Dinner will benefit land mine fight
Robinson High School will host its third annual Night of a Thousand Dinners initiative in its cafeteria at 5:30 p.m. April 1. The local event is part of a global initiative in which world leaders, celebrities and the public come together to raise awareness and resources for the international land mine crisis.
Last year, Robinson students raised more than $1,600 for relief efforts.
The dinner will be one of thousands taking place around the world between March 1 and April 4 as part of the international effort coordinated by the United Nations Association of the USA and the Canadian Landmine Foundation to raise funds for Adopt-A-Minefield.
"I am excited to play a part in creating a safer, mine-free world," said Amy Morales, a junior in the International Baccalaureate program at Robinson. "Night of a Thousand Dinners enables everyone to make a meaningful difference."
Robinson IB students are accepting donations for the effort.
People interested in donating or attending the event can contact the school's IB office at (813) 272-3006.
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Five students from Randall Middle School will travel to the state capital on March 25-26 to promote the school's service learning program and the Service Learning bill, HB 157, which is pending before the House of Representatives. The bill encourages school districts to initiate, adopt, expand and institutionalize service learning programs, activities and policies for grades K-12.
At Randall, sixth-graders are already getting into the action by taking a new class elective offered for a nine-day trial period. The class, "Think, Learn and Serve," teaches critical thinking through service learning. The idea stemmed from sixth-grade teacher Kristi Verdi's after-school service-learning council, which started last year.
"My hope is to work this class into social studies and other classes, and eventually carry it on to high school," said Verdi, whose class is funded by a $5,200 state grant.
If Verdi's class draws enough interest, students may be able to take it for the full second semester with possibilities for future grants or a permanent spot as an elective for middle and high school students. If the bill passes, the program will become an actual elective and can count as a high school credit.
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The new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program will host a student showcase at Nature's Classroom in Thonotosassa from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 2. The event will provide students from all four STEM middle schools — McLane, Madison, Greco and Buchanan — the opportunity to display and present projects and live demonstrations of their work. For details, contact any of the participating schools or Nature's Classroom at (813) 987-6969.
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After taking first place in the Florida Regional Science Olympiad Finals earlier this year, the McLane Middle School Robotics Institute and its science department competed in the state championship at the University of Central Florida on March 12 to 14. The students brought home one gold and two bronze medals. The Robotics Institute's advanced class is working on robots that can spray pesticides on farm crops. To learn more about the program or to take a tour of the school, contact instructor Michael Wilson at (813) 744-8100.
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Boyette Springs Elementary School will host a Spring Fling from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the school. The event will feature inflatables, karate demonstrations, carnival games, vendors, a cake walk, and food and beverages. Tickets for carnival games are 25 cents each. The fundraiser, which will benefit the school and its PTSA, is free and open to the public. For more information, call (813) 671-5060.
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Bloomingdale High School's Tri-M Music Honor Society will hold a children's concert featuring the Bloomingdale Symphony Orchestra at 11 a.m. on April 4. The concert will feature music from cartoons and movies. Admittance is $2 per person. The school plans to donate part of the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Tampa Bay. For more information, contact SuLing Chau Caballero at (813) 744-8018, ext. 263.
Compiled by Traci Rader, Times correspondent