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Providing What Your Child Needs Most Will Ease Your Mind! by Deborah McNelis
Should I Be Drinking Juices or Smoothies? by Doreen Martin
ZUMBA So Much More than Exercise Pamela Settle
20-21 Learning to Thrive
Tampa Bay Theatre for Families Nathan Daugherty
A Note from Pinellas County Schools Dr. Michael Grego
2014 Outstanding Educator Awards
31 A Note from
Pinellas County Sheriff Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
32 A Note from the
Juvenile Welfare Board: All Kids Matter Dr. Marcie Biddleman
2013 Cooperman-Bogue KidsFirst Award Winners
Preparing High School Students for Real Life and Real Jobs
36 Next Generation Entrepreneurs About the Cover
Our cover this month features Lily Uline, a student at Safety Harbor Elementary School who has a mission to inspire kindness with her Make Kindness Count Campaign. Photographer: Susan Jeffers SusanJeffersPhotography.com â€˘ (727) 420-3686
43 Jumpstart Weight Loss for Successful Results Brenda Watson
45 Live Greener with Natural Gas Energy
My Story Lily Uline
Spring Issue 2014 Volume 5 • Issue 2
Light Shine Media Group, LLC
Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle
Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher
Contributing Writers Dr. Marcie Biddleman Nathan Daugherty Dr. Michael Grego Sheriff Bob Gualtieri Doreen Martin Deborah McNelis Dr. Gil Smith Lily Uline Brenda Watson
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Thank you to all the Teachers! You are special and you are appreciated!
Letter from the Editor
Happy Mother’s Day a little early to all the moms out there who read GoodLiving® at the karate studio, in the car circle, curled up in a favorite chair or anywhere! We know you are busy and appreciate that you take time to read this magazine. While contemplating what to say about Mother’s Day, I had several conversations that made a powerful impact. First, with Briana Michel, the health coach featured on page 20. She was telling me a story of a friend who was unexpectedly diagnosed with brain cancer. One day she was planning a vacation with her daughter and the next day she was in the hospital receiving news that she only had months to live. With tears in her eyes, Briana thought of her own baby girl and said to me, “Every night I go to bed and ask myself what I did that day to prevent cancer.” Also during this time, I met and spoke with Doreen Martin (page 40), a raw foods health coach who told me amazing stories of people who have turned their lives around by eating the right foods. And Mary Brown, Tiffany Godfrey and Marlene Acosta (page 18) who are local Zumba® instructors. They too, talked of their passion for helping women create healthier bodies, and each of them has a collection of stories of moms transforming themselves. Mary repeated what every mother knows deep down, “If mom isn’t strong and healthy, no one will be strong and healthy. If mom doesn’t feel well then she cannot properly care for the people she loves.” So as moms are we doing everything we can to keep ourselves healthy, or do we put ourselves last on the “to do” list and never get around to our needs? As a mom are you covering over your pains and stimulating your fatigue in ways that are not healthy for you? My Mother’s Day wish is that every mom would take care of herself so that she can spend every possible second with her precious children. While we can’t control everything, we can control our daily choices about food, exercise, stress levels, relationships, exposure to toxins and a general outlook on life. If you need some guidance to get there, then my other wish is that you would find support like Briana, Marlene, Tiffany, Mary or Doreen who have the expertise and the personal mission to help others get healthy. You are worth it mom. And your kids deserve to have you healthy and happy for a long, long time. Wishing you all GOOD things! Until next time,
news Julian Sevilla
Walk in My Shoes: Walking Across Florida
This is the fifth year that Lauren Book has walked 1,500 miles across Florida to call attention to the abuse of the children and the needs of the non-profits that help them. She walks during March and April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month Julian Sevilla is an 8th grade student at and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and in honor of the Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy and is the 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S. Starting the winner of the 2014 Boys & Girls Club in Key West on March 16th and passing through Tampa Bay in of the Suncoast Youth of the Year Award. early April, her walk ends in Tallahassee on April 22nd just in Julian lives with a single parent and is involved with all three time to advocate for bills in the Florida legislature. programs at the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation (Chi Chi Lauren founded Lauren’s Kids to help others. She herself was a Academy, The First Tee of Clearwater and Boys & Girls Club). victim of childhood sexual abuse for six years at the hands of her He is Vice President of the Chi Chi Torch Club, and was Class nanny. Armed with the knowledge that 95 percent of sexual abuse is President in 7th grade and Class Secretary in 6th Grade. He is a preventable through education, Lauren is turning her experience into member of the Jr. Civil Air Patrol and plans to join the military a vehicle for prevention and to heal survivors. Lauren’s Kids is based after high school and attend college. Career Goal: Aircraft in South Florida and educates adults and children about sexual abuse Mechanic in the Military. “Chi Chi’s means I have a safe place to topics through in-school curriculum, a 24-hour Crisis Hotline and be. Whenever I need someone, they are there for me.” speaking engagements around the country. Laurenskids.org
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast Youth of the Year
Meals of Hope Feeds the Hungry
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater and the Clearwater Beach Rotary organized a meal packing event to help feed the hungry in our community by packing speciallydesigned meals. Their efforts surpassed their goal, and together volunteers packed 37,400 individual meals of beans and rice or fortified macaroni and cheese. Meals of Hope brings in the bulk food that is fortified with protein, vitamins and minerals to boost the nutritional content of the meals. The host organization raises the money to pay the 25 cents per meal cost and they organize the packing event. Nina Pazos was the chairman of the effort that teamed the Holy Trinity parish with the Clearwater Beach Rotary, whose president Nick Ekonomides was joined by fellow Rotarian Hoyt Hamilton. The following week, five local Episcopal churches packed 75,000 meals at the RCS Food Bank. For information on how to host a packing event, contact them at meals-of-hope.org.
Teacher Appreciation Week: May 5 – 9
pictured left to right: Hoyt Hamilton, Mayor George Cretekos, Nina Pazos, Nick Ekonomides
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Students and parents around the county will be celebrating Teacher Appreciate Week. The official Teacher’s Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 6th and again this year, social media users are being encouraged to tweet their thank you messages on this day, using #thankateacher. Wondering what to do for your children’s teachers? Local teachers we asked said they appreciate the small gifts and gift cards, however carefully written letters of appreciation are the mementos they cherish and save.
news Sharing Their Fruit
Valencia oranges, pink grapefruit and lemons are abundant right now. Tampa Bay’s subtropical climate allows for year round growing and now a new Saint Petersburg program is making sure that all that fruit doesn’t go to waste. Saint Pete Abundance (SPA) connects property owners who have trees that produce more than they can use with volunteers who enjoy getting outside and picking.
The practice is called “gleaning.” It’s an ancient custom that means to gather the leftovers and share with those in need. The fruit collected by SPA goes to the Saint Petersburg Free Clinic Food Bank, which serves more than 60 feeding programs. “It’s one thing to donate canned goods. This is fresh, organic produce,” said SPA volunteer Amanda Hagood.
Both nationally and locally, one in six people are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, half of all the produce grown in the U.S. goes to waste. Saint Pete Abundance meets in different neighborhoods on the first Saturday of every month from 9 - 11 a.m. The program is run under Green Florida, a fully insured community gardens non-profit. In addition to carrying insurance, volunteers are required to sign a liability waiver before being sent to anyone’s property. To sign up to volunteer or to share your fruit tree, visit saintpeteabundance.org.
Spring Issue 2014
news Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School Students Proudly Present “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” to the community. Bring the kids to enjoy a wonderful evening of singing, dancing and storytelling as students present the story of Belle and the Enchanted Prince! The cast and ensemble of over 50 students includes children from ages 6 through 14 years old. Tap your toes as they sing and dance to familiar songs such as “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Friday May 9th & Saturday May 10th at the Comney Center in Dunedin. Show time is 7 p.m. For information and tickets call (727) 733-3776 or go to myoll.com.
Students from Curlew Creek Elementary recently participated in the Sixth Annual Young Innovator Competition sponsored by the University of South Florida. The competition promotes innovation and creativity in young people by motivating them to solve problems and improve upon things around them. 61 students from Curlew Creek’s gifted program entered the contest. Rajan Bali, a fourth-grader, made it to the top 10 for his presentation and invention called “Smart Mailbox.” Rajan included his little brother in the presentation. All ten finalists received special medals and annual family passes to Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).
Gibbs High Students Take First Place in Bridge Building Competition
Gibbs High School won first place in The University of South Florida College of Engineering’s 23rd annual Bridge Design Competition. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. Six high school groups and nine middle schools from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties competed in design and structural integrity.
Clearwater High School Recognized for Leadership in Education
The International Center for Leadership in Education has recognized Clearwater High School as a Model School. Hundreds of schools apply, but only about 25 of the country’s highest performing and rapidly improving schools are accepted as models. Clearwater High was selected for the ways in which it has raised rigor and relevance for students using a personalized learning approach within its “Wall-to-Wall” academy model. As a Model School, Clearwater High will have the chance to make a presentation at the Model Schools Conference in Orlando in June. The school is the first in the Pinellas County School District to receive this distinction, according to principal Keith Mastorides.
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Pinellas County Schools
Young Heroes Serve Their Community
Three students were recognized by the Pinellas County School Board Tuesday, March 11 as Young Hero Award Winners. Michael Risola, an 11th grader from Tarpon Springs High School has volunteered 1,000 hours over the past three years tutoring struggling students in math and reading, helping to beautify the high school campus and working with the Air Force Auxiliary to support military troops and their families.
Felicia Whittington, an eighth grader from Palm Harbor Middle School, initiated a project for students to develop and send holiday cards to military soldiers overseas. Felicia selflessly led this effort all the while she was receiving treatment for cancer.
Kobie White, a third grader from Sawgrass Lake Elementary, has dedicated his time sorting and packaging food to feed homeless children in the community. He is also a member of the Roberts Recreation Center Youth Council where he is responsible for spearheading projects that assist the community and other youth. These students will receive a $500 savings bond through the generosity of Robert McIntyre, chairman and CEO of DITEK Corporation, a Certificate of Appreciation and they will be recognized at an Award Breakfast on April 24, 2014.
Largo Senior Wins National Award
Juanita L. Collins, a senior at Largo High School, has been named Operation Homefront’s 2014 Military Child of the Year for the Coast Guard. Juanita won a $5,000 prize, a new laptop computer and a paid trip to the Military Child of the Year Award Gala in Washington, D.C. in April.
Summer Bridge Registration Underway
Pinellas County Schools opened online registration for Summer Bridge extended learning programs. Parents of eligible students can register at reservation.pcsb.org. Most programs for elementary, middle and high school students will run Monday through Thursday from June 17 to July 24. Summer Bridge extended learning programs are aimed at preventing learning losses and preparing students for the next grade level. The programs are for students who are performing below grade level or need extra support to stay on track. Summer Bridge locations and the latest information can be found at the districtâ€™s Summer Bridge website at pcsb.org/summerbridge.
Kindergarten Registration Underway
Pinellas County Schools has opened registration for new students and kindergarteners for the 2014-15 school year. Students must be five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2014, to attend kindergarten for the 2014-15 school year. The district is urging parents to register children by June 4. Find out more at the home page of the district website, pcsb.org or call the districtâ€™s Student Assignment office at (727) 588-6210.
Spanish Summer Immersion Program
This year, the Pinellas County Schools Office of World Languages will offer a five-day, four-night immersion program for Pinellas county students who have completed at least two years of middle school or high school Spanish study. The program is for students entering grades 9-12 for the 2014-2015 school year. Students reside in a residence hall at Eckerd College and are led by Pinellas County Schools Spanish teachers. In the program, students have 10 hours of daily activities using only Spanish. Students can expect to leave the program with increased confidence in their ability to converse with native speakers and understand spoken language. The program fee of $400 includes all meals, lodging, materials, and instruction as well as a field trip. Applications, due May 16, are available through Spanish teachers at middle and high schools or from the Office of World Languages, (727) 588-6066. Program runs June 10 - 14, 2014 at Eckerd College.
Summer Explosion at Countryside Christian Church
Vacation Bible School
Every summer, moms look forward to the week-long activities at Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) across the county. Churches, both large and small in all parts of the county will hold VBS. Many of these VBS programs are a much less expensive alternative than summer camps. Kids get to sing, do crafts and play with new friends â€“ all activities that make for happy summer memories. Ages, times and fees will vary by church. Pre-registration is recommended as these programs fill up quickly. June 9
First United Methodist Church, Clearwater Park Place Wesleyan Church
Calvary Baptist Church, Clearwater Countryside Christian Center First Baptist Indian Rocks First Presbyterian Church of St. Petersburg St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Tarpon Springs
June 23 Palm Harbor United Methodist Church Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Dunedin July 7
Skycrest Baptist Church, Clearwater
July 14 Heritage United Methodist Church, Clearwater July 21 East Lake United Methodist Church Calvary Chapel, St. Petersburg August 4 Harborside Church, Safety Harbor
Calvary East Lake Egg Drop 2014 Join us for the areaâ€™s most extreme Egg Hunt as over 15,000 Eggs will be dropped from a helicopter. Food, giveaways, candy, jumpees, bounce houses, giant slides, face painting and much more! FREE. Also enjoy Kona Ice and help the East Lake High School Athletic Boosters who will be selling food and drinks. For more information and to register go to calvary.us/eggdrop.
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By DR. GIL SMITH Director-Celebrate Recovery Ministry First United Methodist Church of St. Petersburg The most recent surveys from the United States government on the use of alcohol and illicit drugs are not encouraging. While alcoholism continues to be the number one drug problem in the United States, the use of illicit drugs is increasing. Millions of people, including some of your friends, co-workers and family members are battling some sort of addiction. According to the latest estimates, about 12 million people are alcoholics, while another 30 million are abusing alcohol and illicit drugs on a regular basis.
Last year, Alcoholics Anonymous estimated they had about 1.3 million members regularly attending meetings. Celebrate Recovery is another option for people battling a wide variety of “hurts, hang-ups, and habits.” At CR, as it’s known by its members, just about anyone can benefit from joining together and learning how, through faith and the grace of Jesus Christ, you can enjoy a happier, more productive life. CR is currently in 20,000 churches and is now being incorporated into prison rehabilitation programs all over the world. I personally invite you to join us every Thursday night at First United Methodist Church in downtown St. Pete or find a CR on the list below near you. CR meets somewhere in Pinellas County every night of the week except Sunday. At CR St. Pete, we know the difficult battles you face in your life and relationships. Most of us have “been there” and have come to believe there is a way, even when it appears there isn’t one! At Celebrate Recovery, we remain invested in the hope of helping others find their way again and “get their lives back” as we model a healthy, Christ-Centered Community of sustained recovery; seeking to reclaim, restore, and rebuild other broken people and families into living testimonies of grace.
CELEBRATE RECOVERY CHURCHES Monday, 6 p.m. First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks 12685 Ulmerton Rd, Largo (727)595-3421
Monday, 6 p.m. The Crossroads Church 7975 River Ridge Blvd, New Port Richey Contact: Michelle or Robert Spreadbury (727)514-5673 Monday, 7 p.m. Pathways Community Church 801 Seminole Blvd, Largo (727)397-4707
Tuesday, 6 p.m. First Christian Church 1400 San Christopher Dr, Dunedin Contact: Julia Warga (727)512-7593 Tuesday, 6 p.m. St. Paul United Methodist Church 1199 Highland Ave NE, Largo Contact: Arlette (727)584-8165
Tuesday, 6 p.m. Lakeview Community Church 475 East Lake Rd N, Tarpon Springs Contact: Bob Loeffler (727)942-0229
Wednesday, 7 p.m. Abundant Life Ministry 1550 South Belcher Road, Largo Contact: Scott Kelley (727)439-0247
Friday, 6 p.m. First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg 1900 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg Contact: Melanie Crane (727)576-5508
Thursday, 6 p.m. First United Methodist Church 212 3rd St N, St. Petersburg Contact: Dr. Gil Smith (727)894-4661
Friday, 6 p.m. Victory Church of Nazarene 4401 58th St N, Kenneth City (727)546-0990
Thursday, 6 p.m. Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center 5885 66th Street N, St, Petersburg (727)541-7781
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Solid Rock Christian Ministries 4224 28th Street North, St. Petersburg Contact: Glenn Miller (727)410-4088
Thursday, 7 p.m. Countryside Christian Center 1850 N McMullen Booth Rd, Clearwater (727)799-1618 Friday, 6 p.m. Harborside Christian Church 2200 Marshall St, Safety Harbor Contact: Marcus Page, cell (727)484-2117 (727)726-0202
Friday, 6 p.m. Generations Christian Church 1540 Little Rd, Trinity Contact: Joe Platania (727)375-8801
Friday, 6 p.m. Gulfview Grace Brethren Church 6639 Hammock Rd., Port Richey (727)868-1947
Saturday, 5:30 p.m. Calvary Chapel Worship Center 6825 Trouble Creek Rd, New Port Richey Contact: John or Pam Hughes (813)526-1961
Spring Issue 2014 13
events Relay for Life
All around our county, Relay For Life events are bringing people together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against this disease. The funds raised make a difference in the fight against cancer – just ask one of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors who will celebrate another birthday this year!
Find a Relay and get involved! Join them for all or part of their overnight event as they take turns walking or running around a track or path throughout the entire event. Stop by and purchase a memorial luminaria that you can personalize. These events are also a lot of fun so get out there and join the Relay! More events at RelayforLife.org April 25, 2014 St Petersburg College, St. Petersburg Canal Park, Oldsmar Largo Central Park, Largo May 2, 2014 Palm Harbor University High School, Palm Harbor Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin Coachman Park, Clearwater May 16, 2014 Safety Harbor City Park, Safety Harbor Albert Whitted Field, St. Petersburg
The first ever Invention Convention is being held at the Armed Forces History Museum. The event will feature over 30 gifted students (K thru 5) from 12 local schools who will be competing for top prizes. They’ll be showcasing their inventions to visitors and to the Tampa Bay Inventors Council judges. Museum admission prices apply. $17.95 for adults, $12.95 for youth age 4-12. Armedforcesmuseum.com Saturday, May 17 • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 2050 34th Way N in Largo
Teens in Motion Dances for Special Needs Youth
Friday nights will be hopping for teens with special needs as the City of Largo and the Downs Syndrome Network of Pinellas host dance parties for teens and young adults (13-28 years). Each dance has a $3 admission. For more information, contact Ashley Friend at (727) 518-3131. Fridays, May 2nd, May 30th, July 11th and August 1st Largo Community Center • 400 Alternate Keene Rd. in Largo
Support Group for Addicted Teens
Take a Hand is a new support group for parents and caregivers of teenagers suffering from substance abuse and behavioral issues. Meetings are Tuesdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Anona United Methodist Church (in portable 1A) 13233 Indian Rocks Road
The group was started with the support of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Speakers will be on hand to offer advice and support regarding the judicial system, residential treatment and more. The meetings are designed to be a safe place for parents, relatives and friends. For more information, contact Missy Peterson at (727) 214-4527 or email@example.com.
Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue offers the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver course on the first Monday of every month. The Natural Birth and Baby Expo training, which covers adult, child and infant CPR and use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED), is open to anyone over and The Great Cloth Diaper Change 12 years old. Class is $25 for city residents and $50 for nonThis year, the expo and the diaper change event are being held together, making it the largest event of its kind in the Tampa Bay residents. For more information or to register, call the Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue at (727) 938-3737. Area. $5 suggested donation per family. Saturday, April 26 • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. new location! Corbett Preparatory School of IDS 12015 Orange Grove Drive in Tampa
The Great Cloth Diaper Change will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Now in its fourth year is an international initiative to encourage cloth diaper usage in celebration of Earth Day. Each year, they attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ for changing babies at the same time. Last year, more than 8,301 babies were changed at events. For more information go to GreatClothDiaperChange.com.
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Out of School Bash
City of Tarpon Springs Parks and Recreation Department hosts their annual Out of School Bash on Saturday, May 31st at Sunset Beach. Free activities for everyone.
Splash Bash & Picnic
Kick off the spring season pool style. Inflatables, games, music and races held throughout the day. Bring the whole family. Don’t forget your suit and towel. Free admission; Lunch provided. For more information, call (727) 298-3266. Saturday, May 17 • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Highlander Pool in Dunedin
events For God and Gold – HELD OVER
For God and God at Heritage Village has been extended through May 2014 due to the popularity of the exhibit. The exhibit is part of the statewide initiative led by the Florida Department of State called Viva Florida 500. The purpose is to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de Leon to the land he named La Florida in 1513. To commemorate the anniversary, Heritage Village features reproduction weapons, nautical items, clothing, camp gear, religious items and other objects to tell the story of everyday life during the ocean crossing and the subsequent exploration and colonization of Florida. Created by local re-enactor Lester Dailey. pinellascounty.org/heritage Open through May during normal business hours Heritage Village • 11909 125th St. N., Largo
Diggin’ the Arts Festival
The Florida Botanical Gardens will come alive with art presented by some of the area’s finest art institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, Florida Craftsmen, the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, Morean Center for Clay, Suntan Arts Center and the Beach Arts Center. Each museum will have a beautifully decorated rain barrel as a prize for the drawing. Also: a Plein Air competition, an instrument petting zoo by The Florida Orchestra, orchid sales, art sales, bromeliads sales from the garden, a scavenger hunt, food and music. Free. Sunday, May 4 • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Florida Botanical Gardens • (727) 582-2117 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo
Saturday in the Park with Mom
Saturday in the Park with Mom celebrates mothers and promotes healthy families. Emphasizing a comprehensive health perspective, the event will feature a Health and Wellness Fair with demonstrations, exhibits and health screenings.
The event includes live music, children’s activities, entertainment and educational experiences for family members of all ages. Admission to the park is free. Food and beverages will be available. Saturday, May 10 • 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Largo Central Park • 101 Central Park Drive in Largo
Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week
There’s lots of Good Eating to do while supporting a charity that benefits local culinary students!
Enjoy fine dining and casual cuisine from dozens of the best restaurants on beautiful Clearwater Beach. The 5th Annual Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week begins the celebration with the Clearwater Beach Taste Fest on May 9, 2014 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. This event will feature a tasting from each participating restaurant, a Premium Wine & Craft Beer Village, live music, exquisite raffle items and an awesome fireworks display at 9 p.m.
13th Annual Touch-a-Truck
Feel the power and hear the engines roar as you sit in, touch and feel a real-life collection of trucks, cars, motorcycles, fire engines, tractors and more. Concessions, music and inflatables complete this awesome experience. $5 parking. For more information, call (727) 812-4530. Saturday, April 26 • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Highlander Park in Dunedin
Restaurant Week follows from May 12-18, 2014 and multiple restaurants will be offering price fixed menus for lunch and dinner. If you love the restaurants, then get their recipes in the new Official Clearwater Beach Cookbook. To learn more about Restaurant Week visit: clearwaterbeachrestaurantweek.com
This year’s beneficiary for Restaurant Week is The Ryan Wells foundation, a local foundation that helps high school culinary students in Pinellas County with scholarships for post-secondary education. RyanWellsFoundation.com
Films in the Park
Grab your blanket and picnic basket and head downtown for a relaxing evening to classic movies under the night sky at Pioneer Park in downtown Dunedin. Movies begin at dark. Free to attend. For more information, call (727) 812-4530. April 11: “Brave” • April 18: “Grease” • April 25: “Despicable Me 2”
March for Babies
Help the March of Dimes stomp out birth defects at the March for Babies. This recreational walk will stroll through the streets of Safety Harbor. Contact March of Dimes to participate at 813-287-2600. Saturday, April 26 • 8 to 11 a.m. Safety Harbor Marina
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Earth Day Earth Day Everyday for Youth & Family
Youth and families are invited to this fun, interactive environmental program. Students will learn about the habitats and critters that live in estuaries like Tampa Bay. Then, they will interact with a hands-on model of our coastal environment to learn how their actions can positively impact the Tampa Bay environment. Finally, utilizing a kill-a-watt meter, students can discover how much energy average household appliances use. Each participant will receive an insulated shopping bag filled with fun takeaways. This program is best suited for children aged 6-12 years. Youth must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Free; registration required. weedonislandpreserve.org Friday, April 18 •10 a.m. to noon Weedon Island Preserve • (727) 453-6500 1800 Weedon Drive NE in St. Petersburg
Earth Day Everyday
Learn about how to improve relationships with our planet at this three hour hands-on workshop. Included will be rainwater harvesting, energy conservation, and estuary-friendly living complete with a one-hour canoe excursion. Each participant will receive an Estuary to Friendly Living booklet, Guide to Rain Barrels, insulated shopping bag and home energy savings kit. Completed barrel available for $30, paid in advance (see ticket type). Barrel quantities limited. This program is intended for an adult audience. Registration required. weedonislandpreserve.org Saturday, April 19 • 9 a.m. to noon Weedon Island Preserve • (727) 453-6500 1800 Weedon Drive NE in St. Petersburg
Tots Celebrate Earth Day
Kids will learn the importance of taking care of our planet with hands on activities, live animal appearances, interactive play and recycled craft projects. Suitable for ages 3 & up. Parent/Caregiver participation is required. Snacks are also included. $5 early registration fee or $8 day of event. Call Christina at (727) 587-6740 x 5008 or the City of Largo Southwest Recreation Complex at (727) 518-3125 for more information.
Celebrate Island Earth Days at Honeymoon Island State Park
Once again this year, the community will come together to celebrate the beauty of Honeymoon Island and Earth Day. On hand for the festivities will be: • Bungee Jumping and Rock Wall • Fresh seafood and a variety of other food • Fine artists and quality crafts • Local environmental vendors • Nature education and displays • Guided nature walks • Nature talks, presentations • Lots of activities & crafts for kids! Entry to the Island Earth Days event is free, with paid park admission of $8 per automobile. Pets are welcome on a 6 ft. maximum leash. Event located in the shady picnic area next to the beach & the wooded hiking trails. For more information call (727) 738-2908, email info@IslandParks.org, or visit islandearthdays.com.
The Ugly Duckling’s Journey To Away: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle
Saturday, April 12 • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 13 • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin
Join the Ugly Duckling and his friends as he embarks on a thrilling journey while learning the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Witness Ugly’s transformation as he realizes that there is no such place as “away” when dealing with trash and the environment. This inspirational story will make all who attend appreciate the environment and the beautiful world we live in. $7.50 adult, $6.50 children, $6 schools, $22 family 4 pack. Largoarts.com
The Green Thumb Festival
Saturday, May 10 Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Dr., Largo, FL 33770.
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Celebrate Arbor Day weekend at the Green Thumb Festival, featuring environmental and horticultural exhibits, vendors (with every kind of plant imaginable), the Garden Club of St. Petersburg Flower Show, a grow and share program, a diagnostic clinic (bring soil and water samples), a recycling rally, free mulch, plant auction, more than 2,000 trees for sale for $3, free Butterfly plants (500 each day), tool sharpening booth, entertainment, children’s programs, other environmental programs and exhibits, and a food court! Mark your calendar so you don’t miss this annual event! StPeteParksRec.org April 26 and 27 • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walter Fuller Park and Community Center in St. Petersburg
So Much More than Exercise By PAMELA SETTLE
By now, most people know that Zumba® is a dance form of exercise. They see the classes advertised at gyms and recreation centers. They may have seen a demonstration at a special event. But until they have experienced Zumba for themselves, they don’t really know Zumba.
For almost two years, I have been watching my friend Paula Keyser post comments about her Zumba class on Facebook that were borderline obsessive. Paula is a well-known advocate for parents of special needs children here in Pinellas County and has written articles for GoodLiving®. She invited me to a fundraising event at the Dunedin Recreation Center sponsored by TMZ, Tampa Men of Zumba.
challenging.” She says often times people are worn down by their jobs and come to class looking stressed. “The songs have a party nature to lift people up.”
Third, communities and friendships form at the classes. I saw this at Fly Fitness and was pleasantly surprised. Instructor Tiffany Godfrey has a special relationship with the women in the class. They socialize outside of class and know about each other’s lives.
Clearly an intriguing invitation. And eye opening as it turned out. For two hours, nearly 200 women were dancing nonstop to rhythmic Latin beats, led onstage by a half dozen very talented male dance instructors who love their jobs. There were women of all shapes, ages, sizes and fitness levels, burning calories and having a good time. Now my first, albeit joking, reaction was that I had just discovered the cure for female obesity. The men were loads of fun to watch, but most of the regular group classes are female led, so I knew there was something else going on. There was too much happiness in the room for me to let it go. I had to find out why Zumba fans are so devoted.
My first class with Fly Fitness anything but fly. It bordered on embarrassing as I tried to pick up the fast-moving choreography. By the end of the class, I planned to slink out, never to return. But I didn’t get to slink. No fewer than six students approached me and encouraged me to come back. “We were all lost at first. It gets Tampa Men of Zumba perform for charity easier. You have to come back. You will love it.” So I went back. And then I went back again. And while the more complicated moves will take a while longer to master, I am starting to see why They also take a lot of group photos and support each other’s goals. Brown says this is typical for most instructors. She recently this form of fitness is so addicting. had a student give birth. Knowing this woman had a history of First, there’s a true feeling of acceptance. Zumba instructor Mary post-partum depression, she has been calling and emailing her Brown said it’s not really part of the training, but it is definitely regularly to check on her. a part of the personality that lives in the Zumba community. She wants her work as an instructor to empower her students to While the students bond in classes, the instructors in the local area have developed their own community. Many of them do training conquer challenges in class and out. together and visit each other’s classes. They socialize together Second, it doesn’t feel like exercising because so much concentration is and several of them are married couples. Greg Rojas, founder of given to the moves. This, Brown says, is intentional. “It is exercise Tampa Men of Zumba is married to Peggy. They received their in disguise. The choreography is meant to have a balance between licenses to teach on the same day and Peggy was seen at the TMZ the familiar steps and something new thrown in to keep it event dancing with their child in a baby carrier. Peggy says, “I feel
Marlene is also an instructor for Zumba Gold, a slower-paced class for older students. Mary, a former swimmer, teaches multiple Aqua Zumba classes in mid county. It is a gentler option as far as impact on the joints goes, but it is a solid workout using the resistance of the water – and excellent for expectant mothers. Tiffany also teaches Zumba Kids at the Safety Harbor Recreation Center. There are two age levels with developmentally-appropriate choreography so kids can join in on the fun as young as four. And coming in July to Pinellas County is the first Zumbini class, with Mary Brown.
Zumbini is a music movement class for children 0 – 3 to enjoy in a group with their parent/caregiver. A session is eight weeks and parents get a songbook and CD to keep. Mary will be teaching Zumbini at the Highland Recreation Center in Largo. Contact Largo Parks to sign up. Non residents are welcome, but will pay a slightly higher fee for the session. I would be remiss if I ended this story without reason number four for why Zumba is so addicting – real weight loss results and increased overall fitness. The instructors interviewed for this story each said that Zumba changed their life. They lost weight and kept it off. In fact many of the instructors out there were students who became so sold on the program that they became instructors. The newest student-turned-instructor in Pinellas County? Paula Keyser. Just two weeks ago, she received her basic instructor license and joined the Zumba family. Peggy Rojas proud of my husband leading this group of very talented, kind and genuine men. They all decided to come together to create a legacy not only for themselves but for the Zumba community.” Bryan Acosta is the baby of the group. Son of Marlene Acosta, he is following in her footsteps and refers to her as his mentor. He is now a full-fledged instructor and member of the ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) community. Marlene teaches classes in the New Port Richey and north Pinellas area. A well respected and an active instructor, she also runs a side business called “Tear it Up” because wearing T-shirts that are cut up to be more fashionable is part of the Zumba culture. You will find her at TMZ events beaming with pride at her son and supporting their T-shirts sales. The TMZ legacy is raising money for local charities while promoting fitness and fun, and they plan to do more of it. Each member of TMZ has an interesting story which is posted on their website. I found their stories extra heartwarming and inspiring. Real men who love what they do while achieving their goals, and are happy. Any organization can contact them to see about organizing a fundraising event. Tampamenofzumba.com.
The Zumba organization makes it easy to find instructors and classes near you (you will find all but one TMZ instructor over in Tampa in case you were wondering). By going to the Zumba.com website, you should be able to find a class that works for you. All members of ZIN are found on this website. Zumba also spreads itself to meet more needs. Instructors can gain training to teach other types of classes.
women right here in our local area who are losing weight and keeping it off because they are learning to Thrive, with the help, compassion and leadership from their coach, Briana Michel.
Briana is founder of Simply B, a line of clean protein products started because she saw in her health coaching business that children, teens, men and women were not getting enough protein in their daily diets. We first met when I went to her office to see where she coached children on healthy body image and nutrition. She told me then that she couldn’t just sit and watch kids get obese and sick without doing something about it. Her passion was already on fire for helping young people change their future. Her coaching business grew, her line of products was growing and she was doing more and more TV informercials for weight loss. She was on a fast path toward success.
Thrive By PAMELA SETTLE
Diet ads. They are everywhere, claiming results with impressive before and after photos. But who are the people in those pictures? Are they real? Or are they faked just to sell you something? It is so easy to get frustrated and equally as difficult to know who to trust. Take a look at the before and after picture with this article.
I met her. Just the other day. She is a real mom who lives in Land O’Lakes and not a model. She is a business owner, too, who got herself overwhelmed with too many responsibilities and before she knew it had packed on the pounds. There are more like her –
Then one day I saw a post on Facebook that her new baby needed open heart surgery. Like so many mothers before her, she faced a very different reality of new motherhood that included surgery, recovery, questions and guilt. “I did everything I was supposed to. I ate clean, I changed my deodorant, I changed my toothpaste. Still, my daughter was born needing open heart surgery to fix her aorta.”
True Story by DOMINIQUE MEALEY Makayla is 18 months old now and helping mom at her new gym, First Fit at Citrus Park Mall, where mom is the head nutritionist and dad is the creator of an innovative fitness program. “Being a mom has made me even more passionate. Now I want to do everything I can to help other moms live as many minutes as possible with their children,” she says with tears welling up. The tears are connected to a friend who is dying from brain cancer. “One day she was planning a vacation with her 15 year-old daughter and the next day she was in the hospital getting diagnosed with a brain cancer that used to be rare. I stopped by to hug her today because we just don’t know…” Briana is convinced that eating properly can help prevent cancer. She asks herself everyday, “What are you doing today to prevent cancer?” She asks herself this because of the incredibly deep love she feels for her baby girl, and really, what mom doesn’t totally understand that?
Along with motherhood came a need for Briana to conserve her time. That led to her creating a group training method for her proven nutritional counseling and products called 90 Days to Thrival. Members receive a work book, a meal plan, Simply B products, supplements, continuing education online and a Thrival Host. The host is a program graduate who serves as a cheerleader and accountability partner to others making the lifestyle change that comes with Thrival. (For more information about what is involved, go to her website at MyThrival.com.)
The light at the end of the tunnel was getting brighter by the second. One amazing thing after another was happening in my life. Back 9 Dips, the company my husband and I own was about to air on the ABC hit show Shark Tank. We had recently celebrated the birth of our second child and our product was being sold in over 4,000 retail locations. We could finally breathe for a little while and enjoy all the hard work and sweat we had put into our dream.
Yet, I stood in front of the mirror and all I could see was the evidence of worry, stress and fear. I was overweight, unhealthy and had no idea how to fix it. After both my husband and I found ourselves jobless in 2009 with a baby on the way, we decided to start our own company. We put every ounce of effort towards growing our snack food company and keeping a roof over our heads. Soon exercise seemed to be a luxury and health food was way too expensive. I would eat out of stress and would loss sleep due to worry. My health was the lowest priority on the totem poll. As the years passed we became more financially stable and gained back some security. So why was I staring in the mirror at a woman who didn’t reflect that?
While on Facebook one night I saw a friend post his phenomenal results with 90 days to Thrival. I knew it was time for a plan and time to get focused on true health. The 90 days to Thrival program told me what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. It was all fresh food, endless options and no gimmicks. I was finally on a plan that left me satisfied and energized. After six months I was down 35 lbs and went from a size 16 to a 10. I was sleeping better and having fewer mood swings. I was even better at my job because my mind was clearer and quicker. The program worked for me when nothing else did. The most important part was the support I received from my host who reminded me I could do whatever I set my mind to. She also reminded me that my health is the #1 priority because without it… nothing else matters. I am really excited to remind others of that each day as I am now a 90 days to Thrival host.
Since the program started in September, 17 women on that journey have lost over 600 lbs! Their real life before and after pictures are on the website, including the one in this story that I met the same day I spoke with Briana for this article. Her name is Dominique and she came to work out at First Fit for their grand opening celebration on March 29th and showed off her slimmer body with pride. She glowed from the inside out.
And so did Briana as she watched co-owner and concept developer Jim White teach his High Interval Training class to students who ranged from beginner to NBA athlete. The gym has a clean yet warm atmosphere. Two training areas contain weight machines and equipment for functional interval training for their various classes. Learn more about their 8 Week Weight Loss Challenge to lose weight by summer, and about the classes offered to members of First Fit at their website First1Fit.com.
Tampa Bay Theatre By NATHAN DAUGHERTY
There are a few moments in life that give a person that special, excited tingle up the spine. For me, it’s the exact second that the orchestra begins playing at the start of a stage production. At that very moment, I have strapped myself in for 2 ½ hours of theatrical bliss. The curtain opens to reveal extravagant costumes, intricate lighting, stunning sets and equally stunning performers. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen hundreds of live shows, as well as having performed in many myself in my 10+ years of experience. And in these shows, I’ve seen first hand that we have immense amount of talent performing on our local stages.
Fortunately for us, we are rich in a variety of opportunities to participate in live theatre, either as patrons or as performers. In the Tampa Bay Area alone there are 80+ theatre groups! If you haven’t visited such venues as Ruth Eckerd Hall, The Straz Center, The Mahaffey Theatre, American Stage, freeFall, Stageworks, Francis Wilson Playhouse, Eight O’Clock Theatre, City Players, The Palladium, St. Petersburg City Theatre, Venue Theatre and Acting Studio, New Stage Theatre and Conservatory, or West Coast Players, you are missing out. (See what I did here? There are SO many companies!). The experience of theatre is not one you can achieve by looking at a screen. It is so important that we not let this art form dwindle away, yet currently our theatres are not selling enough tickets. It is truly good for the soul, for grandparents, parents and children to be physically participating in local theatre. It’s also good for the development of children.
Upcoming Shows To See The WIZ! - 4/9/14 - 5/4/14 American Stage - americanstage.org Guys and Dolls - 5/8/14 - 5/25/14 Francis Wilson Playhouse - franciswilsonplayhouse.org GREASE! - 5/2/14 - 5/11/14 Eight O’Clock Theatre - eightoclocktheatre.com The Mikado - 4/26-5/18 freeFall Theatre - freefalltheatre.com The Sound of Music, 7/11-7/20 Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center Shows listed are suitable for all ages. To see all theatre groups in our area, visit TampaBayCallboard.com and click on “Venues.”
Some Real Advantages to Taking Kids to The Theatre A UCLA study showed that participation in the arts greatly improved academic performance. So with schools cutting back on the arts, parents can fill the gap by going to shows as a family. Theatre opens the imagination, giving kids an opportunity to be more than just the facts they learn in school. By starting young, there is a better chance that a child will develop creative gifts.
Theatre inspires reading. A play can make a story jump off the page and bring it to life for bookworms as well as reluctant readers. It’s very similar to the role playing and play acting that kids do all the time. Kids are more engaged with a play than they are with a flat screen. Going to plays lengthens the attention span. TV moves at a fast pace and kids today see a new image every three to four seconds. This fast past also impacts their ability to listen. Sitting still for an hour at a play helps kids learn to focus.
Do your kids a favor and research the local theatres and make plans to see live shows as often as you can. Also watch the schedules of the local community centers and libraries for inexpensive performances. Relieve some stress. Create lasting memories. Expand your child’s mind and develop creativity. By doing this, you help improve your family while at the same time support the deserving artists that make up the Tampa Bay Theatre Community.
Enjoy the Show!
Nathan Daugherty has been in the field of performing arts for over 10 years, headlining in opera, musical theatre, and musical direction. He hosts a radio show on local theater, heard on the Internet based radio station, Life Improvement Radio. LifeImprovementRadio.com.
Providing What Your Child Needs Most Will Ease Your Mind! By DEBORAH MCNELIS, M.S.ED
Relationships are Critical to Brain Development
New parents want to provide all that is best for the new child. During pregnancy (or the adoption process) expectant parents read everything they can get their hands on, looking for the perfect advice to provide direction and build confidence. Then the day arrives and the very special newborn is placed in their arms… and melts their hearts. This innocent little one is dependent on its parents, and as frightening as it may seem, parents strive to do everything they can to care and protect their precious child.
Sadly, I have found in doing presentations across the country and talking with thousands of people that one of the most critical and primary needs for a young child is not yet common knowledge. It is vital that every adult understand that the one thing a baby needs most is to have a consistent, warm, caring and nurturing caregiver who tunes into their expressed needs.
Understanding the Impact of Early Experiences
The best thing parents (or caregivers) can do for a baby is realize that 90% of a child’s brain develops before kindergarten. The following key points can help with understanding the essential basics of early brain development:
• Your child’s brain is not finished developing at birth. • For growth to occur, the 100 billion cells in your baby’s brain need to be connected with each other. So the preschool years become the time for a great amount of development because nine months is not long enough to connect this vast number of brain cells. • Brain growth doesn’t just magically happen; it is dependent on experiences. When a child has experiences this makes the brain cells fire and then actually wire together. • It is the type of experiences your child has that primarily influences the way in which your child’s brain will be wired. • A brain will develop and adapt to negative experiences just as easily as it will adapt and make connections based on positive experiences.
A parent’s heart wants most to simply love the new baby. Isn’t it wonderful that what we naturally want to do is best for the brain of a young child? It is the consistent and loving interaction that will impact the base of the wiring in the brain. This means really tuning into what the baby is communicating, whether it is hunger, discomfort, fear, overstimulation or boredom, and then responding quickly to provide attention and comfort. It is also wonderful to have science providing information like never before. It can help ease your mind to know this is more than just theory. Research demonstrates that consistently responding to the needs of a baby can have these impacts:
• Early interactions set up the basis for expectations, self perception, self regulation, and relationships throughout life. • When parents consistently recognize and respond to expressed needs, a baby makes strong brain connections that lead to not only healthy emotional development, but also contributes to cognitive development and later learning. • It is through establishing routines and this pattern of expressed needs being met, the baby begins to trust and feels safe and secure in the world.
This knowledge can guide parents when it comes to making critical decisions about whether or not to seek outside childcare for a baby. No matter what decision is made, it is imperative for parents to ensure that the person caring for their child is consistently the same person and is one who understands the importance of a secure relationship and predictability. Parents will have more peace of mind if they know their child is in a loving environment and receiving safe and consistent care that will benefit the develop of the brain. Deborah McNelis, M.S.ed, is owner/creator of braininsights® and an early brain development specialist. She is the award winning author of The Brain Development Series and Naturally Developing Young Brains. Her brain development packets and new App sell worldwide, and she receives rave reviews for her presentations throughout the country. For more brain development information and ideas go to www.braininsightsonline.com
Spring Issue 2014 25
a note from
Pinellas County Schools that level. They also build deep and meaningful relationships with their students rather than simply delivering content. They mentor, they encourage, and they light a fire deep within their students.
Dear Parents, In my time so far as superintendent, I’ve had the opportunity to visit every one of our schools. I witnessed amazing diversity in my travels, but one constant I observed is the extraordinary dedication and commitment of our teaching staff.
In every school I visited, I encountered teachers’ unbridled passion for what they do, and the pride they take in their performance. I saw their ability to inspire others to greatness, and a determination that pushes them far beyond the regular work day. I met teachers who have a keen curiosity, a zeal and a passion for a particular subject. I met teachers who strive for relevancy in all they do and say. They constantly strive to help students see the connection between classroom lessons and what we refer to as “real life.” At the same time, they stay connected to the world in which their students live, in some cases bridging multiple generations to do so. I’ve met teachers who are deeply moved by children. They are concerned with their students’ well-being and have an honest desire to see those students grow and develop. They place high expectations on their students, knowing the students will rise to
But perhaps most impressive of all is that I met teachers who are simply uncomfortable with being comfortable. Sure, they could go home at the end of the day and stop thinking about what goes on in their students’ lives. Instead, they carry their students in their minds and their hearts, even when they’re not sharing a classroom. They take that extra step above and beyond, always seeking an inventive way to deliver a lesson or an alternative way to present a concept. In short, they are never okay with the status quo. They are always striving to better themselves and their students. As our school year approaches its final months, I want to thank and congratulate our teachers for their dedication and hard work. Sincerely, Michael A. Grego, Ed.D. Superintendent, Pinellas County Schools
The Outstanding Educator awards for 2013 were handed out during the Evening of Excellence, an annual event sponsored by the Pinellas Education Foundation and numerous business partners. From throughout the district, 78 educators were nominated for this prestigious award. We are pleased to recognize this year’s Outstanding Educator winner and finalists for their commitment to students and their profession. Congratulations!
2014 Outstanding Educator
Kevin Ford Tarpon Springs High School 26
Kevin Ford, band director at Tarpon Springs High School is credited with envisioning and founding the nationally recognized Leadership Conservatory for the Arts, which integrates curriculum in academics, instrumental music, technology, and leadership skills. He was an honorary director for the 2005 and 2008 Bands of America Tournament of Roses Honor Band. This year, his marching band performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “One needs only to spend time in the classroom with Kevin Ford to understand that the awards and recognitions are the result of extraordinary teaching,” said Performing Arts Specialist Jeanne Reynolds, who nominated him. The city of Tarpon Springs dedicated a day in Kevin’s honor for his contributions to Tarpon Springs. Kevin is a 20-year veteran of the district.
Finalists Susan Carney Ozona Elementary
Sarah Borchardt Starkey Elementary
Sarah Borchardt is a fifth-grade gifted, ESOL and inclusion teacher. She has single handedly created an Extended Learning Program curriculum for fourth- and fifth-graders that was designed after analyzing student performance data to determine academic needs of targeted students. She also conducts trainings for other teachers and is the school’s Science Schools Improvement Plan leader.
Susan Carney incorporates science and handson learning into every aspect of her teaching, said Principal Kerry Apuzzo. She has received grants of more than $55,000 to create an osprey nest platform with a solar powered web camera; a hydroponic vegetable garden; a butterfly habitat; and indoor aquatic ecosystems with plants and animals for multiple classrooms. These endeavors are teaching children about recycling, water conservation and positive land use.
Dr. Robert Sinibaldi Walsingham Elementary
Dr. Robert Sinibaldi is an adapted Physical Education teacher for students with special needs, and is the only one in the county. This veteran educator has won numerous awards and is a nationally recognized speaker who serves in multiple leadership roles. He mentors P.E. teachers throughout the district and has received more than $500,000 in grant funding including P.E. equipment for students with special needs.
Melissa Colgan is a Supported Varying Exceptionalities teacher working with students who have significant cognitive disabilities. She is a coach for Special Olympics and has fostered a relationship between her students and residents of a local assisted living facility.
Tracey Raecek Osceola Fundamental High School
Diana Harper Dunedin Elementary
“She is a trailblazer in promoting student success and learning,” said fellow teacher Joie Allone. Though the majority of her students have Exceptional Student Education or English for Students of Other Languages needs, her students continually make learning gains, Allone said. Diana has found innovative ways to keep parents informed and engaged, including her annual multicultural dinner and student showcase.
Melissa Colgan Largo Middle School
Stephanie Martanovic Safety Harbor Middle
Stephanie Martanovic, a seventh-grade Civics teacher, inspires a love of citizenship – and learning – in her students. She uses strategies like cooperative learning, discussion, debate, research, writing and interactive skits to create authentic engagement among her students.
Monica Taylor Woodlawn Elementary School
Monica Taylor, a media specialist, was instrumental in starting the very successful one-to-one iPad program at Woodlawn. Principal Karen Russell said there is no doubt that Monica’s project helped to increase student achievement, work that was instrumental in the school raising its grade from D to a B in just one year.
Tracey Raecek, an Algebra teacher, loves helping struggling students realize their potential. She regularly tutors students during her lunch break and after school “She is uncompromising in her quest for quality educational opportunities for all of her students,” said Principal Michael Bohnet. Her students have received the highest passing rate on the Algebra End of Course exam in the county for the last two years.
Gisela Torres St. Petersburg High School IB Program
Gisela Torres is a Spanish teacher who shares her passion for Latin American culture with her students, who consistently score above the world average on IB exams. She organizes cultural activities, such as quilt making, to create authentic and engaging learning experiences that students will remember.
a note from the
Pinellas County Sheriff Friends, Recently, you might have read about Operation Home Alone – a joint operation between the Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Office and the Clearwater Police Department. The four-day operation sought out individuals who interact with minors online for the purpose of meeting them and engaging in sexual activity. Over the course of the operation, investigators posed as children between the ages of 11 – 15 and visited common websites such as online classified pages, social media sites, and various chat rooms. As a result of Operation Home Alone, 35 suspects traveled to Pinellas County to meet a child and were arrested. I believe stopping online predators looking to exploit our kids is a top priority.
Predators go where the kids are, unfortunately that no longer means just schools and public parks. According to a Pew Research study, 93% of minors aged 12-17 are online and 73% of minors aged 12-17 have profiles on a social networking site. As parents, we have to keep up with new technology. Think of the information that can be found on social media profiles: date of birth, what school you attend, and interests such as favorite bands or sports teams. Online predators can use this information to try and relate to and mislead a child.
Giving our kids access to the Internet without boundaries is equivalent to dropping them off in a busy public park and encouraging them to talk to strangers. Prepare your kids and grandkids for appropriate internet use by following some of these guidelines: Talk to your kids about your expectations when it comes to Internet use – set some ground rules on what types of sites are off limits.
1 built-in parental controls to block certain websites or 2 Use inappropriate content. what your kids do online, what information they 3 Monitor are sharing, and who they are communicating with. Internet use to common areas of your home where 4 Limit you can easily check on them.
Join me and take a stand for our kids. Visit our website at PCSOweb.com to see our Parent’s Tool Kit. Educate yourselves about the dangers your kids face online, who they’re talking to, and how you can protect them. Bob Gualtieri Sheriff, Pinellas County
a note from
Juvenile Welfare Board All Kids Matter
When children are young, it’s not surprising they want to grow up to become like those they idolize and see as heroes. Police officers, firemen, doctors, nurses and teachers. Dressing up and pretending to be like them is easy, because most wear cool uniforms or drive flashy vehicles. Rightfully so, we often honor these individuals with awards for the amazing work they do – for the sacrifices they make, long hours they keep, challenges they face and risks they take. But there are other heroes among us who’ve chosen another helping profession as their calling – social services professionals.
as the “first-responders for children and families in need.” They are counselors, clinicians, social workers, therapists, childcare workers and a wide variety of child and family specialists.
You’ll find them where the “rubber meets the road,” always willing to “roll up their sleeves” and “dig in deep” – all those sayings that imply direct services, passion and tenacity. They live for a simple smile, a word of thanks, a tear of joy.
But who recognizes these individuals? After all, who’s more worthy of accolades than someone who improves the future of a These individuals make similar sacrifices, work long hours, and face child or empowers a family to become self-sufficient? daily challenges. Like most helping professionals, they’re usually For 20 years, the Juvenile Welfare Board has been privileged to not in it for the money. Their jobs aren’t necessarily glamorous and partner with our community to honor outstanding Pinellas County our children aren’t likely to dress up like them during playtime. social services professionals by bestowing them with the coveted The rewards they reap are gained from helping others. Cooperman-Bogue KidsFirst Award. Four quarterly winners and
one annual winner are honored during an awards luncheon each The field of social services, also referred to as human services, is broadly year. These social services professionals are our defined as “meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge community’s “first responders for children and base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and families in need,” and we celebrate their work maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations.”That’s according to the National Organization for and dedication for truly putting KIDS FIRST! Human Services who estimates that in 2010, there were over 450,000 people in the United States working in social services professions. Dr. Marcie Biddleman As the Executive Director of the Juvenile Welfare Board, I Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board have a different definition. I like to think of these individuals
Leonard Cooperman and Lincoln C. Bogue:
A Legacy of Putting Kids First! The Juvenile Welfare Board was created in 1945 by the citizens of Pinellas County who were the first in the nation to collectively say all children matter and invest tax dollars to improve their futures. Led by Attorney Leonard Cooperman and Judge Lincoln C. Bogue, the Juvenile Welfare Board was established in Florida Statute in 1945 and approved overwhelmingly by voters during the 1946 referendum. This investment took vision, courage and innovation – the foundation by which the Juvenile Welfare Board was built.
For 20 years, the Cooperman-Bogue KidsFirst Awards have been recognizing outstanding social services professionals in Pinellas County. These individuals have passionately carried out the legacy of JWB’s founders, Attorney Leonard Cooperman and Judge Lincoln C. Bogue. Through the years, 80 professionals with various resumes and agency affiliations have received this honor. Putting children and families first and believing, above all else, that all kids matter!
Today, the Juvenile Welfare Board ( JWB) serves tens of thousands of children and families each year through 50 funded programs with an annual investment of $47M. More than a funder of programs, JWB is a convener, public policy leader, partner and advocate for all things important to children and families.
But, the very essence of what JWB stands for, believes in and was created to have an impact on all boils down to the work of our partner agencies and their staff. It’s the expertise, dedication and drive of social services professionals that’s making the difference for our community’s children and families.
Founders Leonard Cooperman (pictured left) and Lincoln C. Bogue (pictured right) in his election ad in 1942.
2013 Cooperman-Bogue KidsFirst Award Winners Scott Smith
1st Quarterly Winner and Annual Award Winner As a housing system navigator for the Family Services Initiative with Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS), Scott works in partnership with families to help them avoid homelessness and develop solid support systems so children grow up in stable homes. Parents who call 2-1-1 with multi-crisis points, including housing, can be referred to Scott for help accessing their situation and putting together a family support plan. He only has 30 days to work with the family, so establishing a trusting relationship fast is crucial. Scott suggested the idea of specialized housing system navigator when the Family Services Initiative saw an increase of families in need of housing assistance. Most families Scott works with are employed but living in motels because they don’t have the ability to build-up the reserve needed for expensive move-in costs. Scott works with each family to build upon their unique skill set and connects them with transportation, childcare, employment and sometimes counseling while they work to find stable housing. One of Scott’s clients is a single mother of two teenagers. When they met, the family was living in a motel. Scott helped them find an affordable home, so they could keep the family dog with them and the teens could focus on their education and enjoy their high school experience. The family is thankful for the many simple but to them, life-changing details they’ve experienced and all thanks to the work of Scott Smith!
Lindsay Parete 2nd Quarterly Winner
Lindsay is a truancy navigator with Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS) where she instills a sense of worth for all those she serves. Lindsay helps children succeed in school by working with families to overcome truancy. She is affectionately known by her supervisor and colleagues as the “Lindsay-nator” because of her passion, problem-solving and tenacity. She is a quiet force advocating on behalf of her families, breaking down barriers and helping children be successful in school!
Lucie Malinski 3rd Quarterly Winner
As an early childhood consultant with Directions for Living where her passion for her work is contagious, Lucie works with parents and other professionals to help ensure children start school ready to learn. She often does home visits and teaches parents positive disciplinary techniques. Lucie believes that hurt people hurt people and breaking the cycle of abuse is one of the things she strives for. When speaking about a 4-year-old boy she once had in her program, Lucie remembers the day they had to say their good-byes. The little boy challenged her, saying she wouldn’t remember him, but Lucie softly reassured him. She told him that when she was an old lady sitting in her rocking chair on her porch, she would look into her heart and find him there. And Lucie says he’s still there – along with many of the children she’s helped through the years. They’re all still in her heart where they’ll be forever!
Summer Perez 4th Quarterly Winner
As a program manager of early childhood services with Suncoast Center, Summer leads a department of therapists and directs the development of policies to ensure quality care for pre-school children. She also facilitates therapy groups for children and workshops for parents. Summer believes it all starts with building a relationship with families so they know she’s there to help, not judge or criticize them. She models her relationship-building skills with new staff, rolling up her sleeves and helping them become comfortable working with families of very young children. She understands the impact that exposure to violence has on children and provides workshops in the community aimed at breaking the cycle of abuse. For Summer, it’s the family successes – big and small – that make her job worthwhile!
High Schools Students for Real Life and Real Jobs
In March, the Pinellas Education Foundation held their annual Career Education Breakfast at the Gus Stavros Center. The event celebrated area high schools, students and community leaders involved in moving students from school to careers with relevant job training and instruction. The Career Academies are located within Pinellas County High Schools to provide students an advantage in the real world. They are enrolled in coursework that can prepare them for college, technical training or into the work force. Select academies were represented at the breakfast and students demonstrated their projects to business and community leaders.
Dixie M. Hollins High School Culinary Arts Program Enrollment: 175 students
Students in this program can earn Servsafe(r) and ProStart industry certifications in its recently updated facility. By focusing on hands-on training, students prepare for a dynamic, rewarding career in the food service and hospitality industry.
Boca Ciega High School, Center for Wellness and Medical Professions (CWMP) Enrollment: 461 students. Designated a Center of Excellence
CWMP is a county-wide magnet program that was established in 1994. It is designed for students interested in careers in the field of healthcare and have a commitment to personal wellness and the prevention of disease. CWMP students take academic classes that fully prepare them for entry into post-secondary programs with an emphasis in the sciences. Students gain valuable employment skills that are specific to healthcare professions and other jobs in general. Additionally, the program prepares students for entry-level jobs that enable students to work in healthcare while allowing them to further their education, whether through technical school, community college or university.
Osceola Fundamental High School Culinary Arts Enrollment: 260 students
Students in this program also can earn their Servsafe(r) and ProStart industry certifications. Culinary students in levels 2 & 3 prepare and serve meals, available for sale to Osceolaâ€™s staff, every Monday and Friday. The program also began a culinary competition team for the first time in 2013-14.
Pinellas Park High School First Responders: National Guard Center for Emergency Management Enrollment: 326 students
First Responders is a four-year high school magnet program with an emphasis on emergency management and response education. The academy staff is committed to providing students with an outstanding education in their academics as well as in emergency management/response. Graduates of the academy are prepared for college, technical school or entry into the work force.
Countryside High School - The Center for Computer Technologies
Enrollment: 145 students. Designated as a Center of Excellence
The Center for Computer Technologies provides students with skills needed in the IT field with a focus on computer system set up and support, networking, workplace efficiency, digital design, web design and security. Students can earn industry certification in Microsoft Office, Comp TIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+. In addition to the academies being represented, awards were announced for school leaders and instructors for their work in advancing the mission and quality of the academies. Pinellas County Principals Recognized for Career Academy Achievement: Area One: Reuben C. Hepburn For Dunedin High School Area Two: Gary Schlereth for Countryside High School Area Three: Carmela Haley for East Lake High School Area Four: John Johnston for Pinellas Park Winners of the Career Education Award for 2014: Dan Smith of Countryside High School Chris Borg of Lakeside High School
Lakewood High School Applied Robotics Program Enrollment: 108 students
Applied Robotics is a four-year program with an emphasis in robotic programming and construction. While in the program students demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of electronics as well as the operation of basic electronic devices used in robotics. They will also demonstrate an understanding of engineering principles and be able to explain fundamental physics concepts applicable to the field of robotics. Students culminate their activities by being able to build, program, and configure a robot to perform predefined tasks by solving problems using critical thinking skills, creativity and innovation.
Additional career academies available for students in Pinellas County. For more information about the academies, contact the school or the district office: Academy of Architectural Design and Building Technologies at Dunedin H.S. Academy of Engineering at East Lake H.S. Academy of Finance at Northeast H.S. Automotive Academy at Northeast H.S. Business, Economics, Technology Academy at Gibbs H.S. Career Academy for International Culture and Commerce at Clearwater H.S. Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood H.S. Center for Construction Technologies at St. Petersburg H.S. Center for Culinary Arts at Northeast H.S. Center for Design in Business at Largo H.S. Center for Education and Leadership at Seminole H.S. Center for Wellness & Medical Professions at Palm Harbor H.S. Criminal Justice Academy at Pinellas Park H.S. Graphic Arts Academy at Dixie M. Hollins H.S. Jacobson Culinary Arts Academy at Tarpon Springs H.S.
Next Generation Entrepreneurs The Career Breakfast is also the event where local high school inventors and entrepreneurs learn who will win the grand prize of $10,000 plus mentoring to take their business from idea to a functional business.
Fortunately for these budding entrepreneurs, the process is more like a think tank and less of a “Shark Tank.” Program mentors, the likes of Marvin Gay, owner of Painting with a Twist, and Danny Mastronardo, one of the founders of Nardo’s Natural, are among several dedicated business professionals who spent real time consulting and teaching students the basics of starting a business. They nurtured their ideas into real business plans ready for the final judging. Program Chair Kurt Long, founder and CEO of FairWarning, Inc. told the audience that he was quite impressed with the quality of students in the competition. He said that when watching the news, one may think the world is falling apart. But after spending time with local students, he was confident that the world was going to be okay.
The Winner of the Next Generation Entrepreneur Award for 2014 Jason Wilkinson, Shea Akerman & Jason Williams from East Lake High for their Universal Soldering Attachments Their invention of a universal attachment enables soldering to be done with one hand as opposed to two because of mounting on the iron in a self-feeding fashion. Their product will increase quality, speed and consistency of the user’s output, as well as accessibility. Students will continue working with professional mentors.
Ten semi-finalists were narrowed down from more than 60 original applicants from 11 different Pinellas County High Schools. Those semifinalists attended after-school workshops and worked closely with mentors to write their business plan.
Company concepts included Trixie Treats, a natural, healthy treat for dogs that is designed to prevent periodontal gum disease by Connor Mackin of Countryside High School; Fit++, a website and app to combat obesity by Skyler Kistler of St. Petersburg High School; Energy Case, a solar powered phone charger by Mikayla Hull and Erika Stralow of Clearwater High School and Make a Change with Sydney, a business for bullying prevention by Sydney Hamilton of East Lake High School. FairWarning® CEO Kurt Long with the Next Generation Entrepreneur winners Jason Williams, Jason Wilkinson and Shea Akerman from East Lake High School
Do you have a teen who could be the next winner of $10,000 to start his or her own company? If so, they should start working on their ideas over the summer.
The Next Generation Entrepreneurs program gives Pinellas County juniors and seniors a real opportunity to take an innovative idea to market. Students having an idea for a business that will add value to people’s lives are encouraged to apply. Applications for the 2014-15 competition will be made available in May and due in the fall. Individuals or teams of up to three people can apply. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and attending a Pinellas County Public School, scheduled to graduate in 2015 or 2016. Applications can be found at PinellasEducation.org under Next Generation Entrepreneurs.
eating Should I Be Drinking Juices or Smoothies? By DOREEN MARTIN
Are you ready for everyone’s favorite topic?! The difference between juicing and blending.
I learned the importance of juicing and now I drink one every day and my life has changed forever. I learned to not only eat cleaner, but I also learned the importance of self-care and appreciation for all the miraculous things my body is doing for me every second of everyday. I now honor myself by feeding my body Raw Living Food. I practice being a good steward of the body God gave me so I can fulfill the plan He has for me!
There were years when all I ate was processed foods and quick and easy microwave food. I was the microwave QUEEN. Good wine and cheese were a favorite snack of mine, or should I say, an addiction of mine. This period of my life was also the time I felt so horrible! I began to realize there was a connection between the foods I ate and the way I felt. Heavy cheese and processed bread = sluggish!
I also learned the connection between food and mood. Junk Foods = Junky, Negative Thoughts!
So What Is The Deal With Raw Juices? Why Are They Good For You?
Today, I want to educate and inspire you to learn the benefits of juices and smoothies. These drinks are guaranteed to change your life, because they alkalize your body, regenerate your cells, and allow you to consume different fruits and vegetables in an easyto-digest form. There is a possibility for increased blood sugar when you juice, and this is something to be aware of when you’re only juicing fruits. The recipes in my free ebooks on my website are designed to help balance your blood sugar, but again, pay attention to your unique body. You can also reduce unwanted spikes in blood sugar by consuming one tablespoon of coconut oil or one teaspoon of flax oil added to your juice, which will provide the essential fat your body needs for digestion. When you juice and remove the fiber, the nutrients are absorbed quickly into your body. If you have concerns about blood sugar issues, make sure you choose juices that are green juices and add either a carrot or an apple to avoid sugar spikes.
I suggest juicing once a day for a snack or even before bed. There is no right or wrong time to juice.
Juicing vs. Blending Smoothies
It’s important to understand the difference between a juicer and a blender. When you drink a juice, you are drinking it without the pulp and the fiber. You are still getting the beneficial nutrients, but in a very easy-to-digest form. Many people with digestive issues find juices are easier on their body. And, believe it or not, it’s important to chew your juice, as digestion begins in the mouth. Fascinating, right?
Here are some of my secrets to set you on your path to success. Did you know you could drink your way to a magnificent body, more vitality and feeling fabulous each and every day? I know because I did Juices are an important part of the detoxification process, and for it four years ago, and still do to this today; and I am 45 pounds lighter! many, a very effective and easy way to assimilate nutrients that I’m always looking for ways to feel my best.Being a mother of may be difficult to digest otherwise. two, a wife and running my own coaching practice and super As far as blending or using a Vitamix, you are consuming the green food product line can take a lot out of me if I don’t fuel my fiber, the skin, and the pulp to create a slow and even release of body correctly. If you’re like me, you want to have more energy, the nutrients into your bloodstream. fewer cravings, less bloat, and glow from the inside out! A special note from me, your health cheerleader: Do you want to say goodbye to diets and to feeling hungry or Some people do better juicing while others thrive on blending. deprived? I am going to give you the tools you need to end the Take the time to see which one is better for you. AND, if you do madness of the afternoon crash that causes you to eat junk food or not have a juicer, you don’t actually have to go out and buy one! feel the need for coffee at 4 p.m. to get through the rest of the day. You can juice using a blender by following these simple steps: I was always running to Starbucks for my afternoon coffee fix, but 1. Throw in celery or cucumber and a little water. no more. I don’t need it, nor does my body crave it anymore. Blend until it becomes liquid. As a health coach specializing in Raw Foods and detoxification 2. Add in the rest of your chopped fruits and veggies a little I use whole foods and super foods to improve and/or reverse at a time, adding water as needed. conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, skin rashes, acne, allergies and digestive, thyroid and weight issues. I 3. Blend. am here to guide you towards making the right food choices in 4. Pour mixture into a cheesecloth and squeeze out the order to boost your metabolism and improve your digestion. The liquid into a large bowl, leaving the pulp behind. digestive track is the key to your good health and longevity. 5. Pour juice into a glass and enjoy!
40 Spring Issue 2014
eating Lastly, here is another green juice option. This method works wonders to alkalize your body and creates the ideal setting for good bacteria to grow in your digestive system.
Buy some chlorophyll at your local natural foods store (or online) and add one tablespoon to 20 ounces of water with lemon. You have just made a healthy at home SUPERFOOD green drink! This drink actually regenerates your cells on a molecular and cellular level. Here is one of my favorite sweet treats:
Apple Pick Me Up
2 apples, thumb-size ginger, 2 carrots, handful of kale (or any greens) Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
De-Bloat + Love the Liver
10 asparagus stalks, 3 cucumbers, 4 celery stalks, 1 lemon Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
3 carrots, 1 beet (you can also add the stems if you desire), 3 celery stalks, 1/2 inch of ginger, juice of 1 lemon Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
Alkaline Special ABOUT THE AUTHOR I am Doreen Martin. In my coaching programs, I help clients ditch dieting and Love Every Bite by learning exactly how to nourish their unique bodies, beautifully with Raw Foods.
As a Certified Holistic Health Coach specializing in RAW FOOD Detoxification, Doreen is also certified with the AADP American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Her purpose is to help others discover all the healing benefits of adding Raw Living Foods to their Life. She helps clients detox physically and emotionally, working together to discover a personal blueprint to health. It’s time to rise up and find the answer to why you are sick and tired. If you feed your body what it needs, the body will heal itself.
2 cucumbers, 6 celery stalks, 1 cup kale, 1 cup parsley, 2 lemons Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
Sweet Lovin Liver + Detox Juice
3 carrots, 5 stalks celery, 1 cucumber, 1/2 bunch kale, 1/2 bunch parsley, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 1 lemon squeezed Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
Beautiful Beauty Green Juice
1 cup spinach, 1 cucumber, 1 pear, 3 celery stalks, 1 lime Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
3 celery stalk,s 1 cup greens or bunch of spinach, 1 cucumber, 1 cup of parsley, 1 apple, juice of 1 lemon Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
Spring Issue 2014 41
Jumpstart Weight Loss for Successful Results Brenda Watson, C.N.C. President, ReNew Life Formulas Digestive Care Expert New York Times Best-Selling Author Public Television Health Educator My name is Brenda Watson, and I founded ReNew Life Formulas in my quest to improve my own digestive health problems—which included difficulty losing weight. Using natural healing approaches, I became an expert on cleansing, detoxification and digestion. I perfected how specific blends of herbs, minerals and other natural ingredients support the natural processes that help rid the body of unwanted waste and toxins—and pounds—for better overall health.*
Fad Diets are Out
Today we are seeing a sensible return to whole nutrition and regular exercise, as opposed to diet fads. The focus is now about the types of foods people are eating and the toxins we inevitably absorb from foods and the environment that slow weight loss down. You may be familiar with healthy weight-loss plans and the benefits of eating whole, fresh foods, including high-fiber fruits and vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and nuts and seeds—but you may not be aware of the benefits of cleansing and detoxification before you start your weight-loss program.*
Why Jumpstart Weight Loss?
“Jumpstart” formulas specifically to be used before you begin your weight-loss plan are available to help naturally enhance energy, reduce bloating and fatigue, promote regularity, and flush away toxins and waste.* They should include: • Ingredients, such as vitamin B12, niacin, yerba mate and ginseng to help promote healthy metabolic function*
• Cleansing herbs, such as milk thistle, to help support the liver and kidneys to enhance detoxification and help eliminate toxins* • Natural bowel-stimulating herbs to help eliminate toxins associated with built-up waste through regular bowel movements*
• Natural magnesium to help hydrate the bowel and ease elimination* • Soothing herbal ingredients to nourish and support the intestines* Find out how easy it is to jumpstart your weight loss this summer. Visit renewlife.com or contact a ReNew Life Product Specialist at 1-800-830-1800 to guide you on your way. You’ll be glad you did!
For over 20 years, Brenda Watson has dedicated her career to helping people achieve vibrant, lasting health through improved digestive function. A dynamic health advocate, author, speaker and celebrated public television health educator, she is among the foremost authorities in America on optimum nutrition and digestion, natural detoxification methods, and herbal internal cleansing. Brenda recognized a growing need within the natural products industry for a line of safe and effective digestive care products during her extensive clinical work, and in 1997 she accepted the challenge herself. The result is the ReNew Life line of superiorquality digestive health supplements based in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Happy Earth Day #3 R
In celebration of Earth Day 2014, GoodLiving hopes to inspire everyone to live a more sustainable lifestyle. When it comes to taking care of trash, the actions to reduce, reuse and recycle exemplify the philosophy of sustainability: conscious and deliberate thought about how the actions of today will impact the future, and then making the most responsible decision possible. So in that spirit, we have selected some of our favorite recycling stories to share with our readers.
The best local source to learn how to dispose of just about anything is the How do I Get Rid of It A to Z Guide for Recycling & Disposal in Pinellas County created by Pinellas County Utilities. Before you get rid of anything, and we mean anything, visit their website, open the online guide and learn how to sell, trade, reuse, donate, recycle, drop off or dispose of hundreds of items from adhesive to zinc. The guide gives specific information about how and where you can dispose of hazardous items that cannot be hauled to the landfill with your other trash. Also included are unique partnerships to recycle or reuse specialty items. Find the guide at pinellascounty.org/utilities/getridofit.
You can actually send your retired blue jeans into environmental service as a cleaner, healthier alternative to traditional insulation. A company called Ultra Touch™ in Arizona developed a manufacturing process that turns denim into a natural fiber insulation that has no formaldehyde or harmful irritants. Locally, you can contact Service Partners of Florida through their website Service-Partners.com to purchase some fluffy, blue insulation for your home or buildings. In this case blue is definitely better than pink.
Watch for notices when the Haz-to-Go trailer is in your neighborhood.
While it’s not against the law to dump alkaline batteries in the trash can, it’s still better to recycle them along with the button and rechargeable batteries that cannot be put in the trash. Waste Management has made it easy with their Battery Recycling Kit. For $16.95 anyone can purchase a box that holds four pounds of batteries including NiCad, NiMH and alkaline AAA, AA, C, D, 6V and 9V. The box comes with a pre-paid return shipping label, so when it’s full, just set by the mail box. Find it at ThinkGreenFromHome.com
An organization that hits for the cycle when it comes to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the Habitat for Humanity Restore. First, anyone who is doing remodeling can donate their used building materials, including toilets, doors, appliances, counter tops – just about anything that could be used to build another home. This reduces waste to the landfills. Second, buyers come to the Restore and purchase these items for their own remodeling projects generating revenue for Habitat for Humanity. Then third, all this recycled money goes to build new homes for deserving families. If you love bargain hunting, you can find Habitat Pinellas on Facebook where they post new items to the store. Visit Restore at 13355 49th St. N. in Clearwater
Last, but certainly not least is a group of wood workers who use donated scrap wood to make hand-made toys for children. Who knew we had the southern branch of the North Pole right here in Hudson? The volunteers who call themselves Toymakers work out of a shop in Hudson to produce thousands of toys each year that get delivered to Ronald McDonald Houses, hospitals and other charities. Since 1982, they have shaped 240,000 wooden toys out of scrap wood to bring smiles to sick and needy children. Learn more at Thetoymakers.org
Live Greener with Natural Gas Energy Did you know that you can live greener and save money with natural gas here in Pinellas County?
Natural gas is green energy that is a good idea on Earth Day and everyday. Green energy sources are environmentally-friendly sources of power and energy that are both renewable and non-polluting. Natural gas is part of the green revolution and Clearwater Gas System is the local provider of natural gas to homes and businesses in the area. For the past 80 years, they have helped customers improve their lifestyle, raise the value of their homes, cut energy costs and for those who have the tankless water heaters, never run out of hot water! Tankless water heaters are the top selling appliance and a main reason that homeowners opt for natural gas according to Lisa Brown, director of marketing for Clearwater Gas. She also says serious cooks want the gas stoves and frugal dads want to save money on heating the pool. “If a residence or business isn’t already hooked up for natural gas, it may be fairly easy to do so. Anyone interested in gas should call us to find out more.”
Natural gas energy can heat your home more efficiently and it can power numerous home appliances: ranges, water heaters, fire pits, grills, dryers, spa/pool heaters and outdoor kitchens. This type of gas energy is an extremely efficient fuel that saves up to 58% annually for typical residential household usage. And it doesn’t stop working when the power goes out. For a limited time, qualifying homeowners can receive up to $1,600 in potential rebates, when converting from electric to natural gas energy.
To live greener, call Clearwater Gas at (727)562-4980 to find out more about the options available to homeowners and business owners or visit clearwatergas.com.
My Story by LILY ULINE
Make Kindness Count!
Disappointed about my loss for Safety Harbor Elementary School President, I decided that my Make Kindness Count campaign wasn’t something that should only be in my school, but something that needed to be spread all throughout the community. For Christmas this year, one of my presents from my mom was two hundred and fifty dollars that I had to give away. Seeing the impact I was making on peoples lives, and the happiness that my small act of kindness had on them showed me how important it is. On my 10th birthday I decided I wanted to make a difference in this world by doing these random acts of kindness; I created the Make Kindness Count cards. You simply do a random act of kindness then you hand them the card for them to do a random act of kindness to someone else. I want to not only do acts of kindness, but I want to influence people to join me and take part in changing the world.
Make Kindness Count’s goal is to spread kindness, not only on holidays, but on a daily basis. Letting someone go ahead of you in line, paying for the person before or after you, making friends with someone who may be lonely, studying with a classmate, helping someone with yard work, taking out or in their garbage can or recycling bin, donating clothes, books, or toys are all ways to make a difference. My Make Kindness Count page on Facebook is where I share some of the random acts of kindness that I do throughout the week and encourage others to do the same. In only a few weeks, over six hundred and fifty people have liked my page, many of whom have begun to share kindness in their community. It makes me so proud and extremely happy to know that my encouragement and ideas have begun to make a difference in the lives of others and I hope that one day my Make Kindness Count cards will travel all around the world.
Acts of kindness are simple actions you can take to put a smile on someone else’s face. Writing a thank you note to show appreciation, helping someone with household chores, sharing something with a person who may be less fortunate, or even spending time with someone. There are three opportunities coming up that everyone can take part in making a difference in the world: Earth Day, Teacher Appreciation Week and Mothers Day. Showing kindness is not limited to people, but to our earth too. With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I want to encourage everyone to make a change in the way they are living, even if it is in the smallest way. Some ideas are switching off lights that you aren’t using, shutting off the water while brushing, reusing or limiting water bottle usage, taking shorter showers, and recycling are all ways we can show kindness towards our environment.
The people that we are around most often like our parents, siblings, teachers, friends, and coworkers are the ones we seem to overlook when it comes to being kind. Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day are coming up in May and they give us perfect opportunities to show those people just how much we care. My mom always loves when I write her letters. Other ideas could be making her favorite meal or dessert; cleaning the house or doing extra chores; randomly hugging her or telling her how much you love her; and spending extra time talking to her are all ways to spread kindness to your mom. For Teacher Appreciation Week, you could give your teacher flowers, chocolate, or a letter about how they’ve helped you and taught you.
ABOUT THE PHOTO This is my friend Jerry. Every week I go to his house and play cards with him and teach him his numbers and colors. Jerry is 61 years old and was born without oxygen and was brain damaged. He loves to play cards, checkers, and go for rides in the car and eat ice cream. My little act of kindness not only helps him but gives his caregivers relief. If I can make a difference so can you! Do your act of kindness today!
P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677