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Robinson High Student Reveals Tampa History

September 18th, 2014 Comments off

A Robinson High School student who has been working with the Tampa Bay History Museum has captured a nearly forgotten slice of Tampa history: the Central Avenue business district circa 1931.

Mary Elizabeth Johnson, a senior in the International Baccalaureate program at Robinson High School, will share her findings – in the form of an overlay map and interactive website – on Saturday, September 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Seminole Heights Public Library at 4711 N Central Ave. The public is invited to the free event.

Her research is based on old Sanborn Insurance Company maps and Tampa City Directories from 1924 and 1931. She identified many of the individuals who lived and worked in the 1000 through the 1600 blocks of Central Avenue’s American business and entertainment district some 80 years ago. In addition to dozens of Black-owned businesses, Central Avenue also hosted historic entertainers such as W. C. Handy, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Hank Ballard and James Brown.

“Ray Charles recorded his first song and teens inspired The Twist dance (written by Ballard),” in the Central Avenue district, which was known as “Harlem of the south,” Johnson said.

The project supports the vision of the TBHC to educate the public about local history. In January, Johnson won the inaugural Dr. Frankye A. Berry Award for the best high school essay in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreams Take Flight Contest. The contest was sponsored by Hillsborough County Public Schools.

District Kicks Off School Year With Parent University

September 10th, 2014 Comments off

Parent University, a series of free informational sessions to support the academic life of children, will be held on Saturday, September 13, at Bloomingdale High School from 7:45 a.m. to Noon.

Parent University is a collaboration of the Alliance for Public Schools, Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, and the United Way Suncoast. This event will offer sessions focused on STEM, effective strategies families can use to help every child succeed in reading and math, and college and career readiness. Families can also register for mySPOT (the Student and Parent Online Toolkit) to stay connected with their child and their academic success. All sessions are designed to be informative, fun, and interactive.

A free lunch is provided for all attendees and childcare will be provided at no cost by HOST (Hillsborough Out of School Time Program) for those families with children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

For session details and to pre-register for Parent University, visit www.hillsboroughparentu.org.

Bloomingdale High School is located at 1700 E. Bloomingdale Avenue, Valrico.  All sessions are free.

September 11th Remembrance Events

September 10th, 2014 Comments off

Students, teachers, and staff at many Hillsborough County schools will hold events on Thursday to remember those who died or were injured during the terrorist attacks on September 11.  Below is a list of just some of the events throughout the day:

Freedom High School, 8:46 a.m., school courtyard, 17420 Commerce Park Blvd., Tampa
-The ceremony will commence at 8:46 a.m. to coincide with the first impact into the World Trade Center. The ceremony includes brief remarks by the principal, followed by the playing of Taps by the Freedom Band and the Presentation of Colors by Freedom’s NJROTC. Freedom’s ceremony is unique in that Freedom was named in recognition of the 9-11 attacks.

Bellamy Elementary, 10:45-12:45 p.m., front of school, 9720 Wilsky Blvd., Tampa
-Each student will plant a flag in the field in front of the school on their way back from lunch. Teachers will have material in their classrooms to talk about Patriot Day after the flag planting.

Sickles High School, 8 a.m., flagpole at front of school, 7950 Gunn Hwy., Tampa
-There will be a reading and a moment of silence as students from the entire school gather at the flagpole. Sickles ROTC will have a Presentation of Colors ceremony.

Nelson Elementary, 8:15 a.m., school courtyard, 5413 Durant Rd., Dover
-“Ribbons to Remember”, Students will gather in the courtyard to remember and honor the heroes of September 11th. Students and some parents serving in the military will place ribbons on trees. The Durant ROTC color guard will do the Presentation of Colors as the school recognizes the contributions of military families and those serving in law enforcement and as firefighters.

Colson Elementary, all day, 1520 Lakeview Ave., Seffner
-Everyone is encouraged to wear red, white, and blue to express their patriotism.

Yates Elementary, 8:30 a.m., outside back court, 301 Kingsway Rd., Brandon
-Students, staff, and the community will come to honor the men and women who keep the community safe. Firefighters, police, and county jail officials are invited to listen to songs and will be presented with baskets filled with candy, snacks, soups, and drinks to take back to their offices for all to enjoy.