Monday, April 23, 2018
Business

School for autistic children has room for more students

VALRICO — The more Kristin Seltzer commuted between Seffner and Riverview, the more she understood the growing need to better educate children with autism.

She joined the staff of Livingstone Academy in 2004 a year after Chris and Bernadette Pello founded the former Brandon Prep.

The school served kindergarten through eighth-grade students with specific learning disabilities from 2004 to 2007, operating on the campus of Bay Life Church under the name Bay Life Academy before moving to Seffner at 1204 Lenna Ave.

Seltzer directed the autism program out of a 600-square-foot room in Seffner and a small classroom in the academy's Riverview location inside South Bay Church.

What started with 20 students at the two locations has grown to four classes with 31 students as Livingstone Academy opened its third school this fall. Seltzer believes it's the only independent, nonprofit, private school specializing in educating children with autism in Hillsborough County.

Livingstone Academy Autism Center now operates inside a 7,000-square-foot facility at Celebration Church, across from Bloomingdale High School, at 1649 Bloomingdale Ave.

"We've got great parents who understand what we're doing and why we're doing it," said Seltzer, the executive director of the autism center.

The school features a staff of 16 and accoutrements such as a speech room for groups and individuals to work on needs and goals such as socialization, requesting and response, as well as the popular sensory gym. The gym features a platform swing hanging from the center of a matted room, where most children retreat once or twice daily.

"Some kids need a sensory diet, and spinning helps," said Seltzer, who holds a special-education degree and a master's degree in school guidance and is certified to teach special education in Hillsborough County.

The room includes a scooter board to build core strength and a tent in which to relax.

Because the school is operating at about half its capacity, Seltzer said the center is planning to add a class or two with open enrollment in January. She will oversee a selective admission process based on age, individual needs, whether the child has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, whether the child has an individual education plan, and other factors.

Students with individual education plans are invited to apply for the McKay Scholarships for Students With Disabilities Program to offset tuition costs.

"We have a lot of expectations for our students," Seltzer said. "We encourage them to get out of their comfort zone."

For information about Livingstone, visit baylifeacademy.org or call (813) 438-8550.

Wawa continues expansion into area

Wawa, the chain of Pennsylvania-based convenience stores, has added 10 locations in the Tampa Bay area this year and shows no signs of slowing down.

It's planning a dozen more for 2014, including three in the SouthShore and Brandon area.

The store at 3942 N U.S. 301 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is slated to open in January.

Meanwhile, a "Wawa coming soon" sign sits at the northeast corner of Causeway Boulevard and U.S. 301. And two Valrico locations — corner of Lithia Pinecrest Road-Bloomingdale Avenue and State Road 60-St. Cloud Avenue — are under construction.

"It's just been a wonderful year in the Tampa Bay," said Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce.

Comments
Work starting on JW Marriott, but Water Street Tampa expects to have 10 buildings under way within a year

Work starting on JW Marriott, but Water Street Tampa expects to have 10 buildings under way within a year

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa marks the start of construction Tuesday on its first building, the JW Marriott hotel, but there’s a lot more to come. And soon. Within a month or so, construction will begin on at least two more projects, 815 ...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
With lights from Toys R Us dimmed, sales plunge at Hasbro

With lights from Toys R Us dimmed, sales plunge at Hasbro

Associated PressNEW YORK — With its sales falling due to the liquidation of Toys R Us, Hasbro is looking for new places to sell Monopoly, My Little Pony and its other toys. Hasbro said Monday it will rely more on online sales, although it has also be...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sears’ biggest shareholder offers to buy Kenmore brand

Sears’ biggest shareholder offers to buy Kenmore brand

Associated PressNEW YORK — Sears’ biggest shareholder appears to be pushing for a breakup of the 125-year-old company that has survived two world wars and the Great Depression. Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert — whose hedge fund has forwarded millions...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lucky’s Market hosting job fairs in St. Petersburg ahead of June opening

Lucky’s Market hosting job fairs in St. Petersburg ahead of June opening

ST. PETERSBURG — Job fairs to fill more than 100 jobs open at Tampa Bay’s first Lucky’s Market start this week, the organic grocer announced on Monday. The grocery store, located at 6765 22nd Ave. N, is hosting hiring fairs Monday through Friday unti...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

WESLEY CHAPEL — Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will splash down Saturday at the Crystal Lagoon in Wesley Chapel’s Epperson development.Phelps, a global ambassador for Crystal Lagoons, will appear at the grand opening of the first Crystal Lagoon...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Big visitor calls at Port Tampa Bay

Big visitor calls at Port Tampa Bay

TAMPA — The 750-foot-long Ireland, one of the biggest cargo vessels ever to call at Port Tampa Bay, arrived Sunday.The Ireland is on its inaugural voyage, having left a shipyard in China for a stop in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to pick up 64,865 shor...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay gas prices rocket 17 cents over a week

Tampa Bay gas prices rocket 17 cents over a week

Floridians are paying plenty at the pump for a combination of spring gas prices and high oil prices this week. Gas jumped 11 cents per gallon over the week in Florida, averaging $2.74 per gallon Monday, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. That’s t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Apartments planned for shuttered stores at Pasco’s Gulf View Square mall

Apartments planned for shuttered stores at Pasco’s Gulf View Square mall

PORT RICHEY — The new owner of two shuttered department stores at Gulf View Square mall wants to demolish the former retail outlets and replace them with nearly 400 apartments.The complex, called Gables at Gulf View, would be on the west side of the ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Harley-Davidson is offering a dream internship to eight college students

Harley-Davidson is offering a dream internship to eight college students

Picture it: Hitting the open road on your hog, speaking with interesting people, witnessing beautiful places and sharing the whole thing on Instagram while getting college credit.Harley-Davidson has announced its seeking eight interns for a 12-week p...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Pasco Business Digest for April 27

Business DigestEventsCHAMBER RIBBON-CUTTING: The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Culver’s of Zephyrhills, 6386 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills at 10 a.m. April 30. For information, call (813) 389-8621.COMMON GR...
Published: 04/23/18