November 2021

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CHARACTER & TEAMWORK Life lessons with Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A FRIENDSGIVING FEAST: Local Bloggers share favorite easy-to-prep recipes


Our TOP PICKS of holiday events kicking off this month




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NOVEMBER 2021 CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND EDITORIAL MANAGER Laura Byrne ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anu Varma Panchal Brie Gorecki EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Laura Byrne Anu Varma Panchal Brie Gorecki Kiva Williams Ginain Grayes Julie Tingley Tara Payor, PhD Courtney Cairns Pastor Cheryl Wolfe Laura Cross Maggie Rodriguez ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kyle Zedaker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tori Richman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Carlson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Yokie Empire, LLC Christina Dix, Fine Art Wedding Photos Samantha Green Stefany Mantilla Julie Larsen Maher BOOKKEEPING James Anderson TAMPA BAY PARENTING MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949-4400 Fax 813-315-6688 BECOME A FAN tampabayparentingmagazine @tampabayparenting @TBParenting

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.




ARTICLES: 8 // COVER STORY: Life Lessons with Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13 // THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE: Less clutter, more lifelong memories 14 // A SEASON OF GIVING: Volunteer at any age in Tampa Bay 18 // TASTY FRIENDSGIVING MUST-HAVES: Bloggers Kiva Williams and Ginain Grayes share easy recipes for an evening of gratitude with friends 21 // HOLIDAY TRADITIONS IN TAMPA BAY: We’re sharing some of our TOP PICKS of holiday events that kick off this month 24 // JUNIOR LEAGUE OF TAMPA HOLIDAY GIFT MARKET: Giving back has never been sweeter 27 // NEW AT THE ZOO: Check out a new techy way to explore the zoo with Wildlife Explorer Quest by TRAKID 31 // THE MILITARY CHILD CHRONICLES: How one local mom’s children’s book series is supporting military families

32 // STOP THE SCROLL: We talk to a psychologist to learn how to teach our kids to be better consumers of social media 36 // 5 WAYS TO GET YOUR CHILD EXCITED ABOUT CODING: Let Corbett Prep show you how baking cookies and playing with LEGOs can teach your kids to code 42 // FUN AT THE LIBRARY-ACTIVITIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: There are so many ways for families to learn and explore at the library from classes, digital libraries and more! 49 // WHERE MINDSET MATTERS: Hillsborough County Public Schools shares 7 Mindsets to boost your child’s social and emotional learning 64 // VOLLEYBALL STAR TAKES TO THE COURT AFTER RARE BRAIN BLEED: How Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital staff saved this young athlete’s life and helped her return to the volleyball court 67 // KIDS AND SPORTS: Prevent injury by knowing when to stop 68 // TEENS TO THE RESCUE: Learn why local high school juniors are learning life-saving CPR skills

EVERY ISSUE: 6 // NOTEWORTHY: What’s NEW in Tampa Bay this November 28 // MOMS TO KNOW: Meet Kristen Brown of TRIBE Seminole Heights 70 // WHAT’S TRENDING: We’re sharing the top stories on

ON THE COVER: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Linebacker Shaquil Barrett with wife Jordanna and children Shaquil Jr., 9, Braylon, 8, Aaliyah, 6 and Arrayah, 6 months.

Read more on page 8 photos by Kyle Zedaker / Tampa Bay Buccaneers NOVEMBER 2021

Head to toe coverage for all Florida kids from birth through the end of age 18, even if one or both parents are working. Most families pay nothing at all, and many families pay just $15 or $20 a month. Full-pay options are also available.

Funding generously provided by the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.

With year-round enrollment, the time to apply is always now: (813) 995-7005




DINO DON'S DINOVENTURE NOW AT THE BISHOP! Open now through March 18 There’s a new MUST-SEE exhibit for your dino loving kids to explore! Dino Don’s DinoVenture at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton is bringing the prehistoric past back to life with life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs and even the tallest, most accurate dinosaur ever built. This outdoor family-friendly experience, built to excite and inspire, is the closest your family will ever come to living, roaring dinosaurs.

FREE COVID KITS FROM THE CHILDREN’S BOARD The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County is distributing 3,500 FREE Covid-19 Prevention Kits at all seven of its Family Resource Centers in Tampa Bay. Each kit includes hand sanitizers, a thermometer, face masks and hand soap.

TECO MANATEE VIEWING CENTER REOPENS The TECO Manatee Viewing Center at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach is finally re-opening this month after staying closed last year due to the pandemic. Manatees gather here in the colder months to seek the warmth of the water from the plant! Water from the bay is used to cool down the power station. The discharge canal is actually a federally designated manatee sanctuary. There is also a trail and observation tower you can climb. You can stay up-todate by following the center on Facebook @ManateeViewingCenter.

Your child’s favorite Dr. Seuss characters are now featured on a staff-favorite toy...Magna-Tiles! The new sets include “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and, just in time for the holidays, ”The Grinch!” Each of the kits runs at about $44.95. The building toy is best for kids ages 3 and older. NOVEMBER 2021

GET COZY THIS FALL WITH THE NAPPLING WEIGHTED BLANKET FROM BEARABY Bearaby makes blankets for adults as well, but the Nappling is designed specifically for kids. Made out of natural organic cotton, it is knitted into a highly breathable and delightfully soft weighted blanket. Perfect to help relax your kiddo after a long day. $149




photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher


Gentleman’s Quest of Tampa Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit based in Tampa that is committed to helping youth become productive members of society, today announced the launch of a new book—"I Am a Young Black Man”—a poetry collection authored by area students within the program that aims to detail the experiences of black adolescence. “I Am a Young Black Man” is now available for preorder at All proceeds from books sales will help to fund a student trip to Washington D.C. for the Gentleman’s Quest program that includes visits to Howard University, the National Museum for African American History and Culture and the American Poetry Museum.




Perseverance, Character and Teamwork: Life Lessons with Shaquil Barrett by Laura Byrne

The journey to success isn’t always an easy road. In fact, very rarely do those at the top of their game say they haven’t struggled or failed along the way. It’s how life lessons are learned. Shaquil Barrett, linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, knows this truth all too well. Now in his eighth season in the NFL and third with the Bucs as the defending Super Bowl Champs aim for back-to-back titles, Barrett got here through a life filled with hard work, perseverance and most importantly, teamwork—on the field and at home. We recently sat down with Barrett and his wife Jordanna Barrett via Zoom for a conversation about family, football and the grit we have in all of us to succeed if we just try. *Interview edited to fit page

Shaquil Barrett with wife Jordanna and children Shaquil Jr., 9, Braylon, 8, Aaliyah, 6 and Arrayah, 6 months

JORDANNA: It’s been really fun. Our kids are a lot older. They say you are a pro by the time you have your fourth child, but we are not. It’s so new. She is amazing though. She has definitely closed the chapter of children for us.

You and Jordanna have been together since you were 17—what is the secret to making a relationship work after all of the years?

SHAQUIL: My secret is---first of all, you have to put in all of the work, like it’s equal, it’s 50/50. Initially I wouldn’t help out and then that stuff would build up over time and take a toll on the relationship, so I just figured out that I have to put in a lot more work. I didn’t know how to be a husband and I had to learn how to be a husband. I am the person she fell in love with, but I have to learn to keep making her fall in love with me on a day in and day out basis and not get complacent. JORDANNA: For me, it’s just him coming home and being completely a part of the family. When he is at work, he’s at work and he does his things he needs to do, but he is completely present all of the time with the kids, with me. He comes home and does homework with the kids. He bathes our daughter. He knows I do a lot of work and I know he does a lot of work and we kind of meet each other halfway.


Shaq—you truly embody the meaning of perseverance. You have accomplished so much even when times get tough. What can we and your own kids learn from your story?

SHAQUIL: My story is always trying to make the right decision by being a good person no matter the circumstances. I always try to do right, no matter how tough the situation.

As a pro football player, you are the type of person parents hope their kids look up to as a positive role model in their lives. What would you tell kids about working toward their goals?

SHAQUIL: Once you finally figure out what you want, you just gotta keep going, keep grinding. You never know how close you are to breaking through to success. Keep going, don’t let nobody deter you from your goals. If your heart is set on it, chase it; you will find a way to get it done.

A lot of us have big dreams, especially kids, but not everyone follows through on those dreams. What is your advice to someone who is dreaming big right now?

SHAQUIL: Know what you want to do later in life, so you know what you have to do right now to get to that goal. Know that you have to have good grades to be able to get to college, you have to have good grades to be able to play sports, you have to have good grades to get a good career, you have to be at the top of your game to be able to excel in whatever field you want to excel in. I’m all school oriented now. I just want my kids to be A students. You have to do the work anyway. You might as well give it your best effort and not procrastinate and wait until the last minute like I did.

photos by Kyle Zedaker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You recently added to your family with the birth of your daughter Arrayah. What is life like as a family of 6?

SHAQUIL: My dad always said when we win, it should be the same as when we lose. Always have respect for whatever sport you are playing. You don’t want to brag to somebody when you win; you don’t want to be too hard or too down on yourself when you lose. Try to be even keel. I always took that mindset from my childhood all the way on up.

What lessons have you learned on the football field that translate into life at home with the family?

photo by Tori Richman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Your former coach at Boys Town is quoted as saying you are someone who competes with character. Why is this so important to you?

Let’s talk about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why is this team so special to you? SHAQUIL: This team is special from the top on down. Everybody in the organization, literally everybody I talk to, great people from GM down to kitchen staff to Kyle (photographer) and Allen (Senior Manager of Community Public Relations). I wouldn’t leave for nothing. I love the guys we have in the locker room. We’ve formed a great bond. I think we have the potential to be very good for years to come and I want to be a part of that.

photo by Mike Carlson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

SHAQUIL: You have to work hard. I didn’t succeed my first year. My second year I played more, and we won a Super Bowl. But my third year, I wasn’t succeeding in the way I wanted to succeed. You always got to just keep going and keep going and keep persevering until you are able to break the wall down, but then you still have to keep going still because you want to stay at the top of your game.

What are some of your favorite things to do as a family in Tampa Bay?

SHAQUIL: We go to the beach and get on the boat and just have a nice evening on the boat, dock at a couple of the beaches and let the kids swim. She (Jordanna) definitely loves being on the water and not in the water. JORDANNA: Yes (laughs) We usually go on nightly walks around the neighborhood. He’s been teaching them how to longboard. And our kids are fish. They would live in the water if they could, so being able to just go outside and go in the pool is definitely different than what they’re used to in Colorado.

SHAQUIL: I saw another Instagram that said your 5-years-ago self would be so proud of who you are today and I’m thinking, man, five years ago I would not have pictured me in the situation I’m in right now… two Super Bowl rings and leading the league in sacks one year and having another baby, then still having a successful marriage and having more love than when we went in...I feel like we’re doing a majority of everything the right way now and we’ve just got to keep it up.

photo by Kyle Zedaker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When you look back, do you think your younger self ever envisioned where you are today?



score the gift they really want Get your young Bucs fan a Jr. Bucs Membership & Welcome Kit this holiday season! A one-time $24.99 fee gets priority invitations to future Jr. Bucs events and a Welcome Kit that includes: •

Official Jr. Bucs Membership Card

Buccaneers hat

Jr. Bucs football

Jr. Bucs lanyard

Jr. Bucs notebook


*Plus $5.00 shipping and handling. Does not ship internationally.

10 NOVEMBER 2021


s in g e b n io s is m e Th th 9 1 r e Novemb

Follow Buddy the Elf on his journey to muster enough Christmas cheer to power Santa’s sleigh and save the holiday by completing challenges inspired by the iconic film in this all-new, multisensory experience.

NOV. 19 - JAN. 2 | WELCOME TO MORE ELF and all related characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc. (s21)



12 NOVEMBER 2021

The Gift of Experience: Make more memories, buy less stuff by Laura Byrne



This gift keeps on giving all year long. As well as the year-round benefits of being able to go to your favorite attraction, passes often offer perks like free parking, discounts on summer camps and even reciprocal discounts at other fun spots in town. Some of our favorite spots for families: GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, GREAT EXPLORATIONS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, MOSI, ZOOTAMPA, BUSCH GARDENS, THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM AND LEGOLAND. You might even find special deals for annual passes and memberships during the holiday season, so it’s worth joining the email lists to stay-up-to date!

Okay, so a subscription box is a tangible item the child will receive in the mail. However, the subscription boxes we’re about to mention come with an experience. Even better, our top picks were created by Tampa Bay area families, so you’re helping to support a locally owned business when you purchase. Win-win!

WE CRAFT BOX: We Craft Box is an award-winning monthly kids’ craft kit delivered to your little crafter’s doorstep every month! Each box has enough materials for two crafters and is geared toward kids 3-9 years old. You’ll get 5 or more crafts that go along with a themed story.

An annual pass is a great gift from a grandparent, too. You can bundle the pass with a small toy or book so the child has something tangible to open.

Use code HOLLY40 at check out for 40% off on your first subscription box!

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES UPGRADE THEIR DAY: If you already have an annual pass to a local attraction like Busch Gardens or ZooTampa, consider upgrading the next visit with a unique animal encounter. At Busch Gardens, kids 5 and older love the Serengeti Safari Tour because they get up close with the giraffe. ZooTampa also offers a variety of different encounters. Some of our favorites are the Aldabra Tortoise Encounter, Giraffe Backstage Encounter and Indian Rhino Feeding.


Little Global Citizens was recently named the #1 Craft Box by the Subscription Trade Association. You can purchase monthly boxes or even a bundle to take you and your child on a journey to a different country around the world. Each box is packed full of activities and crafts. You can also purchase the Christmas Around the World box to learn more about how families from around the world celebrate the holiday.


Tampa mom of three and former teacher Johanna Sanchez designed this kit for busy moms like you who are looking for screen-free activities. Because she believes that self-care is essential for moms, these boxes include a special product from a local Tampa business for moms.


Plantation on Cr ystal River



SWIM WITH THE MANATEES: Yes, this is something you can do with the kids! Crystal River and Homosassa are the only places where you can legally ‘swim’ with manatees in their natural environment as a passive observer. The coldest months of the year, which we’re approaching, are the best time to go. One of our favorite tours is with the Adventure Center at Plantation on Crystal River. When you book the tour, it’s best to book the early morning tour and aim for a weekday to avoid larger crowds.


f or m or e






Ways to Give Back at Any Age by Brie Gorecki, photos provided by Feeding Tampa Bay

It’s never too early to teach children the importance of giving back to others. Many organizations and charities need help year-round, but during the holiday season, the need is even greater. COVID-19 took a hit on charities worldwide, and food banks, homeless shelters and donation sites are in dire need of help, especially during the holidays. Some charities have started to see an increase in participation and donations, but plenty of opportunities remain unfilled. Project-based volunteering is a great way to get little ones involved. Making holiday cards to send to senior citizens, military posted away from home or hospital-bound children can teach what giving back is all about. Organizing a toy drive or setting up a lemonade stand to raise funds for charity are also kid-friendly ways to help others. Some organizations have age requirements for in-person volunteering, but several opportunities exist for younger children also. We’ve rounded up some local organizations you can look into for volunteering opportunities for your little ones. Be sure to check with local schools, houses of worship, hospitals and local businesses to ask about charities and organizations that they may partner with as well. If volunteering in-person isn’t an option, most organizations are always in need of donations and funds.

Feeding Tampa Bay Volunteers

14 NOVEMBER 2021



Perfect for: All ages

Perfect for: Ages 8 and up

Feeding Tampa Bay provides 2 million meals per week to 10 counties. Children as young as 5 can sort food in the warehouse with an accompanying adult, and Family Nights are open to all ages. Children 16 and older can also serve at the organization’s Trinity Café. Affinity Groups break volunteers down in age groups from 6-13, 14-18 and 18-24. These groups will teach how to lead others to help fight hunger and inspire them to take action. Masks are still encouraged.

Metropolitan Ministries provides food and essential daily items for families in need. They serve over 75,000 meals each month in Tampa Bay, and over 20,000 holiday meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Volunteers are needed to serve meals, host food drives, stock the shelves at the Metro Market or serve in the annual Holiday Tent. Children under 8 can participate but must be at least 14 to volunteer without an adult.

MEALS ON WHEELS TAMPA Perfect for: All ages Meals on Wheels provides hot, healthy meals to homebound and senior members of the community who live independently in their own homes. The Produce on Wheels (POW!) program delivers fresh produce free of charge on the third Saturday of every month. Meals on Wheels also provides hurricane preparedness packs, cards and baked goods on Thanksgiving morning, and holiday gift bags of books, games, snacks, juice and toiletries the third Saturday in December. Meals on Wheels has also partnered with The Humane Society of Tampa Bay to deliver free bags of pet food through their Animeals program. Although drivers must be 18 and older, children of any age can tag along to deliver meals, produce, pet food and gifts.

KIDS HELPING KIDS PASCO COUNTY Perfect for: All ages Local mom Michelle Patel started this organization to encourage kids to create change in their community, one small act at a time. They host periodic philanthropic events that allow children to volunteer and give back. This year, they will host their fourth annual Thanksgiving food drive Nov. 20 at Land O' Lakes Heritage Park. In December, families will have opportunities to donate to their 2021 Angel Tree. Visit their Facebook page to sign up for volunteer opportunities. kidshelpingkidspasco

TOYS FOR TOTS Perfect for: Ages 5 and up The Marine Corps has donated over 600 million toys through the Toys for Tots program since 1947. Families can organize toy drives for new, unwrapped toys at their home, office or other venue. Volunteers can also sort toys at the warehouse for distribution. Children ages 5-14 must be supervised by someone over the age of 18, while those over 15 may be unsupervised with a signed waiver. You can even participate from home by purchasing toys through their virtual toybox.

HUMANE SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY Perfect for: Ages 5 and up The Paws for Literacy program allows children ages 5-12 to read to animals after school. Children under 16 can volunteer with a parent or guardian to walk dogs, play with cats and clean kennels. The Teen Program for ages 12-15 allows kids to earn 20 hours of volunteer work by working with animals and assisting with the Humane Education program. Volunteers in the Teen Program do not need to have a parent or guardian present. Donations such as towels, pet food and cleaning supplies are also always welcomed.

THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF TAMPA DIAPER BANK This is the only diaper bank in Hillsborough County. “Diaper drops” can be set up at homes, offices, schools and most community locations. Online donations and direct purchases through their Amazon wish list are also available. diaperbank

BABYCYLE Pinellas County’s diaper bank provides diapers, wipes, formula and other necessities to families in need. Their website includes a list of drop-off locations around the county. Online donations can also be made.

OASIS OPPORTUNITIES This grassroots, volunteer-driven organization provides clothing, shoes and hygiene items to low-income students in Hillsborough County. They partner with over 230 social workers in public schools throughout the county to ensure that students can receive items they may need. The organization can arrange for donations to be dropped off or picked up, and online donations can be made through their Amazon wish list.

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE TAMPA BAY Ronald McDonald House Tampa Bay keeps families close to their children who are receiving lifesaving treatment in local area hospitals. As well as accommodation, families receive compassionate support and resources. Although most in-person volunteer opportunities are suspended due to COVID-19, trained desk volunteers and pickup volunteers are needed. Volunteers can also pack snack packs, toiletry kits and kids’ activity kits and collect pop-tabs from cans to be recycled. Online donations are highly encouraged. Community members can even adopt a room, providing families private accommodations during their stay.







NOV 22-24


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 16

MOSI’s mission is to be the intersection of science, technology NOVEMBER 2021and innovation in the Tampa Bay region where conversations and learning happen, knowledge is exchanged and new ideas are celebrated.


7th Annual




NOV 25th


For more information and to register, visit: SPONSORED IN PART BY:





Tasty Friendsgiving Must-Haves by Ginain Grayes @cookprayslay and Kiva Williams @thefunfoodiemama, photos by Yokie Empire, LLC

November is a time to express our gratitude and thankfulness for all the special people and moments in our lives. It’s also a month full of our favorite fall goodies and eats. Everything from pumpkin pies to roasted turkeys will be front and center all month long. This year, Ginain Grayes from Cook Pray Slay and Kiva Williams from The Fun Foodie Mama couldn’t resist this opportunity to celebrate the season with a tasty and memorable Friendsgiving! If you’re thinking of safely gathering your closest friends together for a special treat — we got you covered! Here are some of our tried-and-true easy recipes that will make this Friendsgiving the best one yet!


Ingredients: ● 5 pounds boneless turkey breast roast ● 2 cups chicken broth ● 3 tablespoons olive oil ● 2-3 celery stalks ● 4 garlic cloves or minced garlic ● 1 teaspoon paprika ● 1 teaspoon each of sage, thyme and rosemary ● 1 teaspoon salt ● 1 teaspoon ground black pepper ● 1 medium onion chopped into large slices

Directions: 1. Arrange onions, garlic and celery in the Instant Pot. Place trivet over veggies and add chicken broth. 2. In a small bowl mix olive oil, paprika, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. 3. Remove the netting and gravy packet from the turkey breast. Wash the turkey and pat it dry. Rub turkey breast with olive oil mixture. Place on the trivet. 4. Place lid on Instant Pot. Set valve to seal. Select the Pressure Cook function and set timer to 40 minutes on High Pressure. 5. Let the pressure release naturally. 6. Carefully remove turkey from the pressure cooker. Set on a baking pan or sheet and place cooked turkey breast in the oven under the broiler. Broil on high until golden brown. Watch the turkey very closely so it doesn’t burn. 7. To make the gravy, drain the pan drippings through a sieve to catch the onions and garlic. Measure out 2 cups of the liquid and place back in the Instant Pot. Add a mixture of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water and whisk well. Add salt/pepper to taste. Simmer using the “saute” setting on the Instant Pot until it thickens to a gravy consistency.

18 NOVEMBER 2021

ROASTED VEGETABLES (by @thefunfoodiemama)

Ingredients: ● 1 orange pepper ● 1 red pepper ● 1 yellow pepper ● 1 red onion ● 1 12-ounce bag of green beans ● 2 tablespoons olive oil ● Seasonings: roasted garlic, herb, lemon pepper, ground sage, Himalayan pink salt

Directions: 1. Clean and slice peppers into thick strips. Slice onion into rings. 2. Rinse and pat dry green beans. 3. Line a baking sheet with foil and assemble vegetables in a row. Drizzle olive oil and seasonings over vegetables. 4. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Broil for 5 minutes. 5. Add a few shakes of Himalayan sea salt once veggies are removed from the oven.


Ingredients: For the crumb topping: ● ½ cup all-purpose f lour ● ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats ● ½ cup light brown sugar ● ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ● A dash of salt ● 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted ● ½ cup pecans, chopped For the Apple filling: ● 4 small apples, chopped (Granny Smith or Red Delicious) ● 2 tablespoons butter, melted ● 1 tablespoon lemon juice ● ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ● ¼ cup light brown sugar ● ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ● A pinch of salt ● 1 cup water

Directions: 1. In a medium bowl, combine and mix the crumb topping ingredients and set aside. 2. Spray Instant Pot (IP) with nonstick cooking spray and add apples. 3. Add melted butter, vanilla, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and toss to coat apples. Pour in water. 4. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples. 5. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. 6. When complete, turn the valve to quick release the pressure/steam. 7. Optional: Spoon servings into oven-proof dish and broil for 1-2 minutes, for a crisp topping.





● 1 cup water ● 3/4 cup white sugar ● 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries ● 1 cup apples - peeled, cored and diced ● 1/2 cup cider vinegar ● 1/2 cup raisins (I used California Golden Raisins) ● 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger ● 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice ● 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves ● 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

● 5-pound bag of red potatoes (use half the bag for this recipe or double the below list of ingredients for the entire 5-pound bag) ● 4 tablespoons salted butter ● 1 cup vegetable broth ● 1 tablespoon salt ● 1 tablespoon minced garlic ● 1 teaspoon black pepper

(by @cookprayslay)

Directions: 1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the cranberries, apples, cider vinegar, raisins and spices. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat while gently stirring frequently for 10 minutes.

(by @thefunfoodiemama)

Directions: 1. Clean and scrub potatoes (leave the skin on). 2. In a large pot, bring enough water to cover potatoes to a boil for 3045 minutes. 3. Drain liquid once potatoes have finished boiling and are soft (check softness with a fork). 4. Combine all ingredients in the pot (mash until desired texture).

2. Remove saucepan from heat and pour chutney into a bowl to let it cool to room temperature. Serve or cover and refrigerate.

HOLIDAY SORREL PUNCH (by @thefunfoodiemama)

Ingredients: ● 1 cup of dry sorrel leaves ● 1 orange ● 1 bag of cinnamon sticks ● 1/8 cup of cloves ● 10 cups of water ● 1 cup of cane sugar ● 3 tablespoons fresh ginger juice

Directions: 1. Bring 8 cups of water, sorrel leaves, cloves and cinnamon to a boil 2. Slice half of the orange and add it to the mixture. 3. Boil for 10-15 minutes until the water turns a deep burgundy (drain liquid through a strainer and set aside). 4. In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil (stir while awaiting it to boil). 5. Peel and juice 2-3 large handfuls of ginger. 6. In a large punch bowl, add strained sorrel, water/sugar mixture, and 3 tablespoons of fresh ginger juice. 7. Stir until all ingredients are fully mixed. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange slices. 8. Enjoy warmed or over ice.






at INTERNATIONAL PLAZA Discover the magic and tradition of the holiday season beginning November 12. Skip the line and see Santa sooner by booking a reservation online. • Sit with Santa for your photo or remain socially-distanced • Get fitted in virtual elf gear • Step inside Santa’s 22-foot tall sleigh and experience the magical snowfall Visit or scan QR code to make your reservation with Santa.



20 NOVEMBER 2021

Holiday Traditions SPECTACULAR LIGHTS & EVENTS: CHRISTMAS TOWN AT BUSCH GARDENS Nov. 12-Jan. 2 | From mid-November until the end of December, Busch Gardens visitors can enjoy beautiful lights, seasonal shows, Yuletide shopping and a pit stop into Santa’s House with their park admission. Meet characters from the classic “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” television special who will also be celebrating around the park.

WINTER VILLAGE AT CURTIS HIXON PARK  Nov. 19-Jan. 2 | Celebrate the holidays starting in November and lasting into the new year at Curtis Hixon Park. Come see the transformed waterfront park decked with sights, sounds and activities full of holiday cheer for children and adults of all ages. Downtown Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink will be back again this year as another must-do for Tampa residents and guests alike.

HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR ON THE TAMPA RIVERWALK AND WATER WORKS PARK Nov. 20-Jan. 2 | The Riverwalk in Tampa and the river will be aglow for the holidays as lighted barges will be on display near Water Works Park and Sparkman Wharf. It’s a holiday stroll or bike ride to add to your family’s Holiday to do list! One of our favorite ways to view the lights is by boat on Pirate Water Taxi’s River of Lights cruise and even the Lost Pearl pirate ship.

GINGERBREAD VILLAGE AT GLAZER CHILDREN'S MUSEUM Nov. 20-Jan. 3 | GCM is getting into the holiday spirit with a gingerbread-inspired wonderland sponsored by Macy’s. Located on Level 2 of the museum, children can step into a sweet winter wonderland to build a gingerbread house made from recycled materials like cardboard, pipe cleaners, bottle caps and more.

THE WONDERLAND OF LIGHTS & SANTA’S VILLAGE Nov. 25-Jan. 2 | Experience Tampa Bay’s holiday theme park in a new location at International Market World in Auburndale. Enjoy a beautiful mile of decorated Holiday displays and dazzling lights. Once your mile is up, check out holiday-themed attractions, a wolf exhibit, rides, and of course, photos with Santa. thewonderlandof

HOLIDAY LIGHTS & RIDES AT LARGO CENTRAL PARK Nov. 25-Jan. 2 | Largo Central Park will light up again with more than 2 million LED Christmas lights. This is an outdoor walking Christmas light tour. Hop on the seven-story Ferris wheel for a bird’s eye view of the 70-acre park. Rides are $5 each. Largo Central Park’s Christmas lights and holiday lights are from 6 -11 p.m. It is free to park and stroll among the sparkly Christmas lights.

ENCHANT CHRISTMAS AT TROPICANA FIELD Nov. 26-Jan. 2 | This holiday season Tropicana Field is lighting up with holiday magic…literally! Experience the lights, explore the Christmas maze in search of “The Mischievous Elf”, go ice-skating and more!

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Tampa Bay


Nov. 26-28; Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 1819, 24-31 | Holidays at LEGOLAND feature a combination of seasonal shows, tasty treats and twinkling lights. Guests will dance, sing along, and deck the halls with interactive experiences, rock around a 30-foot-tall LEGO tree with interactive lights and music, meet LEGO Santa and create memories with giant holiday-themed LEGO builds. lorida

WATERFRONT LIGHTS IN ST. PETERSBURG Nov. 26-Jan. 3 | Stand along the pedestrian walkways at North and South Straub Parks in St. Petersburg for this free light show on the water. There will also be Christmas lights and displays at Pioneer Park, Vinoy Park and the new St. Pete Pier.

CHRISTMAS IN THE WILD AT ZOOTAMPA Nov. 29-30; Dec. 6-8, 13-15, 20-23, 26-30 | Enjoy a special festival of lights to launch the holiday season at ZooTampa. Indulge yourself with stunning lights, seasonal smells of holiday treats and the excitement of festive entertainment as you enjoy the magic of wildlife at night.

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE AT THE MAHAFFEY Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. | Bring in the holiday season with a bang! With colorful new acts, cool holiday scenes, unique performances and special appearances from Santa himself, this is a holiday extravaganza you won’t want to miss!

HOLIDAY EVENTS IN ORLANDO: SO. MUCH. CHRISTMAS. AT GAYLORD PALMS Nov. 19-Jan. 3 | From a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal at Villa de Flora to photos with Santa, gingerbread house decorating and story time with Mrs. Claus, there’s something for everyone here. Discover a 60-foot Christmas tree and over 2 million dazzling lights throughout the Christmas Tree Trail. New this year is Mission: Save Christmas. Journey into Buddy the Elf’s world to help save Christmas during this multi-sensory interactive experience.

COLORFUL CHRISTMAS AT CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE Nov. 20-Jan. 3 | Crayola’s Colorful Christmas Crew is back with an all-new challenge! Help Santa and his friends save the holiday and enjoy some SNOW-tastic adventures as you go. Kids can play in a life-sized snow globe and watch a light show by Scarlet and her singing reindeer friends. And of course, what would be a visit without some holiday arts and crafts? Included with general admission.

This is only a small part of our list of holiday events in Tampa Bay. Scan the QR code for more holiday family fun! NOVEMBER 2021


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GIVING BACK Has Never Been Sweeter story and photo by The Junior League of Tampa

The Junior League of Tampa’s Holiday Gift Market is thrilled to be back for a “sweet” Candyland-themed in-person event after going virtual last year. In its 18th year, Holiday Gift Market is excited to safely welcome nearly 200 merchants and more than 20,000 holiday shoppers to the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo and Entertainment Halls Nov. 11-14. For many shoppers, The Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market offers personalized and unique gifts they can’t find anywhere else, including art, home décor, clothing, jewelry, gourmet foods, toys and so much more. “With nearly 200 unique and hand-selected vendors, there really is something for everyone,” say Courtney Bilyeu and Kara Scahafer, Holiday Gift Market 2021 co-chairs.

This year’s Holiday Gift Market kicks off on Nov. 11 with Preview Party. HGM officially opens Friday, Nov. 12 and closes Sunday, Nov. 14. Tickets for the market, Preview Party and all special events can be purchased in advance online or at the door. MORE INFO:

24 NOVEMBER 2021

FAMILY TRADITIONS Beyond the unique shopping experience combining new and returning vendors, shoppers will enjoy some of Tampa’s favorite Holiday Gift Market family traditions - Preview Party, Breakfast with the Princesses on Sunday morning, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be onsite for “Santa Snaps” on Saturday and Sunday, ready to hear this year’s wish lists. The 2021 Holiday Gift Market will also feature its largest ever Veterans Hall of Heroes, honoring those who have served our country and featuring opportunities to meet and support veterans. Kicking off Holiday Gift Market on Thursday, Nov. 11 is the event’s annual Preview Party, an exclusive Candyland-inspired event for shoppers featuring food, drinks, entertainment, gifts, raff les, and of course, the opportunity to shop early before crowds.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT While this event fills our personal holiday spirit bucket, it also fills the needs bucket of our entire Tampa Bay community. “Our overall theme this year is Giving Back Has Never Been Sweeter,” say Bilyeu and Schafer. “We want to remind all members of the Junior League of Tampa, as well as shoppers, that HGM isn’t just a holiday market; it is our largest fundraiser. Many of our community partners were hit very hard during the pandemic, and now, more than ever, Holiday Gift Market will help provide some much-needed support to their organizations.” Over the past 10 years, the Holiday Gift Market has raised $1.5 million that has gone directly back into the Tampa Bay Community; 100% of net proceeds from the Holiday Gift Market fund the Junior League of Tampa’s community projects and programs. Thanks to presenting sponsor Publix and silver sponsor The Florida Cattlewomen’s Association, the organization is able to raise awareness and help increase our impact not only this holiday season but throughout the year.




26 NOVEMBER 2021

NEW AT THE ZOO! Wildlife Explorer Quest by Laura Byrne

photo provided by ZooTampa

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ZooTampa has a new way to teach empathy and connect your children to animals through a medium kids know best—technology!

Wildlife Explorer Quest by TRAKID is an app that connects with a Smart Compass watch. You can pick up at Guest Services to upgrade your day. It’s essentially a digital scavenger hunt that will teach you and your child fun facts about the animals as the Smart Compass guides you through the zoo. We tried it out with Johanna Sanchez, founder of @localmombox, mom of three and a former teacher.


Visit and head to the Upgrade Your Day section to rent your Smart Compass watch in advance. It’s $9.99 for ZooTampa members and $11.99 for non-members. You can also book one on the day of your visit at guest services. You’ll also want to download the TRAKID app, which is available on Android and iOS devices, to help speed up the process.


Head over to the guest services kiosk to the right of Manatee Circle when you first walk in. This is where you will pick up the Smart Compass and pair it with the TRAKID app to get the game started. Once activated, follow the instructions on the app. See which direction the LED lights on the Smart Compass are pointing you and head that way.


Because the entire park is geo-mapped, the Smart Compass will point you in the direction of the animal you’re closest to and beep to alert you when you’ve reached your destination. Remember, Wildlife Explorer Quest is...a quest! It’s an interactive game, so at each animal exhibit, the app will ask questions to teach you some fascinating facts about the animals. At the Sulawesi Babirusa exhibit, for example, you might learn that the wild relative of the pig is nocturnal and that warty pigs have very active social lives, living in family groups of up to 12. You can earn badges on the app as you continue the quest. Anna Torres, head of customer success with TRAKID, tells us it is important that kids are learning as they play. It was the reason the program was developed in conjunction with ZooTampa. “ZooTampa has so many great conservation efforts that they actively support,” Torres says. “Bringing that knowledge and awareness to their guests and the entire zoo industry is something we really wanted to do.” Sanchez loved that her boys got excited as they worked their way to each new exhibit on their quest. “This has great content for kids,” Sanchez said. “It’s interactive. There are questions you can ask the kids at each animal exhibit and what’s also great, it keeps the kids moving and going.” Factoring in snack and bathroom breaks, the quest will take about three hours to complete. Once you’ve completed the mission, be sure to return the Smart Compass to guest services. It’s just a rental, but the memories and new appreciation for the Zoo and its animals? That you can keep forever.




to s

Moms to Know

di t: C h ri stin a D ix , Fi n e A r t to c re

When it comes to doing good and making the world a better place, Kristen has a vision that is changing lives every day in Tampa Bay. From her staff of 100 volunteers and 1,800 families served in 2020, to the 2,500 students that are invited to be a part of the after-school programming TRIBE offers every quarter, thousands of people will agree that Kristen is a mom you need to know.


From the grind of the corporate marketing world working alongside brands with big budgets (like Absolut, L’Oreal, and Target) to enhance their global market presence to life in yoga pants serving inner-city schools to guide young people as they discover their purpose, Kristen Brown is the brave face of a social entrepreneur that has stepped into her calling like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

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by Julie Tingley

KRISTEN BROWN | TRIBE Seminole Heights JT: What inspired you to flip the switch from the corporate marketing world? KB: I’ve been a single mom since my son was under a year old. When I became a mother, I was frustrated by how difficult it was to find variety, ease and affordability in children’s activities, and knew how much more difficult those challenges must be for families living near poverty. I felt strongly that more kids would be able to find their passions and explore new interests if we gave them easier access, and I wanted that access to be available to all children. I saw an opportunity to start small by making a change for the children in my neighborhood. Every job I’ve had, every person I’ve worked with, all the knowledge I garnered in the different professional roles I have held, all led me to TRIBE. Combining those relationships and experiences positioned me to answer this calling during a long and intense health battle. I had the experience and ability to figure out a way to create a unique program and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use my illness as a do-over button. From the moment I mentally accepted the assignment, I started to gather the people. I suppose that’s why I feel like my story is insignificant. I represent just one small part of TRIBE. Though I am the founder, many people contribute to our organization: around 100 volunteers at any given time, 50 of whom lead the activities we provide for children.

JT: How does TRIBE select its programming, and how has that changed in the pandemic? KB: Our programs are drop in and pay-as-you-go, and that provides equity in ways that other programs, even if affordable, just don’t. We are always experimenting to see what kids get excited about [from ukulele to cooking, science to yoga, and Bollywood to ballet] and what programs we can add to help get them inspired. Our programming is determined by volunteers who are excited and passionate about leading an activity, and our projects are selected largely based on what supplies we have received and need to use. Leveraging resources is probably the most important thing we do at TRIBE, and how we have been able to accomplish much of our work without a great deal of money. We waste as little as we can and will find a creative use for anything we are given! We receive significantly more in-kind donations than monetary support. We lost a significant amount of momentum, and many of our volunteers, when we were forced to close for more than 6 months due to the pandemic. Though I am extremely proud of the work that we did during that time to uplift our community (check out our large-scale art installations!), like most other businesses and nonprofits, it caused a setback. At the same time, the needs for our programs, and of our families, have continued to grow. That has challenged us to continue to find new and creative ways to provide services, and the mentality of starting with what we have has been an integral piece of that strategy.

JT: How can local businesses get involved with your mission? What resources are needed most today? And what are you most grateful for in 2021? KB: Our greatest needs are financial support in the form of funding, major gifts, corporate sponsorships and other sustainable sources of income, and volunteers at every level. We need folks to assist in classrooms, help fundraise, and we need strategic partners that are committed to our long-term success. Individuals and businesses that want to get involved are encouraged to visit our website: One of the greatest compliments I’ve received recently was when a board member remarked, “I’ve never seen an organization do so much with so little.” As powerful as that statement was, and it meant a great deal to me, it also represents our greatest challenge. Our work is not sustainable without the resources that most organizations have, and in order to acquire them, we need a level of support that is consistent that we can count on. This year I am most grateful to the Vinik Family Foundation. In February, I was honored as one of their “Community Heroes.” They provided us with a grant for our most significant source of funding to date and allowed us the freedom to continue our work. Additionally, I am extremely grateful to our volunteers, without whom none of our work would be possible. They are an amazing group of people, and their extensive collective of gifts inspire me every day!

JT: What keeps you focused and helps you overcome the hard days that are inevitable with entrepreneurship? KB: I am a 45-year-old single mama, and I am beat! Did I mention that TRIBE is on the 3rd floor? So. Many. Stairs. Right now, my work is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and every day is a scramble from start to finish. I don’t give up because I KNOW our work is not done. When I feel ready to give up, I think about all the people who have shared how much they wish that their community had a place like TRIBE. My encouragement to them is to create one, and I’m working as hard as I can to help build a template that other moms can use to replicate our work in their community.

JT: What is your favorite thing to do with your son in Tampa Bay? KB: There honestly has been no greater joy in my lifetime than seeing my own child enjoy the programming at the community center I created. Now that he is in middle school, he serves as my inspiration to expand the programs we offer to include more for adolescents. I love to spend time outside. You can find us sticking close to Seminole Heights most of the time. Please say hi if you do; he hates that!



30 NOVEMBER 2021

The Military Child Chronicles: Supporting Military Families by Tara Payor, Ph.D. | photos by Samantha Green

November—a month attired in gratitude. In 1996, November was declared Military Family Month. As thankfulness takes centerstage, think about the sacrifices made by our nation’s military families. In Tampa Bay, Athens Pellegrino, whose husband Christopher Pellegrino is active-duty Air Force, is on a mission to author a children’s book series, “The Military Child Chronicles.” Written to support military children’s resiliency, the books also help civilian families understand how to be of service to military ones. The books’ protagonists Atticus and Callista are named after Pellegrino’s children, Atticus, 3 years, and Callista, 17 months old. Likely to be here for another year, the family knows that Tampa is the first place Atticus will remember; he’s made friends here and started sports. Pellegrino, a civilian budget analyst, spoke with me about her call to action as a children’s book author. TBP: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

TBP: What do you think makes a good story?

AP: I’ve thought about it for a long time, but I was working on my MPA and other licensures. Christopher’s duties as a Combat Systems Officer also impacted life. Ironically, having a baby and nursing at night created writing time. Awake with a colicky baby from midnight on, I chose being productive over social media scrolling. I’ve always loved writing and research.

AP: Being honest about what’s going on. Showing challenges and difficult-to-work-through feelings—especially when the writer shows that support exists. In January, my own story will appear in an adult book on resiliency. The chapter details how I’ve accomplished things amidst many moves, my motivations, the importance of an open mind, and willingness to learn from failure. Atticus and Callista, protagonists in my real life, provide the fire to persist.

TBP: How long did it take you to write the first book of the series, “Mission: My First PCS?” AP: Story conception and drafting took two months. Having Callista and moving to Tampa seven days later caused some delay. Once I partnered with my illustrator, Cody Taylor, we built a storyboard in two weeks because of the insight we shared. The next book in the series launches in November and tackles the current pandemic climate. Atticus who, like Callista, remains a main character across the series, learns lessons on longing for family and how families celebrate holidays differently. Holiday-themed activities and tips for navigating the holidays are included.

Athens Pellegrino, photo credit: Stefany Mantilla

TBP: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice? AP: Generating ideas is therapeutic. Storyboarding and dialoguing with loved ones, cathartic. The conversations affirmed my writing; we wish we’d had resources like this series. An international reach underscores my purpose. My focus isn’t profit; it’s helping military and civilian families understand the need for support and ways to provide it. When you see a military family who’s new to the area, reach out. We have minimal connections and help with school registration and medical care enables comfort and connection.

Athens with husband Chris (active duty), son Atticus and daughter Callista

TBP: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process? AP: Trimming content! I can’t exceed 28 pages in children’s books. Naturally, I have lots to share; I encourage aspiring writers to take any creative writing classes possible.


Behind the scenes with illustrator Cody Taylor NOVEMBER 2021


STOP THE SCROLL? How to Teach Your Child to Be a Smart Consumer of Social Media by Laura Byrne

Balance is something we strive for in most parts of our lives, and it’s no different when it comes to social media. Unfortunately, social media’s impact hasn’t always been so good on our kids (or us adults). But it’s not all bad news and no, we don’t have to stop the scroll. Jennifer Katzenstein, PhD, director of psychology and neuropsychology and co-director of Center for Behavioral Health at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, says we CAN find a healthy balance. We spoke with her to learn about teaching our kids to be healthy consumers of social media—and maybe learn a few lessons ourselves along the way.

Dr. Katzenstein: The frontal lobe of the brain isn’t fully developed until the early to mid-20s. That part is responsible for planning, organization, multi-tasking and knowing when enough is enough. It’s really interesting to think about our kids’ brains not being fully developed yet. It’s harder for them to know when to stop, and they are going to be more impulsive in the decisions that they make.

Is there an age that’s appropriate for a child to be on social media? Dr. Katzenstein: This is a huge debate right now. There’s been a lot of data surrounding those early teenage years (13 to 15) to be the first time. Other groups are pushing for 18 years old. For me, there’s a couple of different pieces.

Social media doesn’t always portray everyday life or real moments. Everything seems photoshopped these days and posed. This has to be hard for kids.

What are some steps parents can take to begin the digital detox with their child? Is it a cold turkey situation or should we take a slower approach?

Dr. Katzenstein: Data suggests that kids who follow people they don’t know in real life [suffer] a greater mental health impact in terms of greater rates of depression and anxiety. It’s really important for kids to only be following people they know. We put our best filters on our social media posts. If you know that person in real life, then you know every moment in their life isn’t like that. But when we’re following people and all we see is perfect moments, we’re thinking other people are living these lives that are perfect. [When] having those conversations as parents about how we consume media in general, what information is trustworthy [and] what we see on social media, remind them there is a filter on that, [and] they photoshopped that.

Dr. Katzenstein: We definitely want to go slow and wean off. Set everything up for success from the start. As soon as we get that device, sit everyone down at the table and say what are the rules surrounding this device. How long are we going to use it each day (no more than two hours)? Where is it going to be kept? Mom or dad get to go through everything on that device and from there, make sure you are on every app and that you and other trusted adults are following as well.

Are there ways we can be good consumers of social content?

Is your child responsible? Can you trust your child in that social media setting or platform when you can’t be there all of the time? Can you sit down with your child and say this is the contract we are going to have in terms of electronic and social media use? If they are in a good place, they are dependable, and you can trust them—then that may be a great age to start, but potentially later could be better too, especially if you have a child who may already be impulsive or may not be following rules in other areas.

Dr. Katzenstein: Data suggests there is a U-shaped curve between social media use and depression—so very little use and lots and lots of use lead to higher levels of depression. There is a healthy medium in there. There is this constant interaction with our peers, constant information, constant exposure to what’s going on. Making sure our kids have that time with us every day and that we’re monitoring what they do and that we’re teaching them good behaviors, that’s what’s important.

Also, every app your child is on, know how it works. You should be on there too. Certainly, for any social media we are choosing for our kids, if you’re not on it and you’re not following them, then they shouldn’t be on it.

Dr. Katzenstein: It’s worsened during the pandemic. For so long, we were maintaining our social interactions via electronic devices, so we see much more electronic use in general [and] more connections to people that we don’t know, causing unsafe situations and exposures.


Have you seen an increase in families coming in who are struggling with social media and digital addiction? NOVEMBER 2021

Take that device away an hour before bedtime. Put it in a different room to charge it so it’s not in the same room as their child. Cold turkey is probably going to lead more of that acting out. We want to give our kids some perceived control. Seek out the support of a therapist, a psychologist, or a pediatrician because we need to be watching that addiction and potential mental health impact, but [also] a really structured recovery in terms of weaning off that device.

As parents, we probably want to model good behavior too, right? Dr. Katzenstein: That’s the hardest part sometimes, isn’t it? Even 10-15 minutes per day, put the devices down, put the TV on off, sit next to each other, ask about the day. Even if nothing is coming up in those first couple of days, just your child knowing they have that time of your undivided attention every day is huge. We as parents need to model positive citizenship too. Talk about cyberbullying. [What are] appropriate interactions? Be on that device and know what apps they are on. Make sure you know anyone who is following your child. chameleonseye

How do the workings of a child’s brain impact how they consume social media?

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 or

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

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 NOVEMBER 2021 33



MEET & GREET with the Principal!

Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:00 pm at Dr. Kiran C. Patel Elementary


Opening August 2022

Explore a new frontier in Elementary Education

Dr. Kiran C. Patel Elementary School is now accepting applications for grades K-2 • • • •

Well rounded rigorous education Engage students through Project Based Learning (PBL) Embrace all learners within a family school culture Whole Child Approach that includes Social Emotional Learning and Leadership Development

Dr. Kiran C. Patel Elementary School

10739 Raulerson Ranch Road, Tampa FL 33637 | TEL: 813-444-0660





DEC 2021

6:30-8:30 PM

Learn more about the Middle School (Grades 5-8) and Upper School (Grades 9-12) at Shorecrest Experience the curriculum, community and opportunities available at Shorecrest. Hear from

Scan code to register:

the Head of School, Admissions Team, Parent and Student Ambassadors. Tour the classrooms and meet the faculty at our fall Open House.

5101 1st Street NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703 Phone: 727-522-2111 I

34 NOVEMBER 2021

See You There!

Visit to register or learn more.

Your Guide to:

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

2331 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes 34639 813-948-7600; Our integrated, hands-on approach and signature programs ensure our PreK - grade 12 students experience limitless opportunities today that will open the doors of tomorrow with a 100% 4-year college placement rate. Learn more about the Academy difference and apply for the 2021-2022 school year today!

Enrollment: 425 Class-Size: 7:1 Grades: PreK3-grade 12 Tuition: $13,000 $25,500

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

Enrollment: 970

For 140 years, the Academy of the Holy Names has empowered 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 to grade 8 Coed, grades 9-12 All Girls

Class-Size: varies

Tuition: $13,250 $21,150

ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY 501 Park St. N., St. Petersburg, 33710 727-384-5504;

Admiral Farragut Academy offers a globally diverse student experience, comprehensive academic structure and strong character education for students entering kindergarten-12th grade and domestic or international boarding students entering 8th-12th grade. We boast signature programs such as sailing, scuba, aviation and leadership. We now also offer a postgraduate program!

Enrollment: 450 Class-Size: 18 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $15,000$25,000, includes hot lunch


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

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


Grace Episcopal Church, 15102 Amberly Drive, Tampa Palms 33647 813-558-9338; Science of teaching creates a love of learning at our authentic Montessori Program that serves students 3 to 6 years of age with flexible programs, exquisite materials from Holland, affordable pricing and certified, experienced and caring teachers. Call (813) 558-9338 to schedule a tour of our beautifully prepared classrooms or visit our website at ampsmontessori. com. Montessori, inspiring children since 1907.

Enrollment: 30 Class-Size: 10 Grades: ages 3-6, includes Kindergarten Tuition: $325 - $690/ month


3909 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33611 813-839-4297; 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





Ways to Get Kids Excited About Coding by Courtney Cairns Pastor, photos provided by Corbett Preparatory School of IDS

First graders squeal with delight as Cody the robot mouse follows their commands through a maze. Seventh graders lean over a laptop to scrutinize lines of code to figure out what’s stopping their LED lights from flashing and finally pinpoint the glitch in their programming. After school, it’s time for building and brainstorming as the LEGO Robotics club gears up for its first competition of the year. The Tomlin Family Application Lab, a recently renovated and expanded STEAM center at Corbett Prep, is the home for daily discoveries in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Art of Design and Mathematics. With its interlocking dry-erase tables and Smart TV screens where students project their work, the App Lab is an ideal place for the collaboration and creativity that coding inspires.

Coding is an important skill for students to develop. It teaches problem solving, develops logical thinking and has been shown to raise standardized test scores in English, math and science. It also has a bright future, says. Students who pursue computer science in college have the potential to earn 40 percent more than the average college graduate in this rapidly growing field. Like Corbett Prep, many schools incorporate coding into their curriculum. But students can benefit from additional practice with coding tools at home. Free apps, coding games, programming kits and more can win over reluctant coders, offer valuable practice or provide aspiring developers with learning opportunities that build their skills.

Corbett Prep App Lab Director Jessica Wallen recommends five types of coding activities designed to grab the attention of kids of all ages. BAKING COOKIES. Learn coding with real, delicious cookies. Or make lasagna or any other recipe that requires steps. This is a great “pre-coding” activity that helps children develop algorithmic or sequential thinking as they see how important each step is to the end result. Wallen sometimes asks her older students how to make peanut butter and jelly, and they inevitably tell her you put peanut butter on bread. But do they remember to explain that you have to open the jar, use a knife and spread it on the bread, and then open the jelly and repeat the steps? That’s the type of detail-oriented sequential thinking you need for coding. RACING ROBOTS. Simple toy robots, such as the App Lab’s cheery purple mouse, introduce coding strategies to kids as young as 4. They can build a maze with tiles and program the mouse to find the cheese. Tiny Ozobots are another popular option that can be coded through an app or screen-free where students draw lines and patterns that the robot reads as commands and follows. Older elementary or middle school students may enjoy Sphero, the surprisingly cute robot ball, or want pop-culture kits for building and coding Harry Potter wands or Star Wars droids. APPS FOR ALL AGES. Kids can code even if they are still learning to read. Scratch Jr. is a free and easy-to-use app from MIT for kids to program interactive stories and games. It’s a great lead-in to the Scratch programming language for kids ages 8-16. Kodable is another good app; young kids can arrange commands to move their loveable fuzzballs. Tynker’s three apps increase in sophistication from picture-based coding puzzles for young kids to Minecraft mods and skins for tweens and teens. Mac and iPad users will find a wealth of resources in Swift Playgrounds, games and puzzles to master Swift, an Apple programming language. BRAINY BRICKS. Following instructions for any LEGO build improves sequential thinking and also increases spatial ability and understanding of engineering. Programming LEGO creations to move makes it even more fun. A LEGO robotics team challenges students to work in teams to solve problems in a friendly but competitive atmosphere. Students can also program LEGO robots at home, making robots, a cyber cat, a guitar and numerous vehicles. ARDUINO ADVENTURES. Working with Arduino is like exploring the guts of a computer, Wallen says. Students follow precise instructions to build circuits and then program them to respond in different ways, playing sounds, blinking lights, running motors, displaying text and more. Raspberry Pi mini computers are another option with coding projects for kids and families to work on together or separately. The skills students learn through coding benefit them in any profession because they build perseverance and confidence, encourage attention to detail, inspire creativity and help students learn to break big problems into smaller solvable ones. Even better than that? It’s fun!

36 NOVEMBER 2021



T U E S D A Y, N O V E M B E R 1 6 8 : 3 0 A M

(813) 961-3087 • PreK3-8th Grade •

Transportation Available



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section BELL CREEK ACADEMY

13221 Boyette Road, Riverview 33569 813-793-6075;

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;

Berkeley Preparatory School presents a safe, nurturing environment with inspiring teachers on a beautiful campus. Our broad curricular and extracurricular program is enjoyed by a diverse community of learners following personalized paths. Students relish a supportive culture, the school’s Episcopal identity, its commitment to self-improvement and dedication to making a positive difference in the world.

Enrollment: 1,401 Fall 2021 Class-Size: 20 Grades: PreK-grade 12 Tuition: $18,825 $28,450


Enrollment: 64

Bowers/Whitley Career Acceleration Academy High School offers a unique 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 in Building Construction Technologies. We offer a flexible, caring and supportive small learning environment.

Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 755

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, leadership opportunities and more! Come for a visit today!

Class-Size: 12:1 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: See website

CANTERBURY SCHOOL OF FLORIDA 990 62nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg 33702 727-521-5903;

Enrollment: 400

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.

Class-Size: 12 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $6,000 $22,000


Main Campus - 1515 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa 33613 Preschool Campus - 12606 Casey Road, Tampa 33618 813-920-2288;

Enrollment: 1,094

Carrollwood Day School is a world class coed IB school in Tampa for college bound students age 2 to grade 12. Our mission is to create entrepreneurial thinkers for a global society. We provide strong character-based education emphasizing problem-solving skills and philanthropic understanding. CDS fosters the development of the entire student not only in academics, but also ethically, emotionally and through social experience.

Class-Size: 15-18, ratio 6:1 Grades: ages 2 to grade 12 Tuition: $6,548-$24,235


6710 86th Ave. N., Pinellas Park 33782 727-541-5716;

Enrollment: 90

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.

38 NOVEMBER 2021



Class-Size: 18 Grades: 4-12 Tuition: $12,680-$15,180


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Scholars. Leaders. Faith Warriors Christian School for K2 through 12th Grade

By The Numbers:


AP courses A Few Reasons for Why Us!


Dual Enrollment courses Average Student GPA



Honors Programs Average Granted Scholarships a Year


Honor Societies



Virtual Open House: Nov. 9, 6 p.m.

Apply online today!

Engaging, Holistic, Authentic We offer the highest quality Montessori education experience which develops well-rounded students, with a focus on independence, courtesy and respect. • Individualized academic program, addressing specific needs and goals. • More than 33 years of experience providing high quality, authentic Montessori education. • Five spacious acres of beautiful, secure indoor and outdoor environments with a pool. • Incredibly engaged parent and volunteer community. We can’t wait to show you what makes our school special. Schedule your tour today!

Palm Harbor Montessori Academy 2355 Nebraska Avenue Palm Harbor, FL 34683

727-786-1854 Serving Students Ages 12 months - 15 years. NOVEMBER 2021


40 NOVEMBER 2021

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section CHANNELSIDE ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 1029 E. Twiggs St., Tampa 33602 813-579-9649;

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;

Christ the King Catholic School inspires each child to grow in the love of Christ, the joy of knowledge and the spirit of service. Our outstanding faculty, joyful campus and enriching academics provide PreK–8th grade students with a strong foundation to excel at the area's leading high schools.

Enrollment: 514 Class-Size: 23 Grades: PreK4-8 Tuition: $8,540-$10,310


Toddler & Primary Campus, 4930 Webb Road, Tampa 33615; 813-886-2050 Elementary & Middle Campus, 8411 Civic Road, Tampa 33615; 813-886-3969 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: 125 Class-Size: Average 20 Grades: 18 months-15 years Tuition: $7,200-$10,700

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

Founded 53 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.

Enrollment: 514 Class-Size: Varies by grade (12-20) Grades: PreK3-grade 8 Tuition: $13,255 $17,775


1850 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-437-0090; 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.

Enrollment: 180 Class-Size: 1:15 Grades: K-8 Tuition: $9,000 + Fees


Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School is a Catholic high school that offers a career-focused, college preparatory education for students with limited economic resources, uniquely integrating rigorous academic curricula with four years of professional work experience and support to and through college. We partner with educators, businesses and the community to enable students to fulfill their aspirations for a lifetime of success.

Enrollment: 190 Class-Size: Small Grades: 9-12 Tuition: Varies

D. W. WATERS CAREER ACCELERATION ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL 2704 N. Highland Ave., Tampa 33602 813-233-2655;

D.W. Waters Career Acceleration Academy High School offers the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and valuable career/vocational certification in Plumbing/Construction, Cosmetology and Barbering. We have the only accredited High School Plumbing Program in Florida. Our academic offerings include accelerated curriculum, individual academic plans and the potential for early graduation. KEY



financial aid



Enrollment: 50 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE



Enjoyable Library Activities for Busy Parents by Cheryl Wolfe, photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Fall is underway and winter will soon be here. As the kids take time to relax during school breaks, it is a perfect opportunity for you to revisit favorite hobbies. Many library resources are available to meet your enrichment and entertainment needs.

Connect with new and old friends alike at one of the library’s online book clubs. Book clubs offer a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, thought-provoking discussions, and a chance to discover your next favorite author. Several featured events are coming up soon.

Learn a new language or expand your everyday communication with courses on over 70 languages. Try listening to downloadable bite-size lessons in the Mango app and soon you will be ready to speak like a local on your next trip.

There are few joys in life like relaxing on the couch with a digital magazine. Choose from thousands of full-color titles and read for information or entertainment. Digital magazines on crafts, health and fitness, finance and travel are available at your fingertips.

Make some time for solitude and swing by your local branch to use one of the small meeting rooms or find a quiet corner.

Have you tried #READorREJECT? Your perfect book match is waiting for you! Our book experts will pair your book tastes with personalized selections for you and mail them directly to your home to enjoy.

Polish your family pics in mere minutes with easy photo editing techniques or get inspiration to take your mobile photography to the next level. You can hone your photography skills with quick online videos or dive deeper into professional photography with learning paths and longer courses.

Nurture your mind with the library’s educational classes. Courses are available online for learning at your convenience, and live virtual library events are a cool way to connect with others who share your interests. The library regularly offers gardening, technology and writing classes. You may find yourself discovering a new hobby or a new career path. The recordings of these classes are posted to the public library’s YouTube channel @TampaHillsLib.

Escape on a reading adventure when you are on a bike ride or a solo road trip. Travel to another place just by reading audiobooks and eBooks set in faraway places. Simply add them to your phone or tablet, and they are ready for your enjoyment at home, in the car or on a plane.

Discover the soundtrack to your holiday season as you entertain family and friends, relax at home or take part in outdoor activities with streaming and downloadable music. Easily borrow your favorite songs from a variety of genres to create a fun and festive playlist.

FIND MORE GREAT READS WITH THE LATEST BOOK RELEASES: New and Intriguing Fantastic Fiction: New for You! Nonfiction:

The library has a variety of options to help you enjoy a few leisurely moments or meet your learning goals this winter.


Visit us at NOVEMBER 2021



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section DOWDELL MIDDLE MAGNET (ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES) 1208 Wishing Well Way, Tampa 33619 813-744-8322;

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. Our partnerships with the Florida Aquarium and surrounding recycling companies helps strengthen our mission to educate students to understand the environment around them and how to help it.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 260

We partner with AdventHealth, the Patel Conservatory and USF Health's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine to create the doctors and nurses of tomorrow. Students participate in show choir, drums and Little Kids Rock band. Student-led inquiry and goal setting help students truly engage in their learning. National Elementary Honor Society, 3-D printing and Genius Hour are other elements that create a great learning experience.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


10025 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa 33615 813-243-0310;

Enrollment: 120

We give each child the skills for success in school and in the future. We encourage their young minds through play and hands-on, creative activities as well as encourage the development of physical, social and emotional skills.

Grades: Infants to grade 2

Class-Size: 10-15

Tuition: $100-$225/ week, 3% off when paid by month


4302 24th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5608;

Enrollment: 583

As a Cambridge International Magnet School and the only girls-only school in the district, we are dedicated to developing confident, dynamic, educated young women. Our technology-rich, interactive learning campus—including our 1:1 technology program—infuses 21st century tech skills into every student’s learning. Mentoring opportunities and community engagement create well-rounded learners.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


304 Druid Hills Road, Temple Terrace 33617 813-443-5558;

Enrollment: 110

Serving ESE students ages 14-22 since 2013, Focus Academy helps special needs students succeed in a safe, caring environment. Our strong academic program is tailored to individual student needs, offering outstanding therapeutic support. We have received the highest academic rating for an ESE center from the State of Florida.

Class-Size: 8-16, 3:1 to 8:1 ratio Grades: 9-12 and post12th grade Transition Program (up to age 22) Tuition: FREE


Enrollment: 530

As a Cambridge International Magnet School and the only boys-only school in the district, 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 include debate, golf and Model UN.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


6925 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa 33617 813-987-6926;

Enrollment: 819

Our school-wide IB candidate program, guided by International Baccalaureate World School principles, works with community partners and the city of Temple Terrace to create a unique IB experience every day. Our school has exceptional programs on campus that allow students to explore their passion, all under the IB program umbrella.

44 NOVEMBER 2021



Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


financial aid



Early Childhood

Middle School



Giving Thanks for 15 years of excellence in Christian education! A t t hi s t i me of ye ar, we e xtend our grati tud e to HC A p are nt s, st ud e nts and fri end s who sup p o rt o ur mi ni st ry. The f acul t y, st af f and ad ministratio n wish yo u and yo ur f ami l y a he art fe lt H appy Thank sgivi ng! Call Now to Schedule a Tour! $50 off registration with this ad!

6201 Ehrlich Road Tampa, FL 33625 813-884-8250 x235




OPPORTUNITIES. At Academy at the Lakes, we create big opportunities for your child in a small setting. Our school culture allows students to uncover their true, limitless potential in a nurturing and flexible environment. At Academy at the Lakes, You Matter Here extends to both your child and your family. Contact us today to experience the Academy Difference with a safe and socially distanced tour.

Learn More PreK3 – Grade 12


THE VANGUARD SCHOOL Guided Learning through Individualized Spectrums of Growth Leadership



Empathy 46 NOVEMBER 2021



2704 N. Highland Ave., Tampa 33602 813-983-7278; 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: 3,400 Grades: K-12 Tuition: FREE

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

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: 170 Class-size: 15 Grades: PreK-grade 7 Tuition: $180/week (preschool) - $7,900

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

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: 200 Class-Size: 16 Grades: PreK-grade 5 Tuition: $6,240


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

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

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

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.

Enrollment: 60 Class-Size: 8-15 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $18,500 $25,000

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

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.

Enrollment: 430 Class-Size: 10-20 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $6,750-$7,250


4400 Chancellor St. NE, St. Petersburg 33703 727-522-8331; 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.




financial aid



Enrollment: 500 Class-Size: 8-17 Grades: PreK2-8 Tuition: $3,240-$12,880



Hillsborough Virtual K-12 Trailblazers in web-based virtual education.

Based on Florida Standards, Hillsborough Virtual K-12 is a leader in virtual instruction. Our highly qualified local teachers engage students in innovative courses. Students have full access to their teachers for each subject via email, phone, instant message, or virtual classroom. While enrolled in HVK12, students can participate in their zoned school’s extra-curricular offerings including sports, music, field trips, and clubs. If your student would like to attend HVK12 for the second semester of the current school year or for the 2022-23 school year apply now at In addition to HVK12, Hillsborough County Public Schools offers Magnet and School Attractor programs with theme-based, technology-rich curricula. Parents can choose from various schools based on curriculum, location, their child’s interests or learning style. The Choice Application Window for all school choice programs for the 2022-23 school year opens 10/29/21 and closes at 11:59pm 12/11/21. Apply at 48 NOVEMBERtoday 2021 Explore your school options at!

HVK12 Second Semester Begins January 4, 2022 Apply through School Choice

10/29/21 – 12/11/21

WHERE MINDSETS MATTER by Laura Cross, photos provided by Hillsborough County Public Schools

Walking through the courtyard at Heritage Elementary School in New Tampa, a wall immediately catches your eye. It’s not just any wall. It’s a work of art. On this wall is a mural, conceived by the school’s art teacher, painted by the school’s art students, but conceptualized off 7 Mindsets. Adopted by Hillsborough County Public Schools this year as part of social and emotional learning, the 7 Mindsets is designed to promote self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. Heritage Elementary is one of ten 7 Mindset pilot schools around the district. Andrea Simpson, school counselor at Heritage, says that embracing the 7 Mindsets is already having profound impacts on the school. “Because of the pandemic, we have kids that haven’t left the house in a while, and being back on campus is a whole new thing for them,” Simpson says. “So we are embracing their feelings and letting them know it’s about beliefs and your mindset. Yeah, we hit rough patches, but we can get through that together.” So, where does the wall come into play? Introducing Stephanie Scheno: art teacher extraordinaire! New to Heritage Elementary, Scheno was excited about the 7 Mindsets program. When the school’s principal challenged her to create murals based on the Mindsets, it was a challenge Scheno was more than happy to accept. The only question was where to start.

“My morning duty is across the courtyard, and I face the garden every morning. The garden club is in the mornings and the kids, even some of the most macho boys, were really getting into it! They were working together so nicely, and so passionately, and there was a very nice sense of community. So, I thought, what a great place for the first mural… right next to the garden!” Scheno put out feelers and students were enthusiastic about taking on this project. Once a week, the Mural Club stays after school for an hour to paint and create. The theme of the first 7 Mindsets mural is “Live to Give,” a nod to the school’s young gardeners who Scheno sees giving back to the school by making the garden grow. “I feel like in this day and age especially, with the virus and how isolated they’ve been, there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for them to do something to bring others joy,” explained Scheno. “Now these kids get to paint this mural and they hear the little kids come in and scream, “There’s more to


the mural!” And they gain firsthand experience of what it’s like to bring joy to others through hard work.” The 7 Mindsets are: Live to Give, Passion First, We are Connected, 100% Accountable, Attitude of Gratitude, The Time is Now, and Everything is Possible. Simpson is proud of how the students and staff are implementing the Mindsets into every corner of the school and finding their passions. “Passion first. Some of the kids don’t necessarily excel academically and you’re giving them a confidence somewhere else. That’s what it’s all about. Not everyone is going to get straight As. They got to find what their passion is. It’s about building confidence and dreaming big!” The 7 Mindsets pilot schools in the district are: Apollo Beach Elementary, Collins Elementary, Heritage Elementary, Morgan Woods Elementary, Sheehy Elementary, Eisenhower Middle, Jennings Middle, Mann Middle, Leto High and Wharton High.




5209 Tampa Palms Blvd., Tampa 33647 813-443-3122; An exceptional multilingual program fostering students' global-mindedness celebrating Humanity, Diversity and Earth. The program is based on Montessori philosophy and naturalism education in a green environment. LIFE instills an ethical standard in students and encourages them to build a higher purpose than self. Life is more than a school; it’s a village.

Enrollment: Opening Fall 2021 Class-Size: 1:10 Grades: PreK-grade 8 Tuition: $8,000-$11,000

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

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.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 387

Students learn using the latest technology, such as STEM tools, LEGO robotics and flight simulators. The national Project Lead the Way program engages students in hands-on activities, projects and problems that are reflective of real-world challenges. Students engage with robotics experiences, engineering challenges, outdoor learning and wildlife habitats.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

LOMAX ELEMENTARY MAGNET ( GIFTED TALENT ACADEMY) 4207 26th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5569;

Enrollment: 390

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.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 370

As the #1 Elementary Magnet School in America in 2020, we offer students a unique and unbelievable experience. 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.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


18 S. Maryland Ave., Plant City 33563 813-757-9360;

Enrollment: 911

Marshall IB students are guided by the International Baccalaureate program. The school is an IB Candidate School with authorization on the close horizon. Students can engage in STEM, robotics, culinary arts, Math League and AVID college readiness. Optional Scholar Quest high school credit courses offer additional rigor.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE



Multiple Locations in Temple Terrace and Tampa

Enrollment: 115-190

A place where children love to learn through hands-on lessons and are allowed to progress at their own pace. Foreign Language lessons in both Chinese and Spanish are included. Come see what makes us unique!

Grades: 12mo to grade 5 NOVEMBER 2021



Class-Size: average 25 Tuition: $8,200-$9,500


financial aid



SUCCESS STARTS NOW The journey to and through college begins at a young age. From Kindergarten, to middle school, to high school—we’re dedicated to making sure that all children succeed every step of the way.

I am hungry for the success of my son, and so is IDEA. We both know that success starts now.” LATOYA SPEARS  Parent at IDEA Public Schools

IDEA Tampa Bay is now accepting applications for grades K–3 & 6 –7!

St. Raphael Catholic School Faith. Academics. Community.

Open House: Nov. 10th Please call to RSVP

We are currently scheduling tours by appointment. Call or email today! Christ is the cornerstone of St. Raphael Catholic School, where we empower all to strive for academic excellence provide faith-filled service to others, reflect Catholic values, and become responsible leaders of the Church and community.

1376 Snell Isle Blvd. NE | (727) 821-9663 | NOVEMBER 2021


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Teaching students Discover the Westlake difference! 727.781.3808 to soar beyond the 727.781.3808 classroom. 727.781.3808

Excellence in Academic Achievement Excellence in Academic Achievement a

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Excellence in Academic Achievement and Faith Formati

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Join us for a tour on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Excellence in Academic Achievement and Faith Formation or by appointment. Discover the Westlake difference! 727.781.3808 Excellence in Academic Achievement and Faith Formation

52 NOVEMBER 2021

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA CATHOLIC SCHOOL 17524 Lakeshore Road, Lutz 33558 813-933-4750;

A private elementary in Lutz serving K-8, our mission is to develop young people who strive for academic excellence, respect the dignity of each individual and foster service to others. We are committed to continuing our tradition of academic excellence by providing a rigorous curriculum in a nurturing Christ-centered environment. Guided by the example of Jesus and our patroness, Mother Teresa, we strive to develop a dedication of service to others and a devotion to the Catholic faith.

Enrollment: 420 Class-Size: 25 Grades: K-8 Tuition: $6,865-$8,235



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

The only elementary magnet school to host TWO programs--arts and environmental science--Muller Magnet meets the needs of students of all interests! Daily, students experience 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 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


5585 E. County Line Road, Wesley Chapel 33544 813-991-0801; North Tampa Christian Academy (NTCA) is an accredited college preparatory private school, serving students in grades K - 12. Located in Wesley Chapel on 44 acres, NTCA provides immersive on-campus education that encourages innovation through project-based learning and an engaging thematic structure. When life demands flexibility for an off-campus option, we also provide the Titan Teacher Network, a "teacher-centric" live online learning experience.

Enrollment: 400 Class-Size: varies Grades: K-12 Tuition: $13,745 $18,230

NORTH TAMPA CHRISTIAN EXPLORERS PRESCHOOL 5585 E. County Line Road, Wesley Chapel 33544 813-991-0820;

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.

Enrollment: 135 Class-Size: varies by age Grades: six weeks to PreK Tuition: $115-390 per month


19521 Michigan Ave., Odessa 33556 813-792-1825; OCS is a Christ-focused school for motivated learners who want to dive into learning through self-directedness, deep projects and mastery. Using inquiry, collaboration, exploration and discussion with traditional and blended tools as well as field trips and travel, students gain responsibility, perseverance and confidence in learning and public speaking.

Enrollment: 50 Class-Size: 25 max Grades: 1-12 Tuition: $10,000-$11,000



3415 16th St., Tampa 33605 813-276-5717; 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 help our students prepare for their next step if they choose to apply to Blake High School or to hone their skills so they can "wow" their families. Our kids get a well-rounded education.

Enrollment: 556 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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

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. KEY



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Enrollment: 86 Class-size: Varies Grades: K-12 Tuition: $7,930-$8,699



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section PALM HARBOR MONTESSORI ACADEMY 2355 Nebraska Ave., Palm Harbor 34683 727-786-1854;

Enrollment: 220

Palm Harbor Montessori Academy offers the highest quality individualized Montessori experience in the Tampa area. With innovative programs for children from 12 months to 8th grade, our talented and passionate teachers provide an education that nurtures the whole mind, including critical thinking, emotional intelligence and physical wellbeing.

Class-Size: Toddler 10:2;

Preprimary 20:2; Primary to middle school, max of 22:2

Grades: 12 mo. - 14 years Tuition: $500-$1,540 per month depending on age and program


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

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


3916 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa 33610; 813-236-1755 9304 Camden Field Parkway, Riverview 33578; 813-533-2999 7710 Osteen Road, New Port Richey 34653; 727-233-2961 Pepin Academies are non-profit, tuition-free, independent public charter schools serving students with learning and learning-related disabilities. Qualified as Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Center schools, we provide a diversified curriculum driven by the student’s needs in a positive educational environment, as well as a transitional job training program for post-high school students who choose to defer receipt of their diploma.

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

PINELLAS PREPARATORY ACADEMY 2300 S. Belcher Road, Largo 33771 727-536-3600;

Enrollment: 800

Pinellas Preparatory Academy is a high performing, "A" rated, tuition free K-8 public charter school. Besides our strong academics, you will find a culture of strong character and community. The school focuses on developing the talents of each student, while emphasizing high academic standards.

Grades: K-8

Class-Size: K-3 18, 4-8 22 Tuition: FREE



8113 Zinnia Drive, Tampa 33619 813-671-5110;

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 national award winner and show our craft to organizations and events around the district. Students can try exciting electives such as Costume and Fashion Design, orchestra, journalism and more. The spotlight shines on students at Progress Village.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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

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.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 529

Located on the Hillsborough River, with all the science potential and experiment potential that implies, 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.

54 NOVEMBER 2021



Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


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56 NOVEMBER 2021

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section RIVERVIEW ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 9906 Symmes Road, Riverview 33578 813-412-6111;

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.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

RODGERS MIDDLE MAGNET (CAMBRIDGE CANDIDATE) 11910 Tucker Road, Riverview 33569 813-671-5288;

Rodgers, an authorized 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. Ask us about our Cambridge Honors Institute if you choose to apply!

Enrollment: 823 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


1510 N. Manhattan Ave., Tampa 33607 813-872-5212; We inspire young inquiring minds to become compassionate, lifelong learners and 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 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

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

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

SEFFNER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 11605 E. U.S. HWY 92, Seffner 33584 813-626-0001;

Seffner Christian Academy is a distinctly Christian learning community for students in preschool - 12th grade. We are committed to developing well-rounded, Gospel-driven students who are prepared for life. Please contact our Admissions department to schedule a time for you to experience the SCA difference!

Enrollment: 754 Class-Size: 20 Grades: K2-12 Tuition: $9,500 $11,200



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

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. Our partnership with the Straz Performing Arts Center brings Broadway to our students--something you will find at no other school!

Enrollment: 441 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

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

Founded in 1923, Shorecrest is a coed, nonsectarian, PK3-12 independent school in St. Petersburg, FL. 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.




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Enrollment: 995 Class-Size: 16-18 Grades: PK3-12 Tuition: $12,670 $28,460



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section SIMMONS CAREER ACCELERATION ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL 1202 W. Grant St., Plant City 33563 813-707-7430;

Enrollment: 250

Simmons Career Acceleration Academy High School in Plant City serves students 9-12, providing a school culture focused on academic achievement, personal growth, and preparing students for a successful future after high school. Students experience a hybrid learning approach, career preparation through industry certifications, and a streamlined path to graduation. Students can take part in athletics and extracurricular activities at their zoned school.

Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE


129 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater 33765 727-797-1186;

Enrollment: 500

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.

Class-Size: 22 Grades: K4-grade 8 Tuition: $11,000+ fees



2011 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa 33610 813-276-5596;

Enrollment: 579

Join a culture of future health professionals whose uniforms are doctors' 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.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

SOUTH COUNTY CAREER ACCELERATION ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL 2810 John Sherman Way, Ruskin 33570 813-233-3335;

Enrollment: 200

South County Career Center offers an accelerated program to any high school student to either earn previously lost credits or to accelerate in current courses using Edgenuity. We currently offer Automotive program as well as Agriculture as electives.

Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE


4716 Montgomery Ave., Tampa 33616 813-272-3020;

Enrollment: 432

We develop active learners and internationally-minded students. 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. We are the only middle magnet school in South Tampa and prepare our students to potentially step into the halls of Robinson IB!

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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

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


1002 S. Rome Ave., 906 S. Orleans Ave., 240 S. Plant Ave., Tampa 33606 813-849-4200; Located in the heart of Tampa, St. John's Episcopal School delivers an unparalleled, values-driven, progressive education for children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Hard work, faith, respect, honesty and a commitment to excellence allow our graduates to thrive in high school, college and beyond.

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Enrollment: 525 Class-Size: 17 Grades: K4-8 Tuition: $14,660 $15,190


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2022-2023 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: We make nding a new school an easy decision for your family. At Skycrest, we purposefully blend a family campus feel with superior academics, sports, ne arts, and a strong biblical worldview.

Call or go online to schedule a tour.

50 Years of Quality Education in our Community!

129 N. Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-797-1186 tel NOVEMBER 2021


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5223 N. Himes Ave., Tampa 33614 813-879-5090; Celebrating 60 years of Catholic Education since 1961, St. Lawrence Catholic School provides a Christ-centered environment inspiring students from Early Childhood through grade 8 toward academic excellence to become life-long learners. 21st Century classrooms promote creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. Fully accredited by the FCC, with a strong curriculum exceeding Diocesan, state and national standards in academics, art, music, physical education, Spanish, technology, STREAM and media.

Enrollment: 495 Class-Size: < 25 Grades: PreK3-grade 8 Tuition: $8,250 - $11,445

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

St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School provides challenging academics, performing and visual arts, competitive athletics, technology, public speaking, world languages, 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 into well-rounded individuals ready for the challenges ahead.

Enrollment: 450 Class-Size: 20 Grades: PreK-grade 8 Tuition: $16,600


St. Petersburg: 6605 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33710 | 727-341-4610 Tarpon Springs: 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs 34689 | 727-712-5891 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 per location Class-Size: grade 10 average of 18, grades 1112 varies by course Grades: 10-12 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 170 Class-Size: 17 average Grades: PK-8 Tuition: $6,100-$8,100

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

Be part of one of the only nationally recognized NASA Explorer Schools in the country! Through our Project Lead the Way curriculum, students choose from electives like aerospace and engineering. Stewart partners with NASA, NOAA and the U.S. Air Force for real-world learning. Our location on the Hillsborough River and next to Blake and near Dunbar Magnet add to the opportunities our students enjoy every day!

Enrollment: 1,024 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

TAMPA CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL 4630 N. Rome Ave., Tampa 33603 813-870-0860;

Tampa Catholic High School is a co-educational school of the Diocese of St. Petersburg dedicated to providing students with “Veritas et Caritas” (truth and charity) through educational excellence in a Christ centered environment. Its curriculum reinforces critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, problem solving and depth of understanding necessary for 21st-century learners.

Enrollment: 725 Class-size: 24 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $12,000 $15,000


12606 Henderson Road, Tampa 33625 813-269-2100; Celebrating 50 years of meeting the needs of bright students with Dyslexia, ADHD or anxiety, TDS offers a uniquely designed college-prep curriculum. With small class sizes, instruction incorporates interactive and handson experiences, along with an emphasis on study and organizational skills, promoting success and improved confidence. Contact us to learn more!




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Enrollment: 150 class-Size: 10-12 Grades: 3-8 Tuition: $21,600 + $1,750 fees




3719 N. 17th St., Tampa 33610 (temporary) 813-276-5405; Our students become innovative thinkers who achieve academically and socially through our seven 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 such as yoga, cooking, African art and LEGO makerspace.

Enrollment: 308 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 700 Class-size: 15 Grades: 6-12 Tuition: $24,788 $25,683

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

A tuition-free, public charter school proudly serving students in kindergarten through fifth Grade, the school 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; 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


315 W. Columbus Dr., Tampa 33602 813-229-1322; Villa Madonna is a private Catholic school operated by the Salesian order of Sisters, founded by Saint John Bosco. Villa Madonna School has been a Tampa tradition for more than 75 years. Villa Madonna's standardized test scores continually exceed the national average in reading, science, and math.

Enrollment: 325 Class-Size: 18 Grades: Ages 3 through grade 8 Tuition: $6,500


8282 N. Mobley Road, Odessa 33556 813-631-4726; 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 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


1551 Belcher Road, Palm Harbor 34683 727-781-3808; 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/Cognia. 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.

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Enrollment: 475 Class-size: 1:18 Grades: K-8 Tuition: $8,950-$9,275


5020 N. 47th St., Tampa 33610 813-744-8600; We are a top-ranked IB World School, earning an A-grade for nearly 20 years! We create 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 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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

We empower creative learners with our Project Lead the Way 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 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


This holiday season, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay needs your help to continue our mission of keeping families together when it matters most. Your donation means more to these families than ever before. When you give $100, you sponsor a night’s stay for a family, giving them food, a place to rest and each other.

Visit to make your donation today.





VOLLEYBALL STAR TAKES THE COURT AFTER RARE BRAIN BLEED story and photo by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Staff

It was just over a year ago when cell phone video captured the moments before life changed for Ashley, 14. The video shows Ashley in her element at a volleyball game with her Osceola Fundamental High School Warrior teammates. She slammed the ball over the net. No one could possibly have guessed a serious medical event would follow that moment. “The only way I can describe it is that all of a sudden I felt like everything above my shoulders was going to explode,” Ashley says. “My body was shaking, and I didn’t know what to do.” Her parents, Mark and Stephanie, saw the trainer motion to the couple to join them outside the gym area. Suddenly, Ashley did something out of character. “She’s kind of a germophobe,” Stephanie says. “But she literally lies down on this public school floor, and that is very unlike her.” Thinking she may have a severely pinched nerve, the family took her home, where she took a hot bath and tried to rest. But Ashley didn’t feel right, and she was turning pale and ashen. When her parents rushed her to an emergency center near the family’s home, a CT scan revealed that Ashley had suffered a life-threatening brain bleed. Ashley was rushed to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Ashley was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which occurs when arteries and veins don’t form correctly in an area of the body. The blood vessels can rupture and sometimes cause impairment or death. “AVM’s are extremely uncommon in children,” says George Jallo, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon and medical director of the Institute for Brain Protection Sciences. “We expect that people are born with them or develop them, but it’s more commonly presented in people in their 30s or 40s.” Brain bleeds resulting from AVM’s can be unpredictable, so the team remains prepared to respond to any problems that may arise. “It was such a shock,” Mark says. “We had gone from having a perfectly healthy, beautiful girl eight hours earlier to our child struggling for her life.” A few days into her stay, Ashley’s struggle became more complicated. She showed signs of lethargy and developed hydrocephalus, a build-up of f luid in her brain. Jallo placed an external ventricular drain (EVD), allowing the blood and f luid to bypass the blockage. Fifteen days later, Ashley was discharged from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

A YEAR LATER As the year mark approaches, Ashley is doing well. “September 28, 2020 was exactly a year ago; it’s crazy,” says Stephanie. “Ashley’s playing volleyball again and I wanted her to be able to do all she can do.” Over the past year, Ashley had LINAC Stereotactic Radiation Therapy (also sometimes known as LINAC Stereotactic Radio Surgery) at another institution. The hope is that this will be a one-time therapy that will shrink or resolve the AVM within three years. Otherwise, she’s feeling great with the exception of manageable headaches treated with rest and acetaminophen. She’s also setting out to be an advocate for those with similar experiences with AVM. “She is strong and determined, never makes excuses and has the best outlook,” says Stephanie. “I’m so proud of her.”

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66 NOVEMBER 2021

KIDS & SPORTS: Don't Overdo It by Maggie Rodriguez

With students returning to a full offering of school and extracurricular sports post pandemic, we speak with Tampa Orthopedic Surgeon/Sports Medicine Specialist, Dr. Brian Domby, about the risk for injury that children face from specializing in one sport and ignoring the body’s signals that it’s time to rest.

IN YOUR PROFESSION, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS FAR AS INJURIES INVOLVING KIDS WHO PLAY SPORTS? We see everything from acute injuries to ACL tears and ankle sprains and fractures. And then a lot of overuse injuries. Overuse shoulder, knee, ankle or elbow injuries are the most common.

WHAT KIND OF SPORTS CAN CAUSE OVERUSE INJURIES? Really anything that’s repetitive, any repetitive exercise and persistent use of a joint can increase the risk of an overuse injury, and kids are particularly prone to that because they’re growing. They have open growth plates, and the growth plates are at higher risk to develop stress.


It’s a hard balance. It’s too much if a kid is starting to have pain. Typically overtraining occurs with one sport. Year-round sports are generally too much if there’s no rest period. Early specialization in a sport --being a onesport athlete-- can increase the risk of overuse. Cross-training and playing other sports is helpful to decrease risk of overuse injuries.

WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF AN OVERUSE INJURY? If caught early, there are generally no long-term problems with an overuse injury. It just needs to be treated with rest. If overuse injuries go on continuously, then they can start to cause damage to the growth plate, which can affect growth.

BY WHAT AGE WOULD YOU SAY DO YOU NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE GROWTH PLATES ANYMORE? I would say most males are skeletally mature by 16 and most females around the age of 13, but there is some variability in that. Overuse injuries are still a problem even after they’re done growing, though. We just see more problems with tendonitis and ligament overuse injuries as the growth plates close, so overuse is a problem really at any age. The affected area tends to change as you become skeletally mature.

WHEN PARENTS COME IN WITH KIDS WHO HAVE OVERUSE INJURIES, DO YOU FIND THAT THEY’RE SURPRISED? Yes, sometimes it can be challenging for them to understand the importance of rest and that taking time away from a certain sport is very beneficial to let the area recover.

WHAT DO YOU WISH PARENTS KNEW THAT MANY DON’T? Kids can overtrain and do things too frequently that can cause pain and can potentially cause problems.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREVENTING OVERUSE INJURIES Source: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (

» Delay specializing in a single sport as long as possible. » Play on one team at a time. » Participate in a single sport for less than eight months per year. » Curb hours of participation per week to no more than age in years (e.g.: a 12-year-old athlete should not participate in more than 12 hours per week of organized sport). » Allow for two days of rest per week. » Engage in rest and recovery time from organized sport participation during the year. NOVEMBER 2021



Teens to the Rescue Tampa Bay Juniors Learn CPR in Schools by Anu Varma Panchal

Every year in the United States, more than 356,000 people suffer a heart attack outside a hospital. When 49-year-old Steve Ryan became one of that number, he was fortunate that he had his very own superhero by his side—his daughter, Kaitlin, then 15.

As it is now a graduation requirement, the focus is presently on juniors. Hillsborough County School District has partnered with St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and the BayCare Kids Wellness and Safety Center to provide this training to all juniors throughout Hillsborough County.

When her father collapsed during one of their regular after-dinner golf course outings, Kaitlin began manual chest compressions immediately, drawing upon middle school cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid lessons she had been taught. Her mother (a nurse) and the emergency technicians arrived soon after and rushed him to the hospital, where he learned that he had had a major cardiac event.

BayCare Kids Wellness and Safety Specialist Michelle Sterling, who is leading the program, said that in most emergency situations, CPR is performed by bystanders with no medical background. Those hands-only compressions play a vital role in keeping oxygenated blood f lowing through the body, which can save a life while waiting for medical professionals to arrive.

Now, all Florida high school graduates will be taught this skill that could help them save a life. This year, Florida became the 39th state to pass a bill requiring school districts to provide basic training in first aid, including CPR instruction, for all public-school students in grades 9 and 11. School districts are also encouraged to provide the same training to students in grades 6 and 8.

68 NOVEMBER 2021

“It could happen to anyone,” says Sterling. “Anything you can do while you’re waiting for the paramedics to arrive is going to be helpful to that person.” When Sterling’s teams go to area schools, they will bring along mannequins for the students to practice their compressions on. Students will be taught basic first aid skills. They will also learn how to use an Automated External Defribrillator (AED)—and learn how to identify the cases

in which they are stored in public places. Sterling said teens will also be taught how to assess a scene carefully prior to intervention so the rescuer does not inadvertently become the victim. For example, teens shouldn’t pull out a drowning victim if they can’t swim or enter a situation if there are downed power lines involved. Although these classes do not result in certification, they will serve as good revision material for those who are keeping up certifications, which must occur once every two years. If any parents are inspired by their children’s new knowledge and want to participate, they can sign up for a CPR class themselves. The classes are taught by BayCare Kids Wellness and Safety experts and held at Children’s Board Family Resource Centers located throughout Hillsborough County. Registration is required. Please contact your local Children’s Board and Family Resource Centers to register. As for Ryan, he survived his cardiac arrest and is healthy today. All students will see him and Kaitlin in a video during their classes.

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November 20-January 3 Ginger-snap to it and visit GCM’s sweet winter wonderland this holiday season! Build your own sweet design from recycled materials, add your house to our growing village, ice skate in your socks, and more!


Give the Gift of Play! This holiday season, give your loved ones a Family Membership to GCM. Visit memberships today. NOVEMBER 2021

Also this Winter: Join Crumb the Gingerbread Kid for a virtual family fitness celebration to support GCM. Visit crumbrun to learn more.

Articles inside


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pages 68-69


pages 49-63

KIDS AND SPORTS: Prevent injury by

page 67


pages 42-48


pages 64-66


pages 36-41

MOMS TO KNOW: Meet Kristen Brown

pages 28-30


pages 24-26

NEW AT THE ZOO: Check out a new techy way to explore the zoo with Wildlife Explorer Quest by TRAKID

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A SEASON OF GIVING: Volunteer at any

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