. For more information or to submit a proposal, visit the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom website at http://www.flagintheclassroom.com/gfgminigrant.html. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Florida Agriculture in the Classroom directly at (352) 846-1391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program
Teachers have until Feb. 1, 2012, to enter their class for the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. Through this program students will learn about gardening and the value of growing food by planting free cabbage plants provided by Bonnie Plants. Also available are lesson plans on measurement using the metric system, analyzing and interpreting data, and plotting data to compare and contrast. Florida teachers are encouraged to register early for plants to be delivered in the fall. Visit http://bonniecabbageprogram.com for more information. If you have questions about the program, contact Jamie Culpepper with Bonnie Plants at (334) 738-3104 or email@example.com.
Mentors Needed for Florida Disability Mentoring Day
If you are interested in mentoring students with disabilities, then Florida Disability Mentoring Day on Oct. 19, 2011, is for you. This unique, one-day job-shadowing opportunity gives students with disabilities the chance to learn hands-on skills, observe day-to-day responsibilities, and get a better understanding of the workplace environment. Mentors also introduce the students to the business world while sharing their experiences and advice. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, contact your local liaison through The Able Trust at (850) 224-4493 or visit www.floridadmd.org. Mentor forms must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2011.
Statewide Online Tobacco Prevention and Intervention Teacher Training Project
In the continued effort to reduce and prevent tobacco use among school-aged children, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) and the School District of Palm Beach County are partnering to again provide a statewide online tobacco prevention education course. The course is provided at no cost for all public K-12 educators and guidance staff, which includes 24-hour access seven days a week. Participants learn effective teaching strategies and integrated approaches to delivering tobacco prevention education in science, social studies, language arts, mathematics, health and physical education, and lesson plans are included for teaching six tobacco prevention lessons to students. School districts may award participants who complete the course up to 60 inservice points toward educator recertification. For more information, visit www.tobaccopreventiontraining.org. If you have questions, contact Lee Keller with the School District of Palm Beach County at (561) 366-6953 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration continues through May 11, 2012.
Elementary Schools Encouraged to Sign Up For Free Program on Math and Money Skills
What's on the Menu? Financial Education for Families, Volunteer USA Foundation's free program to teach elementary students how math and money go hand-in-hand is back. The restaurant-themed program targets families as well as students in grades three through five. The program also uses fundamental math skills to teach the basics of banking, budgeting and saving, and fun family-friendly games to practice skills at home. In addition, free teaching materials, including lesson plans, classroom posters, worksheets and more, are available for educators at http://www.volunteerusafoundation.org/vusa/What-We-Do/Training-for-Families-Teens/Financial-Education-for-Families-Program/What-s-On-The-Menu-Financial-Education. The deadline to sign up for a skilled trainer to provide the workshop at your school is Sept. 30, 2011. To sign up your school or get more information, contact Teecy Matthews with the Volunteer USA Foundation at email@example.com.
Deadline Soon For Hispanic Heritage Month Student and Educator Contests
There is still time to submit artwork, essays and teacher nominations for the Hispanic Heritage Month Student and Educator Contests. Florida students in kindergarten through grade 12 are invited to participate in student contests centered on the theme, "Celebrating Hispanic Leaders in Business - Past, Present and Future." Students, parents, teachers and principals are also invited to nominate full-time Hispanic educators in elementary, middle and high schools for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award. All contest entries and nomination forms must be postmarked by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Sept. 23, 2011.
Excellence in Education Award
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