Grant awarded: Woodmont Charter School, 10402 N 56th St., Temple Terrace, has been awarded a $4,700 Toolbox for Education grant from Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. The grant will be used to create a learning garden at the school, which will include a paved area for instruction, a "forest'' of potted blueberry bushes, a gnome garden with paths meandering through an oak forest, large barrels to be used for compost, worms and water collection, movable raised garden beds and reading benches.
"Our goal is to create a space that fosters a connection with nature and helps students to learn by getting their hands dirty sometimes," Erin Ray, campus beautification chair, said in a news release. "We also want to provide a welcome respite and fresh air for students who want to sit quietly to read and think."
Woodmont is one of more than 585 public schools or parent organizations nationwide to be awarded a Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant for parent-initiated school improvement projects during the 2011-12 school year.
Free VPK: Hillsborough County schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia urges parents of 4- and 5-year-olds to enroll their children in free summer voluntary prekindergarten 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. It's 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 school. For more information, call the VPK office at (813) 272-4840.