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News Story
Updated: 10/16/2013 08:00:02AM

Union educator one of five chosen in state for program

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Christine Roslow

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Beverly Williams (center) and Rocky Bridges (second from right) with other STAR program participants.

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Beverly Williams from Union Academy Magnet was one of two Polk County teachers chosen as a 2013 State Teacher/Artist Residency Program participant. The other was Rocky Bridges from Harrison School for the Arts. Five teachers from the state were chosen for the month-long project over the summer.

Each year, five public school educators from Florida are chosen to attend the Hermitage Artists Retreat. The month-long residency allows artists to spend time working on their craft, along picturesque Manasota Key in Englewood.

Williams is a visual artist who teaches visual arts to students in grades six to eight at Union Academy Magnet’s IB Middle Years Programme. She considers herself a pastel artist but explored a new body of work this summer called “Vignettes of Life.” She weaved into this work, paint, glazes, antiquing and collage.

“It was an extraordinary experience. It is one I will never forget,” Williams said.

Bridges teaches sculpture, painting, drawing and art history to 12th- graders at Harrison. He discovered the world of visual art at an early age, inspired by the ability to combine art categories such as painting and drawing, sculpture and photography, and poetry. This mixing of media became a way to express his creativity and continues to be a catalyst for works of arts that include discarded objects reinvented in aesthetically ordered settings.

It’s not just an IDEA, it’s an expo

Educators from Polk and Hardee counties can go to the 2013 IDEA Expo, held by the Teacher to Teacher/School to School Connection Program, in conjunction with the Polk and Hardee Education Foundations and local business sponsors.

More than 60 area PreK-eighth grade teachers who have developed innovative classroom programs will be presenting those ideas in order to network and encourage elementary and middle school educators in the task of creating and implementing creative standards-based units for students in the public school system. The expo will not only feature visually exciting displays, but will also include area business vendors, door prizes, food and free giveaways.

All education majors attending local colleges and universities are also invited to attend.

To date, the Teacher to Teacher/School to School Connection has awarded more than 850 grants worth more than $430,000, benefiting numerous teachers and countless students.

For information regarding the 2013 IDEA Expo, call Shannan Combee, Program Director at the Polk Education Foundation at 863-534-0803

Policy manual hearing for set Nov. 12

A public hearing to adopt the final version of the School Board Policy Manual prepared by NEOLA and the district staff is set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 during the regular school board meeting. The meeting will take place at the School Board Auditorium at the Polk County Public Schools District Office, 1915 S. Floral Ave., Bartow.

There is also a regular school board meeting at 8:30 a.m. that day in the same place.

Red Ribbon Week coming

Informed Families, Florida’s most renowned resource on positive parenting, is offering a helping hand to parents across Florida on how to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol just in time for the 28th annual Red Ribbon Week.

There are no translators or decoders when it comes to parents communicating with their children. However, Informed Families’ new Parent Guide provides several tips on getting the conversation started, including sitting down together for family meals and getting kids engaged in after school activities.

Families can visit FLRedRibbon.com to download the free Parent Guide. The website also offers an Ambassador Toolkit for educators who are interested in promoting the upcoming Red Ribbon Week in their schools and communities.

As the Florida sponsor of Red Ribbon Week, Informed Families is also calling for entries to participate in this year’s national Red Ribbon Week contest.

Students bring the Red Ribbon Week message home by working alongside parents to decorate their front door, mailbox or fence with a red ribbon and this year’s theme “A Healthy Me Is Drug Free.”

Students can win either a $1,000 for their school or an iPad for themselves, organizers said.

Take a photo with the family and your Red Ribbon Week decoration, then upload to redribbon.org/contest by Nov. 4.

Then, the voting begins. Ask your family and friends to vote for your entry at redribbon.org/vote Nov. 5-19. Ten people from regions across the U.S. will win.

Winners will be announced at redribbon.org on Dec, 6 and recognized at winning schools throughout December.


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