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</head> Students continue to be celebrated for their artistic abilities
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Updated: 02/05/2014 08:00:01AM

Students continue to be celebrated for their artistic abilities

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Christine Roslow


Deja Rodriguez, a student at Bartow Elementary Academy, standing next to her artistic creation “Geoffrey Giraffe.”


From left, Lacy Barker, Brooke Klick, Amanda Ortiz, and Ashley Elliott are all members of the Gause Academy’s Leadership Class. They’ve studied poverty and homelessness in the community at large and are doing their part to aid those who are homeless.

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Learning to Be Me: K-Second Grade Elementary Students Exhibition wrapped up last week with more than 115 artworks displayed. All of the students received a certificate and had their picture taken alongside their artwork.

Members of the Polk County School Board and employees of the Polk Museum of Art used this opportunity to thank the art teachers and parents for their support and to reiterate the critical role of art education.

Two students were recipients of the Polk County School District Purchase Award and the Polk Museum of Art Purchase Award. Each Purchase Award recipient received a $25 check, a framed copy of their artwork and a permanent place in the exhibit halls at the Polk Museum of Art.

Among the award winners were Deja Rodriguez, Bartow Elementary Academy for Geoffrey Giraffe and Chloe Humphrey, Alturas Elementary for the The Awesome Barn.

Student Artwork Displayed as part of the Learning to Be Me exhibition includes from Alturas Elementary, Misael Aparicio, Logan Colbert and Chloe Humphrey. From Bartow Elementary Academy, Lane Eldridge and Deja Rodriguez. From Eagle Lake Elementary Cara Crum, Emily Watkins. From Floral Avenue Elementary, Jackie Bryant and Matthew Leopardi. From Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary, Brooke Johnston and Jessica Perez. From Spessard L. Holland Elementary, Durrah Butler, Eduardo Marrero, Maison Sesser.

Seventh Annual All County Dance Festival and Gala VIP tickets on sale

VIP tickets for the Seventh Annual All County Dance Festival and Gala, scheduled to take place in April, went on sale starting Feb. 1. Regular tickets go on sale starting Tuesday, March 4.

The purpose of the All County Dance Festival and Gala is to encourage and support the elements of artistically based dance and performance through dance education opportunity for students. The event also serves to further the community’s understanding and appreciation of the art form of concert dance. The Seventh Annual Festival and Gala is scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at Davenport School of the Arts’ Frank R. Howes Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased at Click the ‘Seat Yourself’ icon on the lower left side of the page. On the calendar choose icon marked ‘All County Dance Festival and Gala.’

• VIP tickets for the event start at $15. This includes a VIP event which takes place from 5-6:30 p.m. VIP guests will have an opportunity to sample appetizers and desserts while they listen to guest speakers talk about their careers in dance. This ticket also includes reserved seating for the 7 p.m. performance. The last day guests can purchase VIP tickets is Monday, March 3. VIP tickets will not be available at the box office.

• Regular tickets are $5 and will be on sale March 4-April 4.

• Tickets can also be purchased at the box office for $6 on the day of the event.

Hearth project continues Fill-a-Bag

Polk County Public Schools’ Hearth Project continues to collect items for its Project Fill-a-Bag campaign in order to benefit students identified as homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless.

Hearth Project has identified 2, 591 students as homeless. During the 2012-13 school year, the Hearth Project provided 1,654 bags to students.

Project Fill-a-Bag is asking people to continue to collect individually filled gallon size bags that contain full-sized containers of 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, bath soap, deodorant, brushes/combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste (in original packaging) and wash cloths

Send individually filled bags (not individual items) to Gause Academy Principal Mark Thomas through April 2014. The school’s address is 1395 Polk St., Bartow, FL 33830.

Reading volunteers needed at Gibbons

Gibbons Street Elementary needs several volunteers to read with kindergarten students.

The commitment is one hour per week — 7:55-8:55 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, until the end of April.

The school provides the training and volunteer support. For those who want to help or need more information, contact Hope Bogel, the WLC program manager for ReadingPals of the United Way, at 863-648-1500, ext. 278.

Mathletes take center stage Feb. 8

The public is invited to the 2014 Ridge Chapter MathCounts competition scheduled Saturday, Feb. 8 at Tenoroc High, 4905 Saddle Creek Road, Lakeland.

The morning competition activities will be held in the school’s cafeteria.

Following lunch, the competition will be moved to the school’s auditorium.

The morning portion of the event begins at 9 a.m. with the afternoon competitions beginning at 1 p.m. This competition gives student mathletes an opportunity to showcase their skills and engage in friendly competition. An awards presentation is scheduled for 3 p.m.

MathCounts is a national mathematics competition for middle school students. It promotes student interest in math by making it as challenging, exciting and prestigious as a school sport. More than 200 students from Polk middle schools are expected to participate.

There is no charge to attend.

Students honored for ‘Heartfelt’ artwork

Several talented fifth-graders were recently recognized for their creative heart-healthy designs at the Third Annual Heart Smart Art Recognition Ceremony and Reception.

The event, a joint collaboration between the Florida Heart Research Institute of Miami and the Polk County Tax Collectors Office, encouraged students to submit Kids Tag Art that communicated the mission to stop heart disease and to promote a healthy lifestyle. The Jan. 18 event took place at the Polk Museum of Art.

Kids Tag Art, a program of the Polk County Tax Collector’s Office, is a school fundraising project that inspires young artists to use their creativity to design their own specialty license plate art. Proceeds from the sale of the tags are used to buy classroom art supplies.

Sallie Byrd, senior vice president of Development at FHRI, presented each student with their tag art, a FHRI key chain and a certificate of achievement. Students with the top three designs received their artwork framed in glass along with a small cash award.

Artist Stephen Koury, a Lakeland resident, was among the guests invited to the event. He shared his enthusiasm for art with the crowd saying, “Drawing takes your mind to that special place.”

He also encouraged audience members to use self-expression as a way to be well-rounded, to stay young and to manage stress. Afterward, students were given the opportunity to speak with the artist and ask questions about his artwork.

The night’s top honors went to the following students:

First Place: Crystal Uribe, Phillip O’Brien Elementary; Instructor: Gregory Culmone

Second Place: Kari Mock, Gibbons Street Elementary; Instructor: Belinda Rivera

Third Place: Brooke Boyd, Spessard L. Holland Elementary; Instructor: Sonja Johnson.

Anatomy & Phyysiology now open

Florida Virtual School launched a new mobile-ready science course and Anatomy & Physiology is now open for registration.

Students explore the human body through the eyes of field experts and clinicians. Using clinical applications, students learn new terminology and the effects of diseases and study the structure, location and function of various systems within the body and how these systems interact.

The Anatomy & Physiology course is compatible with mobile devices. Students can access all course materials, interactivities and assessments from their tablet or smart phone.

The two-segment course includes multimedia videos and audio-visual presentations, interactive case studies and virtual labs. In segment one, students receive an introduction to anatomy and physiology, learning about the human skeleton, muscles, the nervous system, the brain and more. In segment two, students explore the fundamentals of biochemistry as well as the structure and functions of cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and immune systems.

Students interested in registering in the Anatomy & Physiology course can go to

Happenings at the middle school

Bartow Middle School has planned a Valentine’s Day dance from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8.

Tickets are $5 per person.

For those who would like to be a chaperone, call call Jan Grimes at the school or email her at

Family Literacy Night is 6-7 p.m. Feb. 11. Money Matters and there will be food and door prizes.

Christine Roslow can be reached at

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