Welcome to Learning is for Everyone of Tampa

LIFE of Tampa welcomes everyone, of all races, ethnicities, religions, family compositions, sexual orientations, learning styles, lifestyles, abilities and disabilities, and asks only that rules of civility, kindness and compassion be honored by all, for all.

This homepage and our online discussion group serve as an announcement and resource list for a variety of activities and events.

Visit LIFE of Florida for a great list of statewide and general learning resources.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Water Atlas Training Workshop for Homeschoolers - Clearwater, Oct. 13 & 16

Pinellas County’s Watershed Management Division is holding another training session & workshop in the use of the Water Atlas website and the associated curricula.

October 13th 6-9pm and October 15th 6-9pm.
Both sessions must be attended for completion.

Training location is the Conference Room at
512 S. Fort Harrison Avenue in downtown Clearwater.

We provide use of computers, take home training supplies, and an evening snack.

To register contact Melissa Harrison or Anamarie Rivera via
e-mail mharrison@pinellascounty.org or arivera@pinellascounty.org

If you have a vegetarian meal preference, please let us know when you register.

If you are interested and cannot attend, please let us know so we can
schedule additional training sessions.

Monday, September 29, 2008

FYI: New High School Diploma desginations

Microsoft Word - Memo to Districts 9 25.doc

There’s a lot of interesting reading in this Senate bill text, pertaining to changes in the Sunshine State Standards (ie “ Next Generation Sunshine State Standards) .While, in and of itself, this legislation has no specific bearing on home education in Florida, it's useful for several reasons, not the least of which is simply being informed about curriculum standards in FL.

Some homeschoolers follow along with the standards, many do not. But if there’s a chance that you plan to enroll your child in public ed, you may want to stay informed about upcoming changes. Even if you don’t, it’s a good idea to stay informed about changes to standards, especially if you’ve got kids making their way through high school at home and you plan to create diplomas for them, or want to align their transcripts with public ed requirements for college or career needs.

You can see (and save a copy of) the new diploma form here:


You can see the new "Next Generation Sunshine State Standards" (in progress) here: http://www.floridastandards.org

From the FL DOE (excerpt below - visit link for full memo)


DATE: September 25, 2008


Recently enacted Senate Bill 1908 created a new section of statute that requires the following four new designations are included on the standard high school diploma beginning with the 2008-09 school year, as applicable:

Major Area of Interest, pursuant to completion of credits as provided in section 1003.428, Florida Statutes

Completion of four or more accelerated college credit courses in AP, IB, AICE, or dual enrollment if the student is eligible for college credit pursuant to sections 1007.27 or 1007.271, Florida Statutes

Career education certification in accordance with section 1003.431, Florida Statutes

Florida Ready to Work Credential in accordance with section 1004.99, Florida Statutes

Senate Bill 1908 can be viewed at: http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2008/Senate/bills/billtext/pdf/s1908er.pdf (see page 18).

Tampa Bay Ballet homeschool classes, Oldsmar

Tampa Bay Ballet is about to begin a homeschool ballet class held at our studio in Oldsmar. The class will begin October 7th from 1:00-2:00 pm. This class is not yet posted on our schedule online. It will be open to beginner/intermediate students 8-18 years of age. The cost of this class is $54/month. Miranda Heitz is the instructor for this class. Please email Ms. Lindsay at lindsay@tampabayballet.com with any questions you may have and additional information.


Lindsay Latham
Director, Tampa Bay Ballet
(813) 814-0587

Friday, September 26, 2008

Brooker Creek Preserve October Programs

Call (727) 453-6800 for information and registration.
Registration is required for some and appreciated for all programs.
Brooker Creek Preserve will never share your email address.
If you would like to be removed from this list, please reply by placing remove and your name in the subject line.
3940 Keystone Road
Tarpon Springs, FL 34688

Exploring Epiphytes

Saturday, September 27, 2008 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

How are pineapples related to stranglers? What important ice cream ingredient is found on tree branches? Epiphytes, or air plants, grow on the trees from Brooker Creek Preserve to your own backyard. Join us for a hands-on exploration into the world of these fascinating plants. Pre-registration is required. Admission: Free. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Fall Migration Bird Walk

Sunday, September 28, 2008 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

The migration season is upon us, and those feathered marathon flyers are beginning to appear in Florida as they travel toward the tropics. Join us for a pleasant stroll along the trails to search for migratory birds. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair of ours. Closed-toe comfortable shoes are a must, and water and a hat are recommended for

BCPEEC – October 2008 Events

Wednesday Evening Walks

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Many animals are most active at dawn and dusk, the time when nature’s day shift has ended but the night shift has yet to begin. Join us for a pleasant evening stroll as we discuss the ways many living things are adapted to make the best use of the twilight hours. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are a must; water and insect repellant are optional. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Admission: Free. Recommended for families with children age 10 and up.

Fall Migration Bird Hikes

Thursday, October 2, 2008 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Thursday, October 9, 2008 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Thursday, October 16, 2008 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Join us every Thursday morning in October for a bird hike on the Preserve. We will search for migratory birds as these feathered marathon flyers travel toward the tropics. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair of ours. Closed-toe comfortable shoes are a must, and water and a hat are recommended for this hike. Pre-registration is required. Admission: Free. Recommended ages: 10 and up.

Guided Hikes

Saturday, October 4, 2008 9:00 am 11:00 am

Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:00 am 11:00 am

Saturday, October 18, 2008 9:00 am 11:00 am

Saturday, October 25, 2008 9:00 am 11:00 am

Environmental Lands Division Volunteers

Take a walk through time each Saturday morning on a guided hike along the Education Center Trail. Join us for this 0.75 mile walk as we look at how the land has changed over time and discuss the ecological footprints left by those changes. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are a must, and water and a hat are recommended. Pre-registration is required by 12:00 noon on the Friday before the hike. Admission: Free. All ages welcome - children younger than 6 may find this hike challenging.

Fall for Florida Native Plants - Native Plant Sale

Saturday, October 4, 2008 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society

A variety of native plants that add beauty and attract wildlife to your landscape will be available at this fall plant sale. Attend workshops throughout the day. Then stop by the sale to spice up your fall landscaping with native plants. Please call the Center for more information and a schedule of the day’s activities. Admission: Free. Recommended for all ages.

Photography Workshop: "Ten Tips to Better Nature Photography"

Sunday, October 5, 2008 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Jason Hahn, Land O’Lakes, FL

Join nature photographer Jason Hahn as he hosts a photography workshop focused on helping you improve your nature photography skills. The workshop includes both field and classroom sessions, and is suited for photographers of all skill levels. Jason focuses on a hands-on, practical application of concepts in the field in real shooting situations with instruction not just in technique, but also in the natural world you will explore. Pre-registration is required. Admission: $30/person. Recommended for adults – program suitable for children 12 and older.

Fall Butterfly Identification Seminar and Count

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 7:00pm – 9:00 pm Identification Seminar

Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:30 am – 2:00 pm Count

Ecological Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

The Environmental Lands Division is gearing up for another Fall Butterfly Count at Brooker Creek Preserve. Volunteers of all levels are needed to assist with this monitoring program. Interested volunteers are encouraged to attend the Butterfly Identification Seminar on Wednesday at the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center. Those interested in helping with the Fall Butterfly Count should meet at the Pinellas County Biological Field Station on Saturday by 9:30 am. Admission: Free. Recommended ages: 12 and up. Pre-registration for the seminar and count is required. Call (727) 453-6900 for information, directions, and registration.

Cypress Swamp Café - Home Invaders

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Join us for this series of presentations and discussions to explore ways you can live a more sustainable lifestyle. This week features home invaders, those other creatures that live in your house. Spiders, roaches and mice are just a few of the creatures that can be found sharing your home. Join us to learn how to appreciate some common home invaders and environmentally friendly ways to discourage them. Admission: Free. Recommended for families with children 10 and up.

Book Time at Brooker Creek: Stellaluna

Thursday, October 9, 2008 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

This program is designed to connect pre-school children to the wonders of the natural world. Twice each month children are treated to a variety of stories that connect them to their environment. This week presents Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Stellaluna is the story of a young bat that finds herself in a bird’s nest and is forced to behave like a bird. She eventually shows her bird siblings about life as a bat, which prompts them to investigate the differences between birds and bats. This program also includes a craft, game or other hands-on activity related to the story. Pre-registration is required for this program. Spaces are limited so register early! Admission: Free. Recommended ages: 3 – 5.

Walking Stick Carving Workshop

Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Bob Marek, Clearwater, FL

Woodcarver Bob Marek has been teaching carving in Pinellas County for over 25 years and has taught workshops at a wide variety of city and county facilities. He will have staffs available equipped with blanks for several different animals, birds and fish, or you can bring your own wood to carve. Carving tools will be available. Pre-registration required. Admission: $50/person (own wood) or $60/person (wood provided); Recommended for adults – program suitable for beginners through advanced students.

Woodburning Workshop

Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Carolyn Marek, Clearwater, FL

Woodburning, or pyrography, is the art of burning a design or pattern into a natural wood surface. Participants learn to control and develop tonal depths of shading and highlighting using woodburning tools. With guidance and a little practice, you will be able to woodburn with confidence and expertise. All woodburning tools and wood are provided. You can bring your own wood to practice on. Pre-registration required. Admission: $50/person (if bringing wood) or $60/person (wood provided). Recommended for adults – program suitable for beginners to advanced students.

Open Classroom – Discovering Nature with Your Child

Sunday, October 12, 2008 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Who lives in that skin? What is the difference between a carnivore and an herbivore? Whose tracks are those? Stop by our classroom anytime between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm to participate in a variety of self-guided nature games and activities that will answer these questions and many more. Pre-registration is not required for this open activity. Admission: Free. Recommended for families with children of all ages.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get the Most out of Your Library - Bloomingdale Library, Oct. 6, 7pm

Get the Most Out of Your Library

Homeschooling Tools presentation by Stacey Jurewicz, Senior Librarian,Public Computer Instruction

Where:Bloomingdale Library

1906 Bloomingdale Ave.,

Valrico, FL 33602 | 813-273-3652 | hcplc.org

When: Monday, Oct 6 7 pm

What: Welcome to the world of homeschooling and research tools available at your library.

In this introduction to the library’s homeschooling and research tools, you can:

• Learn about the resources available at the library for homeschoolers.

• Explore the library’s Databases & Websites.

• Learn search strategies that provide the most effective results.

Email Stacey if you have questions or would like a similar presentation at your local library: jurewiczs@hillsboroughcounty.org

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pasco Homeschooler seeks Re-evaluation of Pasco Libraries Circulation Policy

Pasco County homeschooler Loni Kaplan is trying to persuade the Pasco County Library system to re-evaluate their new short check-out policy (PDF), and is trying to reach others to inform and mobilize. Read her views and about the policy change:

Budget cuts quicken due date on Pasco library books

Reading library books should be a pleasure, not a pressure

"If you can help me get the word out to other homeschoolers in Pasco, perhaps more people will express their opinions to the library. As of now, they library system has only had about 30 complaints. They are re-evaluating their policy in November, and if they have enough complaints, they will re-instate the 28-day policy. People with comments/complaints should contact Stephen Kershner, Assistant Libraries Director at stephenl@pascolibraries.org " - Loni Kaplan

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Florida KidCare launches "Act-Out for Health" PSA contest

Florida KidCare is seeking middle and high school students from across the state to enter the Act-Out for Health contest to help promote affordable health insurance available through Florida KidCare. Students ages 12 through 18 can produce a 30-second television commercial or create a print advertisement promoting Florida KidCare, a state and federally funded program for uninsured children.

This contest makes a great class project. Students can win scholarships, money for your school and gift cards. Winning entries may be featured on television or newspapers and magazines across the state. Contest entry deadline is Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, at 4 p.m.

For more information and to download contest entry packets, please visit www.actout4health.org. Visit the Florida Healthy Kids Web site to view last year’s winning PSA entry at www.healthykids.org/marketing/aofh.php?lang=ENG.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Florida State Parks to Celebrate Literacy in September

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Florida State Parks are celebrating the second annual Literacy Month this September at each of the state's 161 state parks. In conjunction with International Literacy Day on September 8 and National Library Card Signup Month, entrance to all of Florida 's state parks will be free the week of September 7-13 for visitors who bring a library card, library book, or who donate a new or gently used family book.

"Promoting literacy at Florida's state parks creates an appreciation for both reading and the environment that visitors can take back to the classroom and community, said Florida State Park Director Mike Bullock. "September's Literacy Month is the perfect time for all park visitors,
including families and schools to experience resource-based recreation while enhancing the mind through literacy events."

Florida's state parks, along with local libraries and schools, will host a variety of events during September including book readings, author appearances and book exchanges. Books donated during Literacy Month will go to schools and libraries in need or be used for permanent book exchanges within state park collections. The Florida Department of Education's (DOE)
Just Read, Florida ! program will also distribute lists of nature-themed reading materials to libraries and educators, and Literacy Month bookmarks will be distributed at libraries, bookstores and state parks through a partnership with the Florida Lottery.

"Literacy Month is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about Florida 's natural, cultural and literary resources," said Education Commissioner Dr.. Eric J. Smith. " Reading is the foundation for academic success and our partnerships will bring an increased focus to the importance
of literacy."

Partners in the Literacy Month celebration include the Florida Department of State, Florida Department of Education, the Florida Lottery, Volunteer USA Foundation, Florida Literacy Coalition, Adult and Community Educators of Florida, Inc., local libraries, schools and reading programs statewide. More than 1.3 million visitors participated in the September 2007
Literacy Month celebration, with nearly 35,000 people participating in 60 events statewide. State parks collected 10,000 books for donation and DEP and the Florida Lottery distributed 15,000 bookmarks to libraries and bookstores throughout the state.

The first two-time Gold Medal winner honoring the nation's best state park service, Florida 's state park system is one of the largest in the country with 161 parks spanning nearly 700,000 acres and 100 miles of sandy white beach. From swimming and diving in Florida's rivers and springs
to birding and fishing or hiking and riding on natural scenic trails, Florida's state parks offer year-around outdoor activities for all ages.

Battle re-enactments and Native American festivals celebrate Florida 's unique history, while art shows, museums and lighthouses offer a window into Florida 's cultural heritage. Florida 's state parks are also home to the 2008 Best Beach in the nation, Caladesi Island State Park , located off the coast of Southwest Florida in Pinellas County .

For more information about Florida State Parks' Literacy Month celebration and a list of events, visit <http://www.floridastateparks.org/> .

Marla Liane Chancey
Park Services Specialist
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, FL 34446
(352) 628-5343 X-1006

See the Real Florida at <http://www.floridastateparks.org/>