September 2022

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SEPTEMBER 2022 Get to Know the Magicians of Zubrick Magic YOUR GUIDE TO TAMPA BAY AREA SCHOOLS In the Garden with Dexter Jackson, Former Super Bowl MVP FOR THE LOVE OF CORBETT PREP How the school is inspiring a local family to dream big page 30 FALL IS HERE! Pumpkin Patches, Events, Festivals and More!

2 SEPTEMBER 2022 Now accepting Newborns and New Patients NOW SERVING Citrus Park Office 12871 Citrus Plaza Drive Tampa, FL 813-471-444533625 Bloomingdale 813-699-3995 Riverview 813-689-7571 Trinity 727-376-4040 YOU CAN ALSO FIND US HERE: Book a visit today! Closer to home. Closer to care.

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BayCare Kids is trusted by more parents in Tampa Bay than any other health system. BayCare Kids is committed to keeping children healthy so they can become healthy adults, and we’ve got an entire network dedicated to the unique medical needs of kids. Whether it’s small scrapes, broken bones or something more serious, our experienced doctors, extraordinary nurses and team members, convenient locations and variety of services, ensures the best health care for your child. The BayCare Kids network includes our flagship hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, which provides comprehensive, highly specialized care for kids with complex conditions like congenital heart defects and cancer. Kids grow up fast. We’re here to help them grow up healthy, too. Learn more:

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When parents come to see me at Pedi atric Associates, they tend to have the same questions. And the same worries. How do I help my baby sleep at night? I don’t know if I should breast or bottle feed. Is my baby gaining enough weight/ sleeping enough/hitting the milestones?

Laura Byrne Anu Varma Panchal Brie EllenKelleyLauraMelissaHannahTaraJulieMaggieGoreckiRodriguezTingleyPayor,PhDGeaumontNyeCrossParrisMcVay ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Rigby PHOTOGRAPHERSCONTRIBUTING Laura RamonaByrneRobbins Photography BOOKKEEPING James Anderson TAMPA PARENTINGBAY MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949-4400 Fax editor@tbparenting.cominfo@tbparenting.com813-315-6688 BECOME A FAN @TBParenting@tampabayparentingtampabayparentingmagazine Tampa Bay Parenting is published twelve times per year and distributed throughout the Tampa Bay community. Tampa Bay Parenting is not re sponsible 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. Meet the guest Dr.MomaAmineditor Pediatric

will be one of the most challenging (and rewarding) experi ences of your life. I’m a board-certified pediatrician, wife to an ER physician and a first-time mom to my sweet toddler, Ryaan. I know the ups and downs of being a new parent.


When I became a mom to Ryaan in 2019, I experienced first-hand all the things us new moms worry about. And it changed me as a doctor. Now I know that the real question all new moms have is: How do I know if I’m making the right decisions for my baby? One of my goals as a pediatrician is to help make your parenting journey a little—a lot!—easier. I love celebrating how fascinating and brilliant children are and take special pride in empowering parents and reminding them how great they’re doing at one of life’s toughest jobs! When not in the clinical office, I spend a lot of time connecting with our parents on Pe diatric Associates’ social media channels. I host a weekly Instagram Live or Instagram Q&A to discuss a wide range of topics suggested by parents. Be sure to follow Pediatric Associates on Instagram @pedassociates for more parenting insight from Dr. Mona. Dr. Mona Amin Associates


TGH.orgPrimary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine AND #1 HOSPITAL IN TAMPA BAY, AGAIN. NAMED ONE OF THE NATION’S BEST HOSPITALS ONE OF THE NATION’S BEST • Diabetes & Endocrinology • Ear, Nose & Throat • Gastroenterology & GI Surgery • Obstetrics & Gynecology • Orthopaedic Surgery • Pulmonology & Lung Surgery • Rehabilitation TOP 10% IN THE NATION • Cancer • Cardiology & Heart Surgery • Geriatrics • Neurology & Neurosurgery • Urology Tampa General Hospital continues to lead the nation with award-winning care powered by academic medicine. For nearly two decades, TGH has been recognized on a national stage. Our specialized team performs more procedures, has more expertise and delivers better outcomes. We’d like to thank our team of physicians, nurses and health care professionals for their collaboration and commitment to best-in-class care.

6 SEPTEMBER 2022 ON THE COVER: The Butts family of Tampa on the campus of Corbett Prep. Turn to page 30 as they share their love for this school and how it has inspired their children in ways they never imagined. Articles 12 // It’s Fall Y’all! Check out some awesome pumpkin patches, Halloween events and more happenings kicking off this month 15 // Game Day Fun: Local pro teams have several home games in September 16 // From Field to Garden: Former Buccaneer Dexter Jackson showcases his talent on a different field—in the community garden! 19 // Farron’s Unexpected Blessing: Maggie Rodriguez introduces her Daytime co-host Farron Hipp’s new family 24 // Making Magic: Meet Ryan and Chris Zubrick, the magicians of Zubrick Magic and dads to 5-year-old Oliver 26 // Scooping Knowledge at the YMCA: The Little Learners program makes a big impact 30 // Cover Story: How Corbett Prep sets the stage for lifelong success, inspiring a local family to dream big 38 // Hispanic Heritage Month: The Hillsborough County Library shares ways to celebrate the month through art, story times and more 47 // Learning Letters with Hillsborough County Schools: Local teachers’ video series helps PreK kids learn 51 // September is Baby Safety Month: The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County shares easy tips on how to keep baby safe 52 // Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: Why oral care probiotics matter during pregnancy 54 // Guest Editor: Dr. Mona Amin shares ways to help children cope with separation anxiety SEPTEMBER 2022 Every Issue: 8 // Noteworthy: What’s new in Tampa Bay! 11 // September Top Picks: Our favorite things to do this month 20 // Moms to KNOW: Meet Marium Shariq of @thechilliapron 23 // Kids to KNOW: Local teen Kennedy McCormick helps feed the hungry in our community 62 // What’s Trending Our top September online stories 29 EDUCATION2022-2023 guide YOUR GUIDE TO TAMPA BAY AREA SCHOOLS 57 // Home Alone Safely: How to ensure your child is ready to stay home alone and tips to prepare them 58 // Tampa General Hospital: One of the nation’s most respected pediatric trauma units shines 61 // Cheering for Team Chloe: September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is helping a local girl achieve victory

SEPTEMBER 2022 7 9 preparingmonths to fall in love for a lifetime. At AdventHealth Tampa, we understand just how special the birth of your baby is and how important the moments are leading up to it. The Birth Day Experience® was specially designed to personalize every step of your birth experience – from the moment you begin to dream to the joyful day you deliver and beyond. AdventHealth Tampa is nationally recognized for delivering exceptional maternity care. Our birth team is committed to you, during what are likely to be some of the most challenging and rewarding days of your life. Award-Winning Maternity Care Designed Just for You

Check out South Tampa’s Newest (and Cutest) Cafe

BIG things are happening at the Florida Aquarium! A $40 million dollar expansion breaks ground in January that will eventually bring an outdoor 200,000-gallon California sea lion exhibit with underwater viewing and overlook seating. The expansion also includes a two-story 45,000-gallon puffin habitat that will feature a deep dive pool, kelp forest, Atlantic salmon and other species. But that’s not all! This exciting expansion will also make way for a significant African penguin habitat too. The entire project is estimated for full completion in 2025. DR. KIRAN C. PATEL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL has officially opened its doors! We were able to celebrate with them as they held a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 25. Find out more about this tuition-free public charter school at 2022


Our New Favorite Ways to Write: FriXion Colors Erasable Markers and Highlighters Making mistakes just got a little less stressful, thanks to FriXion! Their bold-point markers come in 12 bold, bright colors and are totally erasable. The quick-drying ink is thermo-sensitive, which means you can erase and rewrite without any wear and tear. 12 pack available on Amazon for $13.69. Two New Plushes Debut at The Zoo!

Plant City Author (and Cat Enthusiast) Puts a Fun Spin on The Alphabet “Floof” up your vocabulary with this fun A-to-Z book! Local author and illustrator Victoria Saunders shares her obsession with fat cats on the pages of her book, "The Chonky Alphabet." Saunders wrote, illustrated and self-published the book, which is now a five-star best seller on Amazon. Each page includes bright-colored, comical pictures accompanied by fun cat-related words for each letter of the alphabet. “The Chonky Alphabet” is purr-fect for kids, cat-lovers or anyone who could use a good laugh. You can check out “The Chonky Alphabet” on Facebook and Instagram @thechonkycollection.

Calling all cat lovers! Cats & Caffeine, South Tampa’s first cat-themed café, is now open. Guests can sip on coffee and snack on sweet treats, all while hanging out with adoptable cats and kittens. Those wanting cozy kitty cuddles can book 25- or 50-minute cat experiences during which they can spend time with cats and kittens from Cat Lovers, Inc. who are looking for their forever homes. Keep an eye out for cat-themed events such as Cat Yoga, Cats & Wine Night, Cats & Movie Night and more!


$40 Million Expansion Coming to Florida Aquarium

Zoo mascots Flora the Florida Panther and Manny the Manatee now have their very own plushes! You can get your paws on these adorable stuffies at ZooTampa or online at All purchases help to support the zoo’s mission to protect and preserve wildlife.


SEPTEMBER 2022 9 AdventHealth Express Care at Walgreens is operated by AdventHealth. The health care providers at AdventHealth Express Care at Walgreens are employees of AdventHealth Medicial Group. The health care providers are not employees or agents of Walgreen Co. or any Walgreens subsidiary or affiliated company. *Video visits not available for school physicals AHExpressCare.com844-397-0018 15 convenient locations Open 7 days a week Fast access to affordable care Online scheduling Walk-ins welcome Video visits available* Welcoming patients 18 months and older Camp,$20SchoolandSportsPhysicals

10 Be a part of this larger than life experience at MOSI! Dinosaurs Around the World is a paleontological journey back in time to the supercontinent Pangea. MOSI guests will go on a globetrotting expedition, dropping in to see a variety of animatronic dinosaurs in an immersive environment millions of years in the making! SPONSORED BY: ® See it NOW, before it’s extinct! 4801 EAST FOWLER AVE • TAMPA • 813-987-6000 • MOSI.ORG 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.

TradeWinds Island Resorts, the Official Beach Resort of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is hosting the Bucs Beach Bash this September. Fans can party like pirates all weekend long with live music, corn hole tournaments, poolside parties, prizes, Bucs Watch Party and Kid Zone. They can also enjoy visits from fan favorites like the Buccaneers cheerleaders, Captain Fear, pirates and the Buccaneers Street Team. Guests can stay right in the middle of the action at either TradeWinds property—the Island Grand or RumFish Beach Resort—with two-night packages offering upfront VIP experiences. On Sunday, fans can watch the Bucs take on the Cowboys on a big screen on the beach. The Bucs Beach Bash events are free and open to the public.

CoComelon Live: JJ’s Journey – Sept. 21 Don’t miss this toe-tapping stage show of the popular YouTube streamer at The Straz Center! Join JJ on his journey to write his own song with the help of family and friends, including YoYo, TomTom, Bingo, and Mom and Dad. JJ learns by using his imagination, creativ ity and problem-solving skills which guide him along on a wonderful adventure to help make his dreams come true. 2022 Girl Scout Fest – Sept. 24

Blue’s Clues & You! Live on Stage – Sept. 30

Kick off the new year with adventure at Girl Scout Fest! The whole family is invited to get a sneak peek at all the fun and excitement of being a Girl Scout. Whether your girl is already part of a troop or just looking for a taste of what Girl Scouts is all about, Girl Scout Fest highlights the unique opportunities that the girls have to make new friends, try new things and be their best self! Guests can explore the four program pillars—entrepreneurship, life skills, outdoors and STEM—through interactive activities. Taking place at the Florida State Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this event is open to the public.

Bucs Beach Bash at TradeWinds Island Resorts – Sept. 9-11


TOP PICKS september

Alegremente | Happy Brain Exhibit at Glazer Children's Museum – Sept. 24, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023

An epic new Broadway-style adventure is coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall. Josh is conjuring up a magical theatre show, but he needs your help! Kids and families will have a blast helping solve Blue’s Clues to find out what Josh needs to make a show. Watch as Josh and Blue skidoo to amazing places. They’ll make a rainbow out of MAGENTA, a music video with RAINBOW PUPPY, float in outer space and more! A one-ofa-kind photo experience with the characters of Blue’s Clues is also available to add-on.

Head to Glazer Children’s Museum to be immersed in a whimsical forest where kids can play and learn about how simple, loving interactions build brain health for a lifetime! This exhibit is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is included with museum admission or

Glazer Children's Museum Birthday Bash September 24, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Celebrate the Glazer Children's Museum's 12th birthday with a free party in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park with lots of friends! There will be live entertainment, interactive games and food vendor booths by over 40 local organizations and kid makers. Join the Museum for a day of free family day of fun!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is FINAL LY back after a two-year hiatus, and we couldn’t be more excited. You can expect all the returning favorites, including the Boo-to-You Parade and live shows featuring the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus. BRICK OR TREAT MONSTER PARTY AT LEGOLANDWeekendsFLORIDASept.24-Oct. 30 Cost: Included with daily admission Enjoy a Halloween party built just for kids at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Ha ven. Kids can enjoy spooky LEGO building activities, trick-or-treating at more candy stations than ever before and new character meet-and-greets.


Sept. 30-Oct. 30, Fri: 4-9 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun: 1-5 p.m. 475 North Ave. W., Brooksville 34601 The Brooksville pumpkin patch has thousands of pumpkins to choose from, and they are a few days off the vine so they should last you through the holiday. You can even grab some cute ones for Thanksgiving decor. They also have food vendors, produce, a petting zoo, tortoise experience and more. On select dates, Cinderella, Spiderman and Captain Marvel will even be visiting! Learn more and stay up to date by visiting their Facebook page.

Scan Here for Even More Halloween Fun, Fall Festivals, Pumpkin Patches and More! Scan for an INSIDE LOOK of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!

RAPRAGER FAMILY FARM FALL PUMPKIN FESTIVAL Sept. 17 -Nov. 13, Fri-Sun (Soft opening Sept. 17, official opening Sept. 24) 16907 Boy Scout Road, Odessa 33556 Cost: $15.25-$16.95 when purchased in advance for ages 3 and up; children 2 and under are free. Parking is free. Raprager Family Farm’s Fall Festival is BACK with even more fall fun on the farm! New attractions include axe throwing, pumpkin painting, a 900-foot inflatable maze, baby cow and more. The haunted barn is back along with the hay rides, petting zoo, hay chute slide and other favorites.


HOWL-O-SCREAM AT BUSCH GARDENS Select Nights Sept. 9-Oct. 31, Fri-Sat: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Thurs and Sun: 7 p.m.-midnight Cost: Tickets start at $41.99 Experience terrors around every corner at Bus ch Gardens Tampa Bay. Meet up with hundreds of roaming creatures, terrifying outdoor scare zones, including and returning favorite haunted houses including the "Witch of the Woods" and "The Forgotten." There will also be live, interactive entertainment, and the Bier Fest will be open for you to explore too! Tickets are a must to secure your spot!




The first day of autumn is Sept. 22, which means the pumpkin spice is back! As we kick off a season filled with fall family-friendly fun from festivals, pumpkin patches and even spooktacular Halloween events, we’ve put together a list so you can share in all of the fun!


SWEETFIELDS FARM FALL PUMPKIN PATCH, CORN MAZE AND FARM ACTIVITIES Sept. 24-Nov. 6, select days 17250 Benes Roush Road, Masaryktown 34604 Cost: $10.75 + tax and ticket fee Come out for corn maze fun at Sweetfields Farm in Masaryktown, but stay for the Pitcher Pump Duck Race, hayride, pumpkin patch, farm animals and free craft of the season. Buy your tickets ahead of time to secure your spot because this event often sells out.

MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY AT MAGIC KINGDOM Through Oct. 31, various nights Cost: Tickets start at $109 for kids ages 3-9 and $119 for adults 10 and older and go up as it gets closer to Halloween.

Sept. 16-Nov. 14, Fri-Sun 950 Tavares Road, Polk City 33868 Cost: $15 ages 13-64, $12 ages 2-12, seniors 65+ and active-duty military Stroll the fields of this year’s corn maze and pumpkin patch at this working family farm. You can also go on a hayride, enjoy some country eats, meet live farm animals and check out the cow train, corn hole and many more activities.

SEPTEMBER 2022 13WWW.TAMPAPIGJIG.COM ‘CUE UP A CURE FOR FSGS Join us for live music, a BBQ competition, silent auction, children’s activities, games and fireworks! EVENT INFORMATION Starting at $75 Children 10 and under enter free with adult admission. TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!Sam Hunt Kip Moore | X Ambassadors Bahamas | Jarrod Morris LIVE MUSIC LINEUP 1p.m.–10p.m. • Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park MAIN STAGE SPONSOR BENEFITTING JOIN US FOR THE 11 TH ANNUAL TAMPA PIG JIG ON THE RIVER HUNTSAM KIP MOORE X AMBASSADORS SATURDAY 10.22.22

Here are several home games families can experience this month:

SEPTEMBER 2022 15 photo provided by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DON’T FORGET TO JOIN THE FAN CLUB! Jr. Bucs Fan Club Kids 14 and younger can become a super fan with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! There is a one-time registration fee of $24.99 which includes your child’s welcome kit full of Bucs swag like official membership card, Bucs hat and more. Your child will also get priority invites to future Jr. Bucs events. Join today at ThunderBug’s Kids Club The memberships for the current season are FREE. You’ll get notifications about special events for Kids’ Club members and take advantage of some of the online fun like coloring pages, games and more. Kids Club members also get one FREE kids’ admission to MOSI with a paying adult.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS HOME GAMES: Sunday, Sept. 25 at 4:25 p.m. vs. Green Bay Packers Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quick Facts:

● Children under 2 do not need a ticket as long as they can sit on a lap.

● Go early to check out Bucs Beach on the side of the stadium along Tampa Bay Boulevard. There are plenty of photo ops, performers, music and more!

● Al Lang Stadium is cash free.

● There’s a new Krewe’s Nest seating section in the south end zone, bringing the total seats to nearly 70,000.

● Get your camera ready! ThunderBug is at every game.

● All attendees must have a ticket due to NFL policy.

● Take advantage of the Tag-a-Kid program at Gate 3 Guest Services. Children are given wristbands that indicate your section, row and seat number.

● Be sure to check out the Rays Touch Experience—a 10,000-gallon touch tank exhibit in partnership with the Florida Aquarium. It’s located just beyond the right-center field fence.

Nothing says fall like settling into the stands, and aren’t we lucky with our sports scene in Champa Bay!

Fall Sports: Game Day Fun with the Home Teams !

Tampa Bay Rowdies Quick Facts:

Tampa Bay Lightning Quick Facts:

TAMPA BAY ROWDIES HOME GAMES: Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. vs. Las Vegas Lights FC Friday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. vs. Birmingham Legion FC Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. vs. El Paso Locomotive FC

● Come out to one of the final six matches of the regular season with your family and receive a discounted ticket rate. Call (727) 2222000 and reference PARENTING MAGAZINE for an opportunity for your kids to participate in the Pregame Rally Tunnel on the field.

TAMPA BAY RAYS HOME GAMES: Sept. 2, 3, 4 vs. New York Yankees Sept. 5, 6, 7 vs. Boston Red Sox Sept. 16, 17, 18 vs. Texas Rangers Sept. 19, 20, 21 vs. Houston Astros Sept. 22, 23, 24, 25 vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays Quick Facts:

● No bags are allowed into Al Lang Stadium with the exception of: diaper bags, medical bags, and bags smaller than 5 by 8 by 1 inch.

● Children ages 2 and older must have a ticket.

● Sundays are Family Fun Days! Every Sunday home game at Tropicana Field will feature family fun performers, in cluding face painters and balloon artists. Kids are invited to run the bases following the conclusion of the game. photo provided by the Tampa Bay Rays

● The Kids Club table is typically located at section 128 during games.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING PRESEASON HOME GAMES: Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. vs. Carolina Hurricanes Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. vs. Nashville Predators

● Check out the Jr. Bucs Kids Zone too. Kids can test their skills in the inflatable obstacle course, toss a football and more!

● All children ages 2 and older must have a ticket.

Today, Jackson is still adamant about helping the Tampa Bay community and serves as the Youth and Recreation Manager for the Tampa Housing Authority, a nonprofit organization. In early 2021, he was able to work with the Tampa Super Bowl LV Host Committee to create a community garden as part of their Forever 55 program. The Forever 55 program was created to sup port and implement long-lasting legacy initia tives throughout Tampa Bay. A $2 million dollar investment by the local host committee and the NFL allows them to focus on pillars that best reflect the needs of the community. “We worked closely with the community to find out exactly what those needs were,” says Claire Lessinger, vice president of events for the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. The pillars identi fied were early childhood education, food insecurity, families, health and wellness, sustainability, systemic justice and microgrants. “We wanted to make sure whatever we did would have a lasting impact.”

For Jackson, this was an opportunity for him to give back to the communi ty while sharing his passion for something he grew up loving. Thanks to a microgrant from the Forever 55 program, a community garden was created at The Oaks at Riverview Community Center, which is run by the Tampa Housing Authority. One of the most important parts of this project for Jackson was making sure that kids were involved. “I want to help teach kids how to be self-sufficient. Gardening is good for their mental health and gets them outside.”

From Field to Garden Former

To make the garden as efficient as possible, they plant seasonally. The garden began with greens and since then, they’ve grown an array of vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, carrots, a variety of peppers, and peas. They’ve also grown fruit, including cantaloupe, watermelon, blackberries and blue berries. Though there is a limit on how much they can take to ensure there’s enough to go around, parents and kids are free to pick whatever they’d like. One of the most notable impacts is how the program has given the kids the tools they need to become healthy. With the prices of food skyrocketing, it’s also given families peace of mind to know that they can have healthy options on their table. Thanks to Jackson and the Forever 55 program, the garden has made a lasting impact on the community that only continues to grow stron ger. “We really credit Jackson as a great partner,” Lessinger says. “This is a passion project of his. He’s an inspiration.” Bucs Safety and Super Bowl MVP, Dexter Jackson, Showcases His Talents on a Different Type of Field

The garden was a hit as soon as it started. “Everyone wanted to get involved and offered to help, from kids to grandparents.” There was a ton of encour agement from the community and Jackson began to see the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment from those who were helping out. “The kids were filled with joy and would get excited to say, ‘I grew this!’” The garden has also inspired kids to think about their futures. “We’ve been using the fruits and vegetables to make healthy shakes, so I told them, ‘Maybe you’ll start a juicing business one day.’”

Jackson helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win their very first Super Bowl in 2003. He was also named MVP that season, the first safety to win the award since 1973. He then went on to play for the Arizona Cardinals before returning to play for Tampa in 2004. He moved on to the Cincinnati Bengals and wrapped up his professional career with the Florida Tuskers (United Football League) in 2009.

by Brie Gorecki, photos provided by Dexter Jackson Dexter Jackson grew up in the small town of Quincy, Florida, where he spent time with his family growing and preserving vegetables and fruit. That enjoyment is something that stuck with him throughout the years, as did the reports he remembers hearing about food shortages and childhood obesi ty. Recently, he was able to use that passion and drive to help make a change to a local community here in Tampa.



Former Bucs Safety Dexter Jackson uses his green thumb to help grow produce at a community garden.


To learn more about the Forever 55 program, visit If you want to follow Dexter to see the progress of the garden, you can find him on Instagram @djacksonmvp.


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FH: Do it! Adoption can feel a bit daunting due to the extensive legal process and the abundance of fees associated, but it’s worth every penny and piece of paperwork. Know that there are resourc es out there to help you through every step of the way, and the end result of this journey is really just the beginning of one of the greatest stories of your life.

TBPM: What is your message for other couples considering adoption?

TBPM: What is the most surprising thing about motherhood so far? FH: I can’t believe how much she changes every day! I literally look back at pictures from her first week to her third week and I’m in awe of how much her little chin has changed and how her cheeks have filled in. She truly is growing into her own little person. To be honest, I also didn’t realize just how many diapers we’d go through on a weekly basis either.


Farron Hipp and her wife Colleen celebrate the arrival of baby Ezra. Colleen holds their dog, Prince Harry.

TBPM: Congratulations on your family of three (well, four, because I know you’d want me to include your dog, Prince Harry!). Tell us about the moment you first met Ezra.


Daytime co-host Farron Hipp welcomes her first child through adoption by Maggie Rodriguez, photos provided by Farron Hipp An unexpected blessing entered Farron Hipp’s life at 12:39 a.m. on July 12, 2022 when her adoptive daughter, Ezra Michelle Hipp, was born. Farron and her wife, Colleen, never imagined they’d welcome their first child in this way, but after two unsuccessful cycles of IUI last year, they learned of a distant relative who was pregnant and not ready to be a mom, and who was looking for a same-sex couple to be the parents. Months later, I’m happy to welcome my friend and Daytime co-host to the “mom club” and chat with her about her adoption journey.

TBPM: What’s the hardest thing about motherhood so far? FH: Two of the hardest things about motherhood are things that I was warned would happen, but I had no clue just how intense they’d be: the difficulty of trying to soothe a constantly crying baby and that feeling of missing quality time with my partner. I had one night with Ezra when I felt hopeless because she just kept crying and I’d tried every tool in my belt to calm her down and was unsuccessful. Colleen was asleep and I didn’t want to disturb her so I found myself starting to cry a little along with Ezra in a point of utter despair… needless to say she stopped crying shortly thereafter and I took the experience as a hazing process.

FH: Nothing has been the same since I first laid eyes on Ezra. We were in the hospital room next to the birth mom so that we could have skin-to-skin time with her as soon as she was born. The nurse brought her in and the first time I held her against my chest I remember my hand fitting around her whole back as she pressed against me. I wanted her to know my heartbeat and to know that I’d always be there by her side. I cried and whispered a prayer of thanks to God because that just became the greatest moment of my entire life.




TBPM: What is your best advice to a mother who struggles to have a presence on social media for business and be present in her home with her MS:children?Motherhood brings many emotions, adjustments and physical changes that go deeper than what’s visible on the outside. If you are a mom struggling with social media and home life, I would advise you never to compare yourself to others on the platform. No one is you, and that is your POWER. Take a day or two off social media and spend it with your family; that’s what I do. I take my Sundays off and spend quality time with my kids and husband. Also, keep a balance between family and work. For me, family comes before everything.

TBPM: Tell us about yourself. What brought you to Tampa?

MS: I relax and breathe. After all, it is a platform and not real life. I don’t get myself sucked in. I put my phone down during meal times, especially at dinner, pay attention when people are talking to me, and do not let social media change me as a person.

MS: I can’t live without my Instant Pot and air fryer. In fact, my blog is all about the Instant Pot and air fryer (easy, quick, and healthy cooking).

TBPM: What is the story behind your blog’s/Insta name, The Chilli Apron? MS: I spent a lot of time deciding what to name my blog. “The Chilli Apron” devel oped from my heritage and love for South Asian food and cooking. I came up with a name which includes my passion for spicy food and, of course, an apron is one thing I can’t cook without!

TBPM: What are the two kitchen gadgets you can’t live without?

MS: I was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, and then moved to Dubai in my early 20s. I started my career as an event planner and worked in the event industry for almost 12 years. During my time as an event planner, I worked with a lot of celeb rities, including Shahrukh Khan and Justin Bieber. I moved to Tampa seven years ago due to my husband’s work; he is an IT pro fessional and grew up in New York City. I love it here, especially the beaches.

A daughter of Pakistani celebrities, Marium Shariq came to the United States to pursue a very different life than the one she had known in Dubai where there was more help in the home and the demands of motherhood were less consuming. When the global shutdowns of 2020 impacted her event planning business, this ambitious mother quickly shifted her focus to sharing a passion for cooking, her culture and proven methods that make family meal preparation more manageable for the busy mother. Quick, savory and experiential recipes earned her online success as a content creator on multiple social media platforms and afforded her the opportunity to work with major brands. A woman to follow, and a mom to know: meet my friend Marium. by Julie Tingley, @weemacree to Know

TBPM: How do you have a healthy relationship with social media?

Marium Shariq | @thechilliapron

TBPM: How did you decide to become a content creator on social media? What was it that grew your audience signifi cantly on both Instagram and TikTok? MS: When I moved to the U.S., I was a stayat-home mom working as a freelance event specialist, but then the COVID pandemic started. I am very active and sitting at home made me restless. I started docu menting my cooking routine. My husband and friends love my recipes and food and often ask me to experiment with fusion food ideas.  Iwas consistent on social media, which is critical for growth. I grew my audience on Instagram by providing what followers wanted. I connected with them through my everyday stories and posted their favorite recipes with minimum ingredients, quick cooking times and fusion food that the whole family can enjoy. My audience felt an immediate connection with me, and now I have a significant global following TBPM: What is your favorite dish? MS:  Do I just have to pick one? It’s funny because my husband teases me that I have too many favorites and I have to pick just one. On a serious note, I love fried food, but because I’m health conscious, I make all of my favorite food in the air fryer. A few of my favorite foods I often make are spicy crispy chicken (I make it with hot Cheetos crumbs), crispy mutton chops, tacos and butter chicken. These are quick and easy recipes, and you will find them on my Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest pages.

MS: My food style is fusion, I’d say. It’s a good combo of South Asian and Mediter ranean. Techniques: If you want to master specific basic skills, you must go through a few basic cooking methods like sautéing, roasting and braising. A proper chef knife is also essential for good slicing, dicing, mincing or chopping.  One ingredient? That’s a tricky question! There are plenty of ingredients that I would consider indispensable, but if I had to choose one, I would choose garlic. I have cooked cuisines of many different cultures and countries, tried food around the world, and found garlic is the most common ingre dient. If you crush garlic with a little bit of sea salt in a mortar and pestle, you will get the best garlicky flavor of all. The best part is that garlic is incredibly good for health and has medicinal properties. Just brush your teeth after having garlic or have gum handy. The one thing I do not like to cook with is liquid smoke because of its chemical taste and makeup. You can achieve the smoky flavor in many other ways by using a wood oven, a piece of charcoal or a log burner.

TBPM: Describe your food style, techniques, and recipes. What is the one ingredient you always cook with? What is one ingredient you won’t use?

Join us in a whimsical forest to play and learn about how simple, loving interactions build brain health for a lifetime!

22 SEPTEMBER 2022 In Collaboration with Locally Presented by SEPTIEMBRE SEPTEMBER 24 – ENERO JANUARY 01 ¡Únete a nosotros en un bosque mágico para jugar y aprender cómo las interacciones simples y cariñosas construyen un cerebro saludable para toda la vida!

TBPM: What have been your biggest challenges asking for donations and raising money? How much time do you spend on this outside of school?

TBPM: How did you get started as an advocate to end food insecurity in Tampa Bay? What made you feel connected to hunger over other social issues?

TBPM: How do you believe advocacy and giveback have impacted your life at such a young age? What are some things you get to do that other kids your age may not have experienced?

by Julie Tingley, @weemacree Riverview resident Kennedy McCormick, 16, has fed thou sands of meals to people across the Bay area that struggle with food insecurity. Moved by a commercial at the age of 7, Kennedy has dedicated her birthday ever since to putting an end to hunger in Tampa. Unafraid to advocate, fundraise or forego birthday traditions, this teen is changing lives and inspiring other kids that have come to know her.

TBPM: How long do you plan to commit your birthdays to supporting the efforts of Feeding Tampa Bay? In what ways do you see fundraising in your future?

KM:  Being able to advocate for my community has blessed me in so many ways over the years and helped me be able to have a positive platform. I have gone in public and been recognized by other people which feels crazy to me. I think it has really helped me become more aware of what goes on around me and how different things affect people. I’ve seen how things can really impact others’ lives, and I’ve heard how what I do really inspires other people. This even includes the people who have been in poverty and had to deal with food insecurity. They are grateful for people like me and wish there could be more people doing what I do. I’ve been able to have the experience of many interviews and the opportu nity to be on TV. I’ve been able to see a news set behind the scenes and see how it all works while being able to promote my drives to the many people who watch the news every day. I’ve won awards, and I’ve even been given a free cruise that my family and I were able to enjoy this past summer.

TBPM: to us about your birthday16th goal to raise $16,000.

KM: I promoted this virtual food drive through social media platforms and got my friends and family to help spread the word. Unfortunately, I did not reach my goal, but I still raised enough money for hundreds of meals.

KM: I saw a commercial when I was 7 that talked about child hunger, and I didn’t like seeing the children in the commer cial starving and not having anything to eat. I often think about how I had to wait for my parents to fix breakfast when I was young and how hungry I felt just in the couple hours before food was ready, therefore I couldn’t imagine how these children felt not even knowing when or where their next meal would come from.

KM:  A big challenge is trying to figure out how to get people engaged. In order for people to donate, you have to get the word out there as much as possible but also make sure that you’re doing something that will attract people. I have spent hours outside of school planning and hosting food drives. Last year, my block party food drive was five hours long and although we had fun, we were still making sure to promote and collect as many items as we could. We ended up collecting over 400 boxes of cereal for Feeding Tampa Bay’s Cereal For Summer campaign. The year of my recital, I spent hours rehearsing to make sure everything was on point, which was a lot of work, but I had a lot of help from my family to make sure it was a great show.

KM:  I graduate in 2024, so I have two years before I leave for college and I don’t know if I could guarantee that I’ll be able to do the big stuff that I usually do, but I want to do well in fundraising these next couple years that I have still living in this community. I do want to continue to at least set up virtual donation drives even if I can’t do full out drives like I usually do, but I also could be given opportunities and put in positions to do even bigger things while I’m in college and have a larger community. So, I will see what the future holds for me. I would like to be able to find ways to still help out my community.

KM:  I love playing basketball, going to the beach, and spending time with my family. I love walking around the city in Tampa with my family. I also love when the Women’s Final Four games are at the convention center, and we go watch the games and do all of the activities there.

TBPM: What do your birthdays look like and how are they different from year to year?

I started hosting food drives for my birthday instead of receiving gifts. I started setting up boxes at my school as well as my parents’ workplace to collect non-perishable items to send to Feeding Tampa Bay.

KM: My celebrations have surrounded my food drives. I have done competitions at my school, a block party in my neigh borhood park to get my neighbors to donate, and I’ve also done a piano recital in the year 2020 to help raise money vir tually when the pandemic hit and I wasn’t able to do anything in person. This past year, I set up a goal to raise $16,000 for my 16th birthday. Each year I get together with my mom and brainstorm creative ideas to keep people engaged and try to make each year better than the last.

TBPM: What do you like to do for fun?


Kids to Know: Kennedy McCormick

RYAN: Positively. The show isn’t about our roman tic relationship, but we wanted to create the show authentically. We are a family. We use terminology adults understand—like, we tied the knot instead of we’re married. Many express gratitude for the representation we bring the community. Some claim we spew propagan da, but it comes with the territory. We are who we are.

RYAN: We wanted children, independently, before we met. I proposed to Chris, and we pursued the adoption route. Eventually, my sister offered to carry our baby. Then, a friend offered her eggs. Navigating the intricacies of surrogacy, from lawyers to therapists, was challenging with all of us in different parts of the world.

CHRIS: We couldn’t have moved farther away, but video calls helped bridge the distance gap. Our families were overwhelmingly supportive. Once Oliver was born, being overseas was challenging because parenting takes a village. We relied on each other tremendously and had Oliver’s crib in our dressing room so we could be with him between routines.

TBPM: How have audiences responded to your authenticity?

RYAN: If Oliver decides to go abroad, we’ll support him. He’s been traveling since he was two weeks old and has already been to Japan. We encourage experiencing different cultures.

TBPM: You spent over a decade living and performing on the island of Guam. How did your families react when you decided to move overseas?

Authentically:The Magic of Being You by Tara Payor, Ph.D.

CHRIS: We’re transparent with him. We regularly read a photobook so that he knows his family dynam ic. Having two dads is normal for him, but he knows Auntie Kim carried him and that he has half siblings. As questions arise, we’ll respond in age-appropriate ways.

TBPM: Does Oliver know his birth story?

TBPM: How did you know you wanted to become parents?


A life created when dreams are actualized is pure magic. Ryan and Chris Zubrick, entrepreneurs, magicians and fathers to 5-year-old Oliver, brought their magic to St. Pete. They founded The Zubrick Magic Theater, located at 1211 1st Ave. N. in St. Pete’s EDGE District, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. They chose St. Pete because of its vibrant arts community, year-round tourism and LGBT friendliness. Ryan and Chris’ story embodies the message that love is love and demonstrates that the magic created when choosing to live life authentically is no illusion.

From Left: Ryan Zubrick with husband Chris Zubrick and their son Oliver.


TBPM: How are you teaching Oliver to be a kind human being? RYAN: We made a conscious decision to live as ourselves—authentically and unapologetically. It was a risk I’m glad we took because we want Oliver to see that we’re not hiding. I hope he learns from that example.

RYAN: Constantly evolving. We aim for new routines every four weeks but, depending on the audience, we put things in on the fly. We aim for perfection. Hard work and authenticity are a powerful partnership. Zubrick Magic Theater’s commitment to both earned them TripAdvisor’s 2022 Travelers’ Choice Award. Ryan and Chris’ life is no act. It is testament to the magic of being YOU.

CHRIS: There was a need for family entertainment after the sun set on the beaches, and the show is multi-generational. We created a space where families put down electronics and experience childlike wander.

TBPM: What do you respect most about each other on stage and at home?

RYAN: I appreciate Chris’ risk taking. I would have never opened a theater alone. We’re good at meeting in the middle.

CHRIS: We’re always together. We knew that if our relationship could survive 13 years on a tiny island, we could make our marriage survive. He’s my best friend, my business partner and my rock. We live so harmoniously.

TBPM: Have you received insensitive questions?

CHRIS: We’ve heard, “So you guys are brothers, right?” We’ve also been asked where Oliver’s mother is.

RYAN: After one semester as a chemical physics major at Michigan State University, I knew I wouldn’t be fulfilled. I switched to technical theater. I fell in love with lighting, set design and all aspects of production. Now, I program the entire show and we purchase all the equipment; there’s no stage crew.

CHRIS: I never went to college. I knew that if I had a degree to fall back on, I’d use it as a safety net and I’d fall back on it. I told myself that magic would be my career—that I had to make it. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I do believe magic teaches hand-eye coordination, interpersonal skills and public speaking. It’s nice seeing kids putting down video games and learning through magic.

THESE MAGIC MOMENTS Books on LGBTQ history for humans of all ages: “The StoneWall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets” by Gayle E. Pitman “This Day in June” by Gayle E. Pitman “Trouble Maker for Justice” by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long “Rainbow: A First Book of Pride” by Michael Genhart

TBPM: What value does Zubrick bring the bay area?

CHRIS: I appreciate Ryan’s drive to make every show better. He’s such a patient, gentle person—it’s heartwarming.

TBPM: What do you believe schools can do to support LGBTQ inclusivity?

TBPM: What is your creative process like?

TBPM: How have you established a support system in St. Pete? RYAN: We found Different Church, which is LGBT inclusive. We, including Oliver, have made great friends there. We’ve also formed friendships with other business owners.

CHRIS: Support acceptance. We finish every show with, “If you can be anything, be kind.” There’s much turbulence over the LGBT community and our rights. It breaks our hearts that Oliver won’t necessarily be able to go to school and talk about his dads. Just acceptance. We are no different than anybody else. We have the same trials and tribulations that heterosexual couples have. There are many kinds of families: single parents and even grandparents who are raising kids. It all comes down to love. Children just need love and acceptance.

TBPM: You didn’t follow a traditional career path. Does your traditional education support your artistic work?

TBPM: How do you maintain a healthy relationship when you also work together?


Abel and Adiel Arevalo enjoy an ice cream treat at the Little Learners program.

THE LITTLE LEARNERS PROGRAM is gen erously funded by the Conn Memorial Foun dation and provides children ages 2-5 with activities to enhance emotional, social and motor skills. The Little Learners program helps children engage in structured activi ties to help prepare them for kindergarten.

Many parents are likely aware of our fitness and youth sports programs. However, many may now know that we offer programs for children as young as 2 years old!

Erica Brundidge is the Early Childhood Engagement Director at the Spurlino Family YMCA. She and her team work hand-in-hand to provide children with fun, developmental ly appropriate educational activities.

by Hannah Geaumont, Communications & Social Media Manager for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and YMCA of the Suncoast For 132 years, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has worked to create a healthier Tampa community, help kids and families and engage commu nity members to work togeth er to create a better tomorrow. The Y provides a place for people—regardless of age, income or background—to be healthier, more confident, connected and secure.

From quality spirit,initiativesfamily,healthyyouthswimprogrammingout-of-schooltolife-savinglessons,values-basedsportsandengagingactivitiesfortheentireourprogramsanddevelopahealthymindandbodyforall.

Grismeldy Rodriguez and her partner Al bert Arevalo enrolled their sons in this pro gram to socialize with other kids their age.



Abel and his identical twin brother Adiel were in a class with 10 other Little Learners. Rodriguez had fears going into the program: “We were worried the boys weren’t ready to be in a social setting with other children and considered pulling them out of the program, but Erica (the Program Director) assured us the boys were benefitting from it.” During the six-week class, the Arevalo boys had a steady yet robust social learning process.

“For many families, the Little Learners program is their child’s first experience in an early childhood education setting,” Brundidge says. “One of the primary reasons families enroll in the program is to provide their child with an opportunity to learn and socialize. On the last day of class, I was able to share a milestone I observed earlier in the day. One of the boys initiated play with a classmate, something he couldn’t do at the beginning of the six weeks. When I witness that type of growth, I know the mission of the Little Learners program is being fulfilled.”Programs like Little Learners prepare our youngest community members for a bright future.In2021, through the support of donors and community members, the Tampa YMCA provided 26,349 children with education support through early learning, after-school care and summer camp programs. Rodriguez and Arevalo are proud of their sons’ accomplishments and experience as YMCA members. You, too, can become one of our fulfilled Y families today when you join now and register your child of any age for one of our programs!

SEPTEMBER 2022 27 Kick off the Girl Scout year with adventure at Girl Scout Fest! We invite you and your whole family to get a sneak peek at all the fun and excitement we have in store for you this year. Tickets for Girl Scout Fest are $5 for everyone, so grab a friend and scan here to register today! All fun. No filter. Be a Girl Scout. Dont miss out on more fun and adventure. Visit gswcf/join and join Girl Scouts today! SEPTEMBER 2022 (813)961-3087 • PreK3-8 th Grade • HAPPY STUDENTS SERIOUS EDUCATION

Bayshore Christian School is a college preparatory, accredited, non-de nominational 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 opportuni ties in addition to a rigorous and challenging academic curriculum.

Enrollment: 150 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE KEY arts Tampa Bay area is lucky to have such a wealth of incredible private, charter and magnet education that make it easy to find the perfect school for your child.



Enrollment: 340 Class-Size: 11:1 Grades: age 2 - grade 12 Tuition: $9,300-$11,340 BELL CREEK ACADEMY 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 devel opment. 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; Ranked as one of the BEST private schools in Florida (NICHE), Berkeley Preparatory School presents a safe, nurturing environment featuring in spiring teaching, engaged parents and alumni, and outstanding resources, including incomparable facilities on a beautiful campus. We develop and expect strong character, promote innovation and growth, and desire excel lence in all that we Simply put, the educational journey at Berkeley is truly extraordinary. Enrollment: 1,401 Fall 2022 Class-Size: 20 Grades: PreK-grade 12 Tuition: $19,400$29,390 BOWERS/WHITLEY BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ACADEMY 13609 N. 22nd St., Tampa 33613 813-558-1750; 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR! The Bowers/Whitley Career Accel Academy will transformed into our new Building Construction Academy for high school students. Students can participate in A/C Refrig eration, Heating Technology (HVAC), Plumbing, and Welding programs. For please visit buildingtampastomorrow.


more details and the latest updates,

financial aid sports transportation Tampa BayArea Schools Your Guide to: The


SEPTEMBER 2022 29 ACADEMY AT THE LAKES 2331 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes 34639 813-948-7600; The school’s ethic of opportunity and “You Matter Here” philosophy empower our students to become well-rounded individuals who have the confidence and the knowledge to change the world. With talented, dedicated, and caring teachers leading the way, Academy enjoys a 100% 4-year college placement rate. Enrollment: 475 Class-Size: 7:1 Grades: PreK3-grade 12 Tuition: $14,000$26,500 ACADEMY OF THE HOLY NAMES 3319 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa 33629 813-839-5371; The Academy of the Holy Names is a Catholic, coeducational elementary school and college preparatory high school for young women, sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Since 1881, the Acad emy has empowered students to be authentic individuals who engage in independent thought, are inspired by creativity, and lead culturally aware, spiritually rich lives. Enrollment: 975 Class-Size: Varies Grades: PreK-grade 8 (Coed); grades 9-12 (All Girls) Tuition: $13,650 –$21,790 BAYSHORE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 3909 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33611 813-839-4297;


TBPM: First, tell us about your family.

KB: When it was time for our daughter Anna to enter middle school, we started looking at options. We took a tour of Corbett and fell in love with the campus and felt that it would be an amaz ing place for her to go through middle school. We could not have imagined just how much this school would contribute to not only her, but our family’s lives. It’s hard to put into words just how special this school is. It allows for all children to grow and thrive in a variety of ways. Academi cally, they meet your children where they are and work with them on such a personal level. If a child is needing extra help, the teach ers make themselves available, and if a child is needing to be more challenged, they will make sure those needs are met. Children are encouraged to explore all of the electives and extracurricular activities offered. This is the time to explore and figure out what a child may want to pursue in high school and beyond. Anna was able to play sports, participate in their amazing theatre program, discover a love of video editing and public speaking si multaneously. The theatre director noticed that Anna would enjoy their program and suggested she try it. She ended up participating in the program over the course of her middle school career and continues to perform in high school productions. What she learned from this program is invaluable.

TBPM: Tell us about the school community and how it impacts your family’s experience with the school.

Balancing schoolwork, auditioning, working with others for a common goal, and performing in front of a live audiences greatly added to her school experience and skill set. The best is watching a child who may have never gone on stage in front of others perform and grow as a person. I absolutely love this program. Anna was fortunate to have found a school with a teacher who noticed her and suggested she try something new. Sometimes that’s all it takes to light a spark in a child and for them to discover their passion. And through all of this the school ensures that each child learns the art of mindfulness, a skill I wish I had learned at a young age.

KB: Josh was born in Dunedin, and I was born in Orlando. We met at the University of Florida. My maiden name was “Nutt” and his is “Butts” so naturally I introduced myself and said, “I would be Kristin Nutt Butts if we were to get married”. Someone sent the announcement of our wedding “The Nutt Butts” to the Jay Leno Show. It appeared on his headlines segment, and the rest is histo ry. We moved to Tampa shortly after our wedding and graduating college. Our children, Anna and Alex, were born and raised in Tampa.

Sometimes, a school is more than a place where a child goes to learn and grow. It can become a place where children thrive, build life-long bonds and dream big about the future. And then, there is the “spark.” All it takes one teacher to recognize that something special in a child that sets them on the path of success they may have never realized. It was that spark of something that a teacher saw in Anna Butts when she was a student at Corbett Prep that inspired her love for theater, which eventually transferred to her younger brother Alex. This is only the beginning of what makes Corbett Prep so special to the Butts So,family.let’s get to know our cover family—Kristen and Joshua Butts and their kids Anna and Alex, as they share what Corbett Prep means to them and how it has transformed their children’s’ lives.


KB: Where do I start? The school community is like a family to us. Everyone has such a special place in our hearts. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer. Whether you can give a little time or a lot of time, there is a place for you. I can honestly say that I have met some of my best friends, that I’m certain I will cherish for the rest of my life, at this school. When you attend a school where people support one another and go out of their way for the kids, as if they were their own, everyone feels a sense of home. I could not ask for a better environment for my children.

KB: To be honest, that is probably the number one question people wonder about when going to a school that is K-8. Anna took so much from her Corbett Prep experience into high school. She was more than prepared for all her classes. Academically, she is soaring. Corbett provides opportunities for all children to speak in front of others. That served her well! She has confidence in her speaking abilities that will serve her throughout life. At her high school, Tampa Prep, she represented her ninth grade class for declamations and presented what she had written in front of the entire student body. She is also on the student council and plans to pursue their biomedical concentration.


TBPM: Your daughter is now in high school—how do you think Corbett Prep helped prepare her for this next level in her education?

Setting the Stage for Lifelong Success by Laura Byrne

Kristin and Joshua Butts and their two kids Anna (10th grade) and Alexander “Alex” (7th grade)


TBPM: What drew your family to Corbett Prep and what makes this school so special?

ANNA: I loved being able to participate in so many extracurric ular activities while having a great education. I also loved the mindfulness and positive perspective that the school provided because it made me feel comfortable no matter how challenging the day may have been.

KB: The first thing my husband and I fell in love with was the campus. It made us wish we were school aged again. When you walk along the boardwalk and past the ponds and see the little ones enjoying their lessons outside, it honestly just feels magical. This was one of the deciding factors for our daugh ter. She felt a sense of calm when touring the campus. Alex felt the same way. He always talks about how much he loves the fact that so much of the campus is outdoors.

KB: I love that the campus is K-8 because it allows the middle schoolers, who are going through tran sitional years, to figure out who they are without the influence of high school on a day-to-day basis. It’s nice for kids to be kids for just a little while longer.Theschool focuses on the “whole person.” They have a social and emotional intelligence program (started with a partnership with Yale university) that truly helps the children achieve their goals inside and outside of the classroom. They teach life skills the children will carry long after they graduate. Once they do graduate, the school offers the opportunity for alumni to come back and work at CAMP IDS. Anna was able to log all of her community service hours she needed for graduating high school in a couple of weeks. She plans to go back every year during the summer to work and reconnect with friends. Corbett is the gift that keeps on giving. When you have staff that are positive and an environment where all interests can be explored, a child will thrive in their learning. Once you experience a taste of this school, you will know without a doubt there is no other place quite like it. I’m so grateful we found this amazing school.

KB: As a family we love to enjoy the outdoors. Whether we are wakesurfing on the boat, playing at the beach or riding our bikes on the trail, we are enjoying our beautiful area!

KB: The theatre program is absolutely amazing! When Alex was in third grade, he saw Anna perform in her first middle school production, “Beauty and the Beast.” After the show, he told us, “I want to do that!” Since he did not attend Corbett at the time, we decided he could audition for their Community School of the Arts program, CSA. This program allows students from all over the area to participate. The spring show that year was CATS. He was cast in the show and after this production, he had found his love of theatre and wanted to join Anna at Corbett. We moved him to Corbett in fourth grade so that he could have the amazing theatre experience they offer year-round. Unfortunately, Covid entered all of our lives soon Thankfully, kids were at Corbett and they knew how important it was to stay safe but also have the arts in chil dren’s lives. The entire school went out of their way to make shows happen for these kids during 2020/2021. Setting up a stage and chairs outside, providing a safe distance between actors, separating kids’ costumes and props in their own bins, and doing all of this in unpredictable Florida weather did not go unnoticed. We will never forget the lengths the faculty and staff went through to make this happen for our children. Alex had teachers and administration ensuring that he was able to do what he loved, and it was my daughter’s last year of middle school, and she didn’t miss a beat.

TBPM: The campus is also very unique with a ton of beautiful outdoor space. Did this factor into your decision to choose Corbett Prep for your kids?

TBPM: What is your favorite thing to do as a family in Tampa Bay?


TBPM: The theater program is pretty amazing. What was that experience like for your kids and what was it like to perform during the pandemic?

TBPM: Anything else you want to add about the school and its staff?

CATSatCorbett Prep

ALEX: My favorite part of being a Corbett prep student is that I was introduced to theatre and dance. I am able to attend a school where everyone is nice, and it’s a positive environment. I love my teachers.

TBPM: (For the kids) What is your favorite part about being a Corbett Prep student?

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE CORBETT PREPARATORY SCHOOL OF IDS 12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa 33618 813-961-3087;


Founded 54 years ago, Corbett Prep offers the International Baccalaure ate 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 confi dent, creative, innovative thinkers with character ready to contribute to the world in a meaningful, positive way.

32 SEPTEMBER 2022 uniformsKEY arts financial aid sports transportation EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section CALVARY CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL 110 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-449-2247; Calvary offers an advanced college preparatory education in an envi ronment 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! Enrollment: 790 Class-Size: 12:1 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: See website CARROLLWOOD DAY SCHOOL Main Campus - 1515 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa 33613 Preschool Campus - 12606 Casey Road, Tampa 33618 813-920-2288; Carrollwood Day School is a world class co-ed IB school in Tampa cele brating our 40th anniversary this year. Our mission is to create entrepre neurial thinkers for a global society. We provide strong character-based education emphasizing problem-solving skills and philanthropic under standing. CDS fosters the development of the entire student not only in academics, but also ethically, emotionally and through social experience. Enrollment: 1,130 Class-Size: 15-18, ratio 6:1 Grades: ages 2 to grade 12 Tuition: $7,100-$25,500 CENTER ACADEMY 6710 86th Ave. N., Pinellas Park 33782 727-541-5716; Founded in 1968 and Cognia 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 FES, Step Up and Tax Credit Scholarships. Dual enrollment and summer programs are available. Enrollment: 90 Class-Size: 18 Grades: 4-12 Tuition: $12,680-$15,180 CHANNELSIDE ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 1029 E. Twiggs St., Tampa 33602 813-579-9649; 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 pro gram, Tampa Bay’s Grasses in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation.

550 Class-Size: Varies by grade level Grades: PreK-grade 8 Tuition: $13,803-$18,470 CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 317 Milwaukee Ave., Dunedin 34698 727-733-1438; At Cornerstone Christian School, our mission is to provide quality educa tion in a Christ-Centered environment for the children of our community. We believe that every child has value and purpose. Our job is to help students discover their potential through academic, physical, social and spiritual development. Enrollment: 80 Class-Size: teacher-studentSmallratio Grades: PreK to grade 8 Tuition: K-8 $8,100 COUNTRYSIDE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 1850 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-437-0090; Countryside Christian Academy's mission is to provide excellence in Christian education while instilling Biblical principles in students' lives that they might impact their society for Christ. Our program is fully accredited and well-balanced, encouraging the development of the whole child: spirit, soul, (mind) and body. Enrollment: 225 Class-Size: 15 Grades: K5-grade 8 Tuition: $9,500+

SEPTEMBER 2022 33 129 N. Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 727-797-118633765tel 50 Years of Quality Education in our Community! We make finding a new school an easy decision for your family. At Skycrest, we purposefully blend a family campus feel with superior academics, sports, fine arts, and a strong biblical worldview EAGLEDECADE 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. Conveniently located in Hyde Park Primary School Lower School Middle School EAGLE FOR A DECADE EAGLES SOAR | THE ST. JOHN’S EXPERIENCE


SEPTEMBER 2022 35 D.W. WATERS MEDICAL ACADEMY 2704 N. Highland Ave., Tampa 33602 813-233-2655; COMING 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR! The D.W. Waters Career Acceleration Academy will undergo an exciting transformation over the next year. It is scheduled to become our high school Medical Academy. Some programs slated to be offered include Medical Laboratory Assisting, Electrocardio graph Technician, and Emergency Medical Responder. For more details and the latest updates, please visit pastomorrow. Enrollment: 150 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE DOROTHY C. YORK INNOVATION ACADEMY (K-8 MAGNET SCHOOL) 5995 Covington Garden Drive, Apollo Beach 33572 813-533-2400; York will open as a Project Lead the Way Robotics and Engineering School, where students will participate in hands-on, project-based learning, STEM, arts, and international studies. The Admirals will collaborate in innovative labs with one-to-one technology accessible to explore their interests and prepare them for high school and beyond. Enrollment: 1,253 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE DOWDELL MIDDLE MAGNET (ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES) 1208 Wishing Well Way, Tampa 33619 813-744-8322; 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 expe rience 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. enrollment: 508 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE DUNBAR ELEMENTARY MAGNET (MEDICAL SCIENCE) 1730 Union St., Tampa 33607 813-276-5677; At Dunbar’s Medical Magnet Program, young scholars experience STEM fields through hands-on curriculum and an interactive House Program. Students explore the human body systems and healthy habits with partners like St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, USF Health and more. NEW! Third Grade Accelerated Math Academy prepares students for high school Math courses. Enrollment: 278 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE ESSRIG MONTESSORI ACADEMY 13131 Lynn Road, Tampa 33624 813-975-7307; A first of its kind Essrig Montessori Academy will open for Hillsborough County Public Schools students 3 years of age through kindergarten. This self-directed and paced learning approach will foster rigorous, self-moti vated growth for children in all areas of their development—nurturing their desire for knowledge, understanding and respect. Enrollment: 63 Grades: ages 3 yearskindergarten Tuition: FREE FERRELL GIRLS PREPARATORY ACADEMY (A CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL) 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, dynam ic, 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: 470 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE FRANKLIN BOYS PREPARATORY ACADEMY (A CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL) 3915 21st Ave., Tampa 33605 813-744-8108; 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 technolo gy-rich environment with a robotics makerspace and Smart Boards and iPads available for every student. Enrollment: 323 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE uniformsKEY arts financial aid sports transportation EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section

Independence Academy provides a tuition-free, well-rounded

Enrollment: 521 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE LLT 1090ACADEMY30thSt.NE, Ruskin 33570 813-234-0940;


for the

LLT Academy & LLT Academy South Bay are independent, not-for-profit, K-8 public charter schools. LLT

36 SEPTEMBER 2022 GRECO MIDDLE MAGNET (IB CANDIDATE) 6925 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa 33617 813-987-6926; Our school-wide IB candidate program, guided by International Baccalau reate 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.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE LINCOLN ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 1207 E. Renfro St., Plant City 33563 813-757-9329; 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.

is to provide

Enrollment: 810 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE HILLSBOROUGH VIRTUAL K-12 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.

preparatory education. The challenging and rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration


Enrollment: 1,101 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 reward ing academic education in a loving and safe Christian environment.  mission Christ-centered academic care whole child that ACADEMY 12902 E. U.S. Highway 92, Dover 33527 college on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere, and a focus on character development preparing students for their sec ondary 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.

excellence and

equips them for lifelong learning and service.  Enrollment: 200 Class-Size: 16 Grades: PreK-grade 5 Tuition: $6,785 INDEPENDENCE

Academies are established Leader in Me schools and have a whole-child approach to learning with well-rounded foundational academics as well as fine arts, music and PE classes for all grade levels. Enrollment: 1,350 total for both schools Class-Size: Small class sizes Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE LOCKHART ELEMENTARY MAGNET (CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE) 3719 N. 17th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5727; 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 experi ences, engineering challenges, outdoor learning and wildlife habitats. Enrollment: 340 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE uniformsKEY arts financial aid sports transportation EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section

Hispanic Heritage Month by Melissa Nye, photos provided by the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library ¡Hola! Picture this: A teen enters the library, briskly walking toward the Spanish picture books as a friend follows behind. She proceeds to read aloud to her somewhat reluctant audi ence, obviously proud to show off her language skills, confident and bashful at the same time as she sounds out the words. The librarian later confirms that she’s eager to revisit a language she’s forgotten much of over the years. The book goes home in a backpack, awaiting a cozy night of reading with a younger sibling.Every day, library workers witness people of all ages engaging in library use that connects them to their own history, their heritage or others in their community. Hillsborough County currently and historically has had a vibrant and thriving Latino population. Every year, the TampaHillsborough County Public Library celebrates the culture and accomplishments of Latinos during National Hispanic Heritage Month, from mid-September to mid-October.


Melissa Nye recommends“Swimmy” by Leo Leonni. Borrow a copy of thispicture book





The library team is committed to securing access to award-winning books and highlighting them for the community. At , you will find a list of award winners, such as the Pura Belpré Medal recipients. This award celebrates excellence in the depiction of the Latino cultural expe rience as shown by Latino authors and illustrators. The public library’s Hispanic Heritage webpage also highlights suggested books for people of all ages, and your local branch libraries have a bilingual collection ready to reinforce or inspire children to practice or gain curiosity about the second most-commonly spoken language in Hillsborough County. That’s only the start. ¡Nos vemos!

Fiestas? Tacos? Tamales? The public library system’s Story Time Team, which provides enriching and fun-filled literacy programs tailored to chil dren from birth to age 7, is joining the celebration with culturally specific themes during Hispanic Heritage Month. The team carefully envisions ev ery story time with curated and engaging books, songs and weekly activities at a developmentally appropriate level. Online Story Times are also on offer for those who want to participate in the fun from home. Find information about the team, their book lists and inspirations at

Cultural Cooking: Tortilla Espanola Oct. 4, 6:30 p.m. Learn how to make Tortilla Espanola, a savory dish the whole family will enjoy. Tortilla Espanola is a popular dish that originated in Spain and can be seen throughout Hispanic cuisine. Sign up at

During National Hispanic Heritage Month this year, the public library sys tem is offering the community a variety of ways to celebrate the culture and contributions of Hispanic Americans through special events, curated book lists and the annual youth art contests. We invite you and your family to join us. To get started, visit our celebratory landing page filled with events and resources at


. Below are a few easy and fun ways your family can get involved and reap the rewards of greater con nection and knowledge: CREATE ART


Every year, children and teens all over Hillsborough County flock to create their own artistic vision of what Hispanic Heritage means to them by de signing a poster or bookmark for the library’s annual art competition. The talent and hard work evident in each entry are amazing and the awards are generous. For kids who want to practice their drawing skills or are unsure about where to start, the library has a list of recommendations to stimulate confidence, also available from

40 SEPTEMBER 2022 Diverse Learners Learning Together Rolling Admissions for 6th 11th Grades



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, Od yssey of the Mind, Robotics Team, inquiry-based learning centers, student action/service learning, world languages and more.

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


Enrollment: 372 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE MARSHALL MIDDLE MAGNET (IB CANDIDATE) 18 S. Maryland Ave., Plant City 33563 813-757-9360; 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.


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


Enrollment: 500 Class-Size: varies Grades: K-12


Tuition: $13,745$18,230 ODESSA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 19521 Michigan Ave., Odessa 33556 813-792-1825; OCS is a Christ-focused school for motivated learners who want to dive into learning with an emphasis on mastery and application. Using inquiry, collaboration, exploration and discussion as well as field trips and travel, students gain unparalleled responsibility, experience, perseverance and confidence in learning and public speaking. Enrollment: 70 max Class-Size: 20-25 max Grades: K-12 Tuition: $10,500$12,000 ORANGE GROVE MIDDLE MAGNET (VISUAL, PERFORMING AND COMMUNICATION ARTS) 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: 521 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section uniformsKEY arts financial aid sports transportation


Enrollment: 1,084 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE MULLER ELEMENTARY MAGNET (VISUAL, PERFORMING, COMMUNICATION ARTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES) 13615 N. 22nd St., Tampa 33613 813-558-1355; only elementary magnet school to host TWO programs--arts and environmental science--Muller Magnet meets the of students of all interests! Daily, students experience strings, dance, music and art classes. They engage in the orchestra and rock band, performance and annual musical. Students can explore the outdoor classroom, global gar dens and take part in the National Honor Society and student government. 441 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE NORTH TAMPA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 5585 E. County Line Road, Wesley Chapel 33544 813-991-0801; North Tampa Christian Academy (NTCA) is an accredited college prepa ratory 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: 279 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE MACFARLANE PARK ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 1721 N. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33607 813-356-1760;

42 SEPTEMBER 2022 EDU GUIDE PEPIN ACADEMIES | 3916 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa 33610; 813-236-1755 9304 Camden Field Parkway, Riverview 33578; 813-533-2999 7710 Osteen Road, New Port Richey 34653; 727-233-2961 Pepin Academies are non-profit, tuition-free, independent public charter schools serving students with learning and learning-related disabilities. Qualified as Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Center schools, we provide a diversified curriculum driven by the student’s needs in a positive educational environment, as well as a transitional job training program for post-high school students who choose to defer receipt of their diploma. Enrollment: 1,200+ students between three campuses Class-Size: 13:2 Grades: 3-12 and a Transition Program for ages 18-22 Tuition: FREE PINELLAS PREPARATORY ACADEMY 2300 S. Belcher Road, Largo 33771 727-536-3600; 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. Enrollment: 800 Class-Size: K-3 18, 4-8 22 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE PROGRESS VILLAGE MIDDLE MAGNET (VISUAL, PERFORMING AND COMMUNICATION ARTS) 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 Cos tume and Fashion Design, orchestra, journalism and more. The spotlight shines on students at Progress Village. Enrollment: 824 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE RAMPELLO K-8 MAGNET (CULTURAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES ) 802 E. Washington St., Tampa 33602 813-233-2333; 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/Or chestra/Steel Drums, Art 2-D and 3-D, Spanish and Creative Writing. Enrollment: 766 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE RIVERHILLS ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 405 Riverhills Drive, Temple Terrace 33617 813-987-6911; Located on the Hillsborough River, with all the science potential and exper iment 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.

Enrollment: 507 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE RIVERVIEW ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 9906 Symmes Road, Riverview 33578 813-412-6111;

The tuition-free, public charter school proudly serves students from kin dergarten through middle school with a well-rounded college preparatory education. The rigorous curriculum includes a technology-rich Cambridge Tampa Bay’s Grasses K-9 Tuition: MIDDLE MAGNET (CAMBRIDGE CANDIDATE) 11910 Tucker Road, Riverview 33569 Rodgers, an authorized Cambridge International Magnet School, learning guided by the rigorous, world renowned Cambridge Pathways philosophy. Located in Riverview's Bell Creek Nature Preserve, we em brace and empower the whole student. National Board-Certified exceptional team Ask Cambridge Honors 6-8 Tuition:





special concentration on math and science, a

in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation. Grades:

Teachers highlight our

of educators.

us about our

Institute if you choose to apply! Enrollment: 1,155 Grades:

FREE EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section uniformsKEY arts financial aid sports transportation

atmosphere, and a focus on character development. Offerings include the

program for Advanced Studies, Edvantage before and after school program,


Enrollment: 143 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE SKYCREST CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 129 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater 33765 727-797-1186; Skycrest Christian School offers a 21st century education that enables your children to enter their high school years with outstanding academic prepa ration, leadership skills and confidence in their ability to succeed. Skycrest offers newly integrated technology, extensive extracurricular activities, and dedicated and caring teachers. Scholarships are available to qualified families. Enrollment: 540 Class-Size: 18-23 Grades: K4-grade 8 Tuition: $12,500 SLIGH MIDDLE MAGNET (HUMAN HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE, MEDICAL ADMINISTRATION AND SCIENCES) 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: 642 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section uniformsKEY arts financial aid sports transportation

44 SEPTEMBER 2022 ROLAND PARK K-8 MAGNET (IB) 1510 N. Manhattan Ave., Tampa 33607 813-872-5212; We inspire young inquiring minds to become compassionate, lifelong learn ers and internationally-minded people with respect for various cultures and a desire to serve others. Students can experience inquiry-based learning centers, transdisciplinary units of study, an outdoor classroom with an international garden, a strings program and world languages. Enrollment: 806 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE SAFETY HARBOR MONTESSORI ACADEMY 2669 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 34653 727-724-1767; Safety Harbor Montessori Academy is a learning community whose primary goal is to help students reach their full potential in all aspects of their development, in a loving, respectful atmosphere. We have programs for children ages 2 through 14, providing continuity from early childhood to adolescence. Enrollment: 170 Class-Size: 12-24 Grades: Ages 2-grade 8 Tuition: $10,100-$16,950 SEFFNER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 11605 E. U.S. HWY 92, Seffner 33584 813-626-0001; Seffner Christian Academy is a distinctly Christian learning community for students in preschool - 12th grade. We are committed to developing well-rounded, Gospel-driven students who are prepared for life. Please contact our Admissions department to schedule a time for you to experi ence the SCA difference! Enrollment: 771 Class-Size: average 22 Grades: PreK2-12 Tuition: $9,500-$12,000 SHORE ELEMENTARY MAGNET (VISUAL, PERFORMING AND COMMUNICATION ARTS) 1908 2nd Ave., Tampa 33605 813-276-5712; We are an award-winning Magnet School of the Arts located in historic Ybor City. Students learn through arts and science integration and can take part in the Annual Arts Festival and school musical. Students expand their horizons through visual art, dance, strings, music, drama, STEAM Engineering and ro botics programs. Our partnership with the Straz Performing Arts Center brings Broadway to our students--something you will find at no other school! Enrollment: 373 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE 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 achieve ment, 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. Our students become innovative thinkers who achieve academically and socially through our seven Wonders—leadership, environment, economics, wellness, innovation, communication and culture. Students can participate in Model United Nations and Odyssey of the Mind, learn world languages and leadership, and experience cultural clusters such as yoga, cooking, African art and LEGO makerspace. Enrollment: 294 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE TAMPA PREPARATORY SCHOOL 727 W. Cass St., Tampa 33606 813-251-8481; At Tampa Prep, we don't limit our thinking. We keep moving forward even if we can't see over the horizon just yet. We stay open to new ideas and at the ready for new challenges. We are Florida's Most Innovative School. We are Tampa Prep, a co-ed, independent school for grades 6 - 12 in down town Tampa. We are here to inspire the next great explorers, innovators and creators. Enrollment: 710 Class-Size: 15 Grades: 6-12 Tuition: $26,295$27,245 EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section

Enrollment: 725 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $12,000$15,000 TAMPA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY MAGNET (GLOBAL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY) 305 E. Columbus Dr., Tampa 33602 813-276-5405;

SEPTEMBER 2022 45 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: 135 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: FREE SOUTH TAMPA ACADEMY AT MONROE MIDDLE MAGNET (IB CANDIDATE) 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 Philoso phy. 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 pre pare our students to potentially step into the halls of Robinson IB! Enrollment: 434 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL 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-kin dergarten 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: 575 Class-Size: 20 Grades: K4-8 Tuition: $15,280$15,840 STEWART MIDDLE MAGNET (NASA EXPLORER SCHOOL) 1125 Spruce St., Tampa 33607 813-276-5691; Be part of one of the only nationally recognized NASA Explorer Schools in the country! Through our Project Lead the Way curriculum, students choose from electives like aerospace and engineering. Stewart partners with NASA, NOAA and the U.S. Air Force for real-world learning. Our location on the Hillsborough River and next to Blake and near Dunbar Magnet add to the opportunities our students enjoy every day! Enrollment: 842 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE TAMPA CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL 4630 N. Rome Ave., Tampa 33603 813-870-0860; Tampa Catholic High School is a co-educational school of the Diocese of St. Petersburg dedicated to providing students with “Veritas et Caritas” (truth and charity) through educational excellence in a Christ centered environment. Its curriculum reinforces critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, problem solving and depth of understanding necessary for 21st-century learners.

Authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), PEEPs are designed to meet the individual needs of children 3-5 years of age with developmental delays and disabilities. Developmentally appropriate learning experiences provide opportunities for personal growth and assistance with areas of special need.

Early Learning programs for children in Hillsborough County Public Schools focuses on literacy, social/emotional learning, and school readiness.

Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK ) Free for all 4-year-olds regardless of family income, VPK prepares children for success in Kindergarten and beyond by building a solid foundation for school using educational material corresponding to various development stages.

Supporting Early Learning in Hillsborough County Public Schools



Head Start Head Start is a federally-funded program that promotes the school readiness of preschool-aged children from low-income families. This comprehensive program encompasses all aspects of a child’s development and learning while engaging families in positive relationships and well-being.

Pre-Kindergarten Exceptional Education Preschool Services (PEEPs)

The videos are about 10 minutes long. Through each video, kids will learn how to recognize a letter, say it, find it, sign it, build it and write it. The super cool thing with these videos is that they are very specific to the Tampa Bay area with local restaurants, stores, attractions and even schools illustrating each letter of the alphabet.Thereis also a link to an online read-aloud story book that highlights the focused letter and sound under each Learning Letters video.

by Laura Cross, photos provided by Hillsborough County Public Schools Move over “Sesame Street” and “Blue’s Clues.” You have some se rious competition from Ms. Lisa, Ms. Ronda and Ms. Stephanie from “Learning Letters with Hillsborough County Public Schools.”

Learning Letters is a video series aimed at helping our PreK students with pho nics and literacy.

“Having my own children, I realized the importance of literacy and how im portant it was for children to begin school knowing the letters and sounds and how that can really positively impact student success,” Combs says. “Through my tutoring business, I noticed that there were huge gaps when it came to students knowing their sounds from PreK even up to grade 2, so I have always thought teaching kids the basics from the beginning would improve a child’s literacy. The creativity of this project from the academic team was so incredible.”

It came to life when School Board Chair Nadia Combs wanted a way for our littlest learners to better know and understand their letters and phonics before entering kindergarten. So, she went to the amazing staff in our district’s Early Learning department and started to brainstorm ideas with the team.

Three early learning educators, Lisa Haynes, Ronda Mort and Stephanie Loebel, worked together to create a video series highlighting each letter of the alphabet.

“The videos will benefit our littlest learners because it will help children under stand that letters are linked to sounds and to spelling patterns, which will help them apply this knowledge to reading,” says Loebel.

Here’s another advantage of the videos. If a parent wants to sit down with their child and watch the videos and discuss them, they absolutely can! It’s fun for the whole family! However, if the parent wants to let their child work independently, they can set them up in front of the computer to interact with the educational vid eo on their own. These videos are directed specifically to the PreK learner.

Students will practice a letter and sound in each video to help them crack the code toAndliteracy!”cracking

the code to literacy is the first step to student success!

There’s a separate video for every letter of the alphabet. You can find the videos at


“Our videos were created by VPK and kindergarten teachers and touch on many modalities to reach every learner,” explains Mort. “They are interactive and fun.


WOW, where learning meets adventure and education, isn’t limited to the classroom. We offer college preparatory academics (AP/Dual Enrollment) in conjunction with extraordinary extracurriculars. These include snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, climbing, camping, athletics (K-12), computer program ming, automotive repair, music and photography. We are the education that you’re looking for, with the experiences that your child will remember forever. Enrollment: 150 Class-Size: 10-19 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $8,800$10,500 WESTLAKE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 1551 Belcher Road, Palm Harbor 34683 727-781-3808; Westlake Christian School, a National Blue Ribbon School, is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Cognia. Westlake’s mission is to help students develop in their faith, academics, fine arts and athletics. Westlake serves approximately 475 students in Kindergarten through eighth grade from Northern Pinellas County, Southern Pasco County, Trinity, Westchase and surrounding communities. Enrollment: 475 Class-Size: 1:18 Grades: K-8 Tuition: $8,950-$9,275 WALKER MIDDLE MAGNET (IB) 8282 N. Mobley Road, Odessa 33556 813-631-4726; We develop creative and confident learners. Communication, reflection and whole-child learning energize Walker Middle Magnet, Odessa's IB World School. As a Magnet School of Distinction, students are exposed to a rigorous curriculum. High-impact teachers and our Florida Power School Library highlight our exceptional, highly-rated team of educators. Enrollment: 1,094 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE WILLIAMS MIDDLE MAGNET (IB) 5020 N. 47th St., Tampa 33610 813-744-8600; We are a top-ranked IB World School, earning an A-grade for nearly 20 years! We create global learners focused on intercultural awareness and communication. Scholar Quest high school credit offerings challenge students in French, algebra and emerging technology in business. Connect through clubs including LEGO Robotics, Model UN, Future Business Lead ers of America and our award-winning Chess Club. Enrollment: 847 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE YOUNG MIDDLE MAGNET (CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE) 1807 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Tampa 33610 813-276-5739; We empower creative learners with our Project Lead the Way STEM curriculum. We focus on engineering, sustainability and "Global Planting"— engaging students in hands-on learning with an on-campus hydroponic farm and greenhouse, along with student-constructed rain gardens. Students learn using state-of-the-art technology, including touch-enabled whiteboards and 3-D printers. Enrollment: 446 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section



education and beyond.

VALRICO LAKE ADVANTAGE ACADEMY 13306 Boyette Road, Riverview 33569 813-699-5049; A tuition-free, public charter school proudly serving students in kindergar ten through fifth Grade, the school provides a well-rounded elementary foundation through a challenging curriculum with a focus on teaching math and science proven and innovative instructional preparing students their secondary We are an “A” rated Florida School of Excellence offering the Cambridge program for Ad vanced Studies. Cognia accredited. K-5 Tuition: FREE VANGUARD SCHOOL 22000 US Highway 27, Lake Wales 33859 863-676-6091;


strategies, executive functioning,

challenges in an environment

The Vanguard School is a co-educational boarding and day school for stu dents in grades 6-12. Vanguard specializes educating students who ex perience academic learning that academic social student 100 boarding, up to 120 Class-Size: 6-10 Grades: 6-12 Tuition: 7-day $49,000; 5-day $43,000; Day $25,500 WEB OF WISDOM 5238 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday 34690 727-389-4750;


works with

strengths and assists in transitioning into higher educational opportunities and independent living. Enrollment:


skills, celebrates


Kids Therapy ABA THERAPY FOR CHILDREN & TEENS Supporting children with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual disabilities for over 25 (813) 423-7740 Your source for fun places to try and new activities to make your date night inspired! Looking for A GREAT DATE NIGHT? Get Inspired at

50 SEPTEMBER 2022 New show streamingOctoberfree3 PBS KIDS and the PBS KIDS Logo are trademarks owned by Public Broadcasting Service. Used with permission. © 2021-2023 Ruby Productions Inc. Rosie and associated characters, logos and designs are owned by 9 Story Media Group. Distributed by 9 Story Media Group All rights reserved.

SAFE SLEEP PRACTICES More infants die in adult beds than anywhere else. In fact, infants are 40 times more likely to die in an adult bed than in their own cribs. Sharing a bed with an infant poses significant suffocation risks to the child, due to soft mattresses, pillows and comforters, and the potential for rollover. Practice the ABCs of safe sleep. The safest way for infants to sleep is Alone on their Backs in a Crib. This minimizes the risk of the infant suffocating, especially if they have not yet developed neck muscle control. You can bring your baby’s crib into your room, too. Sharing a room with a child has almost all of the same benefits as sharing a bed, but without the risks. Make sure to follow crib setup recommendations. A crib mattress should be firm and fit snugly inside the crib’s frame, and sheets should fit tightly around the mattress. The sleeping area should be free of blankets, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals, sleep positioners and toys. Be sure to share this information with care givers and grandparents who may watch your new baby.

Learn tips to prevent the top three causes of preventable child deaths in Tampa Bay and share them with family and caregivers by Kelley Parris, Executive Director, The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County

While you are preparing your home and family for your new baby’s arrival, take a few moments to learn the measures you can take once your baby is born to prevent needless child deaths in our community.

Think about safety as you prepare for your new baby

Talk to all caregivers, including spouses and immediate family members, about the dangers of head trauma. Share the above tips with them, and watch for signs that a caregiver may not be prepared to care for a child, such as if they are easily angered, stressed, or seem inattentive.

Crying is normal, and how babies communicate. If you’re attempting to soothe your child and you become frustrated, it’s okay to take a time out. Leave the child safely on their back in the crib and step out of the room to regroup. Check on the child frequently to ensure they are still safe.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 in the Tampa Bay region, and it is never too early to think about water safety. Drowning can happen to any child, anywhere, at any time. It’s not limited to pools and beaches – there are poten tial hazards in and around the home that can put children at risk. A child can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. Everything from your toilet to your pet’s water bowl can pose a drowning risk. Drain bathtubs when they are no longer in use and keep bathroom doors closed. Lack of adult supervision in and around the water is the main reason children die from drowning, so designate a “water watch er” who will keep their eyes on children at all times when kids are in or near pools, ponds and other types of water. It’s crucial for the “water watcher” to avoid distractions such as texting. If you already have children and are expecting another, identify who can help keep an eye on older children who are in or near water while you are caring for your infant. MORE ABOUT KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE AT WWW.PREVENTNEEDLESSDEATHS.COM





Shaking an infant or young child – even once – can be fatal. While most parents think this tragedy could never happen to them, parents are most often responsible for causing injury or death from shaking a baby, or another form of abusive head trauma. In most cases of abusive head trauma, or shaken baby syndrome, the parent or caregiver does not mean to harm the child, but lacks the knowledge or skills to cope with a stressful situation, such as if the baby is inconsolable. This means education is key to preventing head trauma deaths.

In the Tampa Bay area, nearly 289 children under the age of 6 have died in the last eight years (2013-2021) from the top three causes of preventable child death: drowning, unsafe sleep practices and abusive head trauma. These tragedies can happen to anyone, and every member of our community – not just parents – bears the responsibility of educating themselves on these dangers.

For many pregnant women, flossing and brush ing can become a painful experience, thanks to swollen and bleeding gums. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make expectant moms more vulnerable to the pathogenic bacteria that cause inflammation and bleeding. The good news: Moms-to-be can reduce the pathogenic risk (and improve their gum's condition) by adding an oral-care probiotic to their routine.


From morning sickness to fatigue, pregnancy brings quite the variety of symptoms (all worth it, of course, when baby arrives!). Expectant moms often take supplements to ensure that they stay in good health and that their baby receives everything they need to develop and thrive. But did you know that an oral-care probiotic is also an essential part of the mother-to-be’s daily routine? Oral-care probiotics can be beneficial to both mom and baby.


by ProBiora Health

With one easy step, expectant moms can painlessly improve and optimize their oral-care routine, while benefiting their baby too. It’s super simple! Brush. Floss, if you can. And dissolve a ProBiora daily. More information can be found at . ProBiora Health’s full line of oral-care probiotics for adults and kids can be purchased or Amazon. Take 10% off your order with the promo code TAMPA22 when ordering on the ProBiora Health website.

Why Oral-Care Probiotics Matter During Pregnancy

Considering that caries (more commonly known as cavities or tooth decay) is one of the most common childhood diseases, the ability to prevent cavities proactively is remarkably important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 20% of kids between ages 2 and 5 have one or more cavi ties. By age 8, that number grows to more than 52%. And cavities don’t just impact a child’s smile. Poor dental hygiene can affect a child’s heart, kidneys, brain, lungs and blood vessels. By taking ProBiora while pregnant, a mother can fight the pathogenic bacteria that causes these negative outcomes.

ProBiora oral-care probiotics work by adding back in a proprietary blend of the good bacteria naturally found in the mouth. This helps to crowd out the bad bacteria that prey on our mouths and cause bad breath, cavities and gum disease (especially during pregnancy), particularly where brushing and flossing can’t reach. It also restores the mouth’s natural balance, as beneficial bacte ria are essential to support strong tooth and gum health. That means less inflammation and less gum pain! And, ProBiora is completely safe for pregnant women; the minty tablets are glutenfree and vegetarian-friendly, with absolutely no artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors.

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby

“An expectant mom’s oral health impacts her fetus’ health, too,” explains Dr. Mark L. Cannon, DDS, MS and Professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. “That’s because the mother’s oral microbiome deter mines that placental microbiome. In turn, the placental microbiome affects the fetal microbiome – and that affects the entire development of the child. An im provement in the mother’s oral microbiome can reduce the cavity rate in her young child for at least five years – and reduce it dramatically, by approximately 71 to 73 percent as demonstrated in studies of mother child pairs by Isokangas and all.”*

*Isokangas P, Söderling E, Pienihäkkinen K, Alanen P. Occurrence of dental decay in children after maternal consumption of xylitol chewing gum, a follow-up from 0 to 5 years of age. J Dent Res. 2000.



SEPTEMBER 2022 53 Board-certified Emergency Medicine Doctors Treatment for severe conditions, like trouble breathing, concussions and abdominal pain On-site Diagnostic Services CT scan, X-ray, ultrasound, EKG, lab work and more It’s back to school and we all know accidents and emergencies can happen! 1Cost is based on health plan actuarial analysis performed in 2016 that compared cost of hospital-based ER visit versus a GuideWell Emergency Doctors visit. 2 American College of Emergency Physicians URL: GuideWell Emergency Medicine Doctors, LLC, is doing business as GuideWell Emergency Doctors, which are stand-alone urgent care facilities operated by Crucial Care. Crucial Care is a corporation based in Jacksonville, Florida that specializes in advanced medical facilities that provide Emergency Medicine Physician services. Crucial Care is a registered trademark owned by Medical Life, Inc. 110642 0822 We’re just a hop, skip, and a “Mom, it really hurts” away. At GuideWell Emergency Doctors, our doctors can treat patients of all ages, including newborns, for less than 1/3 the cost1 and 1/2 the time 2 of an average ER visit. Say hello to faster, more affordable emergency care! Call 813-537-6643 or visit Six Tampa locations to serve you | Open 7 days a week North Tampa • West Tampa • University Area • Palm Harbor • Largo • St. Petersburg

ChildrenAnxietySeparationHandlingin Dr. Mona Amin, Pediatric Associates



Does your baby or toddler only want you and always cry when you leave? Though this can be hard on parents, it’s a very normal part of development in many kids. Normalizing it can help YOU navigate it.

This phase can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and reoccur through various parts of their childhood. If your child’s unwillingness to separate is causing meal refusals at school or behavior issues at school or daycare, or if you are concerned about other aspects of development, speak to your pedia trician or another developmental specialist.

AVOID SNEAKING OUT. We want resilience for the long run. Sneaking out isn’t what we normally do, and we want them to see us leave and know we will return. Give them attention, hugs, kisses—however you would normally want to say goodbye to them—and then leave without sneaking out for resiliency.

AVOID DISCUSSING LENGTHS OF TIME. When discussing your return, avoid using time and say, “I’ll be back after nap time or snack time.” Young children don’t understand time. If you go on a business trip, say it as sleeps: “Mommy will come back after four sleeps.”


● Your older school-aged child has difficulty at school drop offs.

Beginning at 15 months, toddlers can re-enter separation anxiety phases (or begin them for the first time). These periods are going to be more pronounced if your child is hungry, sleepy or sick—which is why we love routines! Toddlers LOVE normalcy and are less likely to panic with separation when caregivers stick to a routine. Inconsistent schedules confuse the toddler brain.

SCHEDULES HELP. A baby or toddler who is overtired or hungry is going to break down more. If you want a more gradual approach, PRACTICE BEING APART FOR SHORT TIMES AND BUILD UP. This can work well if your child has never seen anyone else and is clingier. Alternatively, you can go straight into it but use the principles already mentioned!

● Your child screams when you leave a room.

● Your baby cries hysterically when you put them down.


SEPTEMBER 2022 55 WHY DOES IT HAPPEN? In babies, it has to do with object permanence. As early as 4 months, but usually by 9 months, a baby understands when something rolls under the couch it still exists. Similarly, when you leave a room, they still know you exist. Before that, it’s al most “out of sight, out of mind.”

PRACTICE WITH PLAY DATES AND OTHER PEOPLE. For children who have never been with other caregivers or children, warming them up with play dates with you around or visits to grandma with you there can ease them in.

Control your emotions and be patient with this. It can be exhausting, but don’t fall into the cycle of frustration. Children very much model our reactions to situations. If you get flustered when you leave, they will sense this as abnormal, and the phase will lastThelonger.person taking care of the child must be patient when you leave and understand it is NORMAL for you to leave. They should be capable of redirecting children to other activities and empathizing with their emotions by saying, “I see you’re upset that mommy left, but she will be back. Let’s go play with your blocks.” THEY MUST BE PATIENT and their reaction matters as well. Last, but probably most importantly: Normalize this phase and remember, it does get better!

Remember this is NORMAL. They love you! They know you’re their caretaker. Some children have it more intense than others, but don’t be discouraged. These are phases, and for some chil dren it can last longer or shorter or not happen at all. You’re not damaging your child if they have separation anxiety (a common concern I hear from parents), but we do want to help you create separation which is important for them as you may need to leave for work, errands or “you” time. STAY CALM WHEN THEY MELT DOWN. It’s okay for you to be sad seeing your child react negatively to a meltdown but recog nize that they are also looking at how you respond. If you are loving and stay positive, they will understand to do the same with separation in time. BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR GOODBYE ROUTINE or whatever behavior routine you have. Give a kiss, say “I’ll see you soon,” and go out the door. Don’t be pulled back in because they’re crying.

● You put them down, and they raise their arms to be picked up.




Once you’ve made the decision that your not-so-little one is ready for this milestone, the next step is to ensure that you’ve set them up for success. Here are some tips from Sterling to consider before your child handles their first solo evening at home:

» Town ‘N Country Children’s Board Family Resource Center – Nov. 23, 9-11:30 a.m.

With the new school year under way, many families have adjusted their caregiver schedules from the summer months. Other families are dealing with new work situations, while still others have children who are now old enough to not need after-school daycare. Whatever the reason, many parents will have chil dren staying home alone this fall. Although Florida does not have a legal minimum age for when chil dren can stay home alone, suggests waiting until the child is at least 12 years old.

» Discuss your family’s fire escape plan. While most kids know how to get out of their school, few families teach their children how to exit the house in case of a fire and where to safely meet up.

» South County Children’s Board Family Resource Center – Oct. 17, 9-11:30 a.m.

» Town ‘n Country: 7520 W. Waters Ave., Suite 8, Tampa, (813) 356-1703

» Make sure your child has access to a phone. Either program in or leave a list of important numbers, including 911, backup adults, close family members they trust, police, fire and poison control.

» Depending on the child’s age, have clear guidelines about whether they are allowed to open the door, answer the phone or go outside if you are not home.

Safe@Home for students in grades 4-6: Learn how to be safe when parents are away; how to handle power fail ures and weather emergencies; and how to assess and respond to injuries.

Upcoming classes this fall:

» Brandon: 1271 Kingsway Road, Brandon, (813) 740-4634


» Keep harmful substances, such as prescription medications and firearms, locked up and out of sight.

“We know this is not possible for every family,” says Michelle Sterling, BayCare Kids Wellness and Safety Specialist. “And there’s not a magic age.” Instead, she says, each parent or guardian should assess the maturity, confidence and knowledge of their own child before making the decision to leave them home alone.

» Set up the ground rules and boundaries before you leave and clarify that they are clear for everyone. Whether it’s a 9 p.m. bedtime, no sugar after 10 p.m. rule or not having friends over, make sure there is no ambivalence about your expectations.

» Teach children not to give information about being home alone (or reveal their home address) when they are playing games online. It is tough for a child to verify the authenticity of the gamer with whom they are interacting.

» Central Tampa Children’s Board Family Resource Center – Nov. 23, 1:30-4 p.m. For information about future classes and to register, contact your local Children’s Board Family Resource Center from the list below:

» Central Tampa: 1002 E. Palm Ave., Tampa, (813) 204-1741

» South County: 3030 E. College Ave., Ruskin, (813) 641-5600

» Don’t allow your children to post on social media that they are home alone. Parents should also be careful about posting their whereabouts in a way that makes it clear that their children are home alone.

» If a child hasn’t been taught to cook, don’t let them do so for the first time while you are out. Have snacks and meals that can be easily heated up in a microwave or eaten as is.

If you’re wondering whether your child is ready to stay home alone, or want to dou ble down on preparation, consider signing up for a Safe@Home class taught by Bay Care Kids Wellness and Safety experts at various Children’s Board Family Resource Centers. These classes are offered at no cost, but you must register.

» Temple Terrace: 5892 E. Fowler Ave., Temple Terrace, (813) 4353032


» Plant City: 301 N. Palmer St., Plant City, (813) 752-8700

» North Tampa: 116 W. Fletcher Ave., Tampa, (813) 558-1877


● Children’s Medical Services (CMS) — sponsored compre hensive kidney failure center

● Full-service Pediatric Day Hospital for outpatient infu sions as well as procedures and radiology studies that may require sedation under the supervision of a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist

● Pediatric rehabilitation accred ited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) — one of only three pediatric rehabilitation inpatient centers in Florida

● Level I trauma center — the first in Florida to achieve verification from the American College of  Surgeons (ACS)

"The ACS designation reflects our Pediatric Trauma Program’s ability to treat patients from all over Florida who need world-class trauma care,” said Michele Moran, Senior Director of Emergency Services at Tampa General. “Once a pediatric trauma patient arrives at TGH, they receive treatment in our Pediatric Emer gency Department, which is staffed 24/7 with board-certified Pediatric Emergency Medicine physicians and a specialized nursing team who care for children of all ages."

Healing with doctors—and animals "Pediatric trauma is far more comprehensive than people might realize," says Kristyn Carter, Pediatric Trauma/Surgery Nurse Practitioner at Tampa General Hospital. It includes special ists from various disciplines as well as support services all working in concert.

● Pediatric ICU with multiple subspecialists

● Pediatric hematology/oncology program

A child is a precious gift to the world, and at TGH Children’s Hospital, our pediatric trauma doctors and nurses specialize in around-theclock emergency medicine to help every child go home with a smile. Children coming to a hospital require unique care. From simple injuries to major trauma, TGH Children’s Hospital takes an integrated approach to addressing a child’s psychological, social and developmental mindset alongside medical treatment. "It’s comprehensive care," says Ann Blevins, Pediatric Trauma Program Coordinator at Tampa General. "It’s holistic from the moment they enter to the moment they go home."

TGH Children’s Hospital’s specialized care includes:

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Tampa General at or call (813) 844-7000.

● State-designated Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Center

Airlift and advanced life support

Caring for children: The best of the best at Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General shines as one of the nation’s most respected pediatric trauma units by Tampa General Hospital staff

"We provide a wide range of support ser vices essential to a child’s well-being during recovery," she says. "Our team includes child life specialists, therapy dogs, schoolteachers working in a classroom for patients staying at the hospital for an extended period of time, psy chologists, case managers, social workers, and pediatric occupational and physical therapists."

In addition to Tampa General being a health care leader in Florida, we treat pediatric patients with severe or life-threatening injuries throughout the state. That means transporting critically ill or injured patients from 23 surround ing counties aboard our six medical helicopters equipped with the most advanced life support equipment.TGHChildren’s Hospital was the first in the state to be verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and is the only hospital in West Central Florida to hold this designation.



● Air transport services provided by Metro Aviation, Inc. M atthew S. a hren S , DMD, MS M ary S hehata , DDS O rth ODO ntic S M ichael c hiara MO nte , DMD K ara F O r D , DMD r ebecca w arn K en , DDS c OSM etic & a D ult D enti S try c erti F ie D by the a M erican b O ar D OF P e D iatric D enti S try P e D iatric l a S er D enti S try J a M e S e . M c i lwain , DDS, MSD l eigh a nn M c i lwain , DMD M ichael M c i lwain , DMD Mcilwain Dental Specialists Comprehensive Dental Care Under One Roof!


“When I heard,” Chloe says, “first I got goosebumps. Then I got scared.”

Chloe’s mom describes the confidence she has with Johns Hopkins All Chil dren’s as her “home-field advantage,” expert care from clinical staff who know and love Chloe and treat her like family.“It’sa comfort knowing she is in the very best hands,” Jacquie says. “I trust all of them. I know they’re in it to win it for her as much as I am.” After she recovered from surgery, Chloe powered through the radiation therapy like a champ, even through the temporary isolation and restrictive diet that came with it. Slowly, she is regaining her strength as she adjusts to new medication and a newThisnormal.amazing little girl is staying positive.Fornow, she keeps victory in her mind’s eye. She is on the ball field, thrusting her arms out in joyful cel ebration as she rounds the bases and slides safely into “home.” Another win ning run in the battle against childhood cancer.

Thanks to advances in genetic and cancer research and to families who have chosen to participate over the years, medical experts are now more often able to predict what cancers these children are vulnerable to, and at what age.That’s why Chloe underwent a screen ing ultrasound of her thyroid when she did, which led to her diagnosis.

by Ellen McVay, photo provided by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

“Her surgery went fantastic,” says Ni cole Chandler, MD, chief of Johns Hop kins All Children’s Division of Pediatric Surgery. “She is an amazing trooper.”

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, kids like Chloe remind us why we strive to support research, treat ment, prevention and cure. Nine-year-old Chloe loves so many things. She loves the outdoors. She loves animals. She is crazy in love with playing softball. A Tampa Bay Rays fan, Chloe follows her team closely. This season, she has especially loved watching her favorite player, outfielder Brett Phillips, beloved for his “airplane” ma neuvers on the field. After slamming a winning hit, Phillips is known to thrust his arms out as if he is flying as he navigates around the bases in joyful celebration. “I do that, too!” Chloe says. Lately, there has been less room for baseball and all of the things Chloe loves. She has been busy fighting cancer—for a second time. Chloe was first diagnosed as a toddler back in 2015 with a type of lung cancer called pleuro pulmonary blastoma. A caring and expert team of oncologists and surgeons at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital guided Chloe through intensive treatments which included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, all to successful ly “kick cancer’s butt!” – as Chloe likes to say. But in March, after five years of being cancer free, Chloe’s care team would detect a different kind of cancer: this time, cancer of the thyroid.

Chloe was referred to Jose Canas, MD, an endocrinologist with the Endocri nology and Diabetes Specialty Clinic at Johns Hopkins All Children’s. While oncologists treat most types of cancer, endocrinologists treat thyroid cancer.“Weare highly specialized here,” Canas says. “And we communicate with our oncologists, our pathologists, our radiologists and our surgeons to provide our expertise in the most holistic way.”

Canas and the broader care team have been guiding Chloe through a treatment plan, which has included surgery to remove her thyroid and radiation ther apy to kill any remaining potentially cancerous cells.

Cheering for Team Chloe


Chloe has a genetic mutation (DICER1 gene) which increases her risk of certain types of cancer. But despite the difficult news, there is more hope than ever for children like Chloe.


62 SEPTEMBER 2022 photo by Ramona Robbins Photography Follow along with us for inside looks of fun things to do with the kids in Tampa scenes,behind-the-Bay,sneakpeeksandmore. LET'S SOCIALGET TampatampabayparentingmagazineBayParentingMagazine ON FACEBOOK ON YOUTUBE @tampabayparenting ON INSTAGRAM Alopecia Awareness: Stephani Shepherd and her dermatologist share her journey with Alopecia. Artemis 1 Launch: We're there as NASA makes history with the launch of the first Artemis mission that will eventually send humankind back to the moon. Things to Do This Weekend in Tampa Bay: We’re sharing our top picks of special events and activities to experience with the kids. It's the Last Month of Scalloping Season: We're sharing all you need to know about going on a scalloping adventure with the kids. .com LOG ON TO TAMPABAYPARENTING.COM FIND ALL OF THIS AND MORE ON OUR WEBSITE #TAMPABAYPARENTING A rticles t hings to D o g ui D es +M ore trending...what's 20+ SERIOUSLY SPOOKY HALLOWEEN EVENTS IN TAMPA BAY Start planning your couples costume, stock up on your favorite Halloween goodies at the store, and do date night at one of these fantastic Halloween events in Tampa Bay. Tampa Theatre Ghost Tours WatertheinUNDead ShepherdStephanibyphoto COMING THIS MONTH: Fall and Halloween Events in Tampa Bay and Beyond! Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND

Learn more HCAFloridaHealthcare.comat

When it’s time to grow your family, we are there for you with childbirth education classes, expert care and emotional support during and after delivery. Day or night, your loved ones show up for you and we do, too. Because you’re the center of our family — Florida’s largest healthcare family.

64 SEPTEMBER 2022 320 W. Kennedy, Ste. 220 Tampa, FL 33606 The First Tuesday of Every Month 10AM-5PM 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

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