February 2021

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Making a Difference in our Community page 12

ThunderBug and the Stanley Cup on the steps of Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa.




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Emergency Care for Kids Kids aren’t the same size as grown ups, so we don’t use adult-sized instruments in our pediatric ERs. Everything comes in a range of sizes to treat the smallest patient to the biggest one. Based on your child’s weight and size, we use the blood pressure cuff that’s the right fit for the most accurate reading, or ventilation masks and bags to provide the correct amount of air for their lungs. And we always make

sure that medications are measured appropriately. It’s important for your child to be treated someplace that’s equipped to meet their unique needs. Additionally, keeping you safe is our priority — to help protect you and your child from COVID-19, we’ve put enhanced safety measures in place in our ER. Learn how the right size care can make a difference in your child’s ER experience: PediERChildSize.org

PEDIATRIC ER LOCATIONS Mease Countryside Hospital • St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital • St. Joseph’s Hospital-South


FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


FEBRUARY 2021 CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND EDITORIAL MANAGER Laura Byrne ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anu Varma Panchal EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michael Puchalski, M.D. Laura Byrne Anu Varma Panchal Lauren Gay Kylie Ponton Laura Frasor Julie Tingley Tara Payor, PhD Maggie Rodriguez Laura Cross Julie Troupe Heather Barrow ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Howie Mac Photo Lauren Gay Bos Images Michelle Drewes Martin Vecchio Lauren Sawyer Maggie Rodriguez BOOKKEEPING Employee of the Month, LLC TAMPA BAY PARENTING MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949-4400 Fax 813-315-6688 info@tbparenting.com editor@tbparenting.com


Once I picked medicine as my field of choice, I knew I had to be working with children. Cardiology was the best fit because it balanced intensive care with the ability to follow a child for his or her whole life. While I always focused on treating children, it took a while for my wife, Brenda, and me to start our own family. We were devastated to be told we couldn’t have children, even after trying IVF. Like many yearning for a family, we finally looked into adoption, filed the paperwork and left for a trip to Italy. While in Italy, we got a call that we were about to be parents to a beautiful baby girl. We rushed back excited and totally unprepared—not just for Luli’s arrival, but for being parents for the first time. As luck would have it, my wife became pregnant with our son, Tristan, a few months later, and we completed our family with dogs, a cat and a bearded dragon. Our families are the most important gift we have, and caring for our children before, during and after birth is not only my number one priority but the priority of all those working in our Heart Institute. As we celebrate American Heart Month this February, I want to remind families that there is help in our community, whether you’re pregnant and just learned of your baby’s heart defect, or if your child is experiencing any type of heart condition. Set aside time this month to focus on your heart and the hearts of your family. Learn about heart disease in your family. Get outside and get active with your family. Most of all, I encourage you to put heart in all that you do when it comes to your family.


Co-director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute Medical Director of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

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Tampa Bay Parenting is published twelve times per year and distributed throughout the Tampa Bay community. Tampa Bay Parenting is not responsible for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or incorrect information (or the consequences related thereto) contained within the magazine or online; readers should not rely on any information contained in the magazine and they should always consult with an appropriate professional for guidance. Tampa Bay Parenting accepts no responsibility for the consequences of error or for any loss or damage suffered by users of any of the information or materials provided by Tampa Bay Parenting. Some content published by Tampa Bay Parenting is sponsored or paid for advertising content, and some individuals quoted or cited in articles have paid for advertising or sponsorships; this content or opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Tampa Bay Parenting.


Puchalski with his wife, Brenda, and children Luli and Tristan. TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


INSIDE 25/ MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH FEEDING TAMPA BAY: How you can support local families during Canned Food Month in February



26/ MLB PLAYER’S GIFT: Tampa Bay native and MLB player Mychal Givens passes on his love of baseball to local kids 45/ HOME AFTER THE FIRE: Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet students return to a new future at a rebuilt school


ARTICLES: 12/ COVER STORY: Jassen Cullimore of the Tampa Bay Lightning shares how his team gives back through the Lightning Made Hockey program 15/ SUPER BOWL LV EXPERIENCE: Everything you need to know about this interactive outdoor experience along Tampa’s Riverwalk 16/ LET’S GET CRAFTY TAMPA BAY: Creative ways to introduce your kids to the arts 19/ 5 NATIONAL PARKS A DAY AWAY: Lauren Gay of the Outdoorsy Diva shares tidbits on her favorite Florida national parks just a short drive from Tampa Bay 21/ 7 EASY TIPS TO REFRESH YOUR KITCHEN: Kylie Ponton of Ponton Interiors and Laura Frasor of Neat Method-Tampa share expert advice

54/ YOUR LIBRARY ON THE GO: You don’t need to leave home to access all the information and entertainment available through the Hillsborough County Public Library 56/ RARE GURU: When diagnosed with a rare illness, a local family created an app to help those in their situation connect with others 58/ HEART DEFECTS IN BABIES: Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital doctors share what you need to know and how they can help 61/ MIRACLE OF THE HEART: A local mom delivers her baby at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital 24 years after a life-saving heart surgery saved her life as a newborn

EVERY ISSUE: 10/ NOTEWORTHY: February’s highlights and what’s new in Tampa Bay 22/ MOMS TO KNOW: Meet Loralee Koontz, PA-C of U South Tampa 62/ WHAT’S TRENDING ON TAMPABAYPARENTING.COM: See our top stories right now

ON THE COVER: ThunderBug can't get enough of the Stanley Cup! As our home team defends the Stanley Cup, we take a closer look at how the team gives back to the community off the ice and how your family can take part in the many programs offered through Lightning Made Hockey.

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READ MORE ON PAGE 12 Photo Credit: Howie Mac Photo

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

ThunderBug and the Stanley Cup outside of Amalie Arena.




FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Meet our Contributors

ANU VARMA PANCHAL Anu Varma Panchal has written and edited for area publications for nearly 20 years. She’s ac­t ive on her children’s PTA boards, loves theatre, concerts, the local brewery scene and travel, and spends way too much time schlepping her 12 and 16-year-olds around in her minivan. She never leaves home without her library card. You can find her at youreditingsolutions.com.


TARA PAYOR, PH.D. Tara Payor, Ph.D. has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She is a contributing faculty member for Walden University, where she guides doctoral students through their dissertations. She is also a language arts educator. Reach her at tpayor@gmail.com.

JULIE TINGLEY Julie Tingley is an 8-year Tampa transplant who has found her way through numerous professional and parenting transitions by maintaining focus on her daily inspirations: Ella, 6, and Kate, 3. With a vision of a better future for her girls, she has introduced the KNOW Book + Tribe, a women’s publication and community, to Tampa Bay.

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DR. MICHAEL PUCHALSKI Dr. Michael Puchalski is co-director of the Heart Institute and medical director of cardiology at Johns Hopkins All Children’s. He was previously associate director of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and director of noninvasive imaging for cardiology after building the Fetal Heart Center and starting the cardiovascular MRI program. In addition, he was director of quality for the Heart Center at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and served as medical director of outpatient services at Primary Children’s in Riverton, Utah.

LAUREN GAY Lauren Gay is the creator of the Misadventures of an Outdoorsy Diva blog and host/producer of the Outdoorsy Diva Podcast. She's also a published photographer, speaker and CEO of Lauren Gay Consulting, offering professional consulting services for blogs and podcasts as well as courses and curated group adventure trips. She is a travel writer and social media influencer who is passionate about inspiring and empowering black women to step out of their comfort zones for new experiences in travel and adventure and embracing nature as therapy. Lauren is also a dedicated long-time advocate for racial diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and adventure travel.

JULIE TROUPE Julie Troupe has worked for Hillsborough County for 14 years. She is an administrative librarian at the Town ‘N Country Regional Public Library.

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ Maggie Rodriguez is a former network news anchor who now lives in South Tampa with her husband and their two children. She is best known as the host of the nationally-televised morning news program, The Early Show on CBS, as well as a substitute anchor on The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Since relocating to Tampa Bay, Rodriguez has been busy rekindling her love for writing, volunteering and enjoying weekend adventures.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

Story Idea? Are you a local blogger or writer? If you have a content idea or a story to tell, tell us. editor@tbparenting.com














G SI.OR E INFO! O M VISIT FOR MOR 4 8 0 1 E A S T F O W L E R AV E • TA M P A • 8 1 3 - 9 8 7 - 6 0 0 0 • M O S I . O R G MOSI is a leader in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives by making science real. FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com 9


GIRL SCOUTS PARTNER WITH GRUBHUB Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is proud to expand their virtual selling methods for the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Program. In addition to traditional cookie booths that open Feb. 12, Girl Scouts will advance their entrepreneurial skills through a new GrubHub partnership where girls can facilitate their cookie deliveries through the service (limited availability; varies by location). Cookie lovers can also shop a troop’s online store and have cookies shipped directly to them using the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app starting Feb. 1. Head to GirlScoutCookieTime.com for all your Girl Scout Cookie needs!


For an educational walk that can teach your children about their community's past, consider the African American Heritage Trails in St. Pete. There are two urban walking trails, both starting at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum located at 2240 9th Ave. S. The 22nd Street South trail is titled “Community, Culture and Commerce,” and the 9th Avenue South Trail is “Faith, Family and Education.” While visiting the museum, you can also see the community’s first Black Lives Matter street mural in front. woodsonmuseum.org To experience history from home, visit the Hillsborough County Library's virtual database, which is filled with books for all ages that you can check out­— including titles focused on local history: hcpl.org

Jazz Exhibit Debuts at EPCOT If you’re a fan of jazz and the new Disney Pixar film "Soul," you will definitely want to add a tour of the new “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” to your bucket list. Walt Disney World has been working with jazz museums across the country to bring this new exhibit to life which will feature the star of "Soul," Joe Gardner, as he takes you on a musical tour of jazz. It opens this month at the American Adventure pavilion at EPCOT. disneyworld.com

ARRRGGHHH—we have to wait until April for Gasparilla, but your little swashbucklers can party with the pirates at LEGOLAND for three weekends, Feb. 12 through Feb. 28. Expect new LEGO character meet-and-greets, pirate-themed food and live shows. legolandflorida.com

National Wear Red for Women Day is Feb. 6 Wear red to help raise awareness about heart disease in women and save lives. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, despite 80% of cardiac events being preventable. Learn more at goredforwomen.org.

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

ZooTampa takes you on a new, behind-the-scenes tour to introduce you to baby Gronk the rhino and other new additions at the zoo. Your group will be led by one of the stars of the National Geographic series, “Secrets of the Zoo: ZooTampa.” In February, the tours will be held on the following Saturdays: Feb. 6, 20 and 27 from 8-9:30 a.m. It is $125 for non-members and $100 for members and includes coffee and juice before the tour, a photo with one of the animals, admission to the Zoo and more. zootampa.org


PirateFest Weekends at LEGOLAND Florida



THINGS WE LOVE WubbaNub Pacifier: Heart Warrior Collection

February is National Heart Month, and CHD Awareness Week falls Feb. 7-14. According to the CDC, about 40,000 babies are born with congenital heart disease each year in the United States and about 25% of them face critical types. To raise awareness for this heartbreaking condition, WubbaNub releases a limited-edition Heart Warrior collection each February to support babies born with congenital heart disease and donates proceeds to the Children's Heart Foundation. wubbanub.com

COMING SOON! Wild Kratts® © 2021 Kratt Bros. Co. Ltd. / 9 Story Media Group Inc.

January 23-May 16

Downtown Tampa | GlazerMuseum.org/wild For sponsorship information, contact giving@glazermuseum.org FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



Lightning Made Hockey by Laura Byrne, photos provided by The Tampa Bay Lightning

Photos in this column taken by Howie Mac Photo

For Tampa Bay’s beloved Lightning, being the hometown team has always transcended a love for the sport. Their true winning comes from giving back. We recently met up with Jassen Cullimore for a socially-distant interview outside Amalie Arena. A former player, Cullimore now helps lead the Lightning Made Hockey program. As we sat next to the Stanley Cup, which he helped bring home as part of the team in 2004, we talked about how the team is not only winning big on the ice, but making an impact on the lives of children in families in our community. BYRNE: First—let’s talk about the Stanley Cup since it’s right here on the table next to us! You were part of the team when the Lightning brought it home in 2004—you know from personal experience the work and determination it takes. CULLIMORE: It takes a lot to win this. When we won in 2004—I mean…I was here in the lean times when we were losing 50 games a year, so to go through the process that we went through and the changes the team made in personnel—to win it, it’s tough.

BYRNE: Team sports teach you a lot on and off the field…or ice. What life lessons did you learn as a player that you’ve been able to share with your children and the kids you meet through the Lighting Made Program?

Cullimore at our 2021 cover shoot

CULLIMORE: You keep at it. If you have a goal in mind, you figure out what you need to do to reach that goal and no matter what, you just keep working at it. It’s funny—we were talking before—I have my three daughters at home e-learning and right now I’m working with my youngest. She’s in grade 6, and we’re trying to get her caught up since it’s the end of the

quarter. I’ve been sitting with her the last couple of nights doing grade 6 math and world history. That's the thing, to let her know this is what we need to do... you have to sacrifice a little bit... put in the work to get the mark you want.

BYRNE: There’s a picture of you with one of your daughters after the Stanley Cup win in 2004. What is that moment like for you all as players and as parents? CULLIMORE: That’s the great part. When they’re coming up to the plane, the kids, especially the young ones, they don’t really care about this (Stanley Cup). They just want to see their dad. It’s a special moment. She’s 17 now—we have that picture up and she walks by it every day. It’s one of those things you never forget and eventually the kids will realize the importance of it.

BYRNE: We’ve all made the so-called pandemic pivots. The Lightning Made Program is no different, producing virtual programming for kids. CULLIMORE: We were trying to think of stuff we can do. I know ThunderBug had his thing with fitness he was sending out. We sort of jumped on that. We put together some videos. We put together virtual clinics on Saturday mornings and were averaging 40 or 50 kids. We also have videos up there and it just shows stuff you can do with regular household items at home—if you are stuck at home and can’t go anywhere, you don’t necessarily have all of the equipment you need.

Cullimore and his family over the years

BYRNE: The Lightning Made Hockey programming offers something for everyone, from little kids to adults. Can you talk about some of the programming available?

Lightning Made Hockey programming takes the sport out into schools and the community.

CULLIMORE: We just started up our Heroes League program which is a great program. We have firemen, police officers, doctors, teachers, veterans, wounded warriors…I believe we have 50 or 60 players. We just had our first game. We’ve been running the High School Hockey League throughout the whole thing. There’s a lot going on. We have our Sled Program (adapted version of ice hockey for athletes whose disability may inhibit them from playing stand-up hockey) and we’re trying to introduce games to girls as much as we can. It’s all run by Jay Feaster—he was the general manager when we won this thing (Stanley Cup) in 2004. We’re trying to stay safe and keep everybody else safe. The ice rinks are open, so we are doing stuff there. The Learn to Play program (8-week program for kids ages 5-10), if you’re a beginner, it’s a great deal. You get to learn from alumni such as myself, Mathieu Garon, Brian Bradley—all sorts of guys. We have a diversification program ‘Guide the Thunder’ where we bring middle school kids who haven’t been out playing hockey. That group, we’ve had a few graduate to high school, and now they [are] a JV team that plays in our high school league. We have our spring camp coming up in March and then we’ll be looking to the summer. We usually do anywhere from three to six summer camps.

BYRNE: School visits are a big part of the team’s commitment to Tampa Bay. Why is it so important for the team to connect with kids and families? CULLIMORE: For everyone that’s around here that follows hockey, they know that Jeff Vinik is one of the best owners in all of sports. He gives back to the community, he gives checks out every home game, so it’s important for him to get out in the community. What we’re doing is trying to get young kids involved because we know that R' DE 'BUILD THE THUN once we : RS BE BY THE NUM get them hooked, During the first opr once they e th of e phas ed nd have the ha ey th , am gr . passion for ks ic st 0 out 120,00 the game, t en rr cu e th So far, they’ll n ve program has gi be fans 00 ,0 60 r he away anot for life. close sticks, getting Hopefully . al go to the 100,000 Lightning fans.

Follow along with the Hockey Hall of Fame's Keeper of the Cup, Philip Pritchard, and see his adventures while in Tampa Bay.

We just want to share some of the knowledge we have from playing with those who might not take a look at hockey as an option as a sport for them. The school visits which we call ‘Build the Thunder’—we take over their PE class for the day—we teach the kids how to play street hockey or ball hockey and when we leave, we leave equipment. We leave nets, sticks, balls, jerseys for the school and the kids each get a stick and ball to take home. We started that program five years ago and we completed our first program. Right now, we’re in the middle of our second program, which is grades 1-3, so the young kids. We’ve done over 800 school visits in the five years I’ve been here and it’s quite amazing that we’ve been able to go out and see that many kids and introduce them to the game.

BYRNE: Lightning Made Hockey has also made a commitment to open 10 outdoor street hockey rinks in the five-county Tampa Bay area. CULLIMORE: We go out there and we run clinics at the outdoor rinks, run tournaments. It’s really great to see the tour-

TWITTER @keeperofthecup INSTAGRAM @travelswithstanley TIKTOK @keeperofthecup

naments where you see the kids where we’ve gone to the schools to visit them and they’ve actually put a team together and then we go to the outdoor rinks... and we see them play and compete. If you have inline skates, you can try that out there at the outdoor rinks. You can just take a stick and a ball and have fun with the kids. Some of them are really done up with a cover, so if it’s hot out you stay cool. Check out the local one that’s nearest to you.

BYRNE: We always ask this question—what are your favorite things to do as a family in Tampa Bay and what is it about this area you all love so much? CULLIMORE: When I finished playing, we were going to go back to Chicago because I played there and we just decided with the weather here, being able to be out like this even though for Tampa this is cool weather—70 or 72—that’s the reason we came back. Just being outside with the kids, with family, going to go walk the dogs, especially now with the pandemic (our dogs are pretty exhausted!).…it’s just being able to get outside with them.



Days of Love Giveaway

Look at the prizes we had in 2020... Dinner for 2 at WTR Pool & Girll at the Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa!

Lower Level seats to the Lightning Game with dinner pre-game at Sparkman Wharf.

Pedal, Pedal, Drink! Win a Double Date on Kraken Cycle boats!

Brunch for 2 at HEW Parlor & Chophouse at the historic Fenway Hotel in Dunedin, Florida.

Spend a fun day playing in the trees with that special someone at TreeUmph! Adventure Course.

From CycleBar South Tampa, a 10-class package for a couple to share.

One night stay at TradeWinds RumFish Beach Resort with dinner for two at Guy’s Grill!

An adventure for two to Shell Key Preserve in a clear kayak with Get up and Go Kayaking!

...wait until you see what we have planned for 2021!


ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? Everything You Need to Know About The Super Bowl Experience Presented by Lowe’s

by Laura Byrne

Tampa was built to host the Super Bowl. This year, the Riverwalk takes center stage for pre-game events to give the community and our visitors a chance to step inside the world of the NFL with an interactive experience for kids of all ages. That includes you, mom and dad! As of print day, our home team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was heading to the NFC Championship game (YAY!), so cheers to hoping they’re heading to the Super Bowl as you read this!


UPDATE: The Super Bowl Experience at Julian B Lane Waterfront Park is at capacity and no longer taking reservations or walkups/standby. Demand surged once the Bucs won the NFC Championship. You can still enjoy the Super Bowl Experience events at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Technology Village. We have more Big Game related events on TampaBayParenting.com.

BEFORE YOU GO: You’ll need to download the NFL OnePass app at www.NFL.com/OnePass and book your time slot for free. Capacity will be limited, so you’ll want to book as soon as possible. You can also use the app to play games, receive digital content, enter a virtual queue for autographs and even register for prizes, including tickets to Super Bowl LV. Also, pack your favorite face mask because face coverings will be required for all guests. Bag size will be limited too, so don’t bring your giant purse—bags larger than 18 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches will not be permitted. Among the items you won’t be allowed to bring in: selfie sticks, food and beverages, coolers, camcorders or video recorders and more. Plastic baby bottles will be allowed. For a complete list of prohibited items, check the app. A good rule of thumb is to pack light—just bring yourselves and a small purse to carry wallets, keys and phone.

WHAT TO EXPECT: The event is designed for social distancing and outdoors, with NFL activations and activities stretching 2.7 miles along Tampa’s Riverwalk between Julian B. Lane Park and Sparkman Wharf. The interactive theme park known as Super Bowl Experience will be at Julian B. Lane Park. You’ll get a chance to virtually meet NFL players and legends, snap a photo with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and participate in interactive games like a 40-yard dash and vertical jump against NFL players on LED screens. All 54 Super Bowl rings will also be on display. While you can walk the Riverwalk, another great way to check out other activities, and even get to your parked car, is to hop on the Pirate Water Taxi which stops along the way


While the standby line has been cancelled for Julian B Lane Park, you can still attend the events at Curtis Hixon Park and Technology Village which do not require a reservation, but you will need the NFL OnePass app to gain entry. ​F riday, Jan. 29: 5-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ​ Monday, Feb. 1: CLOSED ​ Tuesday, Feb. 2: CLOSED Follow on social @TampaBayLV Wednesday, Feb. 3: 3-10 p.m. ​T hursday, Feb. 4: 3-10 p.m. or visit TampaBayLV.com Friday, Feb. 5: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. *Dates and times subject to change

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com




Creative ways to introduce your kids to the arts by Laura Byrne

For kids, the act of creating art is not only fun (okay, and maybe a bit messy too), it’s also helping build a variety of skills like fine-motor, critical thinking and problem solving. With each splatter of paint and stroke of the crayon, kids are also mastering language development, self-expression and more. While that craft box at home is a great start, there are so many other ways you can expose your child to the arts in Tampa Bay, whether in person, at a museum or online.

TAMPA BAY ART MUSEUMS We are fortunate that our home of Tampa Bay has fully embraced the arts, giving us access to world-renowned museums where our kids can learn and explore, in person and virtually.

The Dali in St. Pete thedali.org The Dali offers several youth programs, including camps. You can take part in DillyDally with Dali virtually on Feb. 4, 11 and 18 from 5-5:30 pm. Designed for kids ages 6-11, the program will lead your child through a craft inspired by art at the museum. The visiting exhibit Van Gogh Alive! is another must-see. It’s a fully immersive experience where you can step inside the masterpieces created by Van Gogh through high-definition projections on f loor to ceiling screens. You will need to book your ticket and timed reservation online in advance. Tickets for kids 6-12 are $10 (5 and younger are free) and adults are $25. You’ll also want to download the Dali app before you go to learn more about the artist and exhibit. Van Gogh Alive! is on display through April 11, 2021.

Museum of Fine Arts in St. Pete mfastpete.org If you’re not quite ready to venture out, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Pete has a really cool virtual program for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade called Art Break. Kids are guided through a craft inspired by the exhibits at the museum. Some offerings you can view right now are Shadow Puppets, Flower Still Life and Tissue Paper Flowers. The MFA will also be offering camps, so stay tuned for our Summer Camp Guide next month!

Tampa Museum of Art tampamuseum.org The Tampa Museum of Art is currently offering in-person and virtual programs for kids. The popular Art Spot event is now virtual, with a new video released the first Saturday of each month. You can even access past episodes if you can’t wait for Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. when this month’s video is released. You and the kids will be led through a craft using materials you can find in the house, and you’ll learn a bit about the art at the museum too. There’s also an in-person event for kids hosted outdoors on Tuesdays from 1-2 p.m. It’s hosted at different parks in the community. This month’s classes are at Rivercrest Park in Seminole Heights. This is best for kids in Kindergarten through fifth grade and can also be attended virtually.

The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St Pete Van Gogh Alive! Copyright: © 2020 Grande Experiences



Check out the events calendar at The James Museum for things to do for families each month. This month, kids 4-17 can participate in Open Studio on Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Capacity is limited to eight people at a time. Once inside, kids can create, draw, paint, print and sculpt their very own masterpieces. Open Studio is included with admission. The museum also offers camps and virtual programming, including Mini Maker Space with pre-recorded art classes like Paper Sculptures and Shaving Cream Art Prints.

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

ART FESTIVALS: GASPARILLA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS is going virtual this year and plans to offer children’s activities. It’ll be held March 6 and 7. gasparillaarts.com

EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS: A short drive from Tampa Bay, EPCOT’s 5th annual Festival of the Arts is one of the first in-person art festivals to be held since the pandemic began. Disney’s strict safety protocols allow families to experience more than 100 artists and 15 food studios with culinary masterpieces created by Disney chefs. It runs now through Feb. 22, 2021. SOME OF OUR FAVORITE ARTSY FAMILY ACTIVITIES AT EPCOT: Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt: Pick up the scavenger hunt card at one of the gift shops or kiosks for $7.99 and search each pavilion for Figment in masterpieces like the Mona Lisa. Also be on the lookout for hidden chalk art murals tucked into the World Showcase. See how many you can find. Animation Academy: Head over to the American Gardens Theater for an outdoor art class led by a Disney artist. During the session, the artist will walk you through the steps to sketch a Disney character like Minnie Mouse. Seating is socially distanced, so you’ll want to arrive early. Sessions are at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Artful Photos: Keep your eyes open for photo spots along the barrier walls that artfully hide where part of the EPCOT transformation is happening! You can snap photos in front of butterf ly wings and even contribute your own brush strokes at the Paintby-Number Mural. Artful Dishes: The 15 food studios offer a wide variety of creative food plates and drinks to try including a very pretty vanilla, rose water and pistachio panna cotta. *Disney is offering a deal for Florida residents right now. You can pick up a 4-day Discover Disney ticket for $50 per day + tax.



istockphoto.com/ rogkov

Karimah Henry of CraftingaFunLife.com is always sharing fun and creative ways to create with the kids on her website and Instagram. Give her a follow on Instagram @craftingafunlife for inspiring ideas!

In our large and diverse area, there is likely an art studio near you where your children can take classes and create their own masterpieces. Some options are: Carrollwood Cultural Center, Yellow Bird Studio in South Tampa, TRIBE-Seminole Heights and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County’s Family Resource Centers, which also offer arts and crafts for kids. (FamilySupportHC.org)

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com









TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

by Lauren Gay


NATIONAL PARKS Just a Day from Tampa Bay

The winter months in Florida are the perfect time to plan an easy road trip to one of the 11 officially recognized National Park Service units in Florida. With diverse offerings ranging from preserves and seashores to memorials and monuments, these parks are ideal for easy hikes and observing wildlife. Here are five Florida National Parks within an easy day’s drive from Tampa.

Fort Matanzas near St. Augustine (accessible by ferry) is unique for its preserved watchtower from the 1700s.

Fort De Soto National Memorial near Bradenton has a pet friendly boardwalk, trails through mangroves and educational exhibits.

Canaveral National Seashore is 24 miles of beach on a barrier island on the Atlantic Coast. There are many opportunities for wildlife viewing, and you can even see the NASA launch pads from the beach.

Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee is home to the famous Clyde Butcher Gallery and the opportunity to see the environment up close through a guided swamp walk tour.

The Everglades National Park is a World Heritage Site and home to the second-largest mangrove forest in the world! Three separate park gates each lead to a different landscape with varied activities.

Learn more about planning a trip to these nearby national parks and the other national parks in Florida on Outdoorsy Diva’s Comprehensive Guide to All the National Parks in Florida: outdoorsydiva.com/national-parks-in-florida

FOLLOW LAUREN GAY AND HER ADVENTURES: WEBSITE: www.outdoorsydiva.com INSTAGRAM: @outdoorsydiva FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



See All Things With Your Heart, Not Just Your Eyes

www.howiemacphoto.com 20

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021



Kitchen and Pantry WITH THESE 7 TIPS by Kylie Ponton of Ponton Interiors and Laura Frasor of Neat Method-Tampa, photos by Bos Images unless otherwise noted



The island can function on many levels. It can serve as a gathering space, prep area, homework station, snack bar and even house the sink and dishwasher. A large island with overhang is a great place for a quick breakfast or casual family meal. If you have space for dual islands, a microwave drawer or beverage center makes drinks and snacks accessible for younger family members, while keeping them away from the cooktop and prep spaces.

Meal prep can be messy, and chefs who love to cook need a countertop that’s durable and allows for easy clean up. Incorporating extra countertop space between the cooktop and main prep space can make it easier to set up a station for kids to help with meal prep. Clean countertops eliminate clutter and add visual appeal.

USE ZONES IN YOUR PANTRY When organizing your pantry and food storage areas, the first step is to pull EVERYTHING out! From there, plan out your space. What do you use every day? Which snacks do the kids need to reach? Using baskets, turntables and canisters to store food in categories will maintain organization and prevent that box of cereal in the back corner from getting lost and stale. Create zones. Keeping breakfast items together makes the morning run smoothly. Group other items according to meal prep or create a kid zone. Not only does this make it easy to find what you need, it also keeps you from overbuying.

CONSIDER STORAGE & ACCESSIBILITY When organizing a kitchen, creating a natural f low is important. Store frequently used bowls and plates near your dining nook and keep ‘like’ items together. Glassware is easily accessible by your refrigerator; pots and pans sit near the stove. A designated kids’ drawer for cups, plates and bowls means even the little ones can learn to be responsible for putting away what they need.

CABINETRY DESIGN Smart cabinet design allows everyone to reach what they need safely. Lower cabinets can store plastic dishware and cups for easy access for independent kids. Hidden pantry doors create a seamless look within millwork details. Drawers and roll out cabinet shelving can support larger appliances or create a perfect baking station. Designs that cleverly house those awkward cutting boards or cookie sheets save space and makes maintaining organization a breeze.

CREATE A FOCAL POINT If you have the space, an architecturally interesting hood can be a beautiful focal point. Unique backsplash details or a brick wall accent are a beautiful way to draw the eye to a feature within the space. Arrange a classic subway tile in an interesting herringbone pattern or choose a picket tile for added shape and texture. These details draw the eye to the places you want to focus on, instead of the messy kitchen sink.

DRAWERS FOR THE WIN Photo by Martin Vecchio Photo by Michelle Drewes

Inserts are the best way to organize within drawers and a great way to help you keep your counters clear. A coffee and tea drawer placed by the coffee machine and kettle creates a curated drink station. Adjustable drawer inserts allow you to organize just about any utensil or stationery. No more junk drawers! There’s no doubt the kitchen is the heart of any home. The pieces and parts that make up the design set the stage for your family’s day-today living. Smart design and a few small changes can help reset your home’s center at the start of the year.

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


moms to by Julie Tingley, The KNOW Book + Tribe Director, KNOW Tampa and KNOW St. Pete | Clearwater



When I think of the atmosphere that you have created for women to honor, celebrate and highlight their natural beauty, I really consider U South Tampa to be a place that fosters self-love. From medical grade facials and state-of-the-art laser treatments to the industry’s best skincare products, injectables and cosmetics, you have created a space that offers a full aesthetic experience. What was your vision and how is that evolving?

LK: I envisioned a place that felt like home, a place where when you entered, your anxieties diminished (or at least decreased). I love how people love to just stop by and say “hello” because they enjoy the ambiance and vibes. I wish I had more space to have a champagne bar in the back! It has evolved just as I imagined, a home away from home for me and my patients!


What can a new client, without any prior medical skincare experience, expect when she visits U South Tampa for the first time?

LK: A newbie should expect guidance and education on the options of what she/he could choose to achieve their aging and skincare goals. What most patients appreciate is our relaxed and non-rushed vibe and genuine advice. We want them to leave feeling like the decision they are making is the right one for them.


From my experience, I know that you develop long-lasting partnerships with your guests based on your honest dedication to their goals and your commitment to ongoing education and new trainings for yourself. What else would you like potential clients to know about you as “Tampa’s most-loved injector?”

LK: Yes, I have many patients that have been coming to me for over 15 years. They know how much I care about each and every one of them. I travel all over the world (well, pre-Covid!) learning and picking up new toys for them. I am determined to bring them the best!


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

Photography by Howie Mac Photo


February is the perfect month for women to receive gifts of beauty or practice a little self-love. Are you offering any monthly specials that local Valentines can take note of (or women can circle in this article)? LK: Anyone that mentions this article will receive 15% off any regular priced skincare product or procedure during February and March 2021!


What do you love to do best in Tampa with your family?

LK: I love heading to St. Pete beach with my family when we have weekends free. Unfortunately, that is few and far between, so I spend lots of time watching my boys play baseball, football and soccer all [over] the Bay area. I know 20 years from now, it will be one of the things I miss the most!

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Shazia Nagamia Sparkman

Attorney concentrating in Family & Matrimonial Law

313 South Bungalow Park Avenue Tampa, Florida 33609 813.374.2000 www.sparkmanlawfirm.com 24

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

Feeding Tampa Bay: Today. Tomorrow. For a Lifetime. by Tara Payor, Ph.D., photos provided by Feeding Tampa Bay

February 2021: COVID remains. Pandemic aftereffects will persist for years, among them, food insecurity for a disproportionate number of families. Feeding Tampa Bay, whose mission is leading the fight against hunger, saw a rise from 600,000 people needing food assistance to over 1 million. February is canned foods month, and Feeding Tampa Bay needs your support.

ADAPTING Jayci Peters, chief communications and culture officer for Feeding Tampa Bay, underscores how abnormal times led FTB to quickly respond and adapt. “Since COVID, many new people entered our world; 70% of them had never utilized a food bank,” she says. “We immediately considered how to continue providing a service that didn’t feel like a cold interaction—how we could do that from afar.” Calling for more volunteers, collaborating with community businesses and reimagining workspaces proved instrumental to safely navigating an onslaught of COVID barriers. FTB added new shifts and utilized the facility differently so volunteers (totaling almost 40,000) are separated. Volunteers and employees also follow identical health and safety protocols.

MOBILIZING Given FTB’s need for program expansion, volunteers and donations are critical. “Grocery shortages occurred, so we identified new food sources,” Peters says. “Food insecurity is serious, and we amplified our mobile pantry to a mega pantry.” Currently drive-up instead of walkup, families can safely participate. Items are now packaged outdoors rather than in the warehouse. All ages remain welcome, and smaller groups are a notable change. Some volunteer opportunities, like Muscles and Tetris, appeal to high school and college students.

RESOLVING Breaking stigmas surrounding food insecurity supports growing both the volunteer force and awareness of FTB services. “COVID revealed food insecurity impacts anyone,” Peters says. “People fine in January 2020 had the rug pulled out from under them by March.” FTB encompasses more than providing meals at single timepoints. Focus on training programs, workforce development and long-term capability aid FTB’s endeavors against stigmas: “We support our local economy by building up recipients’ capabilities, which puts money back in area grocery stores,” Peters says. Parents can help dismantle stigmas about food through dialogue with children, helping them understand that people in need are neither at fault nor bad. Kids can also raise funds for other children in need as well as become student ambassadors. “The more opportunities kids have to experience feeding programs, the more they understand people in need are just like them,” says Peters. “When kids are involved with FTB, human connections made support understanding that giving back is important.”

REBUILDING While distribution of COVID vaccinations offers promise for improvements, the gravity of food insecurity remains. Says Peters: “There’s a long process of recovery and rebuilding. We’re looking far beyond 2021 for building sustainability and providing elevated services to people in need.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP Host a virtual food drive: https://bit.ly/2XiA8mW Apply to be a student ambassador: https://bit.ly/35k2Bxi View volunteer calendar: https://bit.ly/2Ls5q8y

If able, consider a financial donation to FTB. Significant need for canned goods persists. Donations of canned fruits and vegetables are key, as FTB values offering nutritional foods. Peanut butter and canned proteins like low sodium chicken and tuna are vital, as well as breakfast items and boxed meals. COVID undoubtedly impacts volunteerism, so FTB started a virtual food drive that’s always live: “It’s the evolution of the canned food drive, and all donations go directly to buying food," Peters says. Storms rage on in 2021. When hands reach out in need, open yours in help. Then, we will calmly weather storms—today, tomorrow and for a lifetime. FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Major League Pitcher Mychal Givens throws a pitch at this year's Blitzball Tournament.

by Maggie Rodriguez

One of the Inner City Baseball teams

Tampa Native & Major League pitcher Mychal Givens gives local kids the gift of baseball by Maggie Rodriguez

photo credit The Givens Back Foundation

Colorado Rockies pitcher Mychal Givens throws two strikes, then pauses to talk to his opponent. “Take a breath. Loosen up,” he tells the batter, who exhales and nods. The next pitch connects, sending the ball deep into the outfield. “There you go!” Givens shouts and f lashes a big smile. The exchange would be odd if Givens were on the mound at a major-league ballpark. But it makes perfect sense at the small field in North Tampa where he’s throwing to 8-12-year-olds competing in a homerun derby. The event is part of the fourth annual Blitzball Clinic—a charity fundraiser for The Givens Back Foundation—aimed at making baseball accessible and affordable to any kid who wants to play.

photo credit Lauren Sawyer

“I was frustrated seeing grown men making money off of families and making baseball a huge, expensive sport when it should be about the kids and about having fun,” Givens says. Inner City Baseball player Grady Saw yer par ticipated in the foundation’s Christmas gif t giving event

Donate to The Givens Back Foundation or inquire about joining a team through email at GivensBackFoundation@ yahoo.com or Instagram @GivensBackFoundation60 26

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

Playing in travel baseball leagues, Givens explains, is cost-prohibitive for families who can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars or whose kids aren’t superior athletes. To change that, Givens assembled two teams of his own, which he coaches during the MLB offseason. The players—aged 11 through 14— are from all over Tampa Bay and all walks of life. They play under the name “Inner City Baseball.” “When people say, ‘I’m from the inner city’, they think that you’re less privileged and it’s a negative term,” Givens says, “so we use the inner-city name to define the word as the one city you’re from—the inner

city of Tampa—kids from all over.” To join Givens’ teams, families are asked to pay a one-time commitment fee payable at their convenience. It covers everything from equipment to travel expenses. “If you want to play, we have the resources to do that. We have the coaches to help you. We’ll spend the time,” explains Ryan Fleming, who coaches the teams with Givens and played baseball with him as a kid. “That’s where I have my best memories,” Givens says of his days playing little-league baseball in West Tampa and Wellswood. Growing up in Tampa Bay and now raising his two young daughters here, Givens feels compelled to give back to his community. The Givens Back Foundation also focuses on community service. During the holidays, they partnered with the Tampa Police Department to distribute turkeys to needy families and with the City of Tampa to buy and hand out Christmas gifts for underprivileged kids. “It made me feel really good in the heart,” says 11-year-old Grady Sawyer, who plays for Inner City Baseball. To continue and expand its charitable giving and fund its baseball teams, The Givens Back Foundation depends on donations and fundraisers like the Blitzball Clinic, which raised around $40,000. A celebrity bowling tournament later this year is expected to raise double that amount. Watching Givens pitch to 22 kids in the homerun derby, offering support and encouragement, it’s obvious that he practices what he and his foundation preach: “We need to build each other up.”

photo by Maggie Rodriguez


FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com




DAY on

wedu.org/edconnect February is a great time to celebrate the love of family and friends. Spend time with your loved ones by making homemade cards, decorations and other crafts together. To learn more visit pbs.org/parents/ valentines-day

Tune in for an all-new special:

PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC Cupid Calls it Quits Feb 8 at 8AM on WEDU

PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC® is produced by GBH Kids and Sixteen South Studios. Funding for PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC® is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers. Produced with the participation of Northern Ireland Screen. Corporate funding is provided by Kiddie Academy®, Homer, and Target. © 2021 WGBH. Underlying © VBK Co., or VBK Co. and Elizabeth Kann. TM: VBK Co. 28 TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021 All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Used with permission.

More than a daycare, we are a preschool learning center

Are you tracking your child’s development?

Complete a Milestone Checklist! ★ Checklists for 2 months to 5 years old ★ Track developmental milestones ★ Share or print your child’s results ★ Receive a follow-up for a FREE develpmental or behavioral screening


Andes Smart Academy 19215 Livingston Ave., Lutz, FL 33559 813-803-3994 | AndesSmart.Academy



CONTACT US: Call 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow or visit ecctampabay.org/help-me-grow Contact Lori Reyes at 813-955-9973 or lreyes@ecctampabay.org

QUIT YOUR WAY Quitting tobacco isn’t easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started.

USF Area Health Education Center

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, quitting is more important than ever!


FREE Virtual Tools to Quit Classes Start the New Year off Tobacco Free!

Let us help you get the support you need from the comfort of your own home.

***MONTHLY SCHEDULE*** Every First Saturday of the Month 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Every Second Sunday of the Month 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Every Second Wednesday of the Month 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Every Third Monday of the Month 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Every Third Thursday of the Month 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM

BENEFITS: Nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges. (if medically appropriate for those 18 years of age or older)

Participant workbook and materials. More than DOUBLES your chances of success!

Pre-registration is required!

Summer Registration Summer Registration Coming Soon!

Coming Soon! mjpaa.com


JOIN: By calling 813-974-7889 to register. Pre-registration is required! You will be emailed a link to join by ZOOM conference via video or audio. ABOUT THE CLASS: Tools to Quit Class will provide you with information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your OWN QUIT PLAN. Cessation groups cover all forms of tobacco.

To register, call:


For more information, visit us at: www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway Sponsored by:

USF Area Health Education Center

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com




(813) 961-3087 • PreK3-8th Grade • www.corbettprep.com 30

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

Your Guide to:

Ta m pa BayArea Schools The Tampa Bay area is lucky to have such a wealth of incredible private, charter and magnet education options making it easy to find the perfect school for your child. ACADEMY AT THE LAKES

2331 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes 34639 813-909-7919; academyatthelakes.org Academy at the Lakes is an independent, non-denominational college preparatory school located in Land O'Lakes. Offering grades PreK3-12, Academy is a learning community of shared values dedicated to the success of each individual. Academy at the Lakes celebrates the love of learning and the joy in the journey.

Enrollment: 475 Class-size: 7 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $12,300$25,250

ACADEMY OF THE HOLY NAMES 3319 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa 33629 813-839-5371; holynamestpa.org

Enrollment: 970

The Academy of the Holy Names empowers students to be authentic individuals who engage in independent thought, are inspired by creativity and lead culturally aware, spiritually rich lives. Our innovative approach to curriculum integrates technology, encourages artistic expression and actively engages students in exploration and inquiry.

Grades: PreK-8 Coed, 9-12 All Girls

Class-size: varies by division.

Tuition: $13,000 (PreK) to $20,730 (High School)

ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY 501 Park St. N., St. Petersburg 33710 727-384-5500; farragut.org

Admiral Farragut Academy is a co-ed, private K-12 school that offers boarding for grades 8-12. Farragut offers more than just an education—it’s an experience, a journey, a launch point for life. The student body represents an average of 32 countries and 17 U.S. states. Signature programs include aviation, marine science, scuba, sailing, engineering, NJROTC and leadership. Summer day and boarding camps also offered. Discover what only Farragut students can experience.

Enrollment: 500 Class-size: 17:1 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $13,000$50,000


5995 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S., St. Petersburg 33705 727-310-8243; alegriamontessori.com

Enrollment: 140

Alegria Montessori School is an authentic Montessori program that creates a rich learning environment and supports individual development. We are also a bilingual program, with students receiving Spanish instruction throughout the week from native Spanish speakers. We offer a true Montessori education through middle school. Come discover the joy of Montessori.

Grades: age 1 to grade 8

Class-size: Small class sizes in elementary and middle school Tuition: Varies depending on age


19215 Livingston Ave., Lutz 33559 813-803-3994; andessmart.academy Our goal is to provide an excellent experience for every family who enters our preschool area. More than a daycare, we are a preschool learning center.

Enrollment: Capacity for 105 children Class-size: DCF ratios, based on age Grades: 3 months to 5 years, and afternoon school-age tutoring Tuition: $223-$286


3909 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33611 813-839-4297; bayshorechristianschool.org Bayshore Christian School is a college preparatory, accredited, non-denominational Christian school serving students 2 years old through 12th grade. Founded in 1971, Bayshore Christian School is located on 10 acres in residential South Tampa. BCS provides athletics and fine arts opportunities in addition to a rigorous and challenging academic curriculum.




financial aid



Enrollment: 250 Class-size: 10 Grades: K2-12 Tuition: $8,860-$10,800

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section BELL CREEK ACADEMY

13221 Boyette Road, Riverview 33569 813-793-6075; bellcreekacademy.com

Grades: 6-12

A tuition-free public charter school proudly serving grades 6-12, Bell Creek provides a well-rounded college preparatory education. The challenging and rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere and a focus on character development. We are an “A” rated Florida School of Excellence offering the Cambridge Program for Advanced Studies and an award-winning athletic program and are Cognia accredited.

Tuition: FREE

BERKELEY PREPARATORY SCHOOL 4811 Kelly Road, Tampa 33615 813-885-1673; berkeleyprep.org

Enrollment: 1,386

In Berkeley Preparatory School’s safe, nurturing environment, inspiring teaching, engaged parents and alumni and incomparable facilities come together on a beautiful campus. Our broad curricular and extracurricular program serves a diverse community of learners who relish a supportive culture, the school’s Episcopal identity, its ongoing commitment to continual self-improvement and a deeply authentic dedication to making a positive difference in the world.

Class-size: 20 Grades: PreK-12 Tuition: $18,370-$27,750

BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL 13651 Hays Road, Spring Hill 34610 727-857-2600; bmchs.com

Enrollment: 350

Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School provides a Christ-centered education that nurtures the development of the whole person. Bishop has a 100% graduation rate and a 100% college-acceptance rate. We are the number one college-prep, private high school in Pasco County as ranked by Niche. com and offer a wide variety of class options, sports and extracurricular activities.

Class-size: 20 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $13,595

BOWERS/WHITLEY CAREER CENTER 13609 N. 22nd St., Tampa 33613 813-558-1750; mysdhc.org/bowers-whitley

Enrollment: 100

BWCC offers a unique high school experience that allows students the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and valuable career/vocational training. Students have the option to graduate up to one year early. Students can earn industry certifications in automotive repair or achieve training and preparation for licensing to become a barber. Coming in 202122, BWCC will offer classes in building construction technologies. BWCC offers a flexible, caring and supportive small learning environment.

Class-size: 10-25 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE


801 Limona Road, Brandon 33510 813-689-1952; brandon-academy.com

Enrollment: 237

Motto: QUALITY EDUCATION IN A COMMUNITY OF RESPECT At Brandon Academy, students, parents and teachers work together in an environment supported by open communication and community pride. Experienced, respectful children with a positive attitude toward learning are the end result of the Brandon Academy school program.

Class-size: 12 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $6,350-$12,200


110 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-449-2247; cchs.us

Enrollment: 675

Calvary offers an advanced college preparatory education in an environment where students are taught a Christian worldview with the Word of God being integrated into each subject. Calvary also offers many extra-curricular activities for your child including athletics, fine arts, SGA, clubs and leadership opportunities.

Class-size: 13:1 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $13,800 + fees

CAMBRIDGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 6101 N. Habana Ave., Tampa 33614 813-872-6744; ccslancers.com

Enrollment: 690

Cambridge Christian is a college preparatory, Christian outreach school serving students 3 months through 12th grade. We are an award-winning, National Blue Ribbon 2020 school. Our goal is to partner with parents and the local church in the education of your children. This partnership provides a strong foundation for college and life. Visit us today!


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021



Class-size: 17 Grades: 3 months through grade 12 Tuition: $8,000-$16,000


financial aid



2021 Enrollment Now Open!

PreK3 – Grade 12

Learn more about the Academy at the Lakes experience by visiting our new website and see why You Matter Here. academyatthelakes.org/admission 813-909-7919


Rigorous, Dynamic Curriculum Faith-Based Perspec�ve and a Christ-Centered Worldview •

Located in Citrus Park 6201 Ehrlich Road Tampa, FL 33625

Caring and Qualified Faculty Cost-Effec�ve Tui�on and Scholarships

Preschool (K3 & K4) - 12th Grade some restric�ons apply for 7th-12th grade

www.hcatampa.org Call Today! 813.884.8250 x235 FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Introducing the

STEAM Signature Program at Shorecrest A new academic track allowing for in-depth study of Computer Science, Engineering, or Entrepreneurship and Design

#1 School for STEM in the Area; Ranked among the Best Schools in the State by Niche.com

Learn more at www.shorecrest.org/STEAM


5101 1st St. NE | St. Petersburg, FL 33703 | 727-522-2111 | www.shorecrest.org TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section CANTERBURY SCHOOL OF FLORIDA 990 62nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg 33702 727-521-5903; canterburyflorida.org

Canterbury School of Florida is a private, co-ed, college preparatory school on two campuses in Saint Petersburg serving ages 3 through grade 12. Founded in 1968, Canterbury School of Florida educates and nurtures the whole child in mind, body and spirit in preparation for college and an honorable life as a responsible steward of our world.

Enrollment: 350 Class-size: 12 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $6,000$22,000


Bearss Avenue Campus | 1515 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa 33613 Early Childhood Campus | 12606 Casey Road, Tampa 33618 813-920-2288; carrollwooddayschool.org Carrollwood Day School is a world class co-ed IB school in Tampa for college-bound students age 2 through 12th grade. CDS fosters the development of the entire student not only in academics, but also ethically, emotionally and through social experience. Our goal is to help students discover and develop their own talents and interests and use these to better the world and themselves.

Enrollment: 1,008 Class-size: Varies Grades: Age 2 to grade 12 Tuition: $6,500$24,000


6710 86th Ave. N., Pinellas Park 33782 727-541-5716; centeracademy.com Founded in 1968 and AdvancED accredited, Center Academy provides a small, safe setting to help students to focus, organize and learn. We work with students in grades 4-12 with ADHD and learning differences and accept McKay, Gardiner and Tax Credit Scholarships. Dual enrolment and summer programs are available.

Enrollment: 90 Class-size: 18 Grades: 4-12 Tuition: $12,680-$15,180

CHANNELSIDE ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 1029 E. Twiggs St., Tampa 33602 813-579-9649; channelsideacademy.com

Students at this tuition-free, public charter school receive a well-rounded college preparatory education. The challenging and rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere and a focus on character development preparing students for their secondary education and beyond. Offerings include the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies, Edvantage before and after school program, Tampa Bay’s Grasses in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC SCHOOL 3809 W. Morrison Ave., Tampa 33629 813-876-8770; cks-school.org

Christ the King Catholic School offers an academically challenging PreK4 through 8th grade curriculum in a nurturing, Christ-centered environment. Our outstanding faculty, joyful campus and enriching academics provide students with a strong foundation of skills, compassion and confidence to excel at the area’s leading high schools.

Enrollment: 507 Class-size: 23 Grades: PreK4-8 Tuition: $8,230-$9,940


Toddler & Primary Campus, 4930 Webb Road, Tampa 33615; 813-886-2050 Elementary & Middle Campus, 8411 Civic Road, Tampa 33615; 813-886-3969 communitymontessori.org Community Montessori School provides a prepared environment that responds to the developmental needs of the child and cultivates the unique potential of each individual by adhering to Montessori principles. CMS is a warm, secure community with a high expectation for the quality of thought, work and mastery of content and skill.

Enrollment: 133 Class-size: Average 25 Grades: 18 months-15 years Tuition: $7,200-$10,700

CORBETT PREPARATORY SCHOOL OF IDS 12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa 33618 813-961-3087; corbettprep.com

Founded 52 years ago, Corbett Prep offers the International Baccalaureate curriculum for all students. Teachers use research-based strategies to create hands-on learning experiences. Visual and performing arts, team sports and social-emotional learning curriculum align to develop confident, creative, innovative thinkers with character ready to contribute to the world in a meaningful, positive way. KEY



financial aid



Enrollment: 514 Class-size: Varies by grade (12-20) Grades: PreK3-8 Tuition: $12,890-$17,410

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



1850 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-799-1618 ext. 1901; myccacademy.org

Enrollment: 140

Countryside Christian Academy’s mission is to provide excellence in Christian education while instilling Biblical principles in students’ lives that they might impact their society for Christ. Our program is fully accredited and well-balanced, encouraging the development of the whole child: spirit, soul (mind) and body.

Class-size: 1:15 Grades: K5-8 Tuition: $9,000 + fees


5495 Pinellas Park Blvd., Pinellas Park 33781 727-542-6294; covenantacademyfl.org

Enrollment: 54

Covenant Academy offers a college preparatory and Christ-centered education in a safe, nurturing and engaging environment. We’re the only certified University-Model® school in Florida. Stimulating, character-based teaching is provided three days a week in the classroom paired with two days of home learning. We offer an award-winning art instructor, soccer program and music education by the Patel Conservatory.

Class-size: 10 Grades: K-10, Dual enroll at grade 11. Tuition: $4250-$5150

DELPHI ACADEMY OF FLORIDA 1831 Drew St., Clearwater 33765 727-447-6385; delphifl.org

Enrollment: 215

Delphi Academy delivers a student-centered education for a successful future. We offer preschool (starting at age 2) through high school. We offer small class sizes, a CDC-compliant campus and everything from our award-winning early reader program to college prep.

Class-size: 10 to 18 (depending on grade level) Grades: preschool, PreK - grade 12 Tuition: $7,800-$12,800

DOWDELL MIDDLE MAGNET (ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES) 1208 Wishing Well Way, Tampa 33619 813-744-8322; hillsboroughschools.org/dowdell

enrollment: 625

We bridge passion for the environment with real world learning. Students can take unique environmental and animal science electives. Students learn outdoors with our salt marsh grass nursery and land lab, and experience our hydroponics and aquaponics labs. Education at Dowdell is strengthened by our proud partnership with The Florida Aquarium.

Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

DUNBAR ELEMENTARY MAGNET (MEDICAL SCIENCE) 1730 Union St., Tampa 33607 813-276-5677; dunbar.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 260

We partner with AdventHealth, USF Health’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine and the Patel Conservatory. Students participate in show choir, drums and Little Kids Rock band. Student-led inquiry and goal setting, National Elementary Honor Society, 3-D printing, and Genius Hour are other elements creating a great learning experience.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition FREE


4302 24th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5608; hillsboroughschools.org/ferrell

Enrollment: 583

As a Cambridge International Magnet School, we are dedicated to developing confident, dynamic, educated young women. Our technology-rich, interactive learning campus—including our 1:1 iPad program—infuses 21st century technology skills into every student’s learning. Our rigorous Scholar Quest high school credit courses challenge our students in a variety of subjects.

Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


3915 21st Ave., Tampa 33605 813-744-8108; hillsboroughschools.org/franklin

Enrollment: 530

As a Cambridge International Magnet School, we are molding young men of distinction who will achieve greatness. We promote academic achievement, professionalism and self-confidence. Our young men prepare for college in a technology-rich environment with a robotics makerspace and Smart Boards and iPads available for every student. Free after-school Enrichment Academies including debate, golf and Model UN.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021



Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


financial aid




DANCE • THEATER • MUSIC Our stages may be experiencing a brief intermission, but our classes continue virtually and on-site. Private lessons and classes for all ages and experience levels



PATELCONSERVATORY.ORG • 813.222.1040 FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com 37

NOW ENROLLING 2021-2022 School Year Family of Tuition-Free Public Charter Schools Downtown Tampa: Channelside Academy of Math & Science K-8 Riverview: Valrico Lake Advantage Academy K-5 Bell Creek Academy 6-12 Riverview Academy of Math & Science K-8 Westchase: Hillsborough Academy of Math & Science K-8 Dover: Independence Academy K-8

Visit: CharterSchoolAssociates.com/TBParenting


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section THE FRENCH AMERICAN SCHOOL OF TAMPA BAY (FASTB) 2100 62nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33702 727-800-2159; fastb.org

FASTB offers a multicultural educational experience that is unique in this region. French is the language of instruction in all subjects, so children are immersed, learning the language in context and becoming bilingual naturally. Our school is in-person, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, and we still have slots available for 2020-21 in our small, flexible environment. Contact us today - Merci! (Licence #52511985542)

Enrollment: 40, Capacity is 80-90 Class-size: 15 Grades: Pre-K (age 3)-8 Tuition: $6,500-$13,500


6925 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa 33617 813-987-6926; hillsboroughschools.org/greco Our school-wide IB candidate program, guided by International Baccalaureate World School principles, launches in Temple Terrace in Fall 2020. Rigorous STEM and Pre-KAPS (King HS Advanced Placement Scholars) programs are offered, along with Scholar Quest high school credit courses including engineering, culinary and computer science. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.

Enrollment: 819 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


2704 N. Highland Ave., Tampa 33602 813-983-7278; hillsboroughschools.org/virtual Hillsborough Virtual K-12 offers personalized learning in a structured, yet flexible environment. It is a school choice option in which students learn in a digital space using a web-based curriculum with highly-qualified teachers from Hillsborough County. Students can take part in athletics and extracurricular activities at their zoned school.

Enrollment: 2,000 Class-size: n/a Grades: K-12 Tuition: FREE

HILLSDALE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 6201 Ehrlich Road, Tampa 33625 813-884-8250; hcatampa.org

Hillsdale provides a variety of activities and learning opportunities for our students. Our primary purpose is to help children grow spiritually, socially, physically, intellectually, and creatively in welcoming surroundings as a supplement to the home environment. Our staff will work hard to create a loving, Christian atmosphere for children's development.

Enrollment: 155 Class-size: 15 Grades: PreK2-grade 6 Tuition: $180/week (preschool) - $7,700

HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN SCHOOL 3712 W. El Prado Blvd., Tampa 33629 813-839-0665; htlstampa.org

Holy Trinity Lutheran School is a co-educational school located in the heart of South Tampa. Founded in 1958, HTLS offers an enriching and rewarding academic education in a loving and safe Christian environment. Our mission is to provide Christ-centered academic excellence and care for the whole child that equips them for lifelong learning and service.

Enrollment: 191 Class-size: 16 Grades: PreK-grade 5 Tuition: $5,950


5001 Nebraska Ave., Suite A, Tampa 33603 813-467-3004; ideapublicschools.org/regions/tampa-bay IDEA believes a quality K-12 public education is the key to success in college and life and is committed to helping every student achieve their own success. Personalized learning, critical thinking skills, mastery of core subjects and continued support through college is IDEA’s recipe for success.

Enrollment: 1,000 Class-size: 18-25 Grades: K-2 & 6 upon launching in 2021. Each campus will add a grade each year until fully scaled to grades K-12. Tuition: FREE


1555 Windmill Pointe Road, Palm Harbor 34685 727-900-6164; igniteacademy.education Ignite Academy is a growing, independent Christian School serving families from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties. Ignite Academy is enrolling kindergarten through fourth grade for the 2021-2022 school year. At Ignite Academy, your child will be immersed into a learning environment of real health: mental, physical and spiritual health.




financial aid



Enrollment 35 Class-size: 9 Grades: K-4 Tuition: $500-$8,000

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



12902 E. U.S. Highway 92, Dover 33527 813-473-8600; iacademies.com

Grades: K-8

Independence Academy provides a tuition-free, well-rounded college preparatory education. The challenging and rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere, and a focus on character development preparing students for their secondary education and beyond. Offerings include the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies, Edvantage before and after school program, Tampa Bay’s Grasses in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation.

Tuition: FREE

JCCS PRESCHOOL AND AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa 33625 813-264-9000; jewishtampa.com

Located in Citrus Park and South Tampa, the JCCs provide a safe environment with low student-to-staff ratios. The preschools offer creative and meaningful activities, Club J Afterschool provides homework supervision and Club J School Day supervises virtual school. All programs deliver high-quality activities for infants through fifth grade.

Enrollment: Club J: 30-55 per location; JCC Preschool: 100-150 per location Class-size: Varies Grades: Infants-grade 5 Tuition: Varies

KEYSTONE PREP HIGH SCHOOL 18105 Gunn Highway, Odessa 33556 813-264-4500; keystoneprep.org

Enrollment: 43

Get ready to experience a school unlike anything you have encountered! Keystone Prep High School is a non-profit private school located in Odessa, just outside Tampa, with small classes and individualized support. Our mission is to not only help students achieve their full potential, but also reach pinnacles of success they never thought possible.

Class-size: 8-12 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $18,500$25,000

LAND O’ LAKES CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 5105 School Road, Land O’ Lakes 34638 813-995-9040; lolcs.org

Enrollment: 330

A Christ-honoring atmosphere for preschool through high school, LOLCS trains students to develop and grow spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically. We offer a fully accredited, balanced program that emphasizes spiritual life, challenging academics for college preparation and opportunities for students to explore their interests and talents in fine arts and athletics.

Class-size: 10-20 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $5,000-$6,950


4400 Chancellor St. NE, St. Petersburg 33703 727-552-8331; lccdayschool.com

Enrollment: 532

LCC Day School is a partnership of school, church and families, inspiring superior academic performance while instilling leadership, responsibility and values in a nurturing environment. Our mission is to meet the changing needs of our students as they develop their God-given potential from early childhood through adolescence.

Class-size: 8-17 Grades: PreK2-8 Tuition: Preschool $3,786-$5,549; Elementary-Middle $10,073-$11,910

LINCOLN ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 1207 E. Renfro St., Plant City 33563 813-757-9329; lincoln.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 501

We prepare students to meet the challenges of world citizenship with confidence, imagination and integrity. Students can study global cultures and develop an open and curious mind. Students engage in music and arts programs, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Team, Inquiry-based learning centers, student action/service learning, world languages and more.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

LOCKHART ELEMENTARY MAGNET (CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE) 3719 N. 17th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5727; lockhart.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 387

Students learn using the latest technology tools and programs. We provide STEM Education with PLTW (Project Lead the Way), where students engage in hands-on activities, projects and problems that are reflective of real-world challenges. Engage with robotics experiences, engineering challenges, outdoor learning and wildlife habitats.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021



Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


financial aid





BAYSHORECHRISTIANSCHOOL.ORG (813) 839-4297 3909 South MacDill Avenue Tampa, FL 33611

Christian Values Small Class Sizes Academic Excellence

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


YOU CAN AT CANTERBURY OPEN HOUSE Grades 5-12 Thursday, April 8, 2021 PK3 - Grade 4 Friday, April 9, 2021 Marine Studies | STEAM | College Counseling | Character Ed | Athletics | Theater

CanterburyFlorida.org/openhouse 727-521-5903 42

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section LOMAX ELEMENTARY MAGNET (GIFTED TALENT ACADEMY) 4207 26th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5569; lomax.mysdhc.org

Students are active thinking and learning citizens, engaging their minds with Math Olympiad, TiViTz, Chess, Future Problem Solvers and Odyssey of the Mind. We embrace the arts with World Drumming, Violin and Little Kids Rock; build with LEGO and VEX Robotics and grow through Student Ambassadors and National Honor Society.

Enrollment: 390 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

MACFARLANE PARK ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 1721 N. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33607 813-356-1760; macfarlanepark.mysdhc.org

As the #1 Elementary Magnet School in America, we prepare students to meet the challenges of world citizenship with confidence, imagination and integrity. Students study global cultures, engage in music and arts programs, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Team, inquiry-based learning centers, student action/service learning, world languages and more.

Enrollment: 370 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

MARSHALL MIDDLE MAGNET (IB CANDIDATE) 18 S. Maryland Ave., Plant City 33563 813-757-9360; hillsboroughschools.org/marshall

Launching with sixth grade in Fall 2020, students will be guided by the International Baccalaureate World School Philosophy in Plant City. Students can engage in STEM; Robotics; Culinary Arts; Math League and AVID college readiness. Optional Scholar Quest high school credit courses offer additional rigor. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.

Enrollment: 911 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


3721 Canoga Park Dr., Brandon 33511 813-571-3400; montessorikidsuniverse.com/brandon

Enrollment: 70

Our school is the premier international early childhood franchise offering an authentic Montessori-Reggio inspired curriculum. We have created a unique learning experience, integrating the Montessori philosophy with our proprietary DaVinci Kids art and science curriculum. Children benefit from a learning experience enriched with gardening, foreign language, yoga, music and cooking.

Grades: 18 months kindergarten

Class-size: Small class sizes

Tuition: Varies by age



13615 N. 22nd St., Tampa 33613 813-558-1355; muller.mysdhc.org

Students learn through Arts and Science Integration, where they experience weekly strings, dance, music and art classes. They engage in the orchestra and rock band, performance groups and our annual musical. Students can explore the outdoor classroom, global gardens, and take part in the National Honor Society and student government.

Enrollment: 439 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


7777 62nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33709 727-541-7593; nck12.com Named a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education, Northside Christian School equips students to reach their God-given potential through outstanding academic and extra-curricular programs within a Christ-centered environment. NCS offers Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, Honors and Praxis classes. Northside has been serving PreK3 -12th grade students in a safe, nurturing environment since 1971.

Enrollment: 720 Class-size: 16 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $7,350-$13,450


5585 E. County Line Road, Wesley Chapel 33544 813-991-0801; northtampaca.com North Tampa Christian Academy provides an on-campus experience that encourages innovation through project-based learning and thematic structure. When life demands flexibility, we offer the Titan Teacher Network, a “teacher-centric� virtual learning experience. Parents have the freedom to flex from on-campus to accessing at home instruction through the Titan Teacher Network, ensuring excellent education every day. KEY



financial aid



Enrollment: 300 Class-size: 15:1 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $13,475-$17,875

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021


Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet Finally Home After the Fire by Laura Cross, photos provided by Hillsborough County Public Schools

On Jan. 4, 2021, kids across Hillsborough County rose bleary-eyed from their beds. Winter Break was over. It was time to head back to school.

Tampa Heights Fire in 2017

However, for the more than 300 students who attend Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet, Jan. 4 couldn’t come soon enough. For them, it was a whole new beginning at the brand new, state-ofthe-art school that awaited them. It’s been a long journey for many of these students and staff who now call Tampa Heights Elementary their home. In September 2017, a fire caused by Hurricane Irma burned their school to the ground along with everything that was inside. Every book, desk and lesson plan was destroyed. But, as is so often the case, greatness arose from the ashes. It began almost immediately after the fire. The community came together for the school that lost it all. Donations poured in from across the country. Supplies were replaced and students and teachers were welcomed at other schools. It was a Band-Aid, a temporary fix for which our district is eternally grateful. That Band-Aid is no longer necessary. “This is amazing, incredibly beautiful and breathtaking. There are no other words for it,” says Meagan Gallogly, a second-grade teacher at Tampa Heights, after seeing the new school for the first time. “This is home. This is my safe place.” After the fire, builders and architects worked hard to preserve the historical legacy that is important to the school community while adding modern and innovative elements to enhance student learning. Some design elements of the old school remain intact, such as the brick façade, pitched roof, cupola, f loorboards and colorful tiles.

Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis greets Tampa Heights students on their first day in their new building.

Tampa Heights students get the red carpet treatment at the entrance of their brand new school.

Tampa Heights New School

Those special touches didn’t go unnoticed by the students and staff who walked down the red carpet and into the brick building on the first day of school for 2021. Superintendent Addison Davis was there, greeting students and staff. And in one of the more touching moments from the morning, a little boy, no more than 7 or 8, ran up to the superintendent and threw his arms around Davis’ waist before running inside the school. That was the vibe of the day: gratitude, love and relief that they are back home.

About the Programming: The Tampa Heights Global Leadership Academy prepares students to be global citizens. Daily theme integration of the 7 Wonders of Tampa Heights (Leadership, Environment, Arts, Diversity, Economics, Ref lection, Steam) helps students learn about the world and how they can make a difference.



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section NORTH TAMPA CHRISTIAN EXPLORERS PRESCHOOL 5585 E. County Line Road, Wesley Chapel 33544 813-991-0820; northtampaca.com/preschool

Enrollment: 135

We support young children as they develop skills of exploring, choosing, creating and solving for God’s glory. Children are challenged to stretch themselves and persevere as they make sense of the world around them. Our safe and secure facility is nature-inspired, diverse and family oriented.

Class-size: Varies by age Grades: Six weeks to PreK Tuition: $115-390 per month


19521 Michigan Ave., Odessa 33556 813-792-1825; odessachristianschool.org

Enrollment: 75

OCS is a Christ-focused school for motivated, self-directed learners seeking to discover their God-given calling. Students dive deep with content through inquiry, investigation and discussion, and gain responsibility, perseverance, professionalism and compassion. Graduates achieve mastery in all areas of learning and launch into life with strong minds and hearts.

Class-size: 25 students max per department (1-5, 6-8, 9-12) Grades: 1-12 Tuition: $10,100-$10,500



3415 16th St., Tampa 33605 813-276-5717; hillsboroughschools.org/orangegrove

Enrollment: 556

Be a shining star at Orange Grove, where high academic achievement meets creativity. Our historic campus includes two professional dance studios, video production, visual arts with a MAC lab and exceptional music and technical theater suites. We provide advanced courses, and our Scholar Quest offerings lead to high school credit.

Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

OUR SAVIOR LUTHERAN SCHOOL 5843 4th Ave. S., St. Petersburg 33707 727-344-1026; osls.net

Enrollment: 185

Our Savior Lutheran School is committed to help your child grow intellectually, academically and spiritually. We are designed for students to learn on campus, but have technology in place to transition to remote learning during required times. Check us out and see if OSLS is the right fit for your family!

Class-size: 15-20 Grades: Preschool age 2 to grade 8 Tuition: $4,800-$8,100

PAIDEIA CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 7834 N. 56th St., Tampa 33617 813-988-7700; paideiatampa.com

Enrollment: 86

Paideia Classical Christian School is a community of parents and teachers who share a commitment for educating children to love learning and grow in godliness. We are intentional about developing passionate disciples, exceptional scholars and virtuous citizens. As a nationally accredited, classical school, we employ time-proven curriculum and methods of education which teach students not primarily what to think, but how to think: thoroughly, maturely and biblically.

Class-size: Varies Grades: K-12 Tuition: $7,930-$8,699


1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa 33602 813-222-1040; patelconservatory.org

Enrollment: 1,000

At the Patel Conservatory, every student deserves the opportunity to discover their creative potential. Our programs provide training in dance, theater and music. Camps and classes vary by length, age and skill level. Patel Conservatory classes require active learning participation by students and result in a performance.

Grades: All ages and skill levels

Class-size: Varies by program

Tuition: Varies by program

PEPIN ACADEMIES | pepinacademies.com

3916 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa 33610; 813-236-1755 9304 Camden Field Parkway, Riverview 33578; 813-533-2999 9804 Little Road, New Port Richey 34654; 727-233-2961 Pepin Academies are non-profit, tuition-free, independent public charter schools serving students with learning and learning-related disabilities in grades 3-12. Qualified as Exceptional Student Education (ESE) center schools, we provide a diversified curriculum driven by the student’s needs in a positive therapeutic educational environment, as well as a transitional job training program for post-high school students.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021



Enrollment: 1,200+ students between three campuses Class-size: 13:2 Grades: Grades 3-12 and a Transition Program for ages 18-22 Tuition: FREE arts

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Make LifeLong Friends.

Pursue your college dreams.

be a student and an athlete.

BRANDON ACADEMY is a place to...

Call or visit our website for more information. www.brandon-academy.com 813-689-1952

learn in a safe environment.

Learn from talented and dedicated teachers.


participate in many co-curricular activities.

Solid Rock Community School “Making the World a Greener Place”

*Scholarships Available

Now Enrolling K-12 School Options Available: Traditional Virtual Blended Solid Rock Community School is “Making the World a Greener Place” with our sustainable seed-to-table lunch program, environmentalism classes, and a strong focus on health, wellness, and fitness. We encourage, challenge, and inspire our students to become thinkers, leaders, and collaborators who can contribute to the greater good of society and be good stewards of the world in which we live.

2801 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs, FL 34688 | SolidRockCommunitySchool.org | 727-934-0909 FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section PINELLAS PREPARATORY ACADEMY, INC. 2300 S. Belcher Road, Largo 33771 727-536-3600; pinellasprep.org

Pinellas Preparatory Academy Inc. is a K-8 tuition-free public charter school. Designed to meet the needs of students who are very highly motivated and willing to put forth effort into their education and are willing to accept and adhere to our school expectations; and families involved with their children's education.

Class-size: K-3 is 18, 4-8 is an average of 22 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE


3020 S. Falkenburg Road, Riverview 33578 813-626-6724; pivottampa.com

Enrollment: 225

Pivot Charter School is a free public charter school serving families in Hillsborough County. It is our mission to engage and empower each student to achieve excellence.

Grades: 6-12

Class-size: 10-25 Tuition: FREE



8113 Zinnia Drive, Tampa 33619 813-671-5110; hillsboroughschools.org/progressvillage

Enrollment: 953

We are proud to offer the largest dance and culinary arts programs in Hillsborough County. We’re routinely recognized as a Magnet School of America School of Distinction. Students can try exciting electives such as costume and fashion design, orchestra, journalism and more. The spotlight shines on students at Progress Village.

Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

QUEEN OF ALL SAINTS VIRTUAL ACADEMY 20120 Barnett Road, Brooksville 34601 352-428-4847; qasonline.org

Enrollment: 100

Virtual private education wherever you are, QAS Academy offers a unique and highly engaging way for children to receive a private education in a live, interactive online classroom. Taking the best of the most prodigious educationalists of old while focusing on the technological advances of the day, QAS strives to build for its children an educational method unsurpassed in results. Please schedule an online meeting with us to put these assertions to the test.

Class-size: 8-10 Grades: K-12 On-Campus, 2-12 Online Tuition: $4,080-$4,462

RAMPELLO K-8 MAGNET (CULTURAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES ) 802 E. Washington St., Tampa 33602 813-233-2333; rampello.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 777

Join us for experiential learning with walking field trips through downtown Tampa, and a Differentiated Instruction Focus to meet the needs of all learners. We have strong community partnerships and school-wide AVID instructional strategies. Middle school electives include: band, jazz, orchestra, steel drums, Art 2-D and 3-D, Spanish and creative writing.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

RIVERHILLS ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 405 Riverhills Drive, Temple Terrace 33617 813-987-6911; riverhills.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 529

We prepare students to meet the challenges of world citizenship with confidence, imagination and integrity. Students can study global cultures and develop an open and curious mind. Students engage in music and arts programs, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Team, inquiry-based learning centers, student action/service learning, world languages and more.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

RIVERVIEW ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 9906 Symmes Road, Riverview 33578 813-412-6111; riverviewacademy.com

Grades: K-8

The tuition-free, public charter school proudly serves students from kindergarten through middle school with a well-rounded college preparatory education. The rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere, and a focus on character development. Offerings include the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies, Edvantage before and after school program, Tampa Bay’s Grasses in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021



Tuition: FREE


financial aid



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section RODGERS MIDDLE MAGNET (CAMBRIDGE CANDIDATE) 11910 Tucker Road, Riverview 33569 813-671-5288; hillsboroughschools.org/rodgers

Rodgers, a Cambridge International Magnet School, offers learning guided by the rigorous, world renowned Cambridge Pathways philosophy. Located in Riverview's Bell Creek Nature Preserve, we embrace and empower the whole student. Several national board-certified teachers highlight our exceptional team of educators. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.

Enrollment: 823 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


1510 N. Manhattan Ave., Tampa 33607 813-872-5212; rolandpark.mysdhc.org We inspire young inquiring minds to become compassionate, lifelong learners who are internationally-minded people with respect for various cultures and a desire to serve others. Students can experience inquiry-based learning centers, transdisciplinary units of study, an outdoor classroom with an international garden, a strings program and world languages.

Enrollment: 766 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

SAFETY HARBOR MONTESSORI ACADEMY 2669 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 34653 727-724-1767; safetyharbormontessori.com

Safety Harbor Montessori Academy is a learning community whose primary goal is to help students reach their full potential in all aspects of their development, in a loving, respectful atmosphere. We have programs for children ages 2 through 14, providing continuity from early childhood to adolescence.

Enrollment: 111 Class-size: 12-18 Grades: Ages 2-grade 8 Tuition: $9,800-$16,650


11605 E. U.S. Highway 92, Seffner 33584 813-626-0001; scacrusaders.com

Enrollment: 700

The mission of Seffner Christian Academy is to provide academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment with a challenging educational program based on the principles of God's Word.

Grades: K2-12

Class-size: 22 Tuition: $5,000-$10,500



1908 2nd Ave., Tampa 33605 813-276-5712; shore.mysdhc.org

We are an award-winning Magnet School of the Arts located in historic Ybor City. Students learn through arts and science integration, and can take part in the Annual Arts Festival and school musical. Students expand their horizons through visual art, dance, strings, music, drama, STEAM Engineering and robotics programs.

Enrollment: 441 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

SHORECREST PREPARATORY SCHOOL 5101 1st St. NE., St. Petersburg 33703 727-522-2111; shorecrest.org

Founded in 1923, Shorecrest is a coed, nonsectarian, PK3-12 independent school in St. Petersburg. In a safe, student-centered environment, Shorecrest educates a diverse community of students to become lifelong learners in the pursuit of personal and academic excellence, physical well-being, creative achievement and the development of a commitment to social responsibility.

Enrollment: 965 Class-size: 15 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $11,950$26,850


129 N Belcher Road, Clearwater 33765 727-797-1186; skycrestchristianschool.org The value of a Skycrest education is immeasurable. School graduates enter their high school years with outstanding academic preparation, leadership skills and confidence in their ability to succeed. With newly integrated technology, an extensive list of extracurricular activities and a small student/teacher ratio, a Skycrest education is available at amazingly competitive rates. KEY



financial aid



Enrollment: 450 Class-size: 22 Grades: K4-grade 8 Tuition: $10,000 + fees

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


THE VANGUARD SCHOOL Guided Learning through Individualized Spectrums of Growth Leadership





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TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

westlakechristianschool.org 727.781.3808

Join us for a tour on Thursdays at 10 a.m.



2011 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa 33610 813-276-5596; hillsboroughschools.org/sligh

Join a culture of future health professionals who sport scrubs four days a week. We are preparing students for one of the fastest growing career fields in the country. Electives engage all students with Career and Technical Education, Family and Consumer Science and our AVID college readiness program.

Enrollment: 579 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


2801 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs 34688 727-934-0909; solidrockcommunityschool.org Solid Rock Community School is "Making the World a Greener Place" with our sustainable seed-to-table lunch program, environmentalism classes, and a strong focus on health, wellness and fitness. We encourage, challenge and inspire our students to become thinkers, leaders and collaborators who can contribute to the greater good of society and be good stewards of the world in which we live.

Enrollment: 200 Class-size: 18 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $10,500$13,500


4716 Montgomery Ave., Tampa 33616 813-272-3020; hillsboroughschools.org/monroe We develop active learners and internationally-minded students. Launching with sixth grade in Fall 2020, students will be guided by the International Baccalaureate World School Philosophy. Students can pursue unique electives like computer modeling and simulation. Our Sixth Grade Structure creates a supportive middle school transition. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.

Enrollment: 432 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

STEWART MIDDLE MAGNET (NASA EXPLORER SCHOOL) 1125 Spruce St., Tampa 33607 813-276-5691; hillsboroughschools.org/stewart

Be part of a nationally recognized NASA Explorer School. Through our Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum, students choose from electives like aerospace and engineering. Scholar Quest options deliver high school credit in gaming, robotics and more. Stewart partners with NASA, NOAA and the U.S. Air Force for real-world learning.

Enrollment: 1,024 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

ST. CECELIA INTERPAROCHIAL CATHOLIC SCHOOL 1350 Court St., Clearwater 33756 727-461-1207; st-cecelia.org

Enrollment: 425

St. Cecelia (SCS) is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award, both in 2020 and 2010. SCS is also Pinellas county’s only private school to offer the International Baccalaureate to students in grades PreK-3 to grade 8. Through the IB Programme we provide tools, develop character and teach skills that prepare our students to thrive in high school, college and beyond. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our students’ educational and personal success and to the betterment of our local and global communities.

Grades: PreK3-grade 8

Class-size: 12-24 students depending on grade level Tuition: $7,120-$7,918


240 S. Plant Ave., Tampa 33606 813-849-4200; stjohnseagles.org St. John's is distinguished by 70 years of demonstrated success preparing children for lives of learning and service. Renowned for its Episcopal identity and a core belief in the potential of our students, the school delivers an unparalleled, values-driven preparatory education in a safe and nurturing environment. Our graduates are prepared to thrive in high school and beyond.

Enrollment: 533 Class-size: 18 Grades: PreK-grade 8 Tuition: $2,825-$14,635 (based on demonstrated need)

ST. JOHN VIANNEY CATHOLIC SCHOOL 500 84th Ave., St. Pete Beach 33706 727-360-1113; sjvcs.org

St. John Vianney Catholic School was founded with one purpose in 1951: to build a Christ-centered space for all students to grow, learn and create with each passing day. Through a unique teaching approach and a truly passionate staff, we help students develop academically and personally to the highest level. SJVCS offers a safe learning environment where our PreK-8th grade students are enriched through quality academics, athletics, technology and the arts. KEY



financial aid



Enrollment: 208 Class-size: 25-30 Grades: PreK-8 Tuition: $4,000-$5,400

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



5223 N. Himes Ave., Tampa 33614 813-879-5090; stlawrencecatholicschool.org

Enrollment: 480

Founded in 1961, St. Lawrence Catholic School inspires students towards academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment. Each unique student is challenged to develop their special talents and become lifelong learners. Our 21st century classrooms promote creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. In response to the ongoing pandemic, we have invested in an extensive sanitation protocol and new technology for distance learning options.

Class-size: < 25 Grades: PreK3-grade 8 Tuition: $8,080-$11,445

ST. MARY’S EPISCOPAL DAY SCHOOL 2101 S. Hubert Ave., Tampa 33629 813-258-5508; smeds.org

Enrollment: 445

St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School provides challenging academics, performing and visual arts, competitive athletics, technology, public speaking, foreign language, global studies, community service, religious education and more. St. Mary’s highly-qualified Pre-K through 8th grade faculty inspires students to achieve their best, developing well-rounded individuals ready for the challenges ahead.

Class-size: 22 Grades: PreK-8 Tuition: $15,700


St. Petersburg | 6605 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33710; 727-341-4610 Tarpon Springs | 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs 34689; 727-712-5891 spchs.spcollege.edu St. Petersburg Collegiate High Schools offer a supportive educational experience with all the benefits of high school and college. Students thrive at SPCHS as successful learners and leaders. SPCHS students graduate with their high school diploma, an associate’s degree and the skills for continued success. Best of all, it’s free!

Enrollment: 240 students at each campus Class-size: average of 18 Grades: grades 10-12 Tuition: FREE


1376 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg 33704 727-821-9663; straphaelschool.net

Enrollment: 170

St. Raphael Catholic School welcomes families who believe that Christ is the cornerstone of our lives, strive for academic excellence, seek to provide faith-filled service to others, reflect Catholic values, and are responsible leaders of the Church and community.

Class-size: 17 average Grades: PK-8 Tuition: $6,100-$8,100


12606 Henderson Road, Tampa 33625 813-269-2100; tampadayschool.com

Enrollment: 145

Established in 1970, Tampa Day School has offered an innovative, highly effective approach to the private prep school experience. Our dynamic, private school environment and our tailored approach to learning are uniquely designed for the student who hasn’t been able to reach his or her potential in a more traditional school setting. Specialized tutoring is also available onsite.

class-size: 10-12 Grades: grades 2-8 Tuition: $21,000


3719 N. 17th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5405; tampaheights.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 308

Our students become innovative thinkers, who achieve academically and socially through our 7 Wonders—Leadership, Environment, Economics, Wellness, Innovation, Communication and Culture. Students can participate in Model United Nations and Odyssey of the Mind, learn world languages and leadership and experience cultural clusters: yoga, cooking, African art and Lego Makerspace.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


727 W. Cass St., Tampa 33606 813-251-8481; tampaprep.org

Enrollment: 700

There’s a culture of creativity here, a willingness to try new ideas – anything that better serves students. We are Florida’s Most Innovative School, where students graduate uniquely prepared to succeed in a world of accelerating change. Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, we’re here to inspire the next great creators.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021



Class-size: 15 Grades: 6-12 Tuition: $24,788$25,683


financial aid



Tune In:

Take Turns:

Keep the conversation going and your child engaged. If they switch topics, follow their lead!

Be in the moment. Take note of what your child is focused on right now or what they are telling you.

Talk More: Start a conversation about the topic and use a variety of words to describe it, like colors, shapes sizes, places!

Research shows children do better in school when their parents talk and interact with them from birth. Build your child’s brain anytime, anywhere using the 3Ts! Learn how at the3Ts.org or las3Cs.org.

“Any Time is 3Ts Time” is made possible by funding through the PNC Foundation and its Grow Up Great Initiative. Learn more at pnc.com/growupgreat.

The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County is a proud partner in the “Anytime is 3Ts Time” campaign. To learn more, visit our website at elchc.org. FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


YOUR LIBRARY on the go by Julie Troupe, MLIS Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, all photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

There’s no better time than now to catch up on what’s available to you and your children at your local library. Whether visiting us in person or on the go, your public library offers a broad range of materials in a variety of formats. Check out HCPLC.org/Kids and discover some of the public library’s many digital resources at your fingertips.

ANIMATED READ-ALONG STORIES FROM TUMBLEBOOKLIBRARY Searching for eBooks for your early reader? Look no further than your library’s website, where you’ll find TumbleBookLibrary. TumbleBooks are animated, talking picture books that make reading fun. TumbleBookLibrary also includes puzzles and games, National Geographic videos and eBook playlists created to fit many learning themes (and attention spans!). Visit HCPLC.org/Kids and connect to TumbleBookLibrary to find stories and activities your children will adore.

EBOOKS, DOWNLOADABLE AUDIOBOOKS AND OVERDRIVE OverDrive for Kids offers a large selection of eBooks, eAudiobooks and videos. Need a book right now? OverDrive lets you search by items currently available in your library’s digital collection. You can also tailor your search by difficulty and interest using Lexile, ATOS and grade level filters. Need to place a hold? When a copy becomes available, you now have the option to borrow it right away or have it delivered later. This feature allows you to enjoy your books and videos when it’s most convenient for you. To get started, download the Libby by OverDrive app, borrow or request a title, and enjoy!

READING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM NOVELIST K-8 PLUS Can’t decide which book to read next but know you’d like it to be something amusing and mischievous? The library has a resource to help discover kids’ books by genre, subject or appeal. Looking for a fabulous read-a-like? Simply enter your favorite title and you can find other books written by similar authors or with similar storylines. Visit the library’s kids page HCPLC.org/Kids to try out NoveList K-8 Plus and find your next great read today!

EDUCATIONAL FILMS AND MOVIES WITH KANOPY KIDS Find digital movies galore in the public library’s new streaming resource for children, Kanopy Kids. Connect through the library’s website at HCPLC.Kanopy.com/Kids and browse movies and TV shows. You can also stream videos on different school subjects such as math, science and language learning with unlimited, commercial-free viewing. The assortment of story time videos ranges from popular picture books to classic fairy tales. Check out some of the stories available to you right now on Kanopy Kids!

FUN ON THE WEB You can put your mind at ease while your children safely delight in online games and educational activities with some of their favorite characters. When you visit HCPLC.org/ Kids/fun, you’ll find many kid-friendly websites hand-picked by your local librarians.

THE IMPORTANCE OF READING It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Research has shown that reading aloud to your child instills a love of reading and boosts vocabulary. Reading with your child also strengthens your bond. Did you know that if you read one book a day together, you will have read over 1,000 books in three years? Get started now by visiting HCPLC. org/1000Books.

DIGITAL MAGAZINES IN LIBBY Enjoy digital magazines for all ages anywhere, anytime using the Libby app by OverDrive. Read the latest articles or explore past issues of popular children’s magazines such as Highlights and National Geographic Kids.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

VALRICO LAKE ADVANTAGE ACADEMY 13306 Boyette Road, Riverview 33569 813-699-5049; valricoacademy.com

A tuition-free, public charter school proudly serving students in kindergarten through fifth Grade, theschool provides a well-rounded elementary foundation through a challenging curriculum with a focus on teaching math and science in proven and innovative instructional methods preparing students for their secondary education and beyond. We are an “A” rated Florida School of Excellence offering the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies. Cognia accredited.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


22000 US Highway 27, Lake Wales 33859 863-676-6091; vanguardschool.org The Vanguard School is a co-educational boarding and day school for students in grades 6-12. Vanguard specializes in educating students who experience academic learning challenges in an environment that works with academic strategies, executive functioning, social skills, celebrates student strengths and assists in transitioning into higher educational opportunities and independent living.

Enrollment: 100 boarding, up to 120 total Class-size: 6-10 Grades: 6–12 Tuition: 7-day $49,000; 5-day $43,000; Day $25,500

THE WALDORF SCHOOL OF TAMPA BAY 1857 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor 34683 727-786-8311; waldorftampabay.org

The Waldorf School of Tampa Bay offers play-based curriculum for 3 to 6-year-olds built upon imagination, time spent in nature, physical development and fostering social skills. Students in grades 1 through 8 are given robust academics to help them become “more than smart.” Traditional academics are combined with world languages, music, handwork, art and movement, all in a developmentally appropriate way to stimulate the head, heart and hands.

Enrollment: 90 Class-size: 1:8 Grades: Age 3-grade 8 Tuition: $5,000-$12,000


8282 N. Mobley Road, Odessa 33556 813-631-4726; hillsboroughschools.org/walker We develop creative and confident learners. Communication, reflection and whole-child learning energize Walker Middle Magnet, Odessa’s IB World School. As a “Magnet School of Distinction,” students are exposed to a rigorous curriculum. High-impact teachers and our Florida Power School Library highlight our exceptional, highly rated team of educators.

Enrollment: 984 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


1551 Belcher Road, Palm Harbor 34683 727-781-3808; westlakechristianschool.org Westlake Christian School, a National Blue Ribbon School, is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED. Westlake’s mission is to help students develop in their faith, academics, fine arts, and athletics. Westlake serves approximately 425 students in Kindergarten through eighth grade from Northern Pinellas County, Southern Pasco County, Trinity, Westchase and surrounding communities.

Enrollment: 425 Class-size: 1:18 Grades: K-8 Tuition: $8,950-$9,275


5020 N. 47th St., Tampa 33610 813-744-8600; hillsboroughschools.org/williams We are a top-ranked IB World School, creating global learners focused on intercultural awareness and communication. Scholar Quest high school credit offerings challenge students in French, algebra and Emerging Technology in Business. Connect through clubs including LEGO Robotics, Model UN, Future Business Leaders of America and our award-winning Chess Club.

Enrollment: 841 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

YOUNG MIDDLE MAGNET (CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE) 1807 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Tampa 33610 813-276-5739; hillsboroughschools.org/young

We empower creative learners with our Project Lead the Way (PLTW) STEM curriculum. We focus on engineering, sustainability and “Global Planting”— engaging students in hands-on learning with an on-campus hydroponic farm and greenhouse, along with student-constructed rain gardens. Students learn using state-of-the-art technology, including touch-enabled whiteboards and 3-D printers.


Enrollment: 654 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Rare Guru:


BYRNE: Tell us about Rare Guru and what inspired its creation? BARROW: My daughter, my mother and I were all diagnosed with a rare genetic metabolic bone disorder in 2019 called Hypophosphatasia (HPP). There are only a few hundred people who are currently diagnosed with HPP in the United States. My daughter Claire’s diagnosis was especially hard for her to process because she couldn’t find any other teens that had HPP. She felt isolated, anxious and struggled to find someone else her age with HPP to talk to. She came up with the idea to create a free app to instantly connect patients, caregivers and teens with rare diseases or chronic conditions, or those in search of a diagnosis.

BYRNE: How have you been able to connect people with resources so far?

BYRNE: Why was it so important for your family to launch Rare Guru?

BARROW: The RareGuru app helps patients, caregivers, parents and teens make meaningful connections with others facing a similar health journey. Users across the globe are matched on over 7,000 diagnoses and 20,000 symptoms (provided by the US Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)) and are able to connect with their matches to give support and share health resources.

BARROW: Building an app during a global pandemic was not easy, but my husband Bennett and I felt it was important to show Claire (and her brother Hill) that we could make something positive come from our rare diagnosis.

BYRNE: Knowing you are helping people find answers to their conditions, how does that make you feel? BARROW: I am proud of my family for turning our struggle to find information and resources on our rare diagnosis into something that is already helping thousands other families with rare diseases and chronic conditions avoid that same struggle.


BYRNE: How has the pandemic impacted you and some of your clients? BARROW: When you have a rare diagnosis, there are only a handful of doctors in the country who may be familiar with your diagnosis. Patients must frequently travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from home for adequate care. Shockingly, most states do not allow out-of-state doctors to practice medicine via Telehealth appointments. Patients who have been unable to travel out of state to see specialists have gone months without treatment during the pandemic with no end in sight.

TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

BYRNE: Heather, you also helped launch High Risk Hope. Why is it so important for you to help others who are experiencing situations you have gone through like the NICU and the search for answers with a rare disease? BARROW: Connecting people with others in similar health circumstances, whether it is surrounding the premature birth of a child or a family member’s rare diagnosis, is extremely powerful. There are over 25 million people in the United States with one of 7,000 rare diagnoses. However, with so few people diagnosed with any given rare disease, they are underfunded and widely unknown by the medical community. As a result, the average time it takes for a patient with a rare disease to receive an accurate diagnosis is almost five years (it took our family 12 years.) Finding a knowledgeable medical team and treatment plan after a rare diagnosis often takes much longer. The RareGuru app is like a bullet train for the rare disease community, enabling them to fast forward through the typical roadblocks surrounding a rare diagnosis.

BYRNE: Anything else you want to add? BARROW: If you have a rare disease or chronic condition, you are not alone. Connect with others in your specific RareGuru community by visiting www.rareguru.com to download the free app on the iOS App Store or Google Play.

When you feel whole, there’s no stopping what you can do.

Together, we’re incredible.

The Power of Whole-Person Health. From the way your heart keeps you in rhythm, to the way your soul soars at the sound of music – you are incredibly designed. That’s why AdventHealth believes that health care is about more than just medicine. It’s about ministering to your body, mind and spirit, to help you feel whole.


FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Staff, photo provided by Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Pregnancy can often be a roller coaster of emotions for families, especially for mom. There’s the excitement of welcoming a new baby, but for some, fear and anxiety set in around the 20-week appointment. This is when your OB performs an anatomy scan. They scan the baby from head to toe via an ultrasound, and some families (about 1% of all pregnancies) find out there may be a problem with the heart, which is called a congenital heart defect or CHD.

WHAT IS A CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT AND WHAT CAUSES IT? CHD refers to defects in the heart or blood vessels around the heart that don’t develop normally, ultimately affecting blood f low, breathing, activity levels and feeding. While genetics, diet, environmental factors or all the above can be a cause for heart defects in unborn babies, often there’s no known reason why some babies are more at risk of heart defects than others. While some expectant moms get genetic tests done around the 12-week mark to identify any issues, the 20-week pregnancy appointment takes a closer look at the heart’s four chambers and surrounding vessels, picking up roughly 85 percent of heart disease and abnormalities, says Michael Puchalski, M.D., medical director of pediatric cardiology and co-director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute. “As parents, when you hear ‘there might be a problem’ in this visit, there can be a lot of anxiety, and information can be hard to process,” Dr. Puchalski says. “Our suggestion is to get seen as soon as possible by a fetal cardiologist to learn more about your baby’s condition. It’s important to know the facts and also understand that many babies can do well after being born with CHD.” Johns Hopkins All Children’s Fetal Heart program brings together a team of experts who meet with families early on to diagnose CHD, discuss potential surgical interventions after birth, review delivery options and help coordinate care both before and after birth. Delivery at a specialty center like Johns Hopkins All Children’s allows mom and baby to be in the same hospital, decreasing the time to optimal care and providing the best possible outcomes. Programs like this treat a wide variety of heart conditions and help families learn about CHD and how to care for them, including some of the most common defects.


TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

SOME OF THE MOST COMMON DEFECTS: “HOLE IN THE HEART” OR VENTRICULAR SEPTAL DEFECT (VSD) This is one of the most common defects, characterized by a hole in the lower two chambers of the heart, which can increase blood f low to the lungs and affect feeding and breathing. Sometimes your baby may not need surgery right away or in some cases, not at all. If the baby is eating well and takes a normal amount of time to eat, then they will likely be followed by a cardiologist to see if the hole closes on its own or if surgery is required later on.

SINGLE VENTRICLE Instead of two lower pumping chambers, only one chamber—or ventricle—works to pump blood. This causes a number of problems including cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin, lips, nailbeds) and shortens life expectancy. Once baby is born, several surgeries are usually required to re-route blood to the lungs and/ or body. The most common of these defects is hypoplastic left heart syndrome or HLHS. All of these conditions may require a heart transplant later in life.

AORTIC STENOSIS This condition consists of a narrowing of the aortic valve that affects blood f low to the brain and body. Some mild cases may not need treatment, while more serious cases will require surgery to repair/replace the valve and improve blood f low. A cardiac catherization (a thin tube inserted through the leg/groin) can also help doctors treat aortic stenosis in some situations to delay or prevent surgery.

istockphoto.com/ malirka


ATRIOVENTRICULAR CANAL This occurs when only one valve persists inside the heart instead of two. The heart has complete mixing of oxygen-rich blood with oxygen-poor blood through a hole in the upper and lower chambers of the heart. There is cyanosis and heart failure, which leads to difficulty breathing and failure to gain weight. This is the most common condition in Down Syndrome children and typically requires repair around 4-6 months of life.

TETRALOGY OF FALLOT (TOF) This condition is made up of four defects affecting the function of the heart centered around narrowing of the pulmonary valve or f low of blood to the lungs. If untreated, babies can have low oxygen levels and turn blue, especially when they cry (the so-called Tet spell). Surgery is required either after birth or around 4-6 months to complete a full repair to improve blood f low.

istockphoto.com/ Voren1

TREATMENT AND PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE Dr. Puchalski encourages families to talk to experts, educate themselves and start planning early on in pregnancy. You’ll need to ask your provider questions about whether your baby’s heart defect requires you to deliver somewhere that specializes in these births and has a dedicated cardiovascular ICU in case your baby needs special care right away. Families should also mentally prepare for challenges along the way, such as feeding issues and developmental delays, as well as the need for cardiology care early on and likely through their whole life. “Heart defects are not a limitation,” adds Dr. Puchalski. “It’s amazing what we know now and what interventions we can use to not only help these babies and children live a normal life, but excel and improve their overall quality of life.”



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TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021

A MIRACLE OF THE by Anu Varma Panchal, photo provided by BayCare

When Danielle Kern was a few hours old, she had her first surgery. Born with only one working ventricle (pump) in her heart rather than the two required for normal blood circulation, doctors at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital worked furiously to save her life. They succeeded—so well, in fact, that Kern came back 24 years later. Only this time, she was here to deliver her own baby. Because of Kern’s very complex heart defect, a team of cardiologists, neonatologists, high-risk obstetricians, anesthesiologists, nurses and technicians was assembled in the cardiovascular surgical suite at St Joseph’s Hospital, where they gathered to prepare for every eventuality. Members of the labor and delivery team from St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital across the street also were there to help bring Kern’s baby into the world. “It’s almost like launching a rocket into space,” says Dr. Joel Hardin, the adult congenital cardiologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital who oversaw Kern’s cardiac care during the delivery. “There was a layering of support for mom and baby.”

istockphoto.com/ Fourleaflover

The 6-pound 7-ounce baby was delivered via C-section, and after three days at the hospital, Kern went home with her new son. “I didn’t have any fear,” she says. “There were six or eight doctors outside my door, always someone in my room. It made me feel I was being well taken care of.” Another comfort to Kern was that the cardiothoracic surgeon who assisted with her heart surgeries all those years ago, Dr.

Danielle Kern proudly cradles her newborn son, Dustin.



Victor Morell, is still a part of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s cardiac surgical team through its partnership with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where he serves as chief of the division of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. Prior to the 1970s when surgeons and researchers began developing methods to save such infants, Kern’s story—even her life—would have been impossible. By the time Kern was born in the late 1990s, a three-step protocol for babies born with single ventricles had been developed and refined. The first step was open-heart surgery right after birth that stabilized her, buying her time to grow larger and stronger. At 5 months, a second surgery allowed doctors to detach a vein from the heart and attach it directly to the lung arteries, rerouting blood to bypass the heart. When she was 19 months old, she underwent a Fontan procedure. Named for its inventor, this procedure is a more permanent solution that puts in a tube made of Gore-Tex to carry blue blood to the lungs without going through the heart at all. Individuals born with a congenital heart defect, the most common birth defect, are living longer now than ever thanks to medical advances. In fact, adults with congenital heart problems now outnumber children by 2 to 1, and with the growth of this population came the realization that physicians with a unique skillset and knowledge base were needed to treat them. A new field evolved to meet this need, and in 2015, Dr. Hardin was in the first crop of approximately 200 physicians to become certified adult congenital cardiologists. Today, only about 500 physicians are certified in this specialty nationwide, and St. Joseph’s Hospital is only the second hospital in Florida to earn accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association. Kern learned about the difficulty of finding a specialized provider while searching for a doctor who could manage the unique complexity of her pregnancy. At 30 weeks, after being bounced around several practices in central Florida, Kern finally was referred back to St. Joseph’s, where she immediately found the expert care she needed. “I was like, ‘yes! Let’s do that.’ They had all my records. They knew about my condition. If something were to happen to me, they had the equipment.” The challenges of this specialty go beyond diagnosis and treatment and include an emotional component as well as a teaching element, all of which Dr. Hardin naturally gravitates toward. With Kern, he had to first address the elephant in the room: Would the mother survive this pregnancy and be able to watch the child grow up? Any pregnancy can be fraught— Dr. Hardin likens the strain of the process to running a 9-month marathon—but for a mother whose heart does not function like a normal one, the strain is immense, with potential complications such as fatal blood clots. But Kern pulled through with confidence. The only thing that scared her was the epidural; she doesn’t like needles. She is now back home in Lake Wales where on a chilly winter morning, her new son, Dustin Leon Corbin II, slumbered peacefully on her chest. She has no pain from her C-section and will remain under Dr. Hardin’s cardiology care going forward. For Dr. Hardin, success stories like Kern’s help him motivate parents who may be struggling with a child’s diagnosis or condition. “I get to share with them that this is why it’s worth it,” Dr. Hardin says. “This is why you’re putting the child into the hands of a team that can help them feel better and healthier and maybe… have a child of their own one day.” FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


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BUSCH GARDENS PRESCHOOL CARD: 2021 Preschool card allows for FREE unlimited visits to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island for children ages 5 and younger through Dec. 31, 2021. The Preschool Card is only available to Florida residents and you MUST register online by Feb. 28, 2021 and redeem by March 31, 2021.

Education Directory:

Plantation Adventure Center in Crystal River

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Swimming with Manatees We're sharing what it's like to take your kids to Plantation on Crystal River to connect with manatees during this one-of-a-kind experience.

U-Pick Farms in Tampa Bay: The winter and spring months usher in u-pick season in Tampa Bay. Here is one of our favorite u-pick adventures. TAMPA BAY SPAS Be it relinquishing yourselves to expert massages, soaking in an oversized tub or sipping wine side-by-side while enjoying a mani-pedi, there’s no better way to take a timeout together than in one of these Tampa Bay spas.

Outdoor Fun in Tampa Bay Check out some awesome outdoor and socially distant adventures with the kids.

Follow along with us for inside looks of fun things to do with the kids in Tampa Bay; behind-thescenes, sneek peeks and more.

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Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

Spa Jarin


Spa Oceana at Don CeSar


Edward Medard Conservation Park in Plant City

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FEBRUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


320 W. Kennedy, Ste. 220 Tampa, FL 33606



TampaBayParenting.com FEBRUARY 2021