Hooper: Pinellas school district needs formal way to involve community

Published October 25 2015
Updated October 26 2015

It happened again Saturday.

A concerned citizen with proven methods, eager to help the Pinellas school district in the wake of the Tampa Bay Times' "Failure Factories" reports, told me she can't find a portal with the school district to present her ideas.

She's not alone. A lot of folks, including a woman who once instituted a debate program at Lakewood Elementary, recognize that the community needs to help the district. But the district needs a formal way to welcome input and vet ideas.

The stinging rebuke from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is another opportunity for the district to send out a clarion call. A town hall meeting? No, a real program, backed with corporate dollars and grants, to choose the best ideas and turn them into a reality. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: Never Let 'Em Dull Your Sparkles. …

Kudos to Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay. The nonprofit's efforts in Sulphur Springs helped it win a $225,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase. …

Fran Powers, founder and executive director of Powerstories, can't contain her enthusiasm for its upcoming production of Decision Height, a play that focuses on the Women Air Service Pilots of World War II. It runs from Nov. 5-22 at the new Powerstories Theatre, 2105 W Kennedy Blvd. Learn more at powerstories.com. …

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has launched RISE (risetowin.org), an initiative using sports to advance race relations and drive social progress.

Through work and through watching my own kids, I've witnessed how sports can tear down barriers. I hope Tampa Bay athletes will join Ross' effort.

That's all I'm saying.