September 2021

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The Powell family in an outdoor classroom space at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS.

WHY CHOOSE AN INDEPENDENT SCHOO L Corbett Prep Shares the Benefits of a Mission-Driven School


From Pumpkin Patches to Theme Parks





New Location in Bloomingdale!

Closer to Care. Closer to Home. Now Accepting

Newborns and New Patients


Bloomingdale Office 901 E Bloomingdale Ave. Suite 501 Brandon, FL 33511 813.699.3995 2 SEPTEMBER 2021


Citrus Park 813.471.4445 Riverview 813.689.7571 Trinity 727.376.4040

From “congratulations” to “congratulations.” And every moment in between.

Whether your child’s a newborn or a teen, BayCare Kids is health care exclusively for them. When your child is born, you want two things for them: health and happiness. And we want that, too. From small scrapes to broken bones to anything more serious, our network of experienced pediatricians and specialists, extraordinary nurses and team members, convenient locations and variety of services, ensures the best health care for your kids. Plus, our network includes BayCare’s St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, providing highly specialized care for kids with complex conditions like congenital heart defects and cancer. BayCare Kids is trusted by more parents in Tampa Bay than any other health system. Kids—they grow up fast. We’re here to help them grow up healthy, too. Learn more:

SEPTEMBER 2021 21-1655927-0821



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Laura Byrne Anu Varma Panchal Karen Vaughan Kate White Julie Tingley Maggie Rodriguez Deanna Moore Natassja Prose Marisa Langford Tiffany Burns Tara Payor, PhD Jenny P. Laura Cross Jimmy Velez Kelly Biandudi A shley Roberts Enid Gaud, MD Ginain Grayes ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Laura Byrne Emily Page Photography Photo by Ali JR Studio Caesar Carbajal Rouch Young Jennifer Newman BOOKKEEPING James Anderson TAMPA BAY PARENTING MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949- 4 400 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: 11 // LET’S PLAY, TAMPA BAY: Glazer Children’s Museum celebrates another birthday 12 // WE LIVE WHERE THEY VACATION: A staycation guide to Clearwater Beach 14 // IDEAS FOR SUMMER TRAVEL IN 2022: It’s never too early to plan ahead! Tampa Bay Parenting contributors share tried and true ideas to inspire your next adventure 17 // GET UP AND GO KAYAKING AT SHELL KEY PRESERVE: Meet the owner and learn more about their new tour for kids 18 // ON A MISSION TO SAVE A SPECIES: See how ZooTampa works tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate manatees and learn how you can help 21 // LET GO AND GROW: The case for free-range parenting 25 // GASPARILLA MUSIC FESTIVAL: A peek at what to expect at this year’s event 27 // IT’S TIME FOR FALL FUN, Y’ALL: Local pumpkin patches and theme parks kick off fall events 28 // MAKE IT A SOUPER SEPTEMBER: Ginain Grayes of shares two hearty recipes for the fall season 30 // BREAKFAST ON THE GO: Don’t leave hungry! Jenny P. of @lunchboxmafia dishes on easy make-ahead meals


ON THE COVER: The Powell family of Corbett Prep on the school's beautiful lakefront campus. Cedric (Dad), Savannah, 8th grade, Cedric, 5th grade, Dr. Donna (Mom) and Alana, 7th grade. Learn more about the school on page 34. SEPTEMBER 2021


34 // COVER STORY WITH CORBETT PREP: Why you should choose an independent school for your child 41 // HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ SHINING EXAMPLES: Magnet schools scored big on the national stage 46 // HOMEWORK HELP: Free opportunities from Hillsborough County Public Library for your family 55 // FROM FARM TO SCHOOL: The YMCA debuts its Food, Fit and Fun program 56 // MEDICAL ADVICE FOR SCHOOL IN TIMES OF COVID-19: Local doctors share top tips on masks, vaccinations and staying healthy in school 59 // CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH: Meet 7-year-old Willow, a cancer survivor who’s beating the odds at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital 60 // PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND FIGHT THE FLU: The flu is still around, but Pediatric Associates of Tampa Bay has tips to stay healthy

EVERY ISSUE: 6 // NOTEWORTHY: September’s highlights and what’s NEW in town 8 // MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS: Get to know some of this month’s writers 22 // MOMS TO KNOW: Meet Jamie Brown of Soshal Events and Rose Blazer 62 // WHAT’S TRENDING ON TAMPABAYPARENTING.COM: We’re sharing some of YOUR favorite stories


Meet the Guest Editor Karen Vaughan,

DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT AT CORBETT PREPARATORY SCHOOL OF IDS, a private independent PreK3-8th grade school in Tampa

My four children were grown when I started working at Corbett Prep in 2012. Many times as I visited classrooms with families on admissions tours or attended school events, I thought about how much my kids would have loved attending a school that prioritizes happiness and makes learning so much fun.


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Corbett Prep’s teachers are the heart of our community. Passionate and creative, our teachers use brain-based strategies every day to make learning engaging and meaningful. Corbett Prep’s experiential and innovative curriculum, supportive community and “sky is the limit” attitude fosters a remarkable self confidence in our students. In 2019, two of my grandchildren enrolled in Corbett Prep for prekindergarten. Watching them experience the joy and energy I have felt while working here has surpassed my expectations. Each school year gives me something new to anticipate – how will my grandson react when he releases a butterf ly on his first day of first grade? Will my granddaughter love the living history project where her class makes candles and plants gardens like the early settlers? Will they feel pride after they perform in front of the entire school on fine arts nights?


As members of the faculty and staff, we love seeing our students develop into poised and confident young adults. We love sharing the extraordinary paths our graduates take, knowing their experiences at Corbett Prep are where many of their interests took root. And having the gift of watching our own little family members thrive and grow and find joy in their days at the school they love is the sweetest, most rewarding perk of the job.

Read More on Page 34 Vaughan with her grandchildren.

Emily Page Photography






The Glazer Vision Foundation recently welcomed a new member to their team! Meet Specs, the foundation’s puppy with a purpose! Specs is training to be a guide dog for the visually impaired and he loves the camera! Follow @glazervisionfdn on Instagram to see more on Specs’ journey and be on the lookout for him throughout Tampa Bay. If you see Specs, be sure to snap a selfie and post your photo tagging @glazervisionfdn and #OneShareOnePair. With every post, the foundation will provide a free eye exam and pair of glasses to a child in need!


A new immersive experience opens this month in Tampa Bay. Fairgrounds St. Pete is a 15,000-square-foot space that celebrates “weird, wacky and wonderful Florida” through art and technology creations by 60+ artists. And judging by the pictures they’ve shared so far, it’s going to be an Insta-worthy spot too! It’s family-friendly with tickets starting at $25 for Florida residents and $22 for kids ages 4-12. The exhibit opens on Sept. 2.


You’ll soon find the fast-food favorite in Jungala where Bengal Bistro used to be. Just like the other Chick-Fil-A restaurants, it’ll be open Monday through Saturday.


Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is excited to be joining the nationwide debut of Adventurefuls, a brand-new indulgent brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored crème and a hint of sea salt. Adventurefuls take cookie lovers on a delicious taste adventure just like Girl Scouts go on their own amazing adventures in Girl Scouting. GSWCF is on a mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Through the Cookie Program that launches in January 2022, girls learn business fundamentals that help them gain real-world entrepreneurial skills as they take their first step to becoming the next generation of leaders.


Get ready to PLAY at the newly renovated Children’s Board Family Resource Center in Plant City! The 7,900-square-foot building is a place for families to seek services like developmental playgroups and health and safety education classes at no cost to Hillsborough County residents. Glazer Children’s Museum is also providing exhibits to provide parents and children with opportunities to learn through play!



To get a sneak peek of what Girl Scouts is all about and to try the new cookie prior to 2022, families are invited to GS Fest at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Sept. 18. To register, visit Registration closes on Sept. 15.

FROSTY ICE-CREAM TRUCK DEBUTS AT ZOOTAMPA The first-ever Frosty food truck in the world has debuted at ZooTampa! If you love a Wendy’s Frosty, you will definitely enjoy the selections at the Frosty Cart which you’ll find inside Wallaroo Station. There are sweet selections of new Frosty Fusions and Frosty Sundaes. It’s the perfect way to beat the heat while the kids cool down in the splash pad!



Meet our Contributors

Because of them, we are able to provide this family-friendly resource to you for FREE.



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

Jimmy Velez is currently a librarian in the Employee Engagement unit for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Library. Velez has been working in libraries for over 5 years and started his library career at the University of South Florida shortly after completing his MLIS degree.



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Tara Payor earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Florida. She’s a language arts educator and has taught students from the middle school level to adult learners at the doctorate level. A member of the Junior League of Tampa and KNOW Women, she has two children, Harlow and Hendrix. You can reach her at

JULIE TINGLEY Julie Tingley is a 10-year Tampa transplant who has found her way through many professional and parenting transitions by maintaining focus on her daily inspirations: daughters Ella and Kate. With a vision of a better future for her girls, she introduced the KNOW Women community to Tampa Bay, and founded Wee Macree, a purpose-driven brand for kids.

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ Maggie Rodriguez co-hosts the nationally-syndicated lifestyle show, "Daytime" on WFLA, Channel 8. She recently returned to TV after taking a 10-year break to raise her two children. During her career, Maggie reported and anchored the news in Miami, Los Angeles, and at the network level in New York as the host of "The Early Show" on CBS. She now lives in South Tampa, which she calls the perfect place to raise a family.


KELLI BIANDUDI Kelli Biandudi is the Communications Manager for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. She lives with her family in downtown Tampa. When she’s not promoting the good work of the YMCAs of Tampa Bay, she’s busy working out at them and trying to keep up with her 5-year-old son, Koa.

ENID GAUD, M.D., FAAP Enid Gaud is the lead physician of Pediatric Associates of Tampa Bay’s Citrus Park location. Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Gaud received her medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Florida. Dr. Gaud, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, has two children.

GINAIN GRAYES Ginain Grayes is a busy wife and mom of 3 daughters ages 17, 14 and 9. As a full-time marketing professional and owner/blogger at Cook Pray Slay, she knows the struggles families have with healthy meal planning. Her blog is dedicated to helping other moms and families master mealtime without sacrificing taste, nutrition or budget. There's never a dull moment at the Grayes household, but Ginain tends to find time for self care by working in her vegetable garden or being crafty with DIY projects around the house.

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










4 8 0 1 E A S T F O W L E R AV E • TA M P A • 8 1 3 - 9 8 7 - 6 0 0 0 • M O S I . O R G MOSI’s mission is to be the intersection of science, technology and innovation in the Tampa Bay region where conversations and learning happen, knowledge is exchanged and new ideas are celebrated.

celebrates its 11th birthday!

Birthday Bash

Sept 25 | 10am-3pm Join us in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for our 11th Birthday Bash, a free family-friendly celebration of PLAY. This party is free, primarily outdoors, and socially distant so that all can enjoy. Let’s play, Tampa Bay! Live Performances | Special Guests Classic Field-Day Games Free Museum Admission 10 SEPTEMBER 2021


Play Tampa Bay!

by Kate White, photos provided by Glazer Children’s Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum has been open in downtown Tampa for nearly 11 years! As our birthday approaches, I have been reflecting on the last 11 years. What impact has the Museum made on the community? What have we learned and how have we grown? The museum opened with a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers and a whole lot of passion for this community. Looking back on photos of that original team, their excitement is palpable. Their “all hands on deck” attitude and willingness to take risks created a culture of innovation and support that remains to this day. I have been fortunate to call the team at the Glazer Children’s Museum my work family for nearly five years as we work together to continue this legacy and further the Museum’s mission. As a non-profit organization, we are here to serve the community through play. Why does play matter? Every time a child plays—with an adult, with another child, or alone—new connections form in the brain, building that child’s potential for the future. As children play, they stretch their imaginations, use creativity, improve motor skills, take risks and learn to adapt. Play develops empathy and social skills as kids from different backgrounds, races, genders and abilities play together to build friendships and joy. Playful children become powerful adults; the experiences of a child shape their experience as an adult. Over the past year-and-a-half, the pandemic has created new challenges for all of us, and children are no exception. Children have endured disruptions in their schedule, their education and their social lives. They have had to manage their own challenges, while the adults in their lives experience heightened strain. Many children are experiencing an unprecedented level of stress due to factors like scary news headlines, isolation and separation anxiety. The good news is, play provides respite and helps us cope with stress. Play also deepens family connections. At the Glazer Children’s Museum, we have introduced monthly Family Play Projects to encourage all families in all forms to learn, connect and heal through play.

SO WHAT NOW? Well, to begin, we will celebrate our 11th birthday in style! The whole community is invited to join us in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Sept. 25 for Birthday Bash, a free family-friendly celebration of PLAY with performances, special guests and classic field-day games. Admission to the Museum will be free that day, too. Our plan was to celebrate our 10th birthday in 2020 with a blowout party, but COVID-19 got in the way. We are making up for it this year, while keeping the celebration primarily outdoors, socially distant and safe. With its power to heal and connect, we need play now more than ever, so I hope you will join us in this celebration of play. Come on, let’s PLAY Tampa Bay! SEPTEMBER 2021


We Live Where They Vacation: A Staycation Guide to Clearwater Beach by Julie Tingley, IG @julietingley

With 21 days still left in the season and a long holiday weekend at the start of the month, the end of summer break is most certainly not the end of summer enjoyment here in Tampa Bay, home of the country’s top-rated beaches. A coastal weekend getaway is sure to be fun for the whole family, but it can also be educational and philanthropic. A quick trip to make memories while making a difference? Centered around the most well-known dolphin in the world? Don’t miss out! Here’s a must-see, must-do guide to make the most of living where other families vacation.



Just a short drive over the Courtney Campbell Causeway from Tampa and about 30 minutes from other bustling Pinellas-based hotspots, Clearwater Beach is home to Tampa Bay’s stunning white sandy beaches, inviting Gulf waters and a busy marine ecosystem. From Pier 60 and Sand Key Park to playful dolphins and nesting sea turtles, this Florida coastal community has it all when it comes to places to play and wonders to experience.

As you take away family memories and a greater awareness of local efforts to protect coastal life, your time and money makes a difference in many ways: ● Increasing hospital space to accommodate busy sea turtle rehabilitation seasons



● Expanding research into saving the lives of more marine animals and protecting our environment ● Meeting the needs of the tens of thousands of children and wounded soldiers who have bonded with Winter and other rescued animals through their own adversity

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● Educating the next generation on marine and environmental conservation phin, Clearwate

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A rescue, rehabilitation, and release facility with a 501(c)(3) designation, CMA is unlike many other aquariums you may have visited before, with an array of exhibits, experiences, tours, programming and presentations for guests of all ages. From the resident dolphins and the revolving educational exhibits to the offsite boat tours and visibility of patients in the working animal hospital, a visit to CMA promises a half-day of family fun. While you’re there, don’t forget to meet a mermaid in Mermaid Grotto, feed a cownose stingray at Stingray Beach and eat at Shark Bites Cafe for lunch (we love the shrimp burger).



It should be no surprise that two local beachside hotels are also big fans of Winter the dolphin.


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Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club was developed as the first eco-friendly hotel on Clearwater Beach. With a mission for conservation that honors the spirit of rescued marine life, each night’s hotel booking benefits the animal care, education and research conducted by CMA. We appreciate how images of Winter are everywhere and love details like no plastic on premises and turtle-safe exterior lighting and window treatments. Our kids’ favorite spot is Winter’s Eco-Ranger Clubhouse filled with educational activities and games. They really enjoyed the complimentary CMA presentations at the pool gazebo (complete with surprise marine life visitors) on Saturdays and Sundays. SEPTEMBER 2021


● Providing compelling, educational experiences for families. ways-to-give/support-our-expansion/ Now is a great time to plan for a Clearwater Beach staycation. Sea turtle nesting season in Florida lasts through the end of October, and you can make a difference by picking up trash on a beach walk and filling holes in the sand that would affect a sea turtle hatchling’s trek to the water. You can also have a positive impact on our local marine life from home.


Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach offers a “Winter & Friends Package” that includes a stay in the Mavis the Sea Turtle Bunk Gulf View room or Winter the Dolphin Bunk Gulf View room, two general admission tickets to CMA, and a toy plushie of Mavis or Winter. A portion of the package price is donated back to Clearwater Marine Aquarium.


It all begins with Winter, the bottlenose dolphin that swims with a prosthetic tail after a terrible crab-trap incident left her permanently injured. As she also calls Clearwater Beach home, her inspiring story has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) through her starring role in the movies “Dolphin Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2.” Other residents include rescued and rehabilitated Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins Rex and Rudy, sea turtles (including the famous Mavis), pelicans (like Rufus), otters, stingrays and sharks.


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Our Best Summer Ever! Ideas to Inspire Your 2022 Summer Family Adventure

Since we live where everyone comes to play, sometimes it’s nice to explore other latitudes, longitudes and altitudes. We asked some of our contributors to share their summer adventures beyond our beautiful Sunshine State to help inspire your family’s next big adventure!

EXPLORING THE GRAND CANYON AND OTHER NATURAL WONDERS IN ARIZONA Maggie Rodriguez, Co-host of Daytime of WFLA News Channel 8 How we got there: We flew to Las Vegas, then drove to the Grand Canyon, with a stop at the Hoover Dam along the way. We visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is the most popular because it offers the most scenic views. Where to Stay: staying inside the park is especially helpful when visiting the Grand Canyon in the hot summer so that you can go to and from your room as often as you’d like during the day. There are four lodging options: the historic El Tovar Hotel, which books up to a year in advance, or one of three lodges. They’re not luxurious, but quaint and perfectly situated close to the canyon’s rim. Suggested Itinerary: To beat the heat and the crowds, get an early start (between 6 and 8 a.m. if you can get your kids up that early). Avid hikers enjoy the popular Bright Angel or South Kaibab trails. Our favorite was the tamer Rim Trail, where each vista was more jaw dropping than the last. Bring lots of water and some snacks to keep you hydrated and fueled. At lunchtime, the dining room at the El Tovar Hotel is a great place to enjoy good food, spectacular views and much-needed AC amid artifacts from local Native American tribes. Make reservations as far in advance as possible. After lunch, when it’s still too hot to hike, I suggest driving to the many lookout points along the South Rim. You can park easily and take lots of photos. Each view is a little different, but equally spectacular. After a rest at your hotel, head back out to catch the sunset at one of the lookout points. The Grand Canyon is at its most beautiful as the sun sets and turns the rocks varied hues of pink, orange and purple. There’s no better word than magical to describe this experience.

A TOUR OF NEW ENGLAND Deanna Moore, executive producer of Daytime on WFLA News Channel 8 How we got there: We flew via Allegiant from St. Pete/Clearwater to Portsmouth. It’s the best route if you want to save money because flying from Tampa to Boston is a bit pricier and you have to drive a bit to get to the more quaint towns. Where we stayed: We rented accommodation via VRBO/Vacasa. We stayed in Wells, Maine, but took day trips to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Kennebunkport, Maine, and Salem, Massachusetts. Experiencing a northern beach was phenomenal. The wildlife, sand and atmosphere are completely different from Tampa Bay. In Kennebunkport we went on both a whale-watching excursion and a lobster-catching cruise. The girls learned so much and were entertained. In Salem, we took the girls on a kid-friendly historical/modern tour of the happenings during the Salem Witch Trials. To cap off everything the food was amazing! We had everything from decadent pancakes to quintessential New England seafood. Pro Tips: In order to see Kennebunkport or Portland, Maine, fly from St. Pete/Clearwater to Portsmouth, New Hampshire rather than TPA to Boston.

Other highlights: Our Arizona road trip continued to Page, where we discovered Antelope Canyon. Hiking at the bottom of the narrow, slot canyon was like walking through a painting.

If you need to rent a car, use a car seat rental service. They can provide you with car seats, boosters, cribs and toys and deliver straight to the airport for a minimal cost.

We also visited Sedona, known for its majestic red rocks. Off-roading is the best way to explore them. We loved the “Broken Arrow Tour” from Pink Jeep Tours.

Don’t stay in Kennebunkport proper. The nearby town of Wells, Maine, is a 20-minute drive away and is significantly cheaper for a vacation rental or hotel.


A MOUNTAIN VIEW IN PARK CITY, UTAH Laura Byrne, Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine How we got there: We flew out of TPA into Salt Lake City airport where we picked up our rental car and drove about half an hour to Deer Valley Resort where we rented a condo at Trails End Lodge with friends. Where we stayed: Deer Valley Resort is perfect for families, with numerous hiking trails within steps of our condo and access to mountain biking, standup paddle boarding, horseback riding and more. We were also a short drive away from Olympic Village and Park City Mountain where you can take rides down the Mountain Coaster and Alpine Slide. The public transportation in Park City is free and super easy to navigate. We spent many nights dining on Main Street which we highly recommend—there are a ton of restaurants, art galleries and shops. The hard part will be deciding which one to go to! Pro Tips: Book a condo at the same rate or even less than a hotel room. Full kitchens and separate bedrooms are always a bonus when traveling with kids. Rent a car so you can take day trips! We made a three-hour drive to Vernal, Utah, to Dinosaur National Monument’s Quarry Exhibit Hall to see 1,500+ dinosaur bones unearthed from an ancient riverbed. It was all indoors, which made the experience worth lingering. It’s very dry in Utah compared to Florida, so make sure to stay hydrated and bring water with you everywhere you go. Our rooms each had a humidifier which was helpful for our group of Floridians.

GRAND TETON AND YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARKS Natassja Prose, @proseandcompany How we got there: We flew into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, making that our home base during our stay. We rented a car for the drive to the National Parks, only about an hour away from Jackson. We saw where the buffalo roam and where geysers make a show. In Grand Teton National Park, we saw moose, elk, antelope and bison! In Yellowstone, we saw colorful hot springs and Old Faithful. We had a family picnic along a river bank and watched baby bison follow their herd across beautiful fields. Pro Tip: The National Parks Service has a special 5th Grader Voucher program, allowing 5th graders and their families to enter the National Parks for free! Lucky for us, we packed our 5th grader, binoculars, maps and even our lunch for some epic exploring!

BACKROADS THAT LEAD TO THE SOUTH: ALABAMA, TENNESSEE AND ARKANSAS Marisa Langford, @tampamama Highlights: Driving north, we made a pit stop in historic Apalachicola and enjoyed some of their famous oysters at The Station Raw Bar. Amidst the rolling green hills of Alabama, we stayed with family in Montgomery, canoed on the gorgeous Coosa River out of Wetumpka (featured on HGTV’s ‘Hometown Takeover’) and had some delicious popsicles from Frios Gourmet Pops. In Memphis, the kids were ready to go walkin’ for some BBQ, Elvis and blues on Beale Street! We stayed at the Hyatt Centric Beale Street which was around the corner from The Peabody Ducks marching the red carpet, lunch at Central BBQ, and paying our respects to the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Civil Rights Museum. Don’t miss a visit to Graceland as you can tour Elvis’ mansion and see his pink Cadillac! We drove over the Mississippi River on our way out of town which was so cool! The beautiful state of Arkansas was last on our list and did not disappoint. We checked off another capital city in Little Rock as we visited the capitol of the 25th state of America. The historic bathhouses, ancient thermal springs, mountain views and lush forests of Hot Springs National Park made for an idyllic vacation spot in the deep South. The 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens is a must-see with its famous Anthony Chapel. Our “road less traveled” summer road trip was one for the books and we can’t wait to hop in the car and do it again soon! SEPTEMBER 2021



Get Up and Go Kayaking A Kid-Friendly Adventure to Learn and Play in Tampa Bay by Laura Byrne Ma rk

Get Up and Go Kayaking was originally founded by my brother-in-law, Justin Buzzi. My husband and Justin were living in an apartment together in the Orlando area when Justin made his big leap. After seeing all the wonderful things Justin was able to accomplish and how much he enjoyed his work, I thought how wonderful would it be to combine all the things I love into one! Being a Girl Scout for more than 20 years and growing up in an outdoorsy family, we spent so much time boating and kayaking the bay area, and now as a physician assistant, I am a big proponent of exercise and outdoor activity for physical and mental wellbeing. So, when I brought up the prospect of bringing Get Up and Go Kayaking to Tampa Bay to my parents, we all became extremely excited to share all the things we love with our community and travelers visiting the Tampa Bay area. What do you love most about your business and the service you provide to our community? We LOVE our guides. They are all incredibly knowledgeable, kind, caring and passionate about what they do. They provide our guests with a view into the beautiful wildlife and ecosystems at Shell Key Preserve while sharing their knowledge and backgrounds in environmental and marine sciences. It is always great to hear from visitors that we were the best part of their vacation or when locals tell us they learned something new about Florida’s ecosystems! What are some of your favorite fun facts about Shell Key Preserve? Favorite things to do around that area? Since we started our tours in 2019, we’ve watched the inlet created by Hurricane Irma change and the sandbars and beaches grow and change. Every season brings new wildlife, like baby octopus or white pelicans. Last fall we even encountered bioluminescence out on our glow tours! My favorite thing to do around Shell Key Preserve is of course paddling; it takes all my stress and worries away when I am out on the water. But perhaps the next closest thing is walking along the beaches there and finding the most beautiful shells washed up on the beaches. There are seasons where we have hundreds of whole sand dollars wash up along shore!






Tell us why you decided as a family to get involved with Get Up and Go Kayaking?


They now offer a new tour designed just for kids ages 9-12 and their families called Paddle Pals. Let’s get to know Amber Buzzi, co-owner of Get Up and Go Kayaking at Shell Key.



Get Up and Go Kayaking at Shell Key Preserve was recently named the #1 Overall Experience in the USA (#4 in the world) in the travel website 2021 Traveler’s Choice “Best of the Best” Things to Do Awards. And we know is an INCREDIBLE experience to share with your kids.


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Our area is experiencing an unfortunate bloom of red tide. How has this impacted you and how can we use it as a teaching moment for our children? Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns from Red Tide, we had to temporarily pause our operations throughout July. We always prioritize the safety of our guests and staff and decided it would be wise to wait for the bloom to subside and for the cleanups to be underway before bringing everyone back out onto the water. We’re thrilled to be back up and running again and to see so much life in the preserve, from dolphins to egrets and so much more! Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that feeds on human-produced run-off and pollution in our waterways. This is truly a teaching moment for future generations to understand the consequences of human-generated chemicals and run-off into our local waterways. We must teach our children that humans can offset the delicate balance of our ecosystems. At Get Up and Go Kayaking, we are honored to educate our guests about the impacts humans have on the environment, show how ecosystems work together, and appreciate the natural beauty of Shell Key Preserve. What inspired the Paddle Pals tours? Our guide, Hannah, has developed Paddle Pals from the ground up. Hannah is an absolutely amazing guide with a degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration on Environmental education and a minor in Climate Change. When she approached our family with the idea of Paddle Pals, an educational parent-child clear kayaking adventure for kids ages 9-12, we saw that it was another way for us to keep educating our youth and providing more ways for families to connect with each other and the outdoors.


Learn more:

Cost: $149 for tandem kayak for one adult and one child (tips are also appreciated) Tour Length: 3 hours Scan the QR code to learn more about Paddle Pals and see what it’s like to go on this tour.

Paddling through the mangroves on a clear kayak is the per fect way to see sea birds, fish, dolphins and manatees as well as tiny crabs and snails. These water trees protect our shorelines from hurricanes, their super strong roots taking the brunt of the waves as storms crash ashore.

Paddle Pals guide Hannah finds all sor ts of treasures on pristine Shell Key Preser ve, such as this horseshoe crab molted shell.




On A Mission to Save a Species by Tiffany Burns, Director of Conservation, Research & Behavior at ZooTampa | photos provided by ZooTampa

It’s been a rough year for manatees, who are facing a record number of fatalities resulting from an unusual mortality event, increased watercraft injuries, severe weather and red tide. ZooTampa’s David A. Straz, Jr. Critical Care Center is one of only four facilities of its kind that specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned manatees. They have a team working around the clock to save this iconic Florida species. The Zoo’s unwavering commitment to manatees has been at the heart of our mission for more than 20 years. Our critical care center has cared for more than 500 rescued manatees, with the majority returned to Florida waters. Currently, the center is home to 20 manatees, including several calves that need constant care to survive. As champions for all Florida wildlife, our mission is not only to save animals but to also create exceptional experiences that connect visitors with the creatures entrusted to our care. The objective is clear: to inspire guests, members, partner organizations and the community to join us to protect wildlife both in our backyards and around the globe. We are committed to addressing key conservation issues and we strategically focus on conservation initiatives that amplify our expertise and create partnerships that maximize our ability to protect and preserve nature successfully. When you visit ZooTampa, you’re helping to support conservation efforts. Our goal is that families who spend a day at ZooTampa not only leave with memories to last a lifetime, but are also inspired to join us in protecting and preserving wildlife.

YOU CAN HELP PROTECT OUR STATE’S SEA COWS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO ENJOY BY FOLLOWING THESE BOATER SAFETY TIPS: ● Have someone designated as a “manatee lookout” on your boat ● Look for “footprints” left in the water by manatees (those circle patterns left on the water’s surface when a manatee surfaces to breathe) ● Wear polarized sunglasses to better spot manatees underwater ● Follow all posted signs and GO SLOW in manatee zones, avoiding shallow waters where manatees feed and rest ● Last but not least, if you accidentally hit a manatee or see an injured manatee, please report it immediately to Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manatee hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922), or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device. The sooner an animal can get help at a manatee critical care center, like ZooTampa, the better chance of its survival.


IF YOU LIVE AROUND MANATEES, YOU CAN: ● Report distressed or deceased manatees to 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or by using the FWC Reporter App. ● NOT feed manatees. If you are concerned about lack of food for a manatee, call the hotline. ● Help prevent algal blooms by reducing nutrient pollution. If you live near a waterway, don’t fertilize your lawn or only do so once a year using slow-release nitrogen fertilizers between Sept. 30 and June 1. Together we can save this iconic Florida species. One Mission. One World. #ZTSaves

TAKE A RIDE ON THE WILD SIDE! Come experience the new Expedition Wild Africa, a redesigned safari experience which takes you closer than ever before to some of the world’s most majestic species. Have fun all year long with a ZooTampa membership! Visit 19 SEPTEMBER 2021


LET GO AND LET GROW The case for raising a “free-range child” by Maggie Rodriguez

Author Lenore Skenazy was dubbed “the world’s worst mom” when her book, “Free-Range Kids,” made the case for raising independent children who are given the freedom to do things like walk to the bus stop alone at a young age. Twelve years later, her mantra is a movement, bolstered by case studies, statistics and legions of supporters. And Skenazy remains as passionate as ever—launching a school initiative and releasing an updated, second edition of her book in hopes of convincing still-hesitant parents and educators to “let go and let grow.”

What is a free-range kid? It’s a kid who is given some lessons in how to make their way in the world and allowed to prove themselves ready to do that.

Each title of your book is sort of an instruction for parents, a howto. Chapter one is “Know when to worry”. How do you do that?

It is being alive in America in a culture that has become obsessed with seeing almost the downside of everything, but in particular, any far-fetched danger that they can conjure up in almost any situation, especially when it comes to kids. You’re almost considered abnormal if you don’t go to the very darkest place first. I call it ‘worst first thinking;’ coming up with the worst-case scenario first and then proceeding as if it’s likely to happen. And that is a cultural tick that, if you read any book or any movie from 100 years ago, you would not see that happen. It’s recent and it feels normal, but it’s not normal.

One of the things that helps is if you actually list the things. Ok, if you’re terrified that your 10-year-old is at an ice cream parlor with another 10-year-old in a safe place, in a safe neighborhood, with all these other people around, tell me what you’re worried about. Are you worried that she will eat the wrong food and therefore get fat? Are you worried that she’s going to go to the bathroom and going to get raped? Are you worried that she’s going to suddenly decide to run out into the street and get run over by a truck? Are you worried that someone is going to make an inappropriate remark and she’s going to be so shocked and traumatized that she’ll never emotionally recover? Once you start writing these things down, I hope they seem vanishingly rare, to the point of almost silly to worry about. And if you have been a free-range parent, teaching your kid: If somebody bothers you, ignore them. If something bad happens to you, run, kick and scream. Or if you’re going out to the street, look both ways. If you’ve given them just the basics of how to be in the world versus just how to be in your house and your car, then they’re going to be ok.

I think we do it because we feel we’ve evolved. We think we’re protecting our kids more now.

But that requires all of us parents, as you say in chapter 10, to “get braver.”

We are protecting our children more now, but we’re protecting them from events that were extremely unlikely to happen. If you drive your kid to the bus stop every day, you can say, ‘see, my child was never kidnapped’. And you might think it’s because you drove your child to the bus stop every day and waited with the kid in the car in the air conditioning, on their iPad, not talking to the other children, not dealing with a gnat or a dog or a bee and they’ve been safe. And there’s no way for me to say, "Yeah, but 99.999 percent chance they would’ve been safe if they had walked there." And they might have met a neighbor who goes a little earlier; they might have developed a real fondness for the local squirrel and started feeding him nuts; they might have become interested in trees.

To get braver requires two things. It requires a little bit of skepticism about all the fear that has been shoved down our throats, but more than that, it requires action—letting your kid walk to the bus stop or eat at the Friendly’s or climb a tree, and it is only by actually seeing your kid do that successfully or unsuccessfully and still be ok… once you see your kid do that independently, it is so thrilling. It’s mind- blowing. It’s fireworks.

Why do you think so many of us parents have a hard time raising kids that way these days?

So that’s what it does for the parent, but what does it do for the kid? [Comparing kids to birds leaving the nest to f ly on their own for the first time]: They have to go to the edge and jump, and they do it. They’re in the air and they have a split second and their wings go up and they f lap, f lap, f lap. That’s a thrilling moment for a bird to realize, “I’m not goings be stuck in this nest all the time with mom feeding me chewedup worms. The world is mine!”

THE “LET GROW” SCHOOL INITIATIVE ● Encourages teachers to give students the following homework assignment one day per week: Go home and do something new, on your own. Climb a tree, run an errand, make a meal. “Students exhibit a new willingness to get out of their comfort zones. Independence leads to problem solving, resilience—and joy,” Skenazy says. ● Encourages schools to open their doors before or after the regular schedule for ‘play clubs’: mixed age, no devices, free play, offering children a chance to play without anyone directing them. States Skenazy: “By organizing their own games and learning to solve the inevitable spats, children develop real-world social skills that can drive autonomy, collaboration and critical thinking.” For information on free resources, visit SEPTEMBER 2021


Moms to Know by Julie Tingley

One of the best things we can show our children is how persistence and endurance help us succeed as adults. This has been the life and legacy of my friend, Jamie Brown, who is not only a shining example to her own boys, but to all of us here in Tampa Bay.

photo credit: JR Studio

When she abandoned the security of a Fortune 500 corporate role to pursue life as a business owner, she persisted. When she executed large events with hundreds of details to organize and manage, she persevered. When she decided to partner with two colleagues to introduce novel products in a highly regulated industry, she endured. And when it came to balancing her entrepreneurial efforts with a joyful presence at home, she succeeded.

JAMIE BROWN | Soshal Events // Rose Blazers What is your story and how do Soshal Events and Rose Blazers represent you as a woman and mother? Honestly, being a mother is my greatest joy in the world and nothing can represent me more than my wonderful kids. My sons (11, 6 and 3) are a huge motivation when it comes to my success. I started Soshal Events in 2016 because of my appreciation for planning events and witnessing the joy on my clients faces during their special occasion. For me, event planning is like putting together a puzzle, in the end, all the pieces come together, creating memorable moments. In terms of Rose Blazers, my CBD company, I started this wonderful organization with a few friends with the goal of providing great CBD products to working moms. We want working moms to feel okay about using our products and to know that they are safe. We thrive on providing education to our clients, so they truly understand all the great health benefits that come with using our CBD products. Being a business owner, a woman and a mom represents a great deal of who I am. I possess the strength and the education, and the experience needed to operate and run multiple businesses.

What inspired you to pursue entrepreneur life? The biggest challenge was leaving PepsiCo after 10 years because I had a normal routine. I knew my business goals; I knew my clients and I knew my job. The problem was, I did not want to play the games in corporate America anymore. I knew my worth and that I was ultimately the only person that could control my destiny. My husband is an entrepreneur and retired from the US Air Force. He encouraged me to leave the corporate world because he understood my talents and what I had to offer. With his great support, we as a family were able to take the leap of faith for me to become a full-time entrepreneur.


Why a CBD health and beauty line? What was missing in the market and how do you make Rose Blazers stand out? When we started Rose Blazers in 2020, we felt like there was a need for CBD line to help support moms with a pure natural substance that has great health benefits. We wanted moms to feel comfortable, at ease and confident with using our CBD products and to not feel like they were doing something morally wrong. Rose Blazers stands out because of the quality of our products. Some of the benefits include relieving anxiety, stress or pain.

What is the bigger vision for the future of Soshal Events? The way events are planned now have an additional layer. For instance, factoring whether the guest must be vaccinated or not, and whether it will be a requirement to wear a mask or not. These are now questions clients must consider and answer before events are planned. We have a lot planned for 2022. We will be having a craft beer and wing festival the first quarter of the year and we will be launching our nonprofit, Soshal Cares. The mission of Soshal Cares is to provide individuals and small business leaders with hospitality acumen that will retain customers and increase the sustainability of their business.

What are the things you wish someone told you before you started two companies? From whom do you draw inspiration and support now, as a more seasoned entrepreneur? You’ll never have a day off again! No, just kidding. But the biggest thing I honestly wish someone would have told me is to take one day at a time. This seems simple, right? But in the world of entrepreneurship, my mind is always racing faster than I can put things in place. I must constantly remind myself to slow down. For my inspiration, I pray, a lot. I do not have all the answers, but I know God did not bring me this far to leave me. My family is a huge inspiration to me because I do not want to let them down. I want my husband and sons to be proud. My parents are my biggest cheerleaders as they help support me in every aspect of my life.

What are you most passionate about as a business owner and a mother? I am passionate about showing my sons that they too can be successful business owners. I am a role model for my sons, demonstrating how to operate successful companies that one day will be passed down to them.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family in Tampa Bay? One of my favorite things to do with my family is visiting a local theme park like Busch Gardens or spending time out on our boat. My middle son, Carter, is a huge football fan and loves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Therefore, we also enjoy watching Sunday football.




GMF 2021:

Music Rules the World

By Tara Payor, Ph.D.

Music. The word itself is beautiful—powerful enough to stand alone; dynamic enough to unify. As COVID-19 sauntered into our lives, the Gasparilla Music Festival was one of the last music events Tampanians attended. When COVID-19 gripped daily life, GMF 2021 was delayed. On Oct. 1, 2021, GMF returns. For the first time, Tampa’s signature music festival will span three days. The unifying power of music, again, takes Tampa’s stage.


Though COVID impacted GMF, the Gasparilla Music Foundation continued supporting Hillsborough County’s elementary schools. Music classrooms have felt the pandemic’s financial impact. Through Recycled Tunes, started in 2014 by the Foundation, GMF held drives for gently used instruments for Tampa Title 1 schools. In 2020, Hillsborough County Schools received 595 instruments. The Foundation’s commitment to build a better community through the arts remained centerstage—raising $115,000 for Title 1 schools’ music classrooms.

GMF has provided the 813 with a carefully curated, family friendly festival. Beyond the panoply of music for all ages, families can enjoy the delightful spread of GMF’s food scene. With Coppertail Brewing as 2021’s title sponsor, plenty of adult beverages will f low to the sounds of GMF’s diverse genres. From indie alternative to R & B and electronic, GMF’s five stages will have the whole family grooving. With the University of Tampa’s minarets and the Hillsborough River as the backdrop, it doesn’t get much better. Or does it?

This October, GMF and CAMP Tampa will lead some live and lit cycle classes at Curtis Hixon. Proceeds benefit music education, and instruments that are collected will be refurbished and donated. ja l a rb a



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GMF’s 10th anniversary festival will premier myriad opportunities for festivalgoers to observe and participate in activation art. GMF appeals to all the senses. NAS performs feel good music; simultaneously, festivalgoers activate art by painting their dreams. Street dreams are made of this. Who’s Tampa Bay to disagree? If I ruled the world, I’d have artists perform paintings. GMF will. Imagine that!

Recycled Tunes stays on key because of Tampa’s charitable music fans. Since music matters and is integral to harmonious, well-rounded educations, GMF hosts donation opportunities during the festival.


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ENCORE Neither the music nor COVID have died. Ticket purchases include a COVID-19 disclaimer. Purchasers should know that GMF will be at capacity and festivalgoers can freely move about Curtis Hixon. Hand sanitizing stations will be present. “Music festivals just aren’t the same when you can’t dance,” Casey shares.


Beautiful music. The powerful sight of Tampa families… not standing alone. The dynamic feeling of a city unified … by the arts. If I ruled the world…make me vision ... the better livin’… [Tampa Bay,] the type of place to raise kids in. GMF is back.

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TICKET INFO: REGISTER FOR CAMP THE PARK: camp-the-park-2021 RECYCLED TUNES: *great need for guitars, violins and ukulele




for all ages a skill levels!nd



. T I O IT. D

M A E R D Enroll today!


It’s Time for Fall FUN, Ya’ll! First day of autumn is Sept. 22, but some fall festivals and Halloween events are getting an early start this month! Here are some of our ghoulishly good top picks to fill your calendar:


Stroll the fields of this year’s corn maze and pumpkin patch at Harvest Holler Farm, a working family farm, where you can go on a hayride and meet live farm animals. There’s also a cow train, corn hole and many more activities. $15 for ages 13-64; $12 for seniors, active-duty military and kids ages 2-12.

SWEETFIELDS FARM FALL PUMPKIN PATCH, CORN MAZE AND FARM ACTIVITIES Oct. 2-Nov. 7, select days 17250 Benes Roush Road, Masaryktown 34604

Sweetfields pedal cars

Come out for corn maze fun at Sweetfields Farm in Masaryktown, but stay for the Pitcher Pump Duck Race, hayride, pedal cars, pumpkin patch, farm animals and free craft of the season. And of course, the Pumpkin Patch! Tickets are $9.75+ tax and online fees for ages 3 and older.

HARVESTMOON FARM PUMPKIN PATCH Oct. 2-Nov. 7, select days 15990 Stur Street, Masaryktown 34604

Pre-purchase a ticket online to secure your spot to navigate the 5-acre corn maze and explore the cow train, pedal cars, barnyard games, petting farm and tree house. Bring extra cash in case the little ones decide to participate in gem mining or even pick out their own pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. There’s even a Flashlight Night and Haunted Trail. $13.95+ tax for everyone ages 3 and up.

RAPRAGER FAMILY FARM PUMPKIN PATCH Opens Sept. 25; Fridays-Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 16907 Boy Scout Road, Odessa 33556

Enjoy a day at this new Tampa Bay area pumpkin patch with fun activities like a haunted children’s crop maze, hayrides, animals and more. There’s even a haunted barn for the older kids and adults. $12.50 per person.

Scan to link directly to our Ultimate Guide of Fall Festivals, Halloween Events, Corn Mazes and MORE!


" Witch of the Woods" Haunted House

HOWL-O-SCREAM AT BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA Select nights Sept. 10-Oct. 31, various times

Experience terrors around every corner at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay when you encounter hundreds of roaming creatures and terrifying outdoor scare zones, including three new haunted houses. Enjoy live, interactive entertainment and Bier Fest as well. Tickets are a must to secure your spot!


Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is on hiatus again this year, but Disney has improvised with an after-hours party that’s sure to delight! The ticketed “Boo Bash” will feature your favorite characters in their Halloween best, complimentary snacks like ice-cream and popcorn, lower wait times for rides, specialty food and drink items and more!

Boo Bash at WDW Magic Kingdom


Kids can dress in their favorite Halloween costume to safely trickor-treat at SeaWorld Orlando and meet up with everyone’s favorite neighbors on Sesame Street, The Count, Elmo, Abby and others!


Celebrate 30 years of terror with this year’s chilling theme, Never Go Alone. Explore haunted houses inspired by the biggest names in fear like Beetlejuice, The Bride of Frankenstein and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The scare zones are also back along with live entertainment.

SCREAM-A-GEDDON IN DADE CITY Select nights Sept. 10-Oct. 31

It’s officially that time of year! Scream-A-Geddon is returning to Dade City to terrify guests once again with haunted house attractions and creepy crawlies wandering the grounds to give you your first frights of the season. There are a total of SIX attractions to terrify you including NEW ones. *Please don’t bring little kiddos to this—it’s quite intense and there’s no pumpkin patch here.



Make it a Souper September story and photos by Ginain Grayes, @CookPraySlay


It happens every September: Our thoughts turn to all things fall—cozy, comforting foods and a chill in the air (well, Floridians can dream, right?). I’m excited to share these delicious soups from my Souper September series of recipes. All month long I’m sharing some of my family’s favorite fall soups using delicious in-season produce the fall season always brings. Here are two tasty soups you can serve up in 30 minutes or less and add to your weekly meal plans this fall.


A deliciously light, yet creamy soup perfect for a quick and easy weekday dinner. It’s packed with your favorite southwestern flavors and amazing nutritional value. Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber.

Ingredients: ● 1 can black beans (15 oz.) ● 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz) ● 1 can diced tomatoes, fire roasted ● 3/4 cup split red lentils ● 4-5 cloves of garlic ● 1 juice of lime ● 3 teaspoons chili powder ● 1 red onion ● 1 bunch of fresh cilantro

● 1 tablespoon olive oil ● 1 tablespoon cumin ● 32 ounces vegetable broth ● 1 teaspoon chile pepper ● Salt and pepper to taste Optional: ● 1 can corn ● 1 jalapeno ● Sour cream, for topping ● Tortilla strips, for topping


1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. 2. Add the red onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently until they become tender. 3. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, chiles and stir frequently for about 2 minutes. 4. Add black beans, lentils, tomatoes, vegetable broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper and stir to combine (if you’re adding corn, you can add it now). 5. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cover. 6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes or until the lentils are cooked thoroughly. 7. Add the juice of 1 lime and season to taste with salt and pepper. 8. Garnish with your favorite toppings like sour cream, jalapeno slices and tortilla strips.



The flavors of the Cajun seasonings, bacon crumbles and cheeses come together to create this rich, creamy and delicious Cajun Cauliflower Soup. Cauliflower is perfect in soups or to accompany as a side to a protein. It’s available year-round, but peak season is in the fall.

Ingredients: ● 1 medium head of caulif lower cut into small f lorets ● 6 slices peppered bacon ● 3 Tbsp butter ● 2 tsp Cajun seasoning ● 1 cup heavy cream ● 1 32 oz. carton chicken broth - low sodium

● 3 Tbsp all-purpose f lour ● 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded ● 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded ● 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped ● 1/4 cup parsley, chopped ● Salt and pepper to taste


1. Using a large pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels and drain drippings from pot. Crumble the bacon and set aside. 2. Add butter and onion to the pot and cook over medium-high. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes or until tender and lightly golden. Add cauliflower and Cajun seasoning to the pot and stir frequently for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to brown. 3. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. 4. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and flour. Add to the cauliflower in the pot. Cook for 10 minutes and stir often until thickened. 5. Remove pot from the heat. Using a potato masher, mash cauliflower until desired. Slowly add cheeses and stir together until melted. Add and stir in parsley and bacon crumbles. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


6. Serve immediately. You can top with additional cheeses, parsley and bacon. SEPTEMBER 2021



BREAKFAST ON THE GO! story and photos by Jenny P., @lunchboxmafia

During the lazy days of summer, we often skipped breakfast or ate it much later in the day. Now that school is back in session, I'm sharing some ideas you can make ahead or pack—and still make it out the door in time!



I love adding hard boiled eggs to salads or ramen or just sprinkling them with everything bagel seasoning in the lunchbox. But this is my favorite morning toast with hard boiled eggs!


● 1 slice of toast

● 1/2 teaspoon salt

● 1 tablespoon tzatziki (Greek yogurt with dill and diced cucumber)

● 2 tablespoon sugar

● 1 sliced hardboiled egg ● Sliced scallions or chives to sprinkle on toast ● Salt and pepper to taste

● 2 cups all-purpose f lour ● 1 tablespoon baking powder

● 1 cup milk of your choice ● 1/2 cup butter (unsalted) ● 2 large eggs

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350. Spray muffin tin with Baker’s Joy or use paper liners to line your muffin tin and set aside. Mix your wet ingredients. Fold in your dry ingredients until well combined.

QUICHE Ingredients: ● 1 pie crust shell (at room temperature) ● 6 large eggs ● 3/4 cup of milk ● 1 cup cheese ● 1/2 teaspoon salt ● 1 teaspoon black pepper ● 1/4 cup chives ● (Optional: 1 cup of ham or sausage) ● 1 red pepper sliced will add gorgeous color

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Unroll your pie crust and press into a pie plate (9” round). Whisk your eggs and combine with cheese, milk, chives and seasoning. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

To reheat your quiche: Oven: cover your slice of quiche in foil and bake at 325 for about 8 minutes. Air fryer: 320 degrees for 3 minutes.


Divide evenly into 12 sections of your tin and bake muffins for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin. Tweak this basic muffin recipe to your liking by adding 1 cup berries and 1/2 cup sugar for a sweet muffin. Or add 1/2 cup broccoli f lorets, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder for a savory muffin.

MAKE AHEAD BREAKFAST SANDWICHES: Prep these in less than 30 minutes and you can skip the drive-through for an entire week.

Ingredients: ● 12 eggs ● 2 tablespoons milk ● 1 cup cooked, crumbled sausage or diced ham

● 10-12 slices bacon ● Salt and pepper to taste (omit for littles) ● 12 English muffins ● 12 slices of your favorite cheese

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a 9-by-13-inch pan. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the center is set. Don’t overcook. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into 12 squares. Top each English muffin half with egg, cheese, meat and the other half of the muffin. If you are consuming right away, heat the sandwiches at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. To freeze: Wrap each sandwich individually in tinfoil, wax paper or parchment paper and place them in a freezer safe resealable bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat: Thaw in the fridge overnight, for best results. Remove paper and wrap the sandwich in a paper towel. Microwave: 40 seconds - 1 minute on defrost (or 50% power). Flip the sandwich and microwave for another 10-30 seconds on high power, until warmed through.

If you love breakfast just as much as we do, pack it for lunch! Here are some ways we enjoy breakfast for lunch. Yogurt parfait with granola and honey Waff le sandwich with peanut butter and bananas and a blueberry smiley face

Air fryer: 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes. Oven or toaster oven: 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

Follow Jenny P. @lunchboxmafia for more ideas and tips on lunch packing and breakfast to go.

The ultimate brunch box with whole wheat cinnamon roll, fruit and egg






(813) 961-3087 • PreK3-8th Grade • SEPTEMBER 2021

Transportation Available

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

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


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.

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


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

Grades: 6-12 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.




financial aid



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




Why Choose an

Independent School by Karen Vaughan, Director of Advancement, photos provided by Corbett Prep

When parents arrive for tours at Corbett Prep, the beautiful grounds make a stunning first impression – peacocks strutting on the fields, a boardwalk winding through cypress trees, glimpses of the lake. Inside the classrooms, visitors notice the engaging educational strategies teachers employ and feel the energy of the positive, supportive culture. Less visible to parents is the foundation that makes this unique school environment possible. As an independent school, Corbett Prep has the ability to make its own decisions and create programs that reflect its values using multiple best practices in education. Corbett Prep’s independent approach to education began in 1968 when its founders, Marilyn Gatlin and Betty Anderson, sought to establish a school that cultivated the gifts and talents of every student. Gatlin and Anderson, who were studying gifted education, believed that happy children who have the freedom to investigate and explore are more open to learning than students who are tense and fearful. It’s a philosophy that the school continues to embrace more than 50 years later. Parents weigh several factors when choosing a school for their children, but the independent school philosophy appeals to many families looking for an education that considers the student as a whole. Independent schools have a reputation for academic rigor, highly skilled teachers, a close and active parent community, hands-on lessons, and individualized attention to students’ needs. Our cover family, the Powells, check out Corbett Prep's new Tomlin Family Application lab at their school.


photos on this page by Laura Byrne

WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL? Families starting to research schools may think their decision comes down to public versus private. But while all independent schools are private, not all private schools are independent. Independent schools are mission-driven, can be secular or religious, and choose curricula that fit their philosophies. And because they are independent, the schools are free from restrictions that tie the hands of other school administrators and can, for example, choose testing programs that meet their goals rather than state-mandated standardized tests. The independent model has earned positive reviews. In a 2017 Gallup poll, 71 percent of people surveyed ranked independent private schools as excellent or good. Parochial or church-related schools followed, with 63 percent of respondents giving that category excellent or good ratings. Charter schools, home schools and public schools rounded out the list.

WHAT SHOULD PARENTS LOOK FOR IN AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL? Families interested in independent schooling should first make sure they are looking at accredited programs. In Florida, 157 schools are members of the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), which has a rigorous evaluation process for independent school accreditation. Prospective families can narrow down their options by researching school and class size, programs of study, parent involvement, faculty training, available enrichment programs and more. On a tour, parents can see for themselves if students are happy and engaged. Are classrooms and the campus bright, clean, safe and secure? Are there outside spaces that have room for kids to spread out and move freely? Private tours can give parents a sense of the school’s “personality.” Although students benefit from enrolling in an independent school at any grade, FCIS recommends students start their independent school journey in prekindergarten or kindergarten to enjoy the continuity of the same school community and how each grade builds upon the one before.

WHAT KINDS OF PROGRAMS DO INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OFFER? Programs vary widely; independent schools have the freedom to build the educational experience that suits their mission while holding high academic expectations. Through social and emotional learning programs, for example, independent schools can devote time to developing important skills that support students’ wellbeing. The foundation of a Corbett Prep education is based on research as to how the brain learns, and this framework drives the teaching strategies educators use in the classroom, on the stage, and on the field. Corbett Prep’s approach supports the research on Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory that there are multiple types of human intelligences and asserts that “a one-size-fits-all approach to education will invariably leave some students behind.” The school prioritizes academic, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development through a robust curriculum and an interactive learning environment. As an International Baccalaureate school, Corbett Prep believes in cultivating international mindedness and developing critical and ref lective thinkers. All students gain a strong foundation in the arts, sciences, and technology thanks to Corbett Prep’s strong performing and visual arts program as well as its new STEAM center, the Tomlin Family Application Lab, which opened this summer. Corbett Prep piloted The Contentment Foundation’s Four Pillars of Wellbeing, a social-emotional program that uses “evidence-based early childhood and K-8 lesson plans to empower students with tools to meaningfully understand and process their life experiences.” Throughout their time at Corbett Prep, students learn to both collaborate and lead, think innovatively to solve problems, and use their social-emotional awareness to handle challenging situations. Starting kids on the right path to becoming lifelong learners depends on finding just the right school fit. With a variety of wonderful independent schools in the Tampa Bay area, parents have many options. The education students receive at independent schools allows them to grow and discover who they are as individuals in a supportive environment that sets them up for a future filled with infinite possibilities.



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section BOWERS/WHITLEY CAREER ACCELERATION ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL 13609 N. 22nd. St., Tampa 33613 813-558-1750;

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 Rd., 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


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.

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

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

Grades: K-8

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.

Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 514

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.

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

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

Enrollment: 50

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.

Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE

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


financial aid





For admissions inquiries and to learn more about Mornings at Berkeley, or to schedule an individual campus tour, please contact the Office of Admissions at (813) 885-1673.


B E R K E L E Y P R E P. O R G

An Independent Episcopal Day School for Boys and Girls in Pre-K to Grade 12

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. SEPTEMBER 2021


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Register Now for Year-long and Fall Session Classes! 727.781.3808 Excellence in Academic Achievement and Faith Formation

Your source for fun places to try and new activities to make your date night inspired! 38 SEPTEMBER 2021

It's Not Too Late to Take the Next Step in Your Child's Performing Arts Journey!

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section DUNBAR ELEMENTARY MAGNET (MEDICAL SCIENCE) 1730 Union St., Tampa 33607 813-276-5677;

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.

Enrollment: 260 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 583 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


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.

Enrollment: 530 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 819 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


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

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. KEY



financial aid



Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE



Champa Bay Begins at Hillsborough Schools Athletic opportunities abound in Hillsborough Schools where our students are not only champions in their sport but they also develop skills in leadership, teamwork, great study habits, time management, success in the classroom, and they have the opportunity to cultivate social relationships leading to a solid foundation for their mental health. During the 2020-21 school year, Hillsborough Schools had several state championship teams including Plant’s Girls Cross Country, Cheerleading teams from East Bay, Sickles & Strawberry Crest, Plant’s Girls Basketball, Robinson’s (pictured above) and Newsome’s Flag Football, and Bloomingdale’s Baseball. Middle school county girls and boys team champions were awarded in the sports of basketball, volleyball, track, soccer, and flag football. Plus, Hillsborough Schools had our very own miracle moment when Steinbrenner High’s Varsity Volleyball Team got quarantined right before District Championship and their Junior Varsity took to the court and won! As the 202122 school year approached, Hillsborough High’s Erryion Knighton represented the USA in the Tokyo Olympics.

Congratulations to Hillsborough High School Olympian Erriyon Knighton

Don’t miss out on Hillsborough Schools’ Athletics!

Visit to learn more about our award-winning school options. 40 SEPTEMBER 2021

Our Shining Examples: Magnet schools that scored big! by Laura Cross, Hillsborough County Public Schools

A really big honor recently turned into a really, REALLY big honor for two of Hillsborough County’s Magnet Schools. MacFarlane Park Elementary Magnet and Riverhills Elementary Magnet applied to become Nationally Certified Magnet Schools of Excellence – an honor they’d been working on earning over the almost 1-2 years of reflection, activities and application required by Magnet Schools of America (MSA). But get this! Not only did these extraordinary schools become Nationally Certified, but this year they were also recognized by MSA as NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION SCHOOLS! This has never happened before in our district! Here’s what it means… MacFarlane Park and Riverhills demonstrated that their schools were so committed to inspiring diversity, innovative curriculum, academic achievement and community involvement that they stood out as “the most exemplary magnet schools in the nation.” That’s right…IN THE NATION! There are nearly 4,300 Magnet Schools in the United States. Only a few of those (almost 130) are Nationally Certified, and even fewer of those are National Demonstration Schools! We are so proud of the students and staff of these schools…and ALL our magnet schools throughout the district. This level of excellence is found in every magnet school in the district in one form or another, which is why so many families choose magnet schools for their kids each year!

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW WHAT A MAGNET SCHOOL IS, LET’S BEGIN WITH THIS: WHAT IS A MAGNET? By definition, a magnet is “a thing or person that attracts.” Exactly! Magnet Schools have programs that appeal to the interests of students from all walks of life with the intent to engage them in their learning in unique and exciting ways. Not a bad way for a student to go through the school day, eh?

SOME MAGNET PROGRAMS INCLUDE: ● Medical Programs for our future doctors and nurses (Dunbar Elementary and Sligh Middle) ● Programs for our performers and artists (Elementary: Shore and Muller; Middle: Orange Grove and Progress Village; High: Blake) ● Internationally-focused programs that give kids a greater view of the world and how we all connect: * Cambridge International (Middle: Ferrell, Franklin and Rodgers) * International Baccalaureate (Elementary: Lincoln, MacFarlane Park, Riverhills; K-8: Roland Park; High: Hillsborough, King, Robinson and Strawberry Crest)

BESIDES SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS, MAGNET SCHOOLS OFFER SO MANY UNIQUE EXPERIENCES, SUCH AS: ● Community involvement with local businesses, sports teams and clubs ● Guaranteed placement in ANY 6-8 magnet school for magnet families enrolled in a magnet school at the end of 5th grade ● Specialized high school diplomas and unique certifications for students in grade 6-12 ● After school clubs tied to their magnet school program ● Technology-rich environments ● A student body that has chosen the school, is committed to it and has applied to be there The first application window for the 2022-2023 (Yeah, can you believe it?) school year is planned for mid-October. The Magnet Office will be holding magnet events and showcases beginning at the start of October and running up to Winter Break. A list of events can be found on the magnet web page and you can get constant magnet information on Twitter @SDHCMagnet. Right now, you can research schools that might grab your student’s interest by going to the magnet web page. Be sure to take advantage of our magnet school’s virtual campus tours, meet the principal videos, virtual experiments, student performance videos and more! Just click on the Virtual Experiences link on the left side of the page. Our magnet schools win major awards every single year. Who knows? The magnet school your student attends next year might be the next Demonstration School—or more!

If your student has an interest, HCPS has a magnet school for them! You can check out a complete list of all of our magnet schools at SEPTEMBER 2021



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



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

Enrollment: 439

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.




Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


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It IS Possible to Put a Number on Exceptional


remarkable, bright children


supportive, engaged families


outstanding faculty and staff


joy-filled, dynamic campuses


unparalleled education

Start your child’s exceptional 10-year experience with us, from Pre-K to Grade 8. Come see the St. John’s difference for yourself! Scan the QR code to learn more and request a tour. | 813.849.4200 |



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


Apply online today! SEPTEMBER 2021

43 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

THE VANGUARD SCHOOL Guided Learning through Individualized Spectrums of Growth Leadership



Empathy 44 SEPTEMBER 2021



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



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.

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

PALM HARBOR MONTESSORI ACADEMY 2355 Nebraska Ave., Palm Harbor 34683 727-786-1854;

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.

Enrollment: 220 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

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; 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. KEY



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Enrollment: 953 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE



Hillsborough Public Libraries Offer Homework Help by Jimmy Velez, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. All photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library.

The pandemic that has consumed daily life for the past year and a half has been deeply challenging to all, and especially for students. Students have had to abruptly adapt to new routines such as remote learning, and many of them have struggled. This new school year reunites students with their friends, peers, teachers and librarians. It also reunites them with homework. Luckily for students and their parents, there are countless public library resources that students and parents can use for homework help to ease this transition. Find all the free educational resources you’ll need this school year with your Hillsborough County public library card or student HAAL Pass. Begin the application process online at HCPLC. org/GetACard. With HAAL Pass, all Hillsborough County School, Hillsborough County Charter School or Hillsborough Virtual School students can use their student ID numbers to access articles and study aids, read eBooks and audiobooks and borrow up to 3 items. Learn more at HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS AT HCPLC.ORG/HOMEWORKHELP: TUTOR.COM offers a wide range of resources for academic help, including live one-on-one tutoring sessions with education professionals seven days a week. covers math, science, social studies and is also available for Spanish-speaking students. Students may submit papers for review, send math questions for step-by-step guidance and get help with essay writing. For older students, offers college preparation and career resources. SCIENCE ONLINE is an extensive database provided through your local public library with a full range of scientific resources for students. Access learning modules, news and magazine articles, videos and even interactive experiments any time and from any device. LEARNINGEXPRESS offers extra help with school assignments for elementary and middle school students. Students may access hundreds of practice tests for a wide range of subjects such as reading, writing and math. There are also many sample practice tests for high school and college entrance exams. For any of the resources, you can create an account to track your progress. LearningExpress is available through the library website and through a recently released app, WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA ONLINE supports all levels of learning with features and includes a collection of encyclopedic resources including World Book for Kids, World Book Discover and Timelines. Articles cover both historical and current topics making it an essential resource for many students.


WOULD YOUR STUDENT LIKE ADDITIONAL HELP? ASK A LIBRARIAN! Local librarians are available to answer your questions Monday Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at You can also visit any Hillsborough County public library location or contact us by chat, text or email. Learning is a lifelong habit, and the public library offers these and many more resources to support learners of all ages.



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

Grades: K-8

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

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.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 823

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!

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


1510 N. Manhattan Ave., Tampa 33607 813-872-5212;

Enrollment: 766

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.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 111

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.

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



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

Enrollment: 441

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!




Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


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•Challenging Academics •Competitive Athletics •Performing and Visual Arts •Foreign Language Instruction •Religious Education •Advanced Technology •Video Production Activities •Global Studies •Community Service •Exciting Enrichment Opportunities

Call today to schedule a campus tour. Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade

2101 S. Hubert Avenue, Tampa (813) 258-5508



We inspire passionate scholarship and compassionate citizenship, guided by a deep sense of integrity, responsibility, and determination to achieve one’s personal best.

Safety Harbor Montessori Academy 2669 N. McMullen Booth Road Clearwater, FL 33761 (727)724-1767 2 yrs. - 8th grade Individual tours available. Please call for an appointment.


EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section 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.

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

SIMMONS CAREER ACCELERATION ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL 1202 W. Grant St., Plant City 33563 813-707-7430;

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.

Enrollment: 250 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 500 Class-Size: 22 Grades: K4-grade 8 Tuition: $11,000+ fees



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

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.

Enrollment: 579 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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

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.

Enrollment: 200 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 432 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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! KEY



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



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section 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.

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

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

Enrollment: 450

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.

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


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

Enrollment: 700

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

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


3719 N. 17th St., Tampa 33610 (temporary) 813-276-5405;

Enrollment: 308

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.

Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

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

Grades: K-5

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.

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


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No matter what new experiences the school year brings, WEDU PBS is here to support you and your students with daily educational broadcasts and thousands of FREE online learning resources for all grade levels.

WEDU.ORG/EDCONNECT WEDU PBS At-Home Learning is presented by




8282 N. Mobley Road, Odessa 33556 813-631-4726;

Enrollment: 984

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.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


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

Enrollment: 425

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

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


5020 N. 47th St., Tampa 33610 813-744-8600;

Enrollment: 841

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.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

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

Enrollment: 654

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.

Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


See All Things With Your Heart, Not Just Your Eyes 54 SEPTEMBER 2021


From Farm to School by Kelli Biandudi, Communications Manager for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA

Many of us grew up being told to “Eat your vegetables!” Unfortunately, in some underserved communities, it can be difficult to follow this advice. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and the perfect time to announce a new grant-funded program between the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA): Food, Fit & Fun. The program will be available to children enrolled in YMCA afterschool programs.

“Their whole purpose is farm-to-school, so it’s putting produce in the hands of kids and their families to better give them access and to get them to try new fruits and vegetables and more fresh foods,” says Nicole Kettermann, Healthy and Safe Children Director, Fit and Fun at the Y. “This grant will go perfectly with our Fit and Fun program, a curriculum-based program that focuses on fitness and nutrition education, increasing physical activity levels, and preventing childhood obesity, funded by the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.”

Our Sulphur Springs Y after schoolers learn how to handle, plant, water and harvest different plants, trees and vegetables.

Research suggests the obesity epidemic is more prevalent in low-income areas due to limited access to healthy foods, safe places for outdoor activities and access to preventative health care services. These grant-funded programs are just some of the ways we’re working to turn the epidemic around and, as a result, improve the health of the entire community. One location that Food, Fit & Fun visits is Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School, which is considered a “food desert.” A food desert is defined as an urban neighborhood without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. The program also visits registered Y youth at YMCA Camp Cristina, Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA and Bob Sierra Youth and Family Center. Another element to the program incorporates the Tampa Y’s Veggie Van, a mobile marketplace that serves underserved areas of Tampa Bay. The Veggie Van will deliver produce, including locally grown offerings, to Food, Fit & Fun sites for monthly snack demonstrations. This relationship will also benefit families, as new families learn about the Veggie Van’s services and delivery schedule. The Food, Fit & Fun program will also incorporate the Learning Garden in Sulphur Springs where community partners and volunteers can donate their time, skills and supplies to help provide continuous bounty to the Y’s Veggie Van and similar programs while getting the Y afterschool children involved. Sulphur Springs Teen Achievers will also be involved as they work on a business plan and distribution plan. Kettermann explains that programs like Food, Fit & Fun are even more critical because of the pandemic. “So, on top of being a food desert, on top of just not having access to fresh produce, kids aren’t getting outside and active like they need to,” she says. “I think it’s amazing these programs can be here and I The learning garden in Sulphur think it’s even more important now than ever.” One in four children in the United States does not know where their next meal is coming from. “Here at the YMCA of the Suncoast, we know that children who receive daily nutrition are set up to succeed. That’s why we’re helping kids reach their full potential by providing free access to healthy meals when schools are out for summer and for yearround afterschool programs,” says Stephen L Hutchinson, Regional Executive Director of School Age Programs YMCA of the Suncoast.

Springs grows healthy produce like collard greens along with some kale, habanero peppers, Thai chili peppers, spinach, broccoli and much more. The Y looks forward to hosting more outdoor classroom experiences like these with kids and families in the community in partnership with the Food, Fit and Fun grant.

The Food, Fit and Fun grant works perfectly with the Y’s Fit and Fun program, a curriculum-based program that focuses on fitness and nutrition education, increasing physical activity levels, and preventing childhood obesity, funded by the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.

We have always wanted to grow a stronger, healthier and better community. The program builds on the Y’s mission to offer quality outof-school care for the youth in our community. SEPTEMBER 2021


Medical advice for School in the Time of Covid-19 by Anu Varma Panchal

When school opened last month, many of us sent our kids back in with mixed feelings, ranging from nervousness to optimism. Regardless of where anyone fell in the spectrum, going back to full-time, in-person school last month was a major shift. Even for the families who opted for in-person school as soon as it became available, having all the students of one of the nation’s largest school districts back in-person together was a definite adjustment. With the Delta variant causing hospitals to become overwhelmed and Hillsborough District schools reporting escalating numbers of positive COVID-19 cases at the start of the school year, many parents are wondering how they can best protect their families. We asked some experts, and here’s a brief roundup of some important answers:


Masks have been proven to work as a layer of protection and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). An infected but asymptomatic child who wears a mask to school can prevent spreading COVID-19 to another student, who may go home and infect vulnerable people in their home. “Both the AAP, CDC and I agree that masks should be required in schools for all teachers, staff and students regardless of vaccination status. This is to protect the child but also their peers,” says Mona Amin, M.D., Pediatric Associates. “Masking is the easiest thing we can do to help stop the spread of this virus. Masking is the easiest thing we can do to assure our children can enjoy an in-person learning environment they can benefit from.” The most important criterion of your child’s mask is not whether it’s a cloth or disposable, it’s how well it fits. There should be no large openings at the side or under the chin.


The CDC has stated that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they are free to anyone who wants to get one over the age of 12. The Pfizer vaccine is the one that is available to children of 12 and above, and the full benefits of the vaccine kick in two weeks after the second dose.


Schools currently do not require quarantine if a student has been vaccinated and shows no symptoms. However, Dr. Allison Ford Messina, chairman of the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, says there are sensible precautions families can take to minimize spread. “Do not send your child to school if they are sick. Even if they have mild cold symptoms, discuss with their pediatrician to see if they need to be tested for COVID before sending to school. Continue to encourage handwashing. In households with children too young to be vaccinated, encourage the older members of the family to get vaccinated. Most children catch COVID from the adults around them. Be sure children are up to date on all of their other vaccines, including the yearly vaccine for influenza.” simplehappyart

For those younger than 12, hope is on the way. Dr. Christina Canody, the Pediatric Service Line Medical Director with BayCare says she expects Pfizer to get complete (FDA) authorization —and that should come sometime in early September. “Right after that, it looks like they should have enough data to apply for emergency use in kids—somewhere in the less than 12 and down to somewhere around 2-5 years old,” she says. “I don’t know if it will go down to 2. They feel like at 5, they may have a little more data. We’re really hoping to have that no later than the first of October.”






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Willow Celebrates CHILDHOOD CANCER MONTH with 7 Candles by Ashley Roberts

Every child’s cancer diagnosis is horrible. In Willow Newman’s case, add in the timing of it taking place just before her third birthday — during Hurricane Irma when her dad and sister couldn’t be with her during initial treatment — and it’s even worse. The team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital stepped up in September 2017 to make the day special for Willow and her mother, Jennifer Newman, with a Frozen-themed mini-party. A video capturing the moment went viral after getting picked up by CNN.

STRENGTH AND PERSEVERANCE Thankfully, four years later, Willow is in remission from her pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre B-ALL). She finished chemotherapy in November 2019.



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“The day Willow rang the golden bell signaling no more chemo will forever be one of my favorite moments and still brings tears of joy to my eyes,” Newman says.

“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing children put cancer in their rearview mirror and thrive,” says Willow’s physician Peter Shaw, M.D., deputy director of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Now, Willow is ready to celebrate her seventh birthday party, which coincides with another year of being in clinical remission. “Putting the past four years into words is difficult,” Newman says. “There are so many memories that are hard to revisit, her diagnosis, the countless days Willow spent getting chemo, losing her hair, her struggles walking during treatment and sadly at points even losing her bubbly personality. But there were also some amazing things. Our daughter showed us the true definition of strength and perseverance.” Willow’s oncology team sees her regularly for blood work and checkups. She is also monitored by cardiology and nephrology to monitor her high blood pressure, a side effect of some of the medication she received. “Overall, her health is great. We felt so much love from our wonderful friends and family, so much support from local childhood cancer foundations, and of course from our amazing team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s,” says Newman.

CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH September is “Go Gold” month for raising awareness about childhood cancer. “I’d like parents to know that childhood cancer can affect kids of all ages, backgrounds and usually with no family history,” says Newman. “It’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms, just as you do for f lu or strep throat, and advocate for your child if you feel something is wrong.” Newman encourages families to email their government officials and ask them to make finding cures a priority. “You truly can make a difference,” says Jennifer. “Community support is also important for the clinical team who treat children like Willow.” “Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia like Willow’s is overall curable, but we need better therapy for kids who relapse,” says Shaw. “Supporting the Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute allows our patients to have access to any cutting-edge therapy that becomes available.”

IT’S PARTY TIME For Willow’s 7th birthday, she looks forward to a roller-skating party with her friends and family, complete with a piñata and a pink birthday cake. “She’s been counting down the days for months.”




Protect Your Family and Fight the Flu! by Enid Gaud, M.D., FAAP, Pediatric Associates of Tampa Bay – Citrus Park

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one child died from the f lu during this past season. Flu diagnoses were at an all-time low among Pediatric Associates patients. While one death is one too many, it’s important to note than in 2019-2020, there were 199 f lu-related deaths in children and 144 the season before that. The increased vaccination rate for COVID-19 has caused safety precautions such as social distancing and masking to decrease. However, it’s important to keep in mind that although those vaccinated for COVID-19 may be at less risk for developing complications from the coronavirus, they’re not any safer from the f lu or other respiratory viruses. The same applies for children. At Pediatric Associates, we have already seen a large uptick in visits for the common cold as a result of reduced safety precautions and a return to school and camp. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons we have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is that the decisions we make as both individuals and communities at large can hugely impact the fate of a particular outbreak. We can all play a part in preventing a dangerous and potentially devastating f lu season ahead. While I have included my top recommendations for sensible precautions, my top recommendation is getting yourself and your children (if over the age of 6 months) vaccinated as early into f lu season as possible. Now is the time!

If your child is over the age of 6 months and a patient at any of our four Pediatric Associates of Tampa Bay locations, you can schedule a flu shot by calling 855-KIDZ-DOC.


WAYS TO FIGHT THE FLU Our steps to Fight the Flu may look very familiar! That’s because the same preventative measures that put your family in the best position to stay healthy and fend off the f lu are also recommended to prevent COVID-19. If your family has maintained the following safety measures since COVID-19 began, you are off to a great start! GET THE FLU SHOT: We recommend all adults and children over the age of 6 months receive the f lu vaccine every year as f lu strains can change over time. WASH YOUR HANDS: Good hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent a cold or f lu from spreading. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. COVER COUGHS AND SNEEZES: Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, preferably with your elbow rather than your hand. KEEP SURFACES CLEAN: Clean surfaces such as tables, countertops, door knobs and children’s toys. STAY HOME: Stay home if you are feeling sick to avoid passing the f lu onto others.


The terms “social distancing”, “virtual schooling” and “masking” have quickly become a part of our everyday vocabulary as a result of COVID-19. We know for certain these safety measures helped to slow the spread of pandemic, but they also kept pesky viruses and infections at bay. Since March 2020, my colleagues at Pediatric Associates and I have seen a drastic decrease in common illnesses and viruses in children, however none more so than Influenza, also known as the flu.

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Our list of top picks is growing! Fall and Halloween events in Tampa Bay and beyond.

RENDERING: Peppa Pig theme park at Legoland Florida

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INSIDE LOOK at the New Peppa Pig Theme Park at Legoland Florida: The theme park opens in April, but we got a first look.

10+ Things to Do This Weekend: Don't miss our weekly update of things to do with the kids around Tampa Bay. PUMPKIN PATCHES, FALL FESTIVALS AND FOODIE EVENTS FOR COUPLES

It's almost autumn, but it's still steaming hot outside. Keep your cool at one of our favorite water parks.

Sweetfields Farms

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

The Pickin' Patch

From pumpkin patches and fall festivals to craft beer events and foodie dinners, plan a fall date with our curated Tampa Bay fall festival and event picks.

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Armature Works


Adventure Island Colossal Curl SEPTEMBER 2021


The First Tuesday of Every Month


Free GCM Admission + Community Resources The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County proudly presents Free Museum admission on the first Tuesday of every month. Masks and Reservations are Highly Encouraged

Downtown Tampa 110 W Gasparilla Plaza 33602 SEPTEMBER 2021


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



Each registration benefits local organizations that specialize in breast cancer research and patient services. REGISTRATION INCLUDES:

Race bib*

Official Treasure Chests 5K + Fun Run t-shirt

Commemorative finisher medal

Downloadable finisher certificate

Donation to breast cancer research and patient services

Awards for the top overall winners JOIN US