Tag Archive for: United Way of Central Florida

Were you negatively affected financially by the pandemic, even minimally? You may be eligible for up to $2,000 to use towards LRC’s academic assistance.
Polk County Unites COVID-19 Relief

The “What?”

Have you lost wages due to COVID-19? United Way’s 2-1-1 can help connect you to available funds. Polk County Unites is available to help Polk County residents make ends meet. Qualifying residents may apply for up to $2,000 of financial assistance. This grant is made available through a partnership with the Polk County Board of County Commissioners and United Way of Central Florida and is funded by Polk County’s portion of the federal CARES Act grant. Polk County residents who have been furloughed, laid off or had a decrease in pay due to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive direct assistance for rent, mortgage, childcare, adult care, education and food. Only one gift per household.
To determine eligibility, individuals that meet the following criteria are encouraged to call 2-1-1:
• Can demonstrate lost income or employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
• Established residency in Polk County
• Able to prove U.S. Citizenship

The “What does this mean for you and LRC?”

Relief assistance has been expanded to include educational needs, making it an opportunity for both Polk County residents to receive funding for needs and an opportunity for LRC to continue to meet those academic needs of children and adults in our communities.
Those who receive funds from Polk County Unites will be eligible to apply them towards the Learning Resource Center’s supplemental tutoring, virtual coaching and/or learning hubs, making it even more affordable for students to succeed in their academics and beyond.

The “How?”

For more information on how you can apply for assistance, please dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211. You will be connected with a team of compassionate, highly trained specialists who will connect you with services that meet your need.
If you receive your funding and choose to use it towards LRC tutoring or coaching, please give us a call at 863-688-9477 to get started.

Look no further for fall fun! Search our list of Polk County’s 2016 Halloween happenings and autumn festivities taking place now through early November.
fall pumpkins pixabay LRCPixabay.com

Recurring & Multi-Date Events:

If you’re looking for 2017 events, please click here.

Through Sunday, October 9

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
Where: Florida Southern College, Loca Lee Buckner Theatre
Time: Sept. 29- Oct. 2 & Oct. 6-9, 7:30 p.m. (Sundays at 2:30 p.m.)
Details: Written by John Bishop and directed by Mary T. Albright, this raucous comedy is drawn from prominent murder mystery films of the 1940s. The plot centers on the creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher.” Called to assemble at the estate of a potential wealthy backer for their new show, they encounter a mansion replete with sliding panels, secret passageways, and a mysterious maid, all of which figure prominently in the ensuing mayhem when the infamous “slasher” reappears and strikes again.

Thursday, October 6-Saturday, October 8

Cracker Storytelling Festival
Where: Homeland Heritage Park, 249 Church Avenue, Bartow
Time: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Details: This annual literacy and multicultural event will feature thrilling stories from ten talented storytellers from around the state of Florida.

Friday, October 14-Sunday, October 16

Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival
Where: Lake Mirror Promenade, Lakeland
Time: See details below
Details: The annual event in Downtown Lakeland attracts over 40,000 spectators and draws top car collectors from across the southeast featuring a display of more than 650 show vehicles. Friday 6 p.m.- Hot Rod Rendezvous and outdoor concert; Saturday, 10 a.m.- Car show & free community events; Sunday, 8 a.m.- Road Tour (pre-registration required).

Saturday, October 15-Sunday, October 16

Rootstock Plant & Garden Festival
Where: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Details: Bok Tower Gardens’ signature fall plant sale debuts ROOTSTOCK featuring dozens of plant vendors, local musical artists, healthy cuisine and a spectacular display of seasonal foliage. This festival marks the start of Florida’s gardening season, and admission is free both days.

Saturday, October 22-Sunday, October 23

Florida Dance Theatre Presents Dracula
Where: Branscomb Auditorium, Florida Southern College
Time: 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sunday
Details: Join Florida Dance Theatre as they unearth a deadly foe at their first full-length ballet of the season, “Dracula”. This sensational selection has just the right amount of spooky, scary, and fun to make it entertaining for all. The ​cost is: $35 for premiere seats, $20 for general adult and $15 for child admission.

Friday, October 28-Saturday, October 29

Polk County Sheriff’s Haunted Jail Tour
Where: PCSO jail, 455 N. Broadway Avenue, Bartow
Time: 6-11 p.m.
Details: The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is hosting their annual Haunted Jail Tour to benefit the United Way of Central Florida. PCSO volunteers will present the Zombie Apocalypse. Saturday will be family night, with treats and games for kids. The tour will be $5, with proceeds going to United Way. Visitors will be taken through areas that include the morgue, infirmary, incinerator and jail.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Where: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: Part begins at 9pm; Movie at midnight
Details: Let’s do the TIME WARP again…The Polk Theatre continues its tradition of showing the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and will feature the Original Lipstick Players as the Shadow Cast under the direction of Ferdinand DeJesus. Tickets are on sale online and in the office (9-5). $15 Prop bags will be available at the Door $5.

Saturday, October 29-Sunday, October 30

Pioneer Days Festival
Where: Lake Wailes, Lake Wales
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sunday
Details: There will be live entertainment on stage both days. Living history re-enactments, artisan and tradesmen demonstrations, pony rides, children’s activities, a Historic Architecture Carriage Tour, and an Antique Car Parade will showcase the weekend’s festivities.

Through Saturday, October 29

Zombie Farm Paintball Hayride
Where: Smith Family Ranch, 13444 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begings Sept. 30, 7-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Details: Zombie Farm Paintball is a 20 minute hayride, in the dark, that takes you through Zombie Farm’s infectious zones. There have been reports of the living dead lurking in the night, especially around swampy areas. The ranch will supply you with a paintball gun for your protection against these creatures. Admission includes live zombies to shoot at, use of a paintball gun, 200 rounds of ammo and a narrated hayride. The cost is $30 per person.

Through Sunday, October 30

CornFusion Crop Maze & Fall Festival
Where: Smith Family Ranch, 13444 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 1, 3-6 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Sundays
Details: Join the Smith Family Ranch for a fun-filled day at CornFusion Crop Maze & Fall Festival. where you will find about 20 acres of fun for all ages including a pumpkin patch, 8-acre Egyptian Wheat maze, corn box, corn cannon, country store, cow train, miniature mazes, pony rides, and farm animals.
Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein
Where: Lakeland Community Theatre, 121 S Lake Ave, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 14, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays; 7:30-10 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays; 2-4:30 p.m. Sundays
Details: The electrifying adaptation of the monstrously funny film will leave you in stitches. From the creators of the record-breaking Broadway sensation The Producers comes this monster new musical comedy. The cost is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (55 & up) and $15 for children (17 & under).
Pumpkin Safari
Where: Safari Wilderness Ranch, 10850 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 8, 1-6 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays
Details: These special fall safaris include 45-minute customized vehicle tours, led by an experienced tour guides; guided walking tours of the small mammal house; visits to a free-flight aviary and petting zoo barn; one pumpkin for each visitor, which can be carved at the ranch and given to the animals for enrichment or taken home to decorate; and stops at craft and enrichment stations.The cost is $75 or see Groupon for up to 52 percent off.

Through Monday, October 31

Where: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: Begins Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays & Halloween Monday
Details: Presented by Shutterfly, this event returns with more spooky, kooky Halloween fun for kids. Expanded in 2016, the friendly-not-frightening event features trick-or-treating along the Brick or Treat Trail, larger-than-life LEGO® models, LEGO build activities, the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, a scavenger hunt with prizes, and an exclusive, Halloween-themed fireworks show in Pirates’ Cove. Brick-or-Treat takes place on weekends in October.

Friday, November 4-Sunday, November 6

St. Joseph’s Annual Fall Carnival
Where: St. Joseph, 210 West Lemon Street, Lakeland
Time: Friday, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Details: Check out St. Joseph’s annual fall carnival for fun! The cost of a day pass is $15 pre-sale or $20 at the gate. The weekend pass is $30 pre-sale or $40 after Nov. 1.

Through Saturday, November 5

The Shallow Grave
Where: 701 42nd St NW, Winter Haven
Time: Begins Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m., Fridays & Saturdays
Details: The Shallow Grave is a highly detailed spine tingling scare-fest that brings the Central Florida area something they have been missing. An intimate in your face, fear filled environment with custom themes and movie quality sets to put you in the midst of terror unlike anything you have experienced before. The cost is $27-$43.

Through Sunday, November 13

Harvest Holler Corn Maze
Where: 950 Tavares Road, Polk City 33868
Time: Begins Sept. 23, 4-8 p.m. Fridays; 12-8 p.m. Saturdays; 12-5 p.m. Sundays
Details: Admission includes an interactive corn maze, hayride, hay fort, corn cribs, tire swings, cow train, corn hole and pumpkin patch. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $8 youth (4-12 years). Kids 3 and under are free.
fall pumpkins Pixabay LRC Pixabay.com

Single Date-Events:

Thursday, October 6

Pep Homecoming Parade & Festival
Where: MILK Park on Lake Silver, Winter Haven
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Join the Public Education Partnership of Winter Haven, area schools and local organizations at the PEP Homecoming Parade & Festival. In addition to the parade and festival, there will be a performance by the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team and a firework display.
Rescheduled to Monday, October 10 due to Hurricane Matthew.

Friday, October 7

Downtown Lakeland’s First Friday
Where: Munn Park in Downtown Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: This monthly event offers guests an evening of free family-friendly entertainment, activities, live music, art receptions, a car show, and the opportunity to visit a great, locally-owned restaurant or retail establishment. Each month, First Friday has a different theme, and special activities are provided to complement the theme. October’s theme will be “Friday Night Live, a celebration of the arts”.
Dinner & A Movie: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho
Where: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a special Halloween installment of the Dinner & A Movie series as they present the Hitchcock classic Psycho accompanied with devilishly fine food. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with the movie starting at 7.30 p.m. Guests are able to attend just the movie for $5.
Halloween Boo-gie Night Party
Where: Medulla Resource Center, 1049 Parker Road, Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Dance the night away at Polk County Parks & Recreation’s Halloween dance party. This free family event will feature a DJ, face-painting, a trick or treat village, coloring contests and a costume contest.

Saturday, October 8

Polk County Master Gardeners Fall Plant Sale
Where: Lakeland Nursery, 4620 US Hwy 98 S, Lakeland
Time: 9 a.m.- 1p.m.
Details: Florida-friendly plants will be available for purchase including butterfly and hummingbird plants, Florida natives, ornamentals for sun and shade, Florida Sun Peach Trees, blueberry bushes and bromeliads. Master gardeners will be on hand to answer questions.

Friday, October 14

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Party
Where: Wilfred Smith Resource Center, Winter Haven
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Details: Polk County Parks and Recreation presents this free Halloween party featuring music, light refreshments, arts & crafts, coloring contests and costume contests.
Kids Pumpkinfest
Where: Winter Haven Public Library,
Time: 5:30-9 p.m.
Details: Drop off your children while you attend Oktoberfest! Kids will enjoy games, decorating pumpkins, and pizza. $10 per child, kindergarten – 5th grade
Main Street Winter Haven Oktoberfest
Where: Central Park, Winter Haven
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Join Main Street Winter Haven for the 10th Annual Oktoberfest featuring beer, brats and live music. A Tasting Ticket includes: bratwurst or BBQ dinner and tasting of over 20 beers for $25.

Saturday, October 15

FallFest 2016
Where: Polk State College, 999 Avenue H NE, Winter Haven
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Details: Thousands trek to the campus each third Saturday in October to enjoy the event that features a craft show, the Kids Zone, music, police and EMS demonstrations, the Pumpkin Patch, food, the Haunted House and…more.
Lakeland Zombiefest
Where: Sun ‘n Fun Fly In Inc., 4175 Medulla Rd, Lakeland
Time: 2 p.m.-12 a.m.
Details: Terminal V will include local bands and entertainers along with how-to and discussion panels. There will be scheduled costume contests and cosplayers. Zombiefest always has an eclectic variety of vendors serving food and sharing their merchandise. The cost is $5. Kids 10 & under are free. The cost of parking is $5.

Friday, October 21

Dracula’s Masquerade Ball
Where: Lake Mirror Promenade, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland
Time: 7:30-11:30 p.m.
Details: Join Florida Dance Theatre for Dracula’s Masquerade Ball on Friday, October 21, 2016. This is one event you sure don’t want to miss. Come enjoy an evening of fine food, music and dancing and revel in the ambiance of the Loggia as it is transformed into Dracula’s Masquerade Ball.

Saturday, October 22

32nd Annual “Munn Park Extravaganza
Where: Munn Park, Lakeland
Time: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Details: The 32nd Annual “Munn Park Extravaganza”, presented by the Garden Club of Lakeland Inc. will offer over 40 vendors featuring a variety of plants, flowers, trees, and garden-related art for sale. A new plant introduction will be presented by Bill Koen from the City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation.
Haunted Halloween Hayride & Happenings
Where: Loyce E. Harpe Park, 500 W. Carter Road, Mulberry
Time: 5 – 10 p.m.
Details: Polk County Parks & Recreation’s 20th Annual Haunted Halloween Hayride & Happenings event offers a fun and safe alternative to traditional “trick or treating” while offering attractions such as a hayride to a haunted walking trail, carnival games, live entertainment, a trick or treat village, costume contest and pie -eating contest.
Kids’ Night Out
Where: WonderHere, 111 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Let your children (ages 4-12) enjoy some fun while YOU enjoy a much deserved night out…or in! $20 per child, dinner included.

Sunday, October 23

Hocus Pocus
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 2-3:45 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of the 1993 Halloween film, Hocus Pocus. Rated PG. The cost is $5.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 5-6:45 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. This 1984 film is rated R. The cost is $5.

Tuesday, October 25

Halloween Harvest – “Ghost Busters”
Where: Auburndale Downtown City Park
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Details: The Auburndale Chamber of Commerce presents this annual event featuring Trick-or-Treating, a costume contest, entertainment, flash mob dancing, food vendors, crafts and more. There will also be a Spook-tacular Haunted House with the Auburndale Fire Department (assisted by The Shallow Grave).

Thursday, October 27

74th Annual Crickette Club Parade & Carnival
Where: Downtown Bartow & Mosaic Park, Bartow
Time: 4-8 p.m.
Details: Bartow’s favorite family tradition is better than ever featuring rides for tots and teens, expanded food selections including food trucks, new games, costume contest for store-bought and homemade, Crickette Club’s famous cake walk, drawing for $500, $300, and $100 Visa cards, Bingo and more. All proceeds benefit the Bartow area Girl Scouts and the Bartow Community. Parade is free with the Carnival to follow at Mosaic Park.
Safe Haven Halloween
Where: Freedom Park, Polk City
Time: 5:30-8 p.m.
Details: Join in the annual spooky fun for the entire family featuring free popcorn and candy, delicious food, a cupcake walk for tiny tots, carnival games and prizes, tug-o-war, three legged races, potato-sack races, and costume contests.

Friday, October 28

Boo! Bash
Where: Explorations V, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: Celebrate safely during a fun-filled morning of Halloween games, food and activities for the youngest crowd. Join in by wearing kid-friendly costumes. Included with admission/membership.
Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Wabash Community Center, 1230 Southern Ave., Lakeland
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: This Polk County Parks & Rec event is free and will feature costume and coloring contests, trick or treating, and more.
Where: Eloise Resource Center, 710 Snively Ave., Eloise
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: This Polk County Parks & Rec event is free and will feature costume and coloring contests, trick or treating, and more.

Saturday, October 29

Annual Dundee Fall Fest
Where: Dundee Community Center, 603 Lake Marie Blvd, Dundee
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: Bring the family out for games, hayrides, food and candy.
Ghouls’ Night Out
Where: Downtown Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.- 2p.m.
Details: The City of Winter Haven will be hosting Ghouls’ Night out which includes candy from area businesses, a hayride, food vendors, a DJ, and lots of fun activities for people of all ages.
Halloween Water Ski Show
Where: Lake Silver, Winter Haven
Time: 8 p.m.
Details: Enjoy this special ‘Spooktacular’ Ski Show on Lake Silver by the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team. There will be a costume contest before the show at 7 p.m. for ages 0-16. Free.
Lakeland Library’s Annual Food Drive
Where: Lakeland Public Library front lawn, 100 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Details: Bring in your non-perishable items and the participate in fall festivities that include games, face-painting and snacks at this family-friendly event. The event is free and open to the public, but please remember your food donation.
The Mulberry Library’s 2nd Annual Harvest Festival
Where: Spence Field, 1100 NE 1st Street, Mulberry
Time: 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a night of fun featuring vendors, pony rides, hay rides, candy, trunk-or-treat, games, a hay bale maze and a live Bluegrass band!

Sunday, October 30

Fall Festival
Where: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Details: NorthRidge Church present this annual fall festival featuring your same favorite free elements and a few extras such as inflatables, food, games, train rides, Ident-A-Kid, Fire Department exhibits, by the Polk County Sherriff’s Office SWAT and Rescue teams, and candy.
Halloween Movie
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of the 1978 Halloween movie classic, Halloween featuring Jamie Lee Curtis. Rated R. The cost is $5.
The Exorcist Movie
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 8-10:15 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of the 1973 Halloween movie film, The Exorcist. Rated R. The cost is $5.

Monday, October 31

Safe Place to Trick or Treat
Where: Lewis Matthews Complex/Gene Carroll Field, Davenport
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: Enjoy free hot dogs and drinks, cotton candy, popcorn, a haunted house, maze, costume contest and activities.
Just Cares, Inc. 5th Annual Fall Festival
Where: 124 S Kentucky Ave, Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Join this safe environment for families that is an alternative to Halloween featuring a petting zoo, games & activities, bounce house, performances, music, candy and more.

Saturday, November 5

Auburndale’s Autumn Arts & Crafts Bazaar
Where: Auburndale Downtown City Park
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Details: The City of Auburndale presents their annual arts and crafts show. Stop by to find arts and craft vendors with items in painting, needlepoint, ceramics, photography, stained glass, wearable art, jewelry, wood-crafting and more.
Belk Charity Day Sale
Where: Belk at Lakeside Village
Time: 6-10 a.m.
Details: Purchase your $5 Charity Sale ticket to support the Learning Resource Center or other local organizations and schools. Get $5 off your first purchase with our thanks for supporting our southern communities. Save on rarely discounted brands! Free gift card to the first 100 customers. The pre-sale dates are Oct. 25 – Nov. 4.
Gobble, Gobble, Death & Trouble
Where: Ramon Theater, 15 E Wall St, Frostproof
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a dinner at the theater while trying to solve this fall-themed murder mystery. Tickets cost $40.
Kathleen Area Historical Society’s Fall Festival
Where: Heritage Park, Kathleen, 8950 N Campbell Rd. Lakeland
Time: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Enjoy this Kathleen tradition where you’ll find cane grinding/syrup making, a pioneer life exhibit, rummage sale, children’s activities, live music, food and more. Vendors and other nonprofit organizations will be in attendance. Admission is free.
Related Posts:
2015 Fall Festival & Events


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.

Related Posts:

Summer camps drive steady increase in school-readiness


1. 2015 marks LRC’s 40th year as a non-profit providing high quality academic programs designed to help all students maximize their learning potential.


2. LRC offers services to Polk County and other surrounding counties.

3. LRC employs over 500 certified teachers who provide countywide services to more than 4,000 students ages five through adult.
4. LRC is accredited by AdvancED’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

5. Kindergarten through adult students can participate in year-round One-to-One tutoring designed to meet each student’s individual academic needs through personalized, convenient schedules.

6. LRC hosts 14 summer programs (in addition to One-to-One tutoring) geared towards kindergarten through high school students.


7. In summer 2015, LRC hosted nine kindergarten learning camps known as Camp READY! at locations in North and South Lakeland, Ft. Meade, Haines City, Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Frostproof, and Poinciana.


8. On average, Camp READY! students who attend the full program demonstrate learning gains of SEVEN months in vocabulary development from pre- to post-assessment—quite an accomplishment for a five-year-old.


9. With support from United Way of Central Florida, grants, and generous contributions from private donors, LRC ensures that any deserving student who needs and wants academic help can receive it by offering scholarships and a Sliding Fee Scale.


10. LRC holds community partnerships with United Way of Central Florida, Polk County Public Schools, GiveWell Community Foundation, Publix Supermarket Charities, Heartland for Children, and the Lakeland Rotary Club.

six logo snip


All children have potential. Not all children have opportunity.

Small and wiry, 5-year old Brandon raced from one room to another on his first morning of summer camp. It quickly became evident that this spirited young boy had difficulty following directions and sitting still to focus was almost impossible. He was unsure of his letters, sounds, shapes and numbers and this made it even more difficult to focus and participate in learning games. Early assessments showed that both his receptive vocabulary (words familiar and understood when heard) and his expressive vocabulary (words chosen to communicate) were below expectations for his age. Brandon was also hesitant to associate with the other campers and did not want to share.
Over the next few weeks, Brandon would have many challenges to overcome. The four learning centers gave him plenty of opportunities to practice new and previously learned skills. Camp Instructors worked with him individually to improve his recognition of shapes, improve his vocabulary skills and gave him the leadership responsibility of line leader with clear instructions of his duties.  Brandon took his task seriously and excelled. As Camp progressed, it was noted that Brandon was developing friendships, often actually sitting and sharing a book with another child while waiting for Parent pick-up. Brandon’s end-of-camp assessment showed that he had grown more than eight months in working vocabulary, a significant gain for a 5-year old.
And, the success has held for Brandon. Wearing a huge smile, his mom proudly shared a recent kindergarten report card which clearly indicated Brandon’s grade level achievement with all As and Bs.  School Readiness is a critical factor in a student’s success.  Children who start kindergarten with age-appropriate language skills, learn to read, pass their 3rd Grade Standardized Tests and are more likely to graduate high school.
Brandon attended LRC’s Camp READY!, a summer learning program for rising and repeating kindergartners.
This article can be found at UWCF.org where it was originally published. Photo credit: United Way of Central Florida
United Way of Central Florida and the Learning Resource Center work together in a valued partnership to produce lasting change through education and help all students maximize their learning potential.