Tag Archives: Learning Resource Center

The LRC Update – November 2019

Thanks for your generosity

Thankful Unsplash
Donating, sponsoring, volunteering, sharing, posting, and more…the many ways you’ve supported the Learning Resource Center reflect your selfless nature towards our organization and the students of this community! With your steadfast support, LRC continues to deliver high-quality educational services to children, adults, and families throughout Polk County. We are truly grateful for all that you do. Thank you!
 

Giving Tuesday is December 3

Will you consider hosting a Giving Tuesday Facebook fundraiser for LRC? We are searching for interested individuals. It’s simple to set up and easy to manage. If you are willing, feel free to create your own fundraiser at fb.com/fund/LRCPolk or reach out to us by replying to this newsletter. We’d be thrilled to walk you through the process.
 

Other ways to give

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 smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates.
 

Giving Assistant

Shop online, save money, and give to our cause at the same time. Simply visit ow.ly/BTar30mFF9p, sign up, and choose the Learning Resource Center of Polk Co. to give back through your everyday purchases.
 

2020 Schedule

ACT Prep (grades 9-12)

Jan. 6-Feb. 5, Mon/Wed
 

SAT Prep (grades 9-12)

Feb. 18-Mar. 12, Tues/Thurs
 

Study Habits (grades 6-8)

Feb. 19-Mar. 18, Wed
 

1-to-1 Tutoring

All Ages
Year-round, Polk
 

Holiday Hours & Thanksgiving

The LRC office will be open from 8-4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25 and Tuesday, Nov. 26 but will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 27-Friday, Nov. 29. We’ll resume our regular hours of 7:30-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2. We wish you and your loved ones a joyful holiday week and blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Happy Thanksgiving Freepik
 
 

The LRC Update – Summer 2019

SUMMER 2019 RECAP

Camp READY!

– 10 Polk County kindergarten-readiness campsites
– 400+ students total
– Average Learning Gain of 6.2 months in language development
– 91.4% percent of assessed campers demonstrated growth in language development
 
LRC Camp READY
 

Other Summer Programming

– 143 students served in six other LRC summer programs
(PEP Magical Reading, PEP Super Summer Science,
Super Summer Success, Study Habits, ACT Prep, SAT Prep)
 
LRC SAT Prep
 

LRC named a Top 3 Central Florida Learning Center

With three rounds of public nominations and voting over three months, LRC was once again named one of Central Florida’s top learning centers. Thank you to all who voted!
 
Best of the Best
 

Fall in Love with Learning

LRC’s 2019 Fall Programming



After a productive and rewarding summer, LRC has successfully transitioned to the fall season. With a wrap on our first SAT & ACT Prep courses and a middle school Study Habits course in progress, this semester is shaping up to be a fruitful one. We’re not done yet, though! High school students planning to take the ACT or SAT in December should take advantage of ACT Prep beginning Nov. 4 or SAT Prep starting Nov. 5 to master exam-specific strategies and become test-confident!
 

In progress:

Study Habits of Successful Students (Wed. through 11/13)

 

Ongoing:

One to One tutoring (Year-round, Polk)
 

Upcoming:

ACT Prep 11/4 (Mon. & Wed.)
SAT Prep 11/5 (Tues. & Thurs.)

 

Current Afterschool Programs:

Club Eagle After School at Crystal Lake Elementary, Lakeland
PEP After School at PEP Education Center, Winter Haven

 
As always, we offer one-to-one tutoring throughout Polk County for all grade levels. Your student doesn’t have to struggle. Call us at 863-688-9477 or visit us online to get started.
 

We can help!

 
 

Now Enrolling Fall 2019 Enrichment Courses

Join us this fall semester for our enrichment courses and one-to-one tutoring service.

 
LRC Programs and Services Polk County
 

SAT Prep

What: The Learning Resource Center’s SAT Preparation course provides an efficient and effective 23-hour course designed to help students achieve their best possible score on the exam. This course provides: Small classes with highly trained teachers; Problem-solving strategies for analyzing and answering SAT; Practice taking SAT tests; Emphasis on test-taking techniques and strategies specific to the SAT that help build confidence and reduce test anxiety.*Cost of course includes the SAT book
Where: Learning Resource Center, 1628 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland
When: Sept. 10-Oct. 3, 2019; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. &

Saturday, Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The full course will take place on Tuesdays (Math) and Thursdays (Reading) for four weeks as well as one Saturday (Writing).

Cost: $575* for the full course *Ask about our Sliding Fee Scale
Register: SAT Prep Courses or call 863-688-9477 during office hours
 

ACT Prep

What: Learning Resource Center’s ACT Preparation course provides an efficient and effective 23-hour course designed to help students achieve their best possible score on the ACT. This course provides: small classes with highly trained teachers, problem-solving strategies for analyzing and answering ACT questions, practice taking ACT exams, emphasis on test-taking techniques and strategies specific to the ACT that help build confidence and reduce test anxiety. *Cost of course includes the SAT book
Where: Learning Resource Center, 1628 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland
When: Sept. 23-Oct. 21, 2019; Mondays & Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. &

Saturday, Oct. 5, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The full course will take place on Mondays (Math/Science) and Wednesdays (English/Reading) for four weeks as well as one Saturday (Writing).

Cost: $575* for the full course *Ask about our Sliding Fee Scale
Register: ACT Prep Courses or call 863-688-9477 during office hours
 

Study Habits

What: The Learning Resource Center’s Study Habits of Successful Students provides study skills and motivational strategies to prepare students in grades 6-8 to become more effective learners. Students learn and practice time-tested, effective, and efficient study strategies. The course is designed to offer small classes with activity-oriented lessons to help students learn and practice these study habits of successful students.
Where: Learning Resource Center, 1628 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland
When: Oct. 16-Nov. 13, 2019; Mondays, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
Cost: $155* *Ask about our Sliding Fee Scale
Register: Study Habits Courses or call 863-688-9477 during office hours
 

One-to-One Tutoring

What: LRC’s One-to-One Tutoring Services include:

  • One-to-One instruction with a highly-qualified teacher
  • Multi-Sensory learning strategies geared toward individual learning styles
  • Improvement of student’s academic achievement
  • Enhancement of student’s self-esteem to improve school success
  • Flexible schedules and locations
  • Wide variety of subjects & exams

Where: Throughout Polk County
When: Year-round
Cost: Based on the number of hours & gross family income
Register: 1-to-1 Tutoring or call 863-688-9477 during office hours
 
 

Polk 2019-2020 School Dates to Remember

POLK COUNTY 2019-2020 SCHOOL CALENDAR

Find Polk County Public School dates (first and last days, student holidays and early release days) here! Scroll down for a list of significant calendar dates for your PCSB student.
 

Photo by Plush Design Studio from Pexels
 

2019

August 12 (Monday) First day of school
September 2 (Monday) School Holiday- Labor Day
September 11 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
September 16 (Monday) Student Holiday
October 14 (Monday) Student Holiday
October 23 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
November 6 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
November 11 (Monday) School Holiday – Veterans’ Day
November 25-29 (Mon-Fri) School Holiday – Thanksgiving Break
December 23-January 3 School Holiday – Winter Break

 

2020

January 6 (Monday) First day back after Winter Break
January 15 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
January 20 (Monday) School Holiday – MLK, Jr. Day
February 5 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
February 17 (Monday) School Holiday – Presidents’ Day
March 11 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
March 23-27 (Mon-Fri) School Holiday – Spring Break
April 10 (Friday) Student Holiday
April 22 (Wednesday) EARLY RELEASE DAY
May 25 (Monday) School Holiday – Memorial Day
May 28 (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.
 
 

2019-2020 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.

 

2019 Back-to-School Events and Supply Drives

It may be hard to believe, but the end of summer is nearing. Celebrate the end of the break and prepare for the new school year with our guide of 2019 back-to-school bashes and donation drives in Polk County.
 

 

Upcoming Dates

Tax-free holiday: August 2-6
Student orientation: Thursday, August 8
First day of school for students: Monday, August 12
 

Bashes

Back to School First Friday
When: Friday, August 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Lakeland
What: Join the Downtown Lakeland Partnership and MidFlorida Credit Union 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
 
Taco Bus Backpack Giveaway
When: Friday, August 2, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Where: Taco Bus Lakeland, 126 S. Kentucky Blvd., Lakeland
What: Join Taco Bus between 7-10 p.m. for 99 cent tacos and a backpack giveaway! They have over 350+ backpacks in all colors. 1 is available per child who must be present to receive it.
Contact: 863-816-5407
 
2nd Annual Backpack Giveaway
When: Saturday, August 3, 9-11 a.m.
Where: Larry R Jackson Library, 1700 N Florida Ave., Lakeland
What: Class of the Millennium Presents this giveaway event. Kids must be present to recieve a backpack, and first come, first served while supplies lasts.
 
Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 3, 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 fifth grade (first come, first served). Families will also enjoy music, arts & crafts, prizes, educational exhibitors and children activities. Parent and child must be present to receive school supplies.
Contact: 863-298-7898
 
Back to School Bash and Barbecue
When: Saturday, August 3, 12-4 p.m.
Where: Imperial Lakes Keller Williams Office, 5950 Imperial Lakes Boulevard, Mulberry
What: This is a community event offering prizes, raffles, games and plates of barbeque for a $3 donation to help those in need of school supplies and Polk County Schools.
Contact: 863-934-6134
 
Back to School Supplies Giveaway
When: Saturday, August 3, 12-4 p.m.
Where: Frostproof Care Center, 17 South Scenic Hwy
What: Frostproof students may stop into the Frostproof Care Center for free school supplies while supplies last, first come first served.
Contact: 863-635-5555
 
Blast Off Bartow Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Carver Recreation Center, 520 South Idlewood Avenue, Bartow
What: Student attendees Pre-K to 12th grade will be able to leave with free school supplies and information for the upcoming school year. There will be vendors offering food, free haircuts, backpacks, free health screenings, books, free clothes, shoes and more. Please register ahead of time as supplies will be first come, first served.
 
Blast Off Bartow Back to School Fiesta
When: Saturday, August 3, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Lake Alfred Public Library, 245 N. Seminole Avenue, Lake Alfred
What: Celebrate with the Lake Alfred Public Library at the Back to School Fiesta, free for all ages. Enjoy face-painting, refreshments, cookie-decorating, music, games, backpack raffle, and a school supply giveaway.
Contact: 863-291-5378
 
End of Summer Back to School Block Party
When: Saturday, August 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Ultimate Dance Center lot, 2980 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland
What: Celebrate the end of summer and kick off another fresh school year with Ultimate Dance Center and M&M Backyard Adventures for a free day of fun with food and drink specials by Jade Fox, China 1 and Buddha’s Pub plus shaved ice and ice cream from Tikiz of Polk County and Tampa. They’ll be moonbounces, giant Legos, dancing, a live DJ, games, and more. OPEN to the public.
Contact: 863-644-5275
 
Lake Eva Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 3, 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 access to the water park and entertainment. Register in advance online at www.uicpolk.org/events.
Contact: 863-438-2758
 
Mulberry’s Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 3, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Mulberry High School Gym, 1 Panther Place, Mulberry
What: For students who attend Kingsford or Purcell Elementary; This event features free hot dogs, games, snacks and a backpack with school supplies to the first 500 pre-registrants of Kingsford or Purchell Elementary.
Contact: lholstein@cityofmulberry.com
 
Summer Palooza
When: Saturday, August 3, 10-2 p.m.
Where: RP Funding Center-Jenkins Arena, 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 guest speakers, entertainment, vendors, door prizes and more.
Contact: Shawna Butler, 863-298-5666
 
Back to School Jam
When: Sunday, August 4, 5-8 p.m.
Where: Winter Haven High School
What: Join WiLD 94.1 at this free community event for students of any school featuring food trucks, giveaways, haircuts, performances, and more.
 
Boost Mobile Back to School Event
When: Sunday, August 4, 12-4 p.m.
Where: Boost Mobile, 6840 S Florida Ave, Lakeland
What:Score a new backpack and school supplies for your student at a participating Boost Mobile location during the back-to-school event. There will be music, games and fun for the whole family.
 
Fresh Back to School Event
When: Sunday, August 4, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Kathleen High School, 1100 Red Devil Way, Lakeland
What: PUSH’D and For the C.U.L.T.U.R.E presents this back-to-school event with food & drinks, activities, a DJ, and a backpack giveaway.
Contact: fortheculture.iou@gmail.com
 
Rock the Block Back to School Bash
When: Friday, August 9-Sunday, August 11, 4-7:30 p.m.
Where: Harvest Church Lakeland, 2120 Airport Rd., Lakeland
What: Bring the entire family to this community event featuring giveaways, food, bounce houses and more.
500 backpacks will be given out 4 p.m.
Family Fun and games 4-6 p.m.
Family Kidz Xplosion 6-7:30 p.m.
Giveaways 7:30 p.m.
 
Back to School Community Expo
When: Saturday, August 10, 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, while supplies lasts To participate, you must register in person on campus.
 
Back to School Supply Giveaway
When: Saturday, August 10 12-2 p.m.
Where: DUTCH Seafood Takeout, 817 north mass., Lakeland
What: Who’s Who in Business and Dutch Seafood present this event featuring gift card raffles, face painting, a bounce house and seafood special. To donate items for the supply event, drop off items Dutch Seafood or Crystal’s World of Dance (801 N Massachusetts).
Contact: pcwwb.fl@gmail.com, 8636405832
 
Rent King Back 2 School Bash
When: Saturday, August 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Rent King, 2610 US Hwy 92 E, Lakeland, Florida 33801
What: Get back-to-school ready with Rent King where you’ll find back to school deals of the summer, backpack and gift card giveaways, and free food & drinks and activities for the kids.
Contact: 863-802-1928; rentking009@hotmail.com
 
Belk Back-to-School Charity Sale
When: Saturday, August 24, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
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 12-23. Stop into the Learning Resource Center (1628 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland) to pick up your tickets today!
 

Donation Drives

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: Now at the Learning Resource Center (1628 S. Florida Ave.)
Lakeland: Wednesday, August 7, 7-9 a.m. with Emerge Lakeland at the RP Funding Center (404 W. Lime St.)- Volunteer to organize supply donations
Lakeland: August 7, 7-8:30 a.m. at Hall Communications (404 West Lime St.)
Bartow: Now at the Bartow Chamber (510 N. Broadway Ave. in Bartow)
 
 

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 fb.com/fund/LRCPolk 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 smile.amazon.com, 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 ow.ly/BTar30mFF9p, 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
Year-round
 

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!


 
 

Polk 2018-2019 School Dates to Remember

POLK COUNTY 2018-2019 SCHOOL CALENDAR

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
 

2018

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

 

2019

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="https://www.freepik.com/free-psd/slate-mockup-with-back-to-school-concept_2656707.htm">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
 

Bashes

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, andreanikolai@ufl.edu
 
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.
Contact: info@downtownlakelandfl.com
 
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, borisrodriguez@polk-county.net
 
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 evenbrite.com/e/back-to-school-community-expo-tickets-47555133685.
 
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, angelsofdestiny2@gmail.com
 
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.
Contact: office@nhcpolk.org
 
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, andreanikolai@ufl.edu
 
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, info@topbuttons.org
 
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 mattressfirmfosterkids.org for store locations and more information.
 
 

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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:

Clothing:

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

Supplies:

  • 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.
 

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