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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Homeschooling and the 2008 Election

I want to address some contentions that I think are erroneous and misleading that are currently making the rounds of homeschool communities; and that’s namely that whoever wins the presidential election will determine whether we get to continue homeschooling.

To put it mildly, I think that’s stuff and nonsense. Our nation is confronted with an economic crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in nearly 80 years, health care issues, foreign policy issues, wars on at least two fronts, and climate change issues. I can pretty much guarantee you that the first thing any incoming president does will NOT have anything to do with homeschooling or the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

There’s a lot more at stake in this election than homeschooling, which isn’t an issue on anyone’s platform. I think we should all be more concerned with national issues of economy, health care and foreign policy than the states issues of homeschooling right now.

Whoever you vote for, whatever you vote for, please make your vote an intelligent and informed one, based on facts and not fear mongering conjecture. Homeschooling is alive and well and thriving in America, influencing educational choices nationwide, inspiring innovation in pubic and private education that will not be reversed, and neither John McCain nor Barack Obama will significantly affect it one way or another.

And if at any point, there is any threat coming from the national level with respect to how you homeschool, I can guarantee you it won’t come from the White House, but from wolves in sheeps' clothing like HSLDA and other special interests with private agendas masquerading as homeschool saviors.

Protect your right to homeschool by supporting everyone’s rights to live, worship and learn in ways best for their families. Vote with common sense and intelligence, not fear.

Terri Willingham
LIFE of Tampa
http://LIFEofTampa.blogspot.com
LIFE of Florida
http://LIFEofFlorida.blogspot.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Brooker Creek Preserve Events for Last Week of Oct & Early November

Call (727) 453-6800 for information and registration.
Registration is required for some and appreciated for all programs.


Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center
3940 Keystone Road
Tarpon Springs, FL 34688
Center Hours:
Wednesday 9:00am - 8:30pm
Thursday - Sunday 9:00am - 4:00pm
Closed Monday, Tuesday and Holidays
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Looking at the Past Through the Eyes of Scientists and Artists

Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

David M. Jarzen, Ph.D., Florida Museum of Natural History

Dr. David Jarzen studies fossil pollen, often called the fingerprints
of plants, in order to determine what sorts of plants lived in a
particular place at a particular time. Plants the dinosaurs walked
among share many features with the plants of today. These
similarities allow scientists, with the help of artists, to
reconstruct ancient landscapes. Jarzen and his colleague, Dr. Dale
Russell, worked with sculptor and artist Eleanor Kish to create some
of the most thrilling reconstructions captured on canvas that depict
the world of the dinosaurs! In this lecture, Jarzen uses amusing
anecdotal tales as he discusses how scientists work with artists to
express natural history knowledge through color and beauty.
Pre-registration is requested. There is no fee for this program.
Recommended for adults.

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Artist Exhibition - Visions of Florida - The photography of Jason
Hahn will be on exhibit until October 26, 2008.

Artist Exhibition – Julie Kornblum: Past, Preservation, and Future

The artwork of Julie Kornblum will be on exhibit from November 1
through December 28, 2008.

Julie Kornblum's weaving and basketry are a combination of the
immediate and the ancient. She takes a new look at old traditions by
using post-modern, recycled materials to weave early American
household textile patterns. Her sculptural pieces combine discarded
plastics with coiled basket technique and have won awards in national
juried shows. Julie hopes her work will raise awareness of how our
plastic trash impacts the environment. Visitors can enjoy this
exhibit during normal Center hours November 1 through December 28, 2008.

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Guided Hikes

Saturdays 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Education Services Volunteers, Environmental Lands Division

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.

Rags to Riches: Basket-Making From Recyclables Workshop

Saturday, November 1, 2008 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Julie Kornblum, Woodland Hills, CA

Make a recycled basket with fiber artist Julie Kornblum. Learn how to
start, build and shape a coiled basket using a variety of objects
including cast-off and recycled materials. The workshop includes a
discussion of modern and traditional basketry, and the environmental
issues that inspire Julie's work with discarded plastics. No prior
experience or specialized tools needed. Pre-registration required and
space is limited. Admission: $40 per person (includes materials).
Recommended for ages 12 and older.

Meet the Artist – Julie Kornblum: Past, Preservation, and Future

Sunday, November 2, 2008 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Julie Kornblum, Woodland Hills, CA

Julie Kornblum's weaving and basketry are a combination of the
immediate and the ancient. She takes a new look at old traditions by
using post-modern, recycled materials to weave early American
household textile patterns. Her sculptural pieces combine discarded
plastics with coiled basket technique and have won awards in national
juried shows. Julie hopes her work will raise awareness of how our
plastic trash impacts the environment. Come visit the Center to see
this unique fiber art and meet the artist. Pre-registration is not
required for this open reception. To learn more about her work, visit
www.juliekornblum.com. Visitors can enjoy this exhibit during normal
Center hours November 1 through December 28, 2008. Admission: Free.
Recommended for adults – suitable for children 12 and older.

Family Night Hikes

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Educational Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Glowing eyes, strange sounds and unusual smells are all experienced as
you awaken your senses during this night hike. Join us for a walk to
experience the Preserve after dark as we look and listen for the
creatures of the night. We will discuss the unique adaptations of
nocturnal animals as we explore the Education Center trails. Sturdy
closed-toe shoes are a must, and a flashlight is optional.
Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Admission: Free.
Recommended for families with children age 10 and up.

Adult Ecology Workshop: Tree Identification

Friday, November 7, 2008 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

John Kunzer, USF Biology Department, Herbarium (Plant Museum)

The Adult Ecology Workshop offers a unique opportunity to explore
focused topics in natural history under the guidance of noted
authorities. The workshop presents college-level instruction and is
designed to accommodate participants with a broad range of experience.
The only prerequisite is a keen interest in the topic. In this
workshop participants learn about common trees and shrubs, how to use
a dichotomous key and practice using the key to identify woody plants
in the field. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.
Admission: $40 per person ($30 for FOBCP, Inc. members). Recommended
for adults.

Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: Modern Floridians in the Age of
Dinosaurs

Saturday, November 8, 2008 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Jeff Klinkenberg, Author

Award-winning columnist and author Jeff Klinkenberg talks about the
fascinating encounters between Homo sapiens -- that's us -- and
Alligator mississippiensis -- that's them -- from the 16th century to
the present. We've worshipped them, feared them, hunted them, eaten
them, written fine literature about them, hunted them some more,
painted pretty pictures of them, and hunted them even more. They're
still here, lying on river banks, slipping through cypress trees,
creeping through the sawgrass, occasionally eating us or our dogs.
They're dinosaurs living in the 21st century. During his
presentation, Klinkenberg insists that you keep your hands inside the
boat. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
Pre-registration is appreciated. Admission: Free. Recommended for
adults – suitable for children 12 and older.

Open Classroom – Discovering Nature with Your Child

Sunday, November 9, 2008 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Sunday, November 23, 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.

Book Time at Brooker Creek: Leaf Man

Thursday, November 13, 2008 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Book Time at Brooker Creek is designed to connect pre-school children
to the wonders of the natural world. Children are treated to a
variety of stories that relate to their environment. This week
features Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. Those aren't ordinary leaves piled
up in the front yard this fall. This brightly illustrated tale
follows the journey of the leaf man as the wind picks him up and
carries him across the land. 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.

Science Education at Sea Secondary (SEAS) Grades 6 – 12

Saturday, November 15, 2008 8:30 am- 3:30 pm

The Florida Aquarium Staff

Bring SEAS into your classroom! Learn about the diversity of aquatic
life and habitats in Florida's coastal environment and watersheds.
Hands-on activities aligned with Sunshine State Standards are the
perfect way to teach marine sciences. Teachers attending this
educators' workshop will take home lesson plans, teaching resources
and a $50 stipend. To register, visit
http://www.flaquarium.org/Education and click on "Teacher Workshops"
or call (813) 273-4015 for more information. Space is limited so
register early. Recommended for teachers.


Sunday Morning Bird Walk

Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Join us for a morning bird walk along the Center's trails. We will
learn to identify common birds of the Preserve by sight, behavior and
sound. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair of ours. Sturdy
closed-toe shoes and water are a must. A hat, sunscreen and insect
repellant are recommended. Pre-registration is required and space is
limited. Admission: Free. Recommended ages: 10 and up.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Brooker Creek Preserve Upcoming Events

Brooker Creek Preserve
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.
Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center
3940 Keystone Road
Tarpon Springs, FL 34688
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Artist Exhibition - Visions of Florida

Jason Hahn, Land O’ Lakes, Florida

Visitors may enjoy this free exhibit during normal Center hours through October 26, 2008. Jason Hahn specializes in capturing images that illustrate why Florida is such a special place. Jason hikes into what he describes as “the muddiest, buggiest, hottest, and most unforgiving places Florida has to offer” to capture that perfect shot that hold exceptional beauty. He hopes his work helps others understand, appreciate and protect places they may never see first hand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Teacher Training Workshop

Saturday, October 18, 2008 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Brooker Creek Preserve is the perfect place to connect classroom concepts to the natural world. This workshop provides teachers with the training and materials necessary to design and lead learning experiences that are tailored to their classroom curriculum goals. Workshops are intended for teachers willing to lead their own field trips, and are required of all teachers before using Center equipment and facilities other than public trails and the exhibit hall. Pre-registration is required. Call and ask for the educator in charge of this workshop for more information or to register. Admission: Free. Recommended for teachers.

Wild Signs Hike

Sunday, October 19, 2008 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Everyone has a sign, even wild things. The many creatures that live in Brooker Creek Preserve leave signs of their daily activities. Join us for a walk along the Education Center Trail to look for and learn how to decipher these wild signs. Pre-registration is required for this program. Admission: Free. Spaces are limited, so register early! Recommended for families with children ages 10 and up.

Movie Night at Brooker Creek – The Secret World of Bats

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

This 48-minute film, originally shown on CBS television, captures all aspects of bat behavior. Come watch world-renowned cinematographer Dieter Plage as he follows Bat Conservation International founder Merlin Tuttle across five continents. This film features amazing slow-motion photography that reveals the secret lives of bats. Join us after the film as we take an evening stroll to look for some of our local bats and other creatures of the night. Closed-toe comfortable shoes, long pants and insect repellent are recommended and a flashlight is optional for the walk. Pre-registration is required for this program. Admission: Free. Recommended ages: 10 and up.

Book Time at Brooker Creek: The Very Busy Spider

Thursday, October 23, 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 The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. Join us for this delightful tale of a busy little spider as she weaves her web. 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.

Looking at the Past Through the Eyes of Scientists and Artists

Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

David M. Jarzen, Ph.D., Florida Museum of Natural History

Dr. David Jarzen studies fossil pollen, often called the fingerprints of plants, in order to determine what sorts of plants lived in a particular place at a particular time. Plants the dinosaurs walked among share many features with the plants of today. These similarities allow scientists, with the help of artists, to reconstruct ancient landscapes. Jarzen and his colleague, Dr. Dale Russell, worked with sculptor and artist Eleanor Kish to create some of the most thrilling reconstructions captured on canvas that depict the world of the dinosaurs! In this lecture, Jarzen uses amusing anecdotal tales as he discusses how scientists work with artists to express natural history knowledge through color and beauty. Pre-registration is requested. There is no fee for this program. Recommended for adults.

Creepy Critters and ‘Boo Time’ Stories

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Education Services Staff, Environmental Lands Division

Bring the whole family to learn about Halloween favorites like owls, spiders and bats. Then join us for a short evening hike along the boardwalk to look and listen for common creatures of the night. We will end the evening with a fun ‘boo time’ story. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Closed-toe comfortable shoes, long pants and insect repellant are recommended. Admission: Free. Recommended for families with children 5 years old or older.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Estuary Academy 2008: Wildlife in the Watershed

Saturday, November 8, 2008

8:30 am -2:30 pm

Registration is now open for the 2008 Estuary Academy, set for Saturday, Nov. 8 from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg.

The Academy's mission is to introduce citizens to the wealth of scientific research being conducted in the Tampa Bay Watershed. This year's theme is "Wildlife in the Watershed."

Learn how wading birds fit their bills, how frogs sing, what kind of fishes are in the ditches at the Pres erve and the coastal birds on the shores of the bay, how bats benefit society, meet a diamondback terrapin, or take a guided canoe tour to learn about the Preserve's diverse habi tats. The $10 registration fee includes lunch, goody bags, fabulous speakers, and a choice of terrific, hands-on workshops. The Academy has something for everyone!

Participation is limited to 100 adults and children over 12, and pre-registration is required.

Register online now at the Tampa Bay Estuary Program at www.tbep.org

Friday, October 3, 2008

4th Annual Homeschool National Geographic Bee

Hello everyone!

I am pleased to announce the 4th Annual Homeschool National Geographic Bee in Pasco/Pinellas and surrounding counties! This year's bee is sponsored in part by LIFE of Tampa. The bee will be held Wednesday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Starkey Park Education Center in New Port Richey.

I want to begin early to gather the names for the e-mailing list for the bee.

For those who wish to compete, please visit the website which offers further information and links to study questions:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geographybee/

I encourage all competitors...the following rules apply only to those who go on to the next level (state competition). The competition is for those in grades 4-8. The student may not reach their 16th birthday before May 1, 2009. A student may not be enrolled in more than three academic courses at the high school and/or college level during each school year of the competition.


If you have a question about whether or not your child is age-eligible, please contact me.

The winner of this bee will take a written test; the top 100 scorers in Florida will be eligible to compete in the state bee in March. The winner of the state bee will be sent to Washington D.C. for the National Geographic Bee in May, 2009, all expenses paid by the National Geographic Society.

The winner and runner-up of our bee will also receive trophies. Every participant will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Please feel free to forward this message on to any other lists you belong to, and any individual you feel may be interested.

This bee is open to any homeschooler, regardless of where you may live.

The cost to participate in this bee is $5/child, to defray the cost of registration with National Geographic.


Please contact me by email, and include your name, your child's name and age. I will contact you closer to the date with further details. Thank you for your interest!

Loni Kaplan
adamfolk @hotmail.com