Tag Archives: Polk education

2017 Back-to-School Bashes, Events and Donation Drives

It’s almost school time again!
Find 2017 back-to-school bashes, health fairs and donation drives in Polk County below.
 
Back to School Freepik
Graphic: Freepik
 

Upcoming Dates

Student orientation: Tuesday, August 8
First day of school for students: Thursday, August 10
 
Tax-free holiday: August 4-6
 

Bashes

Back 2 School Bash
When: Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Oakland Gymnasium, 915 Ave. E, Haines City
What: Stop by this back-to-school event featuring speakers and a guest appearance by Smart Mouth’s Jason Alexander as well as free haircuts, backpacks and food.
Contact: Unity in the Community Central Florida, Dr. Charles Anderson, 863-438-2758, canderson@trinityicc.com
 
Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Wilfred Smith Resource Center, 135 Avenue Y N.E., Winter Haven
What: Join Polk County Parks & Recreation for this free family event featuring free school supplies for children entering kindergarten through the fifth grade (first come, first served). Families will also enjoy music, educational exhibitors and children activities.
Contact: 863-298-7898, borisrodriguez@polk-county.net
 
Life Church Backpack Outreach
When: Saturday, July 29, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Where: 581 Berkley Rd. Auburndale, FL 33823
What: Auburndale’s Life Church will hold a giving for over 700 free school backpacks filled with school supplies for needy families.
Contact: Dawn Simmons, 863-967-5433
 
Summer Palooza
When: Saturday, July 29, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Simpson Park, 1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland
What: To introduce New Beginnings High School to the Lakeland community, the school is hosting Summer Palooza so that families and children will have the necessary resources to go back to school. New Beginnings’ Summer Palooza will provide necessities along with educational guest speakers, a warm meal, and entertainment throughout the morning.
Contact: Alicia Brown, 863-298-5666
 
Back to School First Friday
When: Friday, August 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Lakeland
What: Join the Downtown Lakeland Partnership, MidFlorida & Southeastern University as well as community vendors in celebrating the start of a new school year with school-themed activities. First Friday features free family-friendly entertainment, activities, live music, art receptions, a car show, and the opportunity to check out a great, locally-owned restaurant or retail establishment on the first Friday of each month.
Contact: info@downtownlakelandfl.com
 
Back to School Bash- Clothing Kids in Our Community
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Auburndale Community Gym, 405 Bennett Street, Auburndale
What: Stop by for free basic back-to-school haircuts, a one-week food supply giveaway, a dunk tank, games, bounce houses and more!
 
Back to School Block Party
When: Saturday, August 5, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Spence Park, NE 1st St., Mulberry
What: This event is sponsored by Mulberry’s local churches and hosted by the City of Mulberry. Enjoy free food, a basketball tournament, a corn hole tournament, live music, inflatables and more. Backpacks will be distributed at 4pm for those who have pre-registered at the Mulberry Community Center. Stick around for the night swim happening at the Mulberry Community Pool directly after.
Contact: 863-393-8166
 
IMB Back to School – Color Your Life
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Iglesia Manatialde Benndicion, 704 McLeod Ave., Haines City
What: This event will feature face painting, crafts, games, music, a girls beauty workshop, snacks, free backpacks (first come, first serve and must be present), special guest Marilita and more.
Contact: 863-422-3106
 
Lake Alfred Library Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 5, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Lake Alfred Public Library, 245 Seminole Drive, Lake Alfred
What: Get ready for school with the Lake Alfred Library. Win some school supplies, have dinner and get raffle tickets.
Contact: 863-291-5378
 
New Horizon’s Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: New Horizons Church Baptist Church, 11930 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland
What: Stop by to meet local law enforcement, the Fire Marshal, FHP, etc. as well as to enjoy music, bounce houses, food, games and receive free school supplies.
Contact: 863-858-5865
 
Rock the Block Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: RP Funding Center: George Jenkins Arena, 701 Lime Street, Lakeland
What: Bring the entire family to this free community event featuring giveaways, free backpacks, free haircuts, a health fair, hot dogs, cotton candy, bounce houses and more.
Contact: Harvest Assembly of God: 863-682-7000. The Lakeland Center: 863-834-8100
 
City of Winter Haven’s Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 12, 12-3 p.m.
Where: Winter Haven Recreation and Culture Center Pool, 801 Ave. T NE, Winter Haven
What: School is in session, and we are making a big splash about it. Join the City of Winter Haven for a free family event for school-age children (6-17) for a day of games, food, music and bounce houses at the Winter Haven Recreation and Culture Center Pool.
Contact: 863-291-5656, specialevents@mywinterhaven.com
 
Free Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 19, 12-3 p.m.
Where: Eagle Ridge Mall, 451 Eagle Ridge Dr., Lake Wales
What: Join the Eagle Ridge Mall for free family fun and great giveaways, including school supplies and gift cards.
Contact: 863-676-2300
 

Health Fairs

Back To School Health Fair
When: Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, 40100 US Highway 27, Davenport
What: Good health is the best back-to-school supply your child can have. Don’t miss this free Back-to-School Health Fair combining health and safety education with fun for the whole family including:
– Safety presentations by police and EMS
– Health presentations by local pediatricians and physicians
– Back-to-school screenings and discounts
– Fun Zone with free crafts, face painting and activities
– Free school supplies
– Teddy Bear Clinic
– Drawings for tickets to special events, while supplies last
Contact: 866-997-DOCS
 

Donation Drives

 
Back to School Clothing Drive
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Top Buttons Upscale Boutique, 236 N. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
What:All donated clothes will benefit the girls we serve in our Wearing Confidence Program. Clothes can be dropped off either at the Top Buttons Boutique or Viva Vitality.
Some items we would suggest for girls ages 11-18 are:

  • Solid color crew neck shirts
  • White/navy/red polo shirts
  • Khaki/navy pants, skirts, and shorts
  • Denim pants and shorts
  • Belts
  • Solid color zip-up hoodies
  • New white socks
  • Sneakers or close-toed shoes

Contact: 863-450-4060
 
Stuff the Bus
Stuff the Bus is Central Florida’s largest back-to-school campaign. In addition to the traditional school supplies that are needed such as pens, pencils, wide rule paper, folders with prongs, crayons, markers, backpacks, glue and erasers, you may also donate copy paper, facial tissue, index cards, highlighters, hand sanitizer, zip lock bags, and pencil boxes.
 
Lakeland: Through Sunday, July 30 at Victory Church (1401 Griffin Rd.)
Lakeland: LkldTV Through end of July their office
Lakeland: Through August 2 at the Wednesday, Lakeland Chamber (35 Lake Morton Drive)
Lakeland: August 2, 7-8:30 a.m., Hall Communications (404 West Lime Street)
Bartow: Through Friday, August 18 at the Bartow Chamber
 
 

“I’m not going to sing!” – A Tale of Success at Camp READY!

By Christine Sikorski, 2016 Bartow Camp READY! Teacher


Camp Ready Bartow LRC Polk
We first saw ridiculously adorable and compact, little Maddox with messy sandy blonde hair, camouflage t-shirt, jean shorts and cowboy boots clinging to his dad’s leg with a sheepish grin spreading across his muddy face that first day of Camp READY! on June 20, 2016. His family lived a half-hour away. Maddox had never been to preschool before. Dad brought Maddox faithfully every day so that Maddox could get ready for kindergarten and have an awesome first year in school.
 
The teachers and counselors at Bartow’s Camp READY! agreed that Maddox was a bit reluctant to participate at first. In fact, he confidently declared on the first day of camp, “I am not going to sing in the show, and my dad is not coming!” We assured him that he would have a great time singing for the parents and we would make sure his dad would come! Having never been to preschool, he had trouble writing his name, which looked more like he wrote it with an alien alphabet. He could name a few shapes, but could not name any colors. He did not know any numbers between 0-21 and could only identify the letter “W”, which was the first letter of his last name. He also had not spent much time socializing outside of his family and church, so camp was a nice, gentle exposure into getting along with all types of friends at school.
camp ready bartow lrc polk
In 20 days, we immersed Maddox in letter sounds, shapes, colors and numbers through play and fun movement activities, readiness, art and cooking centers. He was bombarded with literacy as he listened to dozens of high-quality books in all three classes throughout his morning. He was exposed to all sorts of new vocabulary in positional words with movement activities. While in cooking, he learned science, measuring and dividing food to share. He practiced his letters and their sounds through daily singing of the alphabet song, “Learning Letter Sounds”. Maddox did like to sing, after all. In fact, he was the star of the show, belting out the alphabet song.
 
After the show, we overheard Maddox talking to his buddy Kyle.
 

“I think I’m ready for school now. I can spell my dad’s name!”
 
“Oh yeah? How do you spell it?,” checked Kyle.
 
Maddox proudly spelled his dad’s name, “D-A-D!”
 
“That’s how you spell my dad’s name too!”

 
Kids say the funniest things.
 
 

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