Thursday, December 14, 2017
Education

Longleaf Elementary in New Port Richey celebrates its authors of the month

The Author's Tea is a monthly event at Longleaf Elementary School, minus the hot brew. The afternoon gathering serves up a snack of cookies and cool lemonade — along with some pretty good literature and a special certificate.

Stories abound as one by one, students from the New Port Richey school test their nerve to stand before their parents and other young writers to read their tales. Ten-year-old Mea Futterman shared her The Scariest Day at the Beach, which may or may not have included the adventurous sighting of a giant squid in the shallow waters off the Hudson coast. Fellow fifth-grader Cole Hudson, 10, read from his impressive fiction collection his version of an old folktale, How the Tiger Got Its Stripes (would you believe it involved a bucket of paint?!). There were a couple of primers — one on 6-year-old Joshua Kissinger's favorite pastime of baseball, and another written by a somewhat shy first-grader, Jocelyn Candiloro, 6, on how to make a snowman complete with a peppermint candy smile. Other stories were about princess adventures, the friendship between a fox and a hare and why a family vacation in the snow would make for the best time ever.

Not everyone is invited to bring their parents to the media center to share the stories they've penned, said literacy coach Dolores Halkitis, who oversees the monthly tea.

"It's a very big honor," she said.

Only 16 students are selected each month — some because they have showed great improvement; others because they have produced an impressive amount of quality writing. Often they show a knack for including details or using metaphors and similes. Some are very persuasive in their slant. And there's more than a few talented illustrators, too.

"It's wonderful to see," said Mea's mom, Tisa Futterman. "They get some public speaking experience and they get to share their stories."

"It's a little scary to get up there and read your story," Mea admitted, as she snacked on cookies afterward.

But probably not as scary as seeing a giant squid at the beach.

Comments
Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

BROOKSVILLE — The new year could bring about new beginnings for at-risk girls in Hernando County.Pending a vote by the School Board next month, PACE Center for Girls, an alternative education program for middle- and high-school students, could open a...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Pasco school district, employees reach contract agreement

The raises for Pasco County school district employees aren’t as high as anyone would like, but they’re now part of a signed tentative contract deal reached just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.If ratified by the staff and the School Board, the agreements ...
Published: 12/13/17
For Bexley students in Land O’Lakes, math skills go airborne

For Bexley students in Land O’Lakes, math skills go airborne

LAND O’LAKES — At Bexley Elementary School in Land O’Lakes, students are throwing paper airplanes — with the help of a high tech computerized launcher. They’re also bowling — with a little aid from computerized drones. And when they get around to it,...
Published: 12/13/17

Proposal to rollback early learning programs could bring Citrus into Pasco-Hernando coalition

Some Florida lawmakers have not hidden their desire to scale back the statewide number of early learning coalitions that oversee child care and preschool programs, including Voluntary Prekindergarten.The state Office of Early Learning has now issued ...
Published: 12/13/17
Brink Foundation, school district create Town ’N Country STEM hub

Brink Foundation, school district create Town ’N Country STEM hub

TAMPA — Elementary school students programmed an electronic mouse to make its way through a maze.Middle school students directed an electronic vehicle to stop on a dime, then use its arms to locate and lift a tiny cube.When the demonstration was done...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco-Hernando State College faculty to consider unionizing

Pasco-Hernando State College faculty to consider unionizing

Caitlin Gille grew up in a union household in Wisconsin, where her mom was a long-time teacher in the small city of Wauwatosa, just west of Milwaukee.She was accustomed to seeing educators advocating for their working conditions and pay, having a sea...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is ‘Feminism’

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is ‘Feminism’

NEW YORK — This may or may not come as a surprise: Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is "feminism." Yes, it’s been a big year or two or 100 for the word. In 2017, lookups for feminism increased 70 percent over 2016 on Mer...
Published: 12/12/17
Book tasting event lets Fox Chapel students indulge their love of reading

Book tasting event lets Fox Chapel students indulge their love of reading

SPRING HILL — As she perused the book, something about Night of the Living Worms piqued sixth-grader Inessia Richardson’s interest. So she decided to take it home from the Fox Chapel Middle School library.The opportunity to look at Night of the Livin...
Updated: 6 hours ago
‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

RIVERVIEW — As a foster parent with two sons of her own, Kayla Storey has learned all the tricks to get her kids out of bed and off to school every morning. But this year, Storey says she’s the one waking up every school day with a knot i...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

University of Central Florida Greeks won’t hold social events, serve alcohol for 6 weeks this spring

ORLANDO — University of Central Florida fraternities and sororities won’t host social activities or any events with drinking for at least the first six weeks of the spring semester, up from the two-week ban on alcohol that has been in place in the pa...
Published: 12/08/17