All posts by Rebecca Thompson

For the Love…of Learning 2019 Auction Items

For the Love…of Learning 2019 was a success! The annual benefit is held to raise scholarship funds for students enrolled in LRC programs. The evening includes a silent auction featuring an eclectic display of items. If you weren’t able to make it to our event on February 16, you’re in luck! You now have the opportunity to purchase these items at the minimum price.

These unique items are available through Friday, March 1. If you’re interested in any of them, please call the LRC office at 863-688-9477.

Alabama Man Cave Sign

Price: $125
($200 value)
Roll Tide! Show your Bama pride with this man cave establishment sign.

FSU Man Cave Sign

Price: $125
($200 value)
Bleed garnet and gold? Grab this great Noles decor to bring the Tomahawk to your favorite room.

John Wayne “Life’s Hard, It’s Even Harder When You’re Stupid” Picture

Price: $250
($300 value)
From the 1949 movie Sands of Iwo Jima this quote from The Duke deserves a place of honor.

Bruce Springsteen “The Boss” Picture

Price: $250
($300 value)
You don’t have to be “Born in the USA” to love this one. Take home this picture of “The Boss” today.

Alice Cooper Record Art

Price: $30
($100 value)
Unique record art by Bill Lawrence. The 33 1/3 record now bears the resemblance of Alice Cooper.

Large Cal Art Golf Statue

Price: $250
($3,500 value)
Calling all golf enthusiasts! This eye-catcher is sure to bring some fun to the garden or game room.

If you are interested in any of these items, please call the LRC office between 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday at 863-688-9477.

LRC Aims to Raise Scholarship Funds for Students at 2019 Benefit

The Learning Resource Center will host its annual For the Love…of Learning benefit to aid local students on Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 7-10 p.m. at the Lake Hollingsworth home of Bob and Nancy Georges.

This evening, presented by Publix Super Markets Charities, is aimed at raising LRC scholarship funds for deserving students and will feature entertainment from The Grateful Alive, hors d’oeuvres by Terrie Lobb Catering, libations and a world-class silent auction.

The 44-year academic nonprofit will recognize the Lynn Grady Family as the 2019 Honoree. Honorees are supporters who have assisted in expanding and extending the LRC mission of helping students maximize their learning potential.

Publix Super Markets Charities has been named the leading sponsor, while CenterState Bank, City of Lakeland, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, Bank of Central Florida, Payne Air Conditioning & Heating, Clifton Larson Allen LLP, Mark Thompson, Drs. Dorsey and Sandy Hightower, Register Construction & Engineering, and Brad and Colleen Burton are additional event sponsors.

Those interested in attending may purchase tickets at for $80.00. Other ways to support this cause for education include becoming a sponsor, donating silent auction items, bestowing a scholarship or contributing to the LRC Endowment Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.

LRC’s November News 2018

Thank you for your generosity!

We cannot say enough to express our gratitude for your generosity in helping us reach our GiveWell Matching Campaign goals!
Two benevolent funders from GiveWell Community Foundation heard of LRC’s struggle these past months and offered a challenge that consisted of LRC collecting $20,000 by May 31, for a $20,000 match and then collecting $40,000 by October 31 for an additional $20,000 contribution. YOUR selflessness has enabled us to achieve both of these objectives!
With your support, LRC is able to continue delivering high-quality educational services to children, adults and families throughout Polk County. Thank you!

LRC Approved as Gardiner Provider

We are elated to announce that through our partnership with Step Up For Students, we are now accepting Gardiner scholarship students for remedial or enrichment instruction. Please give us a call at 863-688-9477 during our office hours for additional information.

Giving Tuesday

Would you consider hosting a Giving Tuesday Facebook fundraiser? We are searching for interested individuals. It’s simple to set up, and doesn’t require much effort on your behalf. If you are willing, feel free to set one up on your own at or reach out to us by replying to this newsletter. We’d be thrilled to walk you through the process.
Equally exciting is that Facebook will match all donations made to nonprofits up to $7 million beginning at 8:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, November 27. Even if you decide not to host a peer-to-peer Facebook fundraiser, you have an opportunity to maximize your support for helping students succeed by donating to LRC through Facebook on Giving Tuesday.

Other Ways to Give Back

Amazon Smile

Your purchases can make a difference for students when you shop AmazonSmile and select the Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc. as your charity. When you holiday shop at, Amazon donates.

Giving Assistant

By teaming with Giving Assistant, you may shop online, save money AND give to our cause at the same time. Simply visit, sign up and choose the Learning Resource Center of Polk Co. in your settings to give back through your everyday purchases at 3,000+ online retailers.

2019 Schedule

ACT Prep (High School)
Jan. 7-Feb. 6, Mon/Wed
Study Habits (Middle School)
Feb. 11-March 18, Mon
SAT Prep (High School)
Feb. 12-March 7, Tues/Thurs
Get REAL! (High School)
Study Habits
Feb. 14-March 14, Thurs.
1-to-1 Tutoring
All Ages

Holiday Hours & Thanksgiving

Please note that we are open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. today (Monday, Nov. 19) and Tuesday, Nov. 20. We will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 21-Friday, Nov. 23 and will resume our hours of 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26.

We wish you and your loved ones a joyful holiday week and blessed Thanksgiving day!


LRC News & Times, October 2018


LRC October 2018 News


The LRC Story Continues Because of YOU!

In 2017-2018, LRC experienced severe damage from Hurricane Irma, delayed or diminished implementation of fee-for-service contracts and two months of lost income.

Because of YOU
  • LRC was able to continue to deliver educational services to children, adults and their families throughout Polk County
  • LRC was able to utilize insurance monies for the needed repairs and not for day-to-day operations
  • LRC was able to evaluate systems and procedures to find even more efficient, while effective, business practices
  • LRC was able to investigate and forge new partnerships in creative and innovative programs
  • LRC was able to validate its value, need, and importance to the community through YOUR support, efforts and help.


LRC’s Award-Winning Kindergarten-Readiness Program

Because of YOU

United Way, and a GiveWell Community Foundation funder, 436 beginning or struggling Kindergartners engaged in interactive activities, increasing vocabulary development by an average of 7 months (quite a feat for a 5-year-old), social skills, listening, following directions, critical thinking and working with others.

LRC’s Summer Success Camps 2018


Because of YOU…

LRC Summer Success camps, partnering with Public Education Partnership, McKeel Academy, United Way, and All Saints Academy, again could offer enrichment and remediation in reading, math, and science serving more than 113 students at three sites in Winter Haven and Lakeland.

Because of YOU…

Another 655 students received 1-to-1 academic tutoring or small group instruction since Sept. 2017, in addition to over 850 served through various contracts.

Thank You to the LRC Volunteers Who Help:

  • Answer the phones and man the reception area on busy afternoons


  • Copy and collate curriculum


  • Work the LRC tables at First Fridays, children’s festivals, parent workshops


  • Join us for PigFest and Belk Charity Sales


  • Assist with pre- and post-assessments for programs and camps


  • File, file, and file!


GiveWell Match Campaign

Because of YOU

We are almost there! Two generous funders from GiveWell Community Foundation heard of LRC’s brave struggle these past months and offered a challenge.

  • 1st Round: LRC would need to collect $20,000 by May 31st, and a $20,000 match would be donated.


Because of YOU…we did it!


  • 2nd Round: If LRC could collect $40,000 by October 31st, another $20,000 would be contributed.
Because of YOU…we did it!

You’ve done so much for LRC and for our students! We asked for help—all kinds of resources: advice, referrals, ideas, contacts, and money—and you delivered in a BIG way. We have just one favor to ask you…
Would you share our story with someone you know?
Simply sharing our story with someone who may be able to support LRC in reaching this goal, could be the factor that ensures access to programs for our students—children and adults—for years to come.
To help, it’s EASY— just visit

Click here to download LRC’s October 2018 newsletter.

LRC After-School Job Openings

LRC seeks certified teachers and paraprofessionals for 21st Century After-School Adventures programs in Poinciana. The programs will begin on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, so please be sure to reach out to us as soon as possible if you are interested and meet the requirements.
LRC Seeks After-School Teachers

LRC has the following opportunities available:


Lake Marion Creek Middle School

  • Four certified teachers (Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m.)
  • Two paraprofessionals (Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m.)

    Laurel Elementary

  • One paraprofessional (Wednesdays only, 3-5:30 p.m.)
  • Three paraprofessionals (Monday-Thursday, 3-5:30 p.m.)

    Palmetto Elementary

  • Four certified teachers (Monday-Friday, 3-5:30 p.m.)
  • Two paraprofessionals (Monday-Friday, 3-5:30 p.m.)
    Certified teacher duties include, but are not limited to, supervision of students and implementation of project-based learning lessons as prescribed by the program coordinator.
    Paraprofessional duties include, but are not limited to, student supervision, implementation of pro-social behavior and physical activity curriculum, as well as additional enrichment activities as approved by the program coordinator and school principal.
    The work schedule is 2- 2.5 hours per day, Monday-Thursday or Monday-Friday, depending on the site. The certified teacher pay rate is $20 per hour and the paraprofessional pay rate is $15 per hour. Bilingual/ESOL desired.
    If you are a current, certified teacher or paraprofessional and interested in an opportunity listed above, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 863-688-9477 or email us at We need your assistance!

    Polk 2018-2019 School Dates to Remember


    Find Polk County Public School dates including first and last days, student holidays and early release days here! Interested in assessment dates for the 2018-2019 school year? Scroll down for a list of significant calendar dates affecting your PCSB student.

    Graphic by Designed by Freepik


    August 13 (Monday) First day of school
    September 3 (Monday) School Holiday- Labor Day
    September 12 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
    September 17 (Monday) Student Holiday
    October 3 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
    October 15 (Monday) Student Holiday
    November 7 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
    November 12 (Monday) School Holiday – Veterans’ Day
    November 19-23 (Mon-Fri) School Holiday – Thanksgiving Break
    December 24-January 4 School Holiday – Winter Break



    January 7 (Monday) First day back after Winter Break
    January 16 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
    January 21 (Monday) School Holiday – MLK, Jr. Day
    February 6 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
    February 18 (Monday) School Holiday – Presidents’ Day
    March 13 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
    March 25-29 (Mon-Fri) School Holiday – Spring Break
    April 19 (Friday) Student Holiday
    April 24 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
    May 27 (Monday) School Holiday – Memorial Day
    May 30 (Thursday) Last day of school

    For more information on the school calendar, upcoming events or Polk school information, please visit the Polk County Public Schools website where we obtained this information.

    2018-2019 Assessment Schedule

    Check back for Assessment Information

    Date Assessment

    Click for more Polk County testing information.

    If you feel that your child needs help preparing for these assessments, please do not hesitate to contact us to set up One-to-One Tutoring.


    2018 Back-to-School Events and Supply Drives

    It’s that time again! Find 2018 back-to-school bashes and donation drives in Polk County by scrolling below.
    <a href="">Designed by Freepik</a>
    Graphic designed by Freepik

    Upcoming Dates

    Student orientation: Thursday, August 9
    First day of school for students: Monday, August 13
    Tax-free holiday: August 3-5


    Back to School Snack Pack
    When: Wednesday, August 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
    Where: Renaissance at Washington Ridge Property: Senior Building, 150 W 14th St., Lakeland
    What: Gear up for school, and get ideas on how to fuel your kids with healthy snacks that are affordable, easy, and delicious with this free event from UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Family and Consumer Sciences. There will even be food demonstration!!
    Contact: 863-519-1041,
    End of Summer Back to School Bash
    When: Wednesday, August 1, 6-8 p.m.
    Where: Gibsonia Baptist Church, 5440 U.S. 98N, Lakeland
    What: This free back-to-school event by the Gibsonia Baptist Church includes games, food and fun.
    Contact: 863-858-3321
    Back to School Carnival
    When: Friday, August 3, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Where: Brookdale Highlands, 4250 Lakeland Highlands Rd., Lakeland
    What: The carnival is $10 for adults and free for children 10 and younger. The proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Ticket purchases will include a plate of food (ribs, sliders and sides). Attendees will find a petting zoo, dunk tank, games, face painting, water balloon toss and ice cream truck. The first 30 children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.
    Contact: 863-701-7820
    Back to School First Friday
    When: Friday, August 3, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Where: Downtown Lakeland
    What: Join the Downtown Lakeland Partnership, MidFlorida & St. Leo 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.
    Back to School Bash
    When: Saturday, August 4, 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, arts & crafts, prizes, educational exhibitors and children activities.
    Contact: 863-298-7898,
    Back to School Community Expo
    When: Saturday, August 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Where: Florida Technical College Lakeland Campus, 4715 Florida Avenue S. #4, Lakeland
    What: Learn about Florida Technical College’s programs while enjoying live music from Hot 101.5, exhibitors, campus tours, free food, family activities and free backpacks with school supplies kits.
    Contact: Make your reservation at
    Back to School Jam
    When: Saturday, August 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Where: Auburndale City Park
    What: This event is free, but donations are encouraged and will be accepted. Attendees will be able to enjoy food, games, prizes, music, entertainment, face painting, raffles, a bookbag giveaway and more.
    Contact: 321-304-0472,
    Bounce Back Party
    When: Saturday, August 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Where: New Horizon Church, 400 Orchid Drive, Haines City
    What: New Horizon Church’s free event for children in preschool through fifth grade will feature bounce houses, activities, games, crafts and foods.
    Mulberry’s Back to School Bash
    When: Saturday, August 4, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Where: Mulberry High School Gym, 1 Panther Place, Mulberry
    What: The Heart of Florida Arbor and the Ministerial Alliance will be distributing backpacks (pre-registration is required) and hot dogs to celebrate the start of a new school year. Bounce houses and more will make this a fun event.
    Contact: 863-427-2290
    Summer Palooza
    When: Saturday, August 4, 1-5 p.m.
    Where: Simpson Park, 1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland
    What: New Beginnings High School is hosting the annual Summer Palooza event 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: Shawna Butler, 863-298-5666
    Back to School Snack Pack
    When: Tuesday, August 7, 3-4 p.m.
    Where: Carrington Place Community Room, 1411 Kettles Ave., Lakeland
    What: Gear up for school, and get ideas on how to fuel your kids with healthy snacks that are affordable, easy, and delicious with this free event from UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Family and Consumer Sciences. There will even be food demonstration!!
    Contact: 863-519-1041,
    Rock the Block Back to School Bash
    When: Friday, August 10-Sunday, August 12, 4-8 p.m.
    Where: Harvest Church Lakeland, 2120 Airport Rd., 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: 863-682-7000
    Back to School: Party at the Pool
    When: Saturday, August 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Where: Spence Park, NE 1st St., Mulberry
    What: Kick off the start of school with a Moana meet and greet, waterslides and the pool fun in Mulberry.
    Contact: 863-393-8166
    Lake Eva Back to School Bash
    When: Saturday, August 11, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Where: Lake Eva Banquet Hall, 799 Johns Ave., Haines City
    What: This free community event is a great opportunity for parents and their children to receive needed school supplies. The bash will include: free backpacks, haircuts and food as well as bouncy houses, guest speakers and a special appearance by Smart Mouth’s Jason Alexander.
    Contact: 863-438-2758
    Belk Back-to-School Charity Sale
    When: Saturday, August 25, 6-10 a.m. (& later)
    Where: Belk, 1400 Town Center Dr., Lakeland
    What: The Belk Charity Sale is a private sale dedicated to supporting local nonprofits. The Learning Resource Center as well as other participating charities and schools will have the opportunity to raise money by selling $5 tickets, and keeping 100% of ticket proceeds. Ticket holders will receive 20% – 70% off of Belk purchases storewide, including special savings on rarely-discounted brands plus $5 off their purchase. The presale takes place August 13-24. Stop into the Learning Resource Center (1628 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland) to pick up your tickets today!

    Donation Drives

    Back to School Personal Hygiene Product Drive
    When: Taking place now
    Where: Top Buttons Upscale Boutique, 236 N. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
    What: In preparation for the upcoming school year, Top Buttons is collecting BRAND NEW personal hygiene items for the young ladies in the Wearing Confidence Program! Donate any of the suggested items below (at either of our locations) and receive $5 off any upscale thrift item.
    Toothpaste, Shampoo/Conditioner, Hair brushes, Deodorant, Feminine Products, Body soap, Lotion
    Contact: 863-450-4060,
    Miracle Toyota School Supply Drive
    When: Now Through Wednesday, August 8
    Where: Miracle Toyota, 37048 US-27, Haines City
    What: Miracle Toyota in Haines City is planning to donate 1,500 backpacks to children in Haines City. The dealership has worked with Bethune Academy, Trinity Worship Center and Church Manantial de Bendiciones over the years to make sure students are equipped for success. This year, the dealership will donate additional backpacks for each car that’s sold, but it welcomes donations of backpacks or school supplies from those not looking to buy a car, as well.
    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: August 8, 7-8:30 a.m. at Hall Communications (404 West Lime St.)
    Lakeland: Through Sunday, August 5 at Victory Church (1401 Griffin Road)
    Bartow: Accepting donations now; Event: August 17, 5 p.m. at the Bartow Chamber (510 N. Broadway Ave. in Bartow)
    LEGOLAND Florida School Supply Drive
    When: August 2018
    Where: LEGOLAND Florida, 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven
    What: Amusement park visitors are encouraged to bring new and unopened school supplies to donate to homeless students at Polk County Public Schools, through the Homeless Education Advocates Restoring the Hope program. Standard parking is also free at LEGOLAND Florida during the month of August.
    Mattress Firm Foster Kids School Supply Drive
    When: Now through Sunday, September 2
    Where: Florida Mattress Firm locations
    What: Advocates for Florida’s foster children have launched a back-to-school donation drive. Donations of backpacks filled with essential classroom items can be dropped off at Mattress Firm locations throughout the state. The drive is co-sponsored by the nonprofit Ticket to Dream Foundation and the Florida Department of Children and Families. Visit for store locations and more information.

    Search #LRCback2school on Facebook and Twitter to find more posts, blogs and information from LRC on back-to-school 2018 in Polk County.

    Shop Back-to-School During the 2018 Tax-Free Weekend

    Shop, and save on sales tax August 3-5!

    The 2018 sales tax holiday will take place over three days beginning on Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5.
    This year’s tax-free rules apply to clothing, footwear and certain accessories that cost $60 or less per item and school supplies that costs $15 or less per item.
    Examples of items that will be exempt from tax this weekend include:


    • Backpacks & Book Bags
    • Belts
    • Hats
    • Jackets
    • Jeans
    • Raincoats
    • Shirts
    • Shorts & skirts
    • Shoes
    • Socks
    • Swimsuits
    • Ties
    • Uniforms


    • Binders
    • Calculators
    • Folders
    • Markers, crayons & colored pencils
    • Notebook paper
    • Poster board
    • Pens & pencils

    According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the holiday will NOT apply to the following:

    • Any item of clothing selling for more than $60
    • Any school supply item selling for more than $15
    • Books that are not otherwise exempt
    • Personal computers and computer-related accessories purchase for commercial purposes
    • Rentals or leases of any of these items
    • Repairs or alterations of any of these items
    • Sales of clothing or school supplies in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment or airport.

    For a complete list of exempt and non-exempt items, please CLICK HERE.

    Search #LRCback2school on Facebook and Twitter to find more posts, blogs and information from LRC on back-to-school 2018 in Polk County.


    Nominate Learning Resource Center as Polk’s 2018 Best

    We are truly grateful for the many votes LRC received during each round of The Ledger’s Best of the Best Polk competition last year. Your nominations and votes awarded us the title of Polk’s 2017 Best Learning & Tutoring Center.

    The time has come, and the first round of the 2018 competition is taking place now. We’re asking for your assistance again to help us defend our title!
    The first round began on Sunday, June 10, 2018 and continues through Sunday, June 24, 2018. In this stage, voters nominate the organizations, businesses, people, etc. that they believe best fit each category. Voters can enter nominees for all 150+ categories or just one category daily. We need your help nominating us, the Learning Resource Center, as the Best Learning Center/Tutor for 2018.
    To help us advance to the second round, please nominate LRC daily through Sunday, June 24 under the Kids & Education: Learning Center/Tutor category at
    Another way to help is by spreading the word to friends, family and co-workers by email, social media, word of mouth, phone and/or any other ways you can think of. We appreciate any help you can lend.
    As an added incentive, when you nominate 25 or more, you will be entered to win a $500 gift card from The Ledger Media Group.

    Thanks for your support in this initiative!

    Take adventure to the next level at Camp Discovery

    Join LRC and All Saints Academy for weekly academic adventures at Camp Discovery!

    Camp Discovery grants students entering first though fifth grade in Fall 2018 the opportunity to examine, inquire and create from the world around them through individual, week-long adventures. These science-themed camps also challenge students to use critical thinking, reading, writing, science and math skills, allowing them to gain and grow important skills in an effort to prevent summer learning loss.
    Each week presents a new theme that is useful and relevant to students. The remaining two themes are listed below.
    LRC Camp Discovery

    Camp Themes

    Week 3, June 18-22
    Dream It, Build It, Win It– Create structures and devices with common and recycled materials for friendly competition.
    Week 4, June 25-29
    Game World– Design and play board games, carnival games, minute-to-win-it challenges and video games using Scratch and Hour of Code.
    A new camp runs weekly, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at All Saints Academy located at 5001 State Road 540 in Winter Haven.
    Select the dates your child would like to attend or register for both! The cost per week is $230.
    To reserve your child’s place, don’t delay! Do so today by clicking: Summer Programs or call LRC at 863-688-9477 for more details and to learn about our sliding fee scale based on gross family income.

    Related Posts

    LRC presents 2018 summer programs
    Summer camps and courses for all grade levels
    Get “Kindergarten-Ready” with LRC
    Kindergarten-Readiness Camp for students entering or repeating Grade K in the fall
    Gain Success in Reading at Camp Rockin’ READ!
    An Orton-Gillingham reading camp for students entering grades 2-4