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Updated: 05/07/2014 08:00:02AM

Volunteers to be honored

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Noah XXX, Christian Rodriguez and Logan Reese dance in front of the rest of the cast in Aladdin Friday at the Relay For Life. Bartow Middle School's drama club will perform Aladdin Jr. 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16 and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, May 17. Tickets are $4 for students and $6 for adults in presale and $5 and $7 the day of the plays, respectively. People can get tickets at the Bartow Middle School website,

Christine Roslow

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Twelve Bartow area high school volunteers, including two from Fort Meade, will be honored on May 15 when students, faculty and staff come together for the annual Outstanding School Volunteer of the Year Awards program.

The event starts at 7 a.m. and takes place at the Nora Mayo Hall, 500 3rd Street, N.W., in Winter Haven.

The annual event calls attention to the role volunteers at Polk County Public Schools’ play in making sure educational excellence is achieved in the classroom.

Those nominated from area schools include Jeffrey Bargeron from Alturas Elementary, Vicky Jenkins from Bartow Elementary Academy, Nancy Lott from Bartow High, Clarice Roth from Bartow International Baccalaureate, Dorine Fox from Bartow Middle, Dorothy Tucker from Floral Avenue Elementary, JoAnne Santo from Fort Meade Middle-Senior, Susan Bako from Griffin Elementary, Teresa Moore from Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary, Laura Kelley from Spessard L. Holland Elementary, Margaret Foreman from Stephens Elementary and Lynette Grainger from Summerlin Academy.

During the ceremony, volunteer awards will be given at the elementary and secondary level in the following categories: “Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year,” “Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year” and “Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year.”

Spessard Holland wins first place

Spessard Holland Elementary won first place in the 22nd Annual Polk County Video Awards.

The ceremony, held Tuesday, April 29, at Victory Church in Lakeland, has the schools competing in student-produced multimedia projects that included documentaries, animations, music videos and school news broadcasts.

Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School won a most improved award.

The Video Awards, Polk’s version of Hollywood’s Academy Awards featured the creative works of 5,000 students representing nearly five dozen schools. Many works from the local Video Awards have gone on to win awards at the state, national and international level since the local awards program began in 1992.

Here comes Aladdin Jr.

The Bartow Middle School drama department is doing four performances of Aladdin Jr. three days this month at the high school auditorium.

Practicing for months, the performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16 and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, May 17. Tickets are $4 for students and $6 for adults in presale and $5 and $7 the day of the plays, respectively. People can get tickets at the Bartow Middle School website,

Some people may have seen them in performance for part of the play as they did one at the Parents Night at the middle school last Thursday and at the Relay For Life on Friday.

Academic team places fourth

The 2014 Polk County All-Star academic team placed fourth in the Division I state championship at the 29th Commissioner’s Academic Challenge held Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12 at Walt Disney World.

The Commissioner’s Academic Challenge is a highly academic statewide high school tournament in which districts teams compete for the title of state champion. Each team consists of six members and a coach. Players are asked questions from the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the fine arts, world languages (French and Spanish) and technology.

The 2014 Polk County All-Star academic team included: Kade Foster from All Saints’ Academy, Amanda Fulton from Lakeland Christian School, Josue Guerrero from Bartow High, Michael Jean from Harrison School for the Arts, Allison Peralta from Fort Meade Middle-Senior and Andrew Renuart from Haines City High.

Geoff Freebern served as the team coach. Mandy Leach served as assistant coach.

For additional information about the tournament visit: www.academic-

Early release on Wednesday

Polk County Public Schools have early release on Wednesday. Students will be dismissed from class two and one-half hours earlier than they usually are.

Virtual school registering open

Parents interested in enrolling their child in the Polk County Full-Time eSchool and District Virtual Full-Time Instruction Program can start registering them for the upcoming school year.

The programs will accept applications until Friday, July 18. Due to the high volume of interest, parents/guardians are asked to email virtual to make appointment times or to ask questions about the submission of registration documents.

Those interested can call the Virtual Education Department at 863-665-4538 or to visit the Polk County Virtual Education website at

Literacy workshop offered

Free for all elementary teachers, a full-day free Active Literacy Workshop at South McKeel Academy’s campus, 2222 South Edgewood Drive, Lakeland, is scheduled from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 21.

All teacher participants will receive a free Mentoring Minds Critical Thinking Flip-chart. All principals will receive a Comprehension Toolkit Professional Development. Every school represented will receive a Comprehension Toolkit and an opportunity for 1:1 on-site follow-up coaching.

Workshop sessions address critical thinking across the curriculum, how to create an active literacy classroom and free technology tools for teachers. The workshop qualifies for six in-service points.

Online registration is required. To register visit For more information email

Achievement Academy graduation at Civic Center

The Achievement Academy has its annual graduation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 30 at the Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave.

The ceremony is an event to show the accomplishments of the students. Families gather for a special program where they are able to celebrate their children and how they have benefited from our programs.

The Achievement Academy is a per-kindergarten charter school providing education and therapy services to children with developmental delays/disabilities in Polk County. The Achievement Academy assists children with special needs to reach their maximum potential by providing quality education, therapy and family support. There are campuses in Bartow, Winter Haven and Lakeland.

For questions call 863-683-6504 or visit

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