Governor Scott and First Lady Ann Scott Commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, Honor Student and Teacher Contest Winners
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott celebrated the contributions of Hispanic community leaders, educators, and students on Oct. 11 by announcing the winners of the 2011 Hispanic Heritage Month contests, including the Excellence in Education Award. During the reception at the Governor's Mansion, Miami artist Damien Cruz was also featured.
Three outstanding Hispanic educators were recognized with the Excellence in Education Award. These individuals were nominated by students and peers, and each received $1,500. Three student essay-contest winners - one elementary, one middle-school, and one high school student were also honored. Winners received a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. Two art-contest winners were recognized, with each winner receiving $250.
For a full list of winners and to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.
Florida First Lady Announces Top Summer Literacy Adventure School
On Oct. 5, 2011, Florida First Lady Ann Scott announced that Reedy Creek Elementary School in Osceola County had the highest number of participating students in the Summer Literacy Adventure with 478 children pledging to read 7,124 books. Throughout the summer, Mrs. Scott visited and read to students in 17 locations, including state parks, local public libraries, and the Governor's Mansion to encourage students to read and visit their public libraries. Overall, more than 8,000 students statewide pledged to read a total of 101,261 books as part of the Adventure. For more information about the Summer Literacy Adventure or to learn about literacy resources available through the Department of Education, visit the Just Read, Florida! website at www.justreadflorida.com. Public libraries throughout the state can also serve as a valuable tool during the school year, and locations for libraries may be found at www.fllibraries.org. In addition, the Florida State Parks can enhance the learning experience through exploration and discovery all year long. Learn more at www.dep.state.fl.us.
Green School Award Finalists Announced
Sixteen Florida schools are finalists in the 2011 Florida Green School Awards. The awards program is sponsored by the Florida Departments of Environmental Protection and Education, Florida's Foundation and the Sustainable Florida program. The awards are based on green school initiatives that took place during the 2010-11 school year, and include green service learning projects, exemplary environmental education and teacher professional development projects, recycling programs, and efforts to make school buildings and facilities more sustainable. Three finalists were selected in each of five categories - students, classrooms, teachers, schools, and school districts - and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony sponsored by Florida Power & Light on Nov. 10, 2011. For a list of finalist schools, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/ed/schools/finalists.htm.
Florida Virtual School Enhances Offerings with New Fall Courses
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) announced seven new course offerings this fall, adding to its catalog of more than 110 free online courses for Florida students. Geared toward high-school aged students, the new courses include Guitar 1, AP® Art History, AP Human Geography, French 1, Sociology, Journalism, and Advanced Algebra with Financial Applications.
In addition to offering new courses this fall, FLVS has also developed Algebra 1, Geometry and Biology to help students prepare for the End of Course Assessments.
For more information, please visit www.flvs.net/coursecatalog.
Celebrate Literacy Week Public Service Announcement Contest
The 2012 Just Read, Florida! Celebrate Literacy Week Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest is underway! The theme for this year's contest is "Take the Lead and Read," and all students from elementary, middle and high schools are eligible to participate. The PSAs should be no longer than 26 seconds and must be postmarked by Nov. 18, 2011. The winning schools will be announced during Celebrate Literacy Week in January 2012. For more information and contest details, visit http://www.justreadflorida.com/literacyweek.asp.
Lights On After School
Children, parents, grandparents, educators, community leaders, policy makers, celebrities and others across the country will come together at schools, community centers, parks, malls, state capitols and elsewhere on October 20 to participate in the 12th annual nationwide rally for afterschool. Since the Afterschool Alliance organized the first Lights On Afterschool in 2000, it has grown to include more than 7,500 events across the country and at U.S. military bases worldwide. Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide rally for afterschool programs. In Florida, more than 600 afterschool programs are expected to participate with many creative events, including craft shows, parades, and musical performances, to show their communities the importance of afterschool programs. For more information on this event and to view participating Florida afterschool programs and landmarks, please visit http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/index.cfm.
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