Free VPK: Hillsborough County schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia is urging parents of 4- and 5-year-olds to enroll them in free, summer voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) at one of 19 public elementary schools.
Children who turn 5 by Sept. 1, are Florida residents and have never participated in VPK are eligible for the program, which prepares children to enter kindergarten. Prekindergarten will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday from June 18 through Aug. 8. Hours are flexible, so parents can drop off children later than 7:30 a.m. or pick them up earlier than 6 p.m.
The district's summer program is offered at the following elementary schools: Alexander, Bailey, Bing, Bryan, Buckhorn, Chiles, Claywell, Corr, Cypress Creek, Gorrie, Just, Mango, Mitchell, Ruskin, Shaw, Sheehy, Sulphur Springs, Summerfield and Woodbridge. No bus transportation is provided. Children will be fed a free breakfast, lunch, and snack. Register at the individual schools. For more information, contact the VPK office at (813) 272-4840.
Bullying awareness: Hear Kirk Smalley, founder of the antibullying organization, Stand for the Silent, speak at 5:30 p.m. April 30 at the Newsome High School Auditorium, 16550 Fishhawk Boulevard, Lithia. For more information, visitstandforthesilent.com.
Vail recognized: Allyson Vail of the Jefferson High School magnet program was named Region 4 (Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi) Magnet Schools of America teacher of the year. Regional winners will be recognized at the National Conference in May in Dallas.