THE KIDS ISSUE! 2016
MODEL BEHAVIOR / SEEING DIFFERENCES DIFFERENTLY / FREE SK8 ADVENTURE AWAITS / CALLING THE MIDWIFE / AN UNSTUFFY TEA PARTY
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Auburndale 521 Hughes Rd. (863) 967-6602
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Stephanie Benedict, MD David Croteau, MD Lake Miriam Lake Miriam
Sherrilyn Detiquez, MD Lake Miriam
Benjamin Sandoval, MD James Sarasua, MD Lake Gibson Lake Miriam
Tamika Singh, MD Lake Miriam
Tammy Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Souza, DO Winter Haven
Ayanna Joseph, MD Gateway
Raul Alvarez, MD Winter Haven
Donald Eason, MD Winter Haven
Cynthia Enlow, MD Grasslands Campus
Maria Martinez-Ramos, MD Susan Sandoval, MD Winter Haven Grasslands Campus
Natalie Adsuar, MD Grasslands Campus Gateway 2815 Lakeland Hills Blvd Lakeland, FL 33805
Gregory Damery, MD Grasslands Campus Grasslands Campus 3030 Harden Blvd Lakeland, FL 33803
Diana Narvaez, MD Grasslands Campus
Beth Williams, MD Grasslands Campus
Lake Gibson 5135 US Highway 98 N Lakeland, FL 33809
Lake Miriam 4710 S Florida Ave Lakeland, FL 33813
Winter Haven 430 E Central Ave Winter Haven, FL 33880
TABLE OF CONTENTS
96 SEPTEMBER 2016
DEPARTMENTS THE KIDS ISSUE! 2016
20 NOTE FROM THE EDITOR 22 EDITORIAL BIOS 26 PHOTOGRAPHER BIOS 28 EDUCATION 142 OPENINGS 144 EVENTS 146 HISTORY
ON THE COVER
MODEL BEHAVIOR / SEEING DIFFERENCES DIFFERENTLY / FREE SK8 ADVENTURE AWAITS / CALLING THE MIDWIFE / AN UNSTUFFY TEA PARTY
The resilient spirit in children is (as you can see here) nothing short of contagious. In “Model Behavior,” we meet Brogan Paul, whose beaming smile is making its way through fashion shows across Central Florida.
4 Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
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Workers’ Comp Personal Injury Car Accidents Job Protection Social Security EEOC/ADA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PHILANTHROPY 32 SEEING DIFFERENCES DIFFERENTLY At Achievement Academy, no one child is met as a carbon copy
SPECIAL FEATURE 44 ADVENTURE AWAITS Scoutmaster Patrick Kelly and Troop 104 teach us what it means to be a Boy Scout
Investing is not a product, it’s a process.
Mary May Witte, local artist
Establishing a lasting portfolio requires patience and confidence in the process. We are a high-touch wealth advisory firm providing custom strategies to meet our clients’ individual goals. Let us share our process with you.
Start the conversation. Call (863) 904-4745.
THE CORE TEAM: Chuck Foss • Nathan Dunham • Andrew Foss • Paul Weaver Matte Diaz • Angela Newell • Lisa Burton
231 N KENTUCKY AVE • STE 217 LAKELAND, FLORIDA 33801
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CULTURE 56 DO LIBRARIES MATTER? Eighth-grader Caprie Grisham challenges us to remember why they do
STYLE 68 FREE SK8
Rad looks for nights at the rink
SHELTER 84 SHELTER FROM THE STORM Florida Baptist Children’s Home offers a place of refuge
PEOPLE 96 MODEL BEHAVIOR Join Brogan Paul behind the scenes
TASTE 108 AN UNSTUFFY TEA PARTY Because tea done right should be stress-free
SPECIAL FEATURE 122 CALLING THE MIDWIFE How a midwife’s care became the saving grace for this mother’s newborn
HEALTH 130 ROOTED REMEDIES Herbal healing for your family
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PUBLISHER Curt Patterson ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS Jason Jacobs, Brandon Patterson Advertising ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Curt Patterson; 863.409.2449 ADVERTISING SALES Jason Jacobs; 863.606.8785 ADVERTISING SALES Brandon Patterson; 863.409.2447 ADVERTISING SALES Nathan Patterson; 863.409.0267 Editorial EDITORIAL DIRECTOR EDITOR
Brandon Patterson Kristin Crosby
GUEST EDITORS Drew Arnold, Caprie Grisham EDUCATION EDITOR Rebecca Knowles PEOPLE EDITOR Adam Spafford SHELTER EDITOR Christian Lee STYLE EDITOR Taylor Irby COPY EDITOR Laura Burke OFFICE MANAGER Deb Patterson Design CREATIVE DIRECTOR Daniel Barceló DESIGNER Emily Vila Photography CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Dan Austin, Daniel Barceló, Tiffani Jones, Loree Rowland, Tina Sargeant, Jason Stephens Circulation CIRCULATION DIRECTOR
Ted W. Weeks IV
Published by Patterson Jacobs Publishing, LLC The Lakelander is published bimonthly by Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission of The Lakelander is prohibited. The Lakelander is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. Contact Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802 863.701.2707 www.thelakelander.com Customer Service: 863.701.2707 Subscription Help: email@example.com “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
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PUBLISHER’S NOTE The last year has been one of steady growth for us here at The Lakelander. We are so thankful to Tina Sargent and Alice Koehler for leading us in exploring and telling beautiful stories that inspired such a successful year. So successful in fact, that we have made several additions and changes to our team in an effort to continue to deliver the quality content
our readers have come to enjoy. Notable among these changes is the promotion of Kristin Crosby to editor. Kristin has been a beloved part of The Lakelander team for over two years now, and we are excited for the unique voice and direction she brings to our editorial team. BRANDON PATTERSON, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
FROM THE EDITOR
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Kids have that rare gift of easing the stresses of life. Or better said, kids are just not so familiar with the same “grown-up” anxieties of life as are we. Before reaching an age where they can take themselves too seriously, become too selfaware, or get too stuck in their ways, children offer an untainted, free-spirited perspective on life. It’s almost as if they exist in an endless vacation. Which is why, as summer comes to a close (yes, even in Florida), there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate them. Kids have a way of navigating life without all the additional fluff and stuff we like to add on our way into adulthood. Their
ability to keep things simple is uncanny: they’re quicker to jump when it’s time to play, less hesitant to offer a hug when they want to give one, they don’t mind being the first to say “I’m sorry,” and they drown life’s awkward silences with giggles and laughter. While kids play a huge role in our lives at one point or another, it’s all too easy to miss the strength in their joy and the power of their endurance. Children have a remarkable way of not letting life get the best of them. Although Frank Sinatra was the first to perform this song, I dare say Jimmy Durante delivered it best when he sang the wise advice of an old sage: “And here is the best part, you have a head start If you are among the very young at heart.” This September issue reminds us there’s a bit of magic in approaching life as a kid, no matter what your age.
KRISTIN CROSBY, EDITOR
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EDITORIAL BIOS KRISTIN CROSBY EDITOR
Thorpe AC Testimonial: The Villarete Family Our family cannot say enough positive things about Thorpe Heating & Cooling! We have had several issues with our heating and cooling system over the last few years, always occurring on the weekend. Thorpe is always prompt in returning phone calls and getting us a same-day appointment. Their staff is extremely professional and honest, even going as far as informing us of an issue that Russ could take care of instead of paying them to fix it. We have now come to the point that our unit needs to be replaced. We are completely confident in the information presented to us and have no desire for a second opinion. We are looking forward to having Thorpe install our new heating and cooling system. We take pride in recommending such a reputable company to our friends and family and wouldn’t use any other company. The Villarete Family
Originally from the North, Kristin Crosby first came to Lakeland to study music performance at Southeastern University. Upon graduating, working with student leaders at SEU, and teaching yoga in NYC, a passion to write surfaced. Prior to Patterson Publishing, Kristin has worked as project coordinator for Relevant Magazine, served as grant writer for the nonprofit organization LifeNet International, and has written for Vital Magazine online. Currently, she is a frequent contributor to LifeZette, an American news and opinion site based in Washington D.C. Kristin is thrilled about her new role as editor of The Lakelander, and endeavors to uncover and give voice to the untold stories of this city. To see more of Kristin’s work, check out lifezette.com/ author/kristincrosby/ and kristincrosby.com.
ADAM SPAFFORD PEOPLE EDITOR
Adam Spafford came to Lakeland in 1999 to attend Florida Southern College and, except for a 20-month graduate school stint in Massachusetts, has been here since. When he’s not writing page-turners for The Lakelander, he trades stock and index options.
CHRISTIAN LEE SHELTER EDITOR Christian Lee is a Mississippi native who moved to Lakeland in 1992. After spending several years raising her family, she re-entered the design and decorating industry in 2004. Today, she works with contractors and clients to remodel homes and commercial properties. Christian is passionate about spaces that have soul, and she loves to find ways to make that soul come to life. She is skilled at interior decorating, repurposing antique and vintage furniture, and has designed a line of clothing for the home as well. In her spare time, Christian runs marathons and volunteers on the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Leadership Council. She is also a 20-year member of the Junior League of Greater Lakeland. For more of Christian’s works and services, go to christianleedesign.com. Follow her on Instagram at Christianleedesigns.
TAYLOR IRBY STYLE EDITOR
Serving All of Lakeland for 35 Years www.thorpeac.com 863-858-2577
Taylor Irby is a Charleston, South Carolina, native who relocated to Lakeland almost four years ago with her husband, Joseph, and their two children. Her love for style, design, and philanthropy were leading contributing factors to begin her own fashion accessory company, East of These, that benefits orphan care ministries as well as provides custom products for individuals who are fundraising for philanthropic causes. She is passionate about telling stories through style as an artistic form of expression and finds great satisfaction in working within and for the Lakeland community.
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EDITORIAL BIOS REBECCA KNOWLES
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Rebecca Knowles moved to Lakeland when she was two and is a graduate of Lakeland High School. After earning a BA in psychology from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, she returned to Lakeland, where she enjoys being involved in the Citrus Center Kiwanis Club and other civic and community organizations. Rebecca is the director of the Center for Learning and Community Engagement at All Saints Academy, where she is responsible for developing partnerships within the community, and innovative learning opportunities for students. She is also a partner in Baum and Knowles College Advising, which specializes in personalized college advising services for students and families. Rebecca previously taught English at Lakeland High School and was an academic advisor with the Educational Talent Search program at Polk State College. She enjoys travel, sushi, and spending time with her family and friends.
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Drew Arnold grew up in Lakeland and is astounded by what the love of people can do to transform a city. She looks forward to being a participant of this growth in her hometown. A continually aspiring artist and communicator, she has a degree in theatre arts from Florida Southern College and has worked in the Central Florida area while raising her three boys.
CAPRIE GRISHAM GUEST EDITOR
Caprie Grisham is an eighth-grader at McKeel Academy who hopes to one day become a journalist or author. She was born and raised in Lakeland, and loves to take photos of the beautiful scenery here. Caprie enjoys all types of art, including music. She plays the ukulele and guitar, and loves to read and write (especially poetry).
Growing bones do better when we work together. As one of the nation’s leading children’s health systems, Nemours has made a promise to bring you the care you need — where and when you need it. That’s why Lakeland Regional Health and the experts from Nemours Children’s Specialty Care have teamed up to provide pediatric services right here in your community. For children with orthopedic conditions, we offer advanced, family-centered care. From diagnosis and imaging to treatment and rehabilitation, our specialists are here for you every step of the way.
See all that we offer at Nemours.org/lakeland, including: • • • • •
orthopedics cardiology ophthalmology gastroenterology endocrinology
© 2016. The Nemours Foundation. ® Nemours is a registered trademark of The Nemours Foundation.
Nemours Children’s Specialty Care Lakeland Regional Health Grasslands Campus 3030 Harden Blvd., Lakeland, FL 32114 (407) 650-7715 Nemours.org/lakeland
PHOTOGRAPHER BIOS DANIEL BARCELÓ Daniel Barceló is a multidisciplinary creative profesional leading the design and photography teams as The Lakelander‘s creative director. As a graduate of both Lakeland Christian School and Southeastern University, Daniel is excited for the opportunity to work and invest in the city that he has called home for many years. He endeavors to grow the magazine’s brand and influence as it continues to empower and inspire Lakeland’s creatives and the community at large.
TINA SARGEANT Tina Sargeant has been professionally capturing the moments, events, and people of our region for the last seven years and photographing for The Lakelander since issue one. Tina’s photography is driven by the ability to suspend time and create emotion, and her work embodies a passion for anthropology – people, culture, and stories. sargeantstudios.com
DAN AUSTIN Dan Austin is a Florida native photographer. He specializes in a unique style that combines the spirit of his subject with a detailed attention to lighting. Through this, Dan achieves a unique and well thought out aesthetic that can be seen in his images. danaustinphotography.com
TIFFANI JONES Growing up, Tiffani Jones could never get lost in the wonder of a storybook. Then one day she realized she could let her mind imagine a wondrous story through imagery. Photography gives Tiffani a tangible voice with her audience. After a wonderful 15-year nursing career, she left the art of nursing for the art of creating. She’s a life-long Lakelander, where she raises three energetic children with her husband. iamtiffanijones.com
JASON STEPHENS Jason Stephens is a native Florida boy who lives in Lakeland with his beautiful wife, Jess, and daughter, Isla. Whether it’s from 500 feet up in a helicopter, on a boat cutting through the water, or locked down on a tripod, Jason loves to be behind the camera capturing the moments that pass in front of his lens. jasonstephensphotography.com
LOREE ROWLAND Loree Rowland grew up in Washington State and moved to Lakeland five years ago with her husband. She is currently the lead photographer for Southeastern University’s marketing department. Loree finds inspiration in everything, from the beauty and simplicity of everyday life to magnificent displays of nature, whether it’s backpacking though mountains, glacier treks in Alaska, or walks on the shores of California. Using her iPhone as her go-to camera, she can be found “Instagramming” her way through life as one of her creative outlets. instagram.com/loree.1
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EDCAMP POLK FOR MOST EDUCATORS, WITH THE FALL COMES CONFERENCES (AT TIMES, MAYBE MORE THAN THEY CARE FOR).THIS YEAR, TEACHERS ARE INVITED TO PARTAKE IN AN UNCONVENTIONAL SPIN ON A TRADITIONAL MEETING — THE “UN-CONFERENCE.” written by Rebecca Knowles, director of the Center for Learning and Community Engagement at All Saints Academy
There is a new kind of education conference coming to Lakeland this fall. EdCamp Polk is dubbed an “un-conference” because it is an event for educators, by educators. Unlike a traditional conference where a committee selects presenters ahead of time, at EdCamp Polk, topics will be selected the day of the event, and everyone will create the schedule based on topics that most interest them. Attendees will then facilitate discussions around those topics. The team bringing EdCamp to Polk is comprised of nationally recognized speakers and leaders in the field of education, all of whom call Lakeland home. The team includes Nancye Blair Black, an educational consultant and speaker; Jerry Blumengarten, also known as “Cybrary Man” for his website that catalogues educational resources and information on every imaginable topic; and Dr. Julie Hasson, professor at Florida Southern College. EdCamp is a national organization, boasting over 700 conferences across the globe since its first one in 2010. This will mark the first event in our area, and, says Black, “It's a big deal to be able to offer one here in Polk.”
Black is especially excited for the conference because it is a chance “to do something that showcases the wonderful things that are going on in education in Polk. So many people spend too much time talking about the negative things happening in education, but there are so many innovative things happening. EdCamp Polk will showcase what’s good.” The event is free and features a plethora of giveaways and prizes. Teachers can also earn Professional Development points for participating. Black notes that an extra benefit of the conference is that, “It will infuse Polk County with new technology resources, and new ideas; things we haven’t done before.” Black and the committee plan on making this an annual event, and hope that teachers and administrators from traditional, charter, magnet, and private schools will come together to brainstorm, talk, and learn from each other. EdCamp Polk will be held on Saturday, October 8, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Florida Southern College. Registration is free, but space is limited. For more information or to register, visit edcamppolk.com.
Bringing More to the Table. In order to give the gift of nourishment and hope to our communities throughout the Southeast, Publix Super Markets Charities announces a $5 million donation, more than three times the amount they have previously given in any year, to the Feeding America network. ÂŽ
In a related effort, Publix Super Markets, Inc. has been recognized as a Visionary Partner of Feeding America for its food donations through its perishable recovery program.
AT THE START OF A NEW SCHOOL YEAR, THE LAKELANDER VISITS ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY — A CHARTER SCHOOL WHERE NO ONE LEARNING LEVEL IS MET AS A CARBON COPY, BUT EVERY EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE ALLOWS EACH STUDENT TO THRIVE.
“This is just the fourth day of school,” says Principal Cindi Parker-Pearson. She walks through a hall of classrooms, guiding me on a tour of Achievement Academy, a school that has served children with developmental delays and disabilities in Polk County for more than 60 years. She turns back, as she leads the way, with a please-bear-with-us smile across her face as she emphasizes, “Just the fourth day!” Like most school hallways these first weeks, each room at the Academy is brimming with energetic, fresh-faced students. “We graduated with 50 kids last year, and that is 50 more kids we were able to bring in,” Parker-Pearson beams as she explains, “so we have lots of new ones this year.” “We started out as United Cerebral Palsy,” says Achievement Academy’s Development Director Stacy Williams, “which was back before children with special needs were even entitled or allowed to go to public school. So there was a wide range of ages initially, school age to young adult.” WHAT THE ACADEMY OFFERS Today, across the country, one in every six children face a developmental delay. For over 60 years, Achievement Academy has been working with those children in Lakeland and throughout Polk County. Equipping a wide range of learning abilities and levels, the Academy empowers children to succeed through an education experience tailored to meet each specific need. In 1955, a group of parents of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy in the Lakeland area came together to envision a school to which their children would be receptive. The hope was to create a place that would provide their children with
SEEING DIFFERENCES DIFFERENTLY WRITTEN BY KRISTIN CROSBY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN AUSTIN
Pictured here is Axel Skeene, a current student of the Academy.
the appropriate attention that would meet their developmental level and the proper education that would ensure a promising future — all of this at a time when the public education system failed to do so. (It wasn’t until 1975 that the Individuals with Disabilities Act mandated free equal public education to children of every developmental level.) Within a year, United Cerebral Palsy school opened in Lakeland. Over the years, the school continued to effectively educate children at a wide range of developmental learning. In 1987, the organization switched affiliations and became the Child Development Center of Polk County. Ten years later, the center was accepted as a charter school offering free tuition to all students. In 2004, the school was officially renamed Achievement Academy. Currently accredited by AdvancED (formerly SACS), the school continues to effectively enhance education to all levels of developmental delays children today face, ranging from autism to cerebral palsy to Down syndrome. The Academy’s Lakeland school serves over 100 children, from 18 months to five years old. Throughout Polk County, the Academy now offers its same services through satellite classrooms in Bartow and Winter Haven. FIRST STORIES OF SUCCESS One of the Academy’s youngest students to first come to the campus was Mark Miller. When Miller was born, he had been given a clean bill of health. It appeared he would
be a strong, perfect baby. But within a matter of days, unexpectedly his motor skills began to deteriorate. Before long his mobility was nearly nonexistent. Through the first year and a half of his life, Miller was seen by countless doctors and therapists. Confused by an array of symptoms and without a clear explanation for his loss of muscle and lack of mobility, doctors gave Miller several diagnoses and told his parents he would never walk. In 1975, when he was barely two years old, Miller was enrolled in what was previously known as United Cerebral Palsy. Coming from so many specialists that offered no clear direction, this school offered the first glimmer of what had previously seemed a nonexistent hope for the young child’s future. “This place saw what I could do, instead of what I couldn’t do,” Miller says of the Academy. Within a matter of months, his family began to see him improve significantly. Before long, through the work of the Academy and various therapies, Miller became more mobile. He began to walk. In fact, his very first steps were right in the Academy itself. Within two years at the school, at age four, he was ready to move onto further education. “In many ways,” he says, “the Academy laid the foundation for me to succeed.” Today, Miller is a paralegal at Holland & Knight in Lakeland. He remains active in the community and is a member on the board of Achievement Academy. He continues to invest in the program because of his belief in its effectiveness and potential to change lives. “My projection,” says Miller, “went from
being institutionalized [as a child] to being a tax-paying citizen of Polk County — the return there is pretty incredible.” ON ALL LEVELS Acceptance of a student into Achievement Academy requires a 25-percent delay in one area of development, or 20-percent delays in two areas or more. In other words: the challenges they are prepared to work with vary greatly. “When these student come into the school,” Williams says, “they each receive an IEP (Individual Education Plan). At the beginning of the school year, all the children are pre-tested and their goals are set for the entire year, and then post-tested at the end. Our teachers and therapists work very closely together to make sure they are working toward the same goals for each child while keeping all parents closely involved.” Since it is a charter school, all children are staffed through Polk County School system. So if they need speech, physical, occupational, vision, or hearing services, that is all provided weekly, one-on-one. “As long as the children remain the right age and still need our help, they stay here,” Parker-Pearson explains. EACH CHILD’S STORY For most parents like Nicole Skeene, a school that fine-tunes the specific needs of your child is help they don’t anticipate they will ever need. An early interventionist herself, Skeene says her first two children were considered “gifted, on the complete opposite side of the spectrum.”
“THIS PLACE SAW WHAT I COULD DO, INSTEAD OF WHAT I COULDN’T DO.” FORMER ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY STUDENT MARK MILLER
By her third child, the story played out quite differently. “When our son [Axel] was born,” Skeene says, “we were told he would never walk or talk.” Axel was born with a chromosome disorder called isodicentric chromosome 15 syndrome. It is a condition that directly affects the motor skills, muscle ability, and causes message delays. “When we first saw Axel’s delays in learning,” she says, “putting him in a class with other students facing delayed developments, especially as a trained educator, was the last thing I wanted to do. Educationally, there is a stigma to being labeled, but you learn it’s not a bad thing to be diagnosed, because there are great means [available] to those who are.” The Skeene family could not have imagined the improvement they would come to see for Axel. “The first time I remember realizing [the school] was making a change,” Skeene says, “we were driving in the car and I could hear Axel singing, ‘E-I-E-I-O, moo, moo… oink, oink, E-I-E-I-O.’ I was blown away! I called his teacher and asked, ‘Have you been singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” with my son?’ and she said, ‘Every day!’ and I just started to cry! I went back to him that night and sang it to him, and he responded and sung as well. It was the first time I could communicate with my son!” Axel is now entering his third year at the academy and continues to see significant gains in his developing. THE CLASSROOM While each classroom’s level of learning varies, it is clear that Achievement Academy teachers remain the same in this way: they were made for this. Teachers are a rare breed all their own. They thrive off of engaged interaction with young students. Teachers of special education are an even rarer breed of souls, in the attention, passion, and stamina
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that is required of them to make a lasting impact. Yet they seem to flock to Achievement Academy, all with an innate patience and love for these students that is seen across the board. The day I enter Miss Claire’s room, the students are engaged in a variety of activities. Miss Claire discovered a real love for the classroom from the time she started at the Academy 11 years ago. She decided to get a master’s in education and returned shortly after. More than half of the teachers at Achievement Academy have their master’s degree in education, each assisted by a paraprofessional, sometimes two. In Miss Claire’s room, it’s Center Time. “And every classroom has it,” says Parker-Pearson, “but each one looks a little different.” For the casual observer, Center Time may be viewed as free time as children play pretend in the kitchen, build block
“IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I COULD COMMUNICATE WITH MY SON!” NICOLE SKEENE
castles, and draw. Even a Kindle or two are out, offering assistive technology (for limited periods of time). Skeene described the school’s use of technology as methods that help enhance her son’s social skills: “Adaptive technology at Achievement Academy is amazing. They’re teaching students how to communicate with technology.” “The big thing is we know kids learn by play,” says Williams, “and we try to give them as many experiences as possible.” Through these basic interactions, the Academy is focused on each child’s best interest and the quality of their education. “It’s just the first week of school,” ParkerPearson reminds me, “so right now we’re focused on Momma’s trusting us and kids wanting to be here! We want them to come back and have fun. Because through the classrooms and therapy, we’re going to be putting a lot of demands on them. 38
But we want them to come back tomorrow — happy.” ONE-ON-ONE THERAPY On any given afternoon, through the halls of the Academy you will pass a variety of one-on-one therapy sessions. “We provide therapy individually,” Parker-Pearson says. “A therapist will come to a classroom and pull them out for a session of either physical, occupational, or speech therapy.” In one room, an occupational therapy session takes place as one teacher guides a student in matching pictures of animals and names. In another room is a speech therapist with a student sorting through books deciding which one to read. Alongside can be found a fine motor skills therapist, using adaptive devices that enable a student facing various physical conditions to eat, write, and adapt basic motor skills. “Children are here from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” ParkerPearson says, “but our staff is here until 3:30.” After dismissal, the staff members collaborate regarding their observations of the children during that day. Mutual support is vital to the teaching environment. PARENTAL SUPPORT Not too far from the front desk sits the Academy’s full-time resource parent, Mary Holjes. An immediate connection to families, Holjes’ role allows parents to know exactly what is going on with their children any given day. As a parent of former students at the Academy, she is able to not only communicate, but understand concerns a parent may have. “The reason I have the job I do, is because I am a parent whose children went through Achievement’s program,” says Holjes. “So, hopefully for those coming in, I can give them information, hold their hand as they’re entering our process, and provide even more support to those families who are leaving. Because it [the process of leaving] can be a very difficult time.” Holjes recalls when one mother dropped off her child at the Academy for the first time. The mother was having a difficult time leaving her child that first day and was crying. Another mom, who worked at Achievement Academy, walked up to the crying woman and said, “You think this is the hardest day? Wait until the last day when you have to leave them.” “It’s hard for any mom to leave her child,”
Parker-Pearson adds, “but when you have been the sole caregiver for a child with special needs, it’s hard to let go and put that trust in someone else. And we really try to be aware of that the first few weeks of school. The transition is tough on kids, but tough on moms and dads, too.” STEPPING OUT Students graduate from the Academy for two reasons: either because the services are no longer needed by the student, or they are returning to their home school. Either way, the priority is for them to “go into a program that best serves their needs,” according to Parker-Pearson. The Achievement Academy remains thorough to the end, even accompanying parents at their new school’s meetings in the spring, prior to their entry in the fall. They play a key role in discussing the child’s learning success up to this point, and prepare them for what can be done on the receiving school’s end to make sure their launch and land is a success. BIRTH TO THREE Achievement Academy recently began offering early intervention programs for newborns to children three years of age. “The earlier you can identify the problem, the better opportunity there is for a solution,” shares Executive Director John Burton. Also funded by United Way, Birth to Three provides services for babies who may be at-risk for developmental delays due to prematurity, substance exposure, those facing social or emotional difficulties, or for parents simply concerned over the development of their child. MAKING ROOM TO GROW The Academy continues to shape bright futures for hundreds of children and parents across Lakeland. According to its managers, it seeks to grow and improve the education of even more students facing similar learning struggles. “Due to such a long waiting list for so many years, we had a capital campaign and expanded our building in 2013,” says Williams. “This allowed us to bring in about five more classrooms, about 57 more students.” Little holds the Academy back from its vision, aside from the much-needed continual donations and sponsorships that can help expand their reach. “There is no charge for any of our services,” says
Williams. “Still, each year we usually have a gap of about $500,000 to make up, but we never charge a parent a dime.” Outside of the school’s annual gap, Achievement Academy also currently faces several facility and repair needs. Due to the summer’s excessive rain, the school is seeking means for a new roof, as it currently sits under the original one built in 1967. The school is working to get an estimate on repairs for the roofing and hopes to partner with local businesses through “in-kind work.” The Academy is always seeking such relationships. Achievement Academy makes learning and growth possible for those who felt it nearly impossible for their children. As the staff enhances the spirits of their students, they provide a support for the entire family. In fact, the sense I got from all of the parents I met, they might as well be family. Over 60 years ago, a few parents came together to imagine a school that could simply believe an education could be possible for their children. Little could they have imagined just what those collaborations would achieve.
ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY 716 E. BELLA VISTA STREET LAKELAND, FL 33805 863.683.6504 ACHIEVEMENTACADEMY.COM INFORMATION@ACHIEVEMENTACADEMY.COM
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FOR OVER A CENTURY, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HAVE BEEN EQUIPPING YOUNG MEN, FROM FIFTH GRADE TO HIGH SCHOOL, TO EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS. FROM SERVING THEIR COMMUNITY TO THE SPIRIT OF TEAMWORK, BOY SCOUTS INSTILLS VALUES THAT REMAIN WITH THEM FOR YEARS TO COME. HERE WE VISIT TROOP 104 DURING A SCOUTING EXPERIENCE, WHERE BOYS LEARN THE SURVIVAL SKILLS TO NAVIGATE THE WILDERNESS AND ALL OF LIFE’S ADVENTURES. (WE’VE ALSO ADDED TIPS AND TRICKS, SURE TO ELEVATE YOUR NEXT TREK INTO THE WILD. SCOUT’S HONOR.)
eet Troop 104 Scoutmaster Patrick Kelly, just one of a handful of Lakeland volunteers for Boy Scouts of America, committed to leading and training young men to excel in life. The Lakelander: Could you tell us a bit of the history of how Boy Scouts of America came to be? Patrick Kelly: American entrepreneur William D. Boyce met a Scout from England’s Boy Scout Association while traveling in London in 1909. English General Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts Association just a couple of years earlier when he adapted his best-selling military manual, Aids to Scouting, for a youth audience. Boyce was so impressed with the Scouts that he founded the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1910. The BSA was one of several youth organizations that arose during that time with themes of outdoor resourcefulness and a strong focus on character. As of today, there are more
than 2.4 million Youth Scouters and close to 1 million Adult Volunteers. TL: How did you come to be Scoutmaster of Troop 104? PK: I started in Scouting over 20 years ago as a Cub Scout before progressing to Boy Scouts. I’ve had the privilege of being a Den Leader, Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, and now Scoutmaster. TL: How did Lakeland’s Troop 104 get started? PK: BSA Troop 104 was originally founded as Troop 4 in 1912. In 1914, it had its first Eagle Scout, George Phillips. F.R. Nichols was the first Scoutmaster of record. The troop had several Scoutmasters and meeting locations until 1931 when the Rev. Charles A Raymond took on the role of Scoutmaster. Rev. Raymond was the pastor of First Presbyterian Church on
Lake Hollingsworth. At that time, the troop was chartered by the Rotary Club and met at the “Scout Hut” which was located where the Lake Morton Cottages now stand. Sometime around 1942, the Charter lapsed, and in 1943 with the new charter, Troop 4 became Troop 104. The troop has met at the First Presbyterian Church since 1958 under the guidance of Henry Higginbotham (Scoutmaster from 1958 to 1983). The Scout Building is named in his honor. Troop 104 has produced 117 Eagle Scouts, the highest achievement a Scout can earn, with an additional 30 as Troop 4. [Only five percent of Boy Scout participants achieve Eagle Scouts. – Ed.] Troop 104 also has one Eagle Scout that earned all 142 merit badges. Only 320 Scouts have accomplished this out of 2.3 million Eagle Scouts. Scouts have a long history of producing people that become pillars of their communities and country.
Scoutmaster Patrick Kelly with Troop 104
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TL: What are the Boy Scoutsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; values (that is, the Oath and Law)? PK: This is the code or creed that Scouts are expected to live by each day:
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Do a good turn daily. TL: What are a few Boy Scout skills that are essential to your young men? And why do you feel it is important that your troop is equipped with them? PK: We practice skills that will help prepare our Scouts for whatever they may come across.
First-Aid Merit Badge:
Boys learn how to take care of themselves and others around them. We teach them how to clean a wound and apply bandages, how to treat a small cut to a compound fracture, make a tourniquet, and immobilize a limb. They also learn the difference between heat stroke heat exhaustion, and [symptoms and treatment of ] hypothermia. 48
INFLUENTIAL MEN WHO WERE ONCE BOY SCOUTS Barack Obama Bill Clinton Bill Gates George W. Bush Hank Aaron John F. Kennedy John Wayne Martin Luther King Jr. Steven Spielberg (actually an Eagle Scout, highest possible rank for a Scout)
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Wilderness Survival Merit Badge:
This is the study of survival if a Scout gets lost or stranded in the wild. They learn how to read a compass and use the stars to guide them. The Scout learns the basic things needed for survival — water, food, shelter, and rescue — and how to acquire them. Survival is the name of the game.
Cooking Merit Badge: Upper Compartment Food Plastic Bags Pots Tent Utensils Waterproof Pack Cover Lower Compartment Clothes Map Flap Pocket Compass Flashlight Knife or Multitool Maps Trail Mix Water Treatment Lower Left Pocket Fuel Bottle Sunscreen Bug spray Lower Right Pocket First-Aid Kit Upper Left Pocket Canteen Stove Fuel Rain Gear Upper Right Pocket Bowl Cup Rope Toilet Kit (toothbrush, soap, toilet paper) Stuff Sack Sleeping Bag Sleeping Mat
This is the skill we use every time we go camping, whether we are at a campground or on a High Adventure backpacking/canoeing experience. Scouts really show their creativity here. Each patrol makes a menu and purchases the food. We learn to cook on a stove or over a fire, on a table or on the top of a mountain. No Scout will ever go hungry.
Water Sports Merit Badges:
Scouts learn to respect the water and how to be safe whether floating or immersed in it while swimming, lifesaving, canoeing, kayaking, boating, sailing, and scuba diving. They learn how to rescue someone and keep themselves out of harm’s way. Upon completion, they know how to make a float plan and execute safe and controlled water activity. Scouts should not be wet behind the ears in this skill.
Shooting Sports Merit Badges:
Scouts are taught how to safely handle and operate all types of firearms as well as a bow and arrow. They learn how to properly maintain and use rifles. They enjoy the thrill of hitting the bullseye and are shown a range of different shooting techniques.
Outdoor Merit Badges:
Scouts learn how to prepare for unexpected weather or just a change of plans. They learn what articles are needed and how to plan a camping, backpacking, and hiking trip. This gives them the discipline to adapt to any circumstance they encounter.
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“SCOUTS LEARN HOW TO ACQUIRE THE BASIC THINGS NEEDED FOR SURVIVAL.”
HOW TO START A FIRE 1. Find 10 feet of clear space. 2. Collect wood:
• Tinder (dry grass, pine needles, and wood shavings)
• Kindling (splinters of wood, small twigs and sticks)
• Logs (no bigger or rounder than your wrist)
3. Clear 2 to 3 feet of the ground. 4. Form tinder into a nest, about the size of a baseball. 5. Hold the magnifying glass in front of the sun so that a small bright dot will appear on the tinder. 6. Be patient. 7. Add the ember to your nest of tinder and gradually blow the fire to life. 8. Add kindling and fuel to keep the fire burning.
For more information on how to get involved in Boys Scouts of America, visit gulfridgecouncil.org, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Troop 104 in South Lakeland.
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M A T T E R ?
WITH KINDLES AND IPADS AT THE TOUCH OF OUR FINGERS, MANY OF US ARE PULLED AWAY FROM OUR LOCAL LIBRARIES. THIS MONTH’S CULTURE CONTRIBUTOR, CAPRIE GRISHAM, DISCOVERS THE WAYS LIBRARIES CONTINUE TO EVOLVE WITH THE DIGITAL AGE AND UNCOVERS THEIR CAPACITY TO BRING HISTORY, LITERATURE, AND LEARNING TO LIFE FOR ALL WHO ENTER.
WRITTEN BY CAPRIE GRISHAM PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL BARCELÓ
In today’s digital age, do libraries still matter? With everyone having immediate access to so much information, does it make a difference if libraries stay around or not? And if they do stay around, is it worth the cost? I’ve been fortunate because my parents have been very involved in my learning and development, always prompting me to read. From the time my brother and I were infants, my mom would take us to the Lake Morton library on a weekly basis for the program Babies and Books. At the library, young children enjoy educational story times and programs that teach them their ABCs and phonics skills. My very first memories of the library were of dogs and a time-traveling treehouse. I remember reading Afternoon on the Amazon from the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne to a
“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries.” — JOHN F. KENNEDY
therapy dog named Coco. Coco was a partly blind Lhasa Apso. She was a part of the group Smiles Unleashed, a group of therapy dogs. One reason my mother took us so often may have been to allow her a little down time, but the public library and its resources played an important part of our education and allowed us to interact with other kids. When we were old enough, we got our own library cards and were encouraged to explore our favorite books. But libraries these days are more than just books. Mrs. Lisa Lilyquist, the city librarian in charge of all of Lakeland’s libraries, says that the biggest issue the library system faces, both in Lakeland and nationally, is the perception of irrelevance that often surrounds libraries in this digital age. “One of our biggest challenges is letting our community know all the services that we offer… It’s really a marketing problem for us.”
Lilyquist means that our libraries offer services that you can’t get other places, at least not for free. Beyond the typical access to physical books, the libraries in Lakeland offer services directed at education for children, as well as access to technology, ongoing adult education, technical instruction, community building, and historical resources. The library offers programs for people of all ages, from babies to adults. It’s well known that addressing the early literacy needs of children is crucial to their later success in life. Today, young students can’t always get one-on-one lessons at school, but they often can at the library. Writer’s Block, a workshop for tween and teen writers, as well as workshops for adult writers, are available. Writers can be self-published through the library’s program called Selfie. Located at the Lake Miriam Plaza, the eLibrary (short for Express Library) carries the newest books and literature. A unique offering is the adult coloring club that meets every Monday and helps adults interact with new friends in an enjoyable, stress-free environment that helps build a sense of community. Book clubs are also held at all three locations, allowing people to interact and discuss their perspectives on what they’ve read. They even offer tutoring on just about anything under the sun, beyond help with homework, learning to read, etc. That’s right, in case you missed it, if you have questions about anything at any location, from how to operate the new tablet you just got, or how to manage your checkbook, the library offers tutoring on it. Technical instruction is pivotal, because in a society that is constantly advancing, it’s hard to keep up with technology, especially if you can’t afford it. Most government resources are online and direct you to online help. The library offers personal services by skilled and highly educated staff. Of course, rather than just 60
dropping by, you should give them a heads up before scheduling a time for help, because if they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help you, chances are they know someone who can. All of these incredible services may come at a price, but the investment in our community is well worth it. Recently, 17 Florida public libraries were studied to assess the benefits to adult users; the study also considered the economic impact on these users. The analysis showed that approximately $6.40 of the total value per $1.00 of the budget was created, so the money invested in public libraries has a return of investment of over 600 percent. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also reminded what the
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2 Lakeland Locations
WDER BRO O S. R C
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2 Lakeland Locations Southgate Center 2633 S. Florida Ave. | 863-683-6702 Sandpiper Plaza 6549 N. Socrum Loop Rd. | 863-859-9909
Walter Cronkite said: “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
LAKELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY 100 LAKE MORTON DRIVE LAKELAND, FL 33801 863.834.4280 LARRY R. JACKSON BRANCH 1700 NORTH FLORIDA AVENUE LAKELAND, FL 33805 863.834.4288 ELIBRARY 4740 SOUTH FLORIDA AVENUE LAKELAND, FL 33813 863.838.4507
famous and well respected journalist Walter Cronkite said: “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” In response to a questionnaire in Saturday Review on October 29 1960, John F. Kennedy said, “If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all — except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.” Beyond being able to stream content from the libraries’ servers, more exciting things are coming to the Lake Morton library location. The addition of a coffee shop and cafe, with an outdoor area, will add a modern vibe and draw to the facility. You can find out more information about our public library system by visiting any of the three locations or on the web at lakelandgov.net/library. Of course, even JFK didn’t know that the eLibrary is a Pokéstop! (You’re welcome.)
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NURTURING THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL REGISTER TODAY FOR YMCA SUCCESS AFTERSCHOOL 2016-2017 Opportunities through hands-on, active exploration include:
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a Friday night. You are so excited to shut those school books for a couple of days and skate your weekday troubles away. You can already feel the atmosphere of bright blinking lights, loud music, and the smell of pizza whirling around in your mind. You live for Friday nights at the skating rink. Of course, a few details have to be figured out first: Which friends will I meet there? Who’s going to drop me off ? Man, I hope I don’t have to wait in the line too long! Did I grab my loose change so I can play arcade games? And most importantly ... What will I wear? To kick off this season, we are bringing back the iconic style of the ’80s skating era (for those of you who can recall it and those who can’t). Though the ’80s are usually characterized by spandex and an array of blinding neons, we are embracing the individual personalities of these modern “Generation Z” babes. We set the scene with a modern and playful twist while remaining true to the core of the decade — crimped hair and sequins, ultra-cool graphic tees, and washed denim. Let’s revisit the dawn of comic books, yo-yos, and the classic comeback of tube socks. It’s time to celebrate the decade that truly made skating great. Roll on over to your local Skate World and remember why Friday nights were once your favorite time of the week. It can still be just as magical.
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shelter from the storm IN EACH ISSUE OF THE LAKELANDER, WE EXPLORE HOUSES THROUGHOUT THE CITY BASED ON THEIR UNIQUE CHARACTER AND DESIGN. THIS TIME, WE BRING YOU TO A PLACE OF REFUGE, DESIGNED FOR CHILDREN AND MOTHERS WITHOUT A HOME. CHRISTIAN LEE VISITS FLORIDA BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOME — A NONPROFIT STATEWIDE AGENCY THAT SERVES AS A HAVEN TO THE ABANDONED AND NEGLECTED.
written by Christian Lee photography by Daniel Barceló
hen I think of shelter, I typically think of architecture and home design. After all, that is what I do for a living. So I suppose it’s only natural for me to think in those terms. Shelter defined means to protect or shield from something harmful, especially bad weather. We all need a secure place to go. A place free of turmoil and judgment, a place that is guarded and out of harm’s way. Many of us are blessed with a stable household and family support, a loving home providing safety from the everyday hazards we face. We may find ourselves taking these things for granted. There are many among us who do not share this sense of safety and security. They don’t have the support of family and friends, and a roof under which they can protect themselves and their children. Unfortunately, life can deal people a difficult and frequently brutal hand, and once they hold it, it’s hard to put the cards back in the deck. I recently visited the Lakeland state headquarters of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes (FBCH). It was a gray, rainy Monday, and the parking lot was dotted with puddles of water and a few tangles of matted leaves. As I arrived, the dark clouds reminded me I had left my umbrella tucked in a hall closet at home. At a recent dinner, supporting The Porch Light program, a client had introduced me to FBCH. Their efficient entrance is just down the street from Girls Inc. I drive past it regularly on my way to meetings. But I had never stopped to see what they were all about. That drenched Monday was the anointed day (pun definitely intended). And I discovered the perfect contrast to the depressing weather when I arrived.
A SAFE HOUSE I was greeted by Christi Haag, Leon Battle, and RJ Walters; three of the joyfully engaging people responsible for what I was about to discover within the FBCH campus. They were armed with compassionate hearts, as well as umbrellas. Christi Haag grew up in the children’s home in Texas where her father worked for 30 years. The wife of Dr. Jerry Haag (president of the FBCH, Orphan’s Heart, and The Porch Light) and mother of two boys, Christi has shared a lifelong love for kids and families in need. She radiates in her dedication for the work they do for the community, the state, and the world. Leon Battle is director of Compassion Ministries, a program serving families in crisis. He has a degree in theology and a minor in business from Lakeland’s Southeastern University. Before being called to his current position, he was a pastor and, later, a recognized investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families, intervening in and rescuing children from injury, abusive homes, and human trafficking. RJ Walters is a communications specialist, helping to get the FBCH message out. “Florida Baptist Children’s Homes is where ministry happens,” he said during our visit. He and his wife are becoming part of the steadfast community of people willing to share their homes and lives with foster kids in need; the “all in” commitment that appears to be common at FBCH. Sometimes, what people need is a break, a chance to get away from an abusive situation or a series of bad decisions. Maybe it’s just a chance to go to the grocery store knowing that their kids will be looked after and safe until they get home. Some simply need shelter. Since FBCH opened their first Florida orphanage in 1904, shelter is the definition for the compassionate work done by its hundreds of employees, donors, and volunteers.
As vice president of ﬁnance for global phosphate chemical manufacturer ArrMaz, Jason Lewis MBA ’15 travels the world for his job. With extensive experience in Asia, Brazil, Europe, and the Middle East, Jason knows ﬁrsthand just how vital FSC MBA’s built-in international travel component is. “There’s a real complexity to international business,” said Lewis. “It’s not just different people you’re dealing with—you have to fully consider the different governments involved, as well as the geopolitical and local situations.” Despite many previous trips to Asia, Jason found his FSC MBA international ﬁeld experience to Vietnam and Hong Kong invaluable. “The interactions with the other students and the professor made it an unforgettable experience.”
Where will your MBA take you? 863.680.5022 ﬂsouthern.edu/mba
The Barney Barnett School of Business & Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College is the only school of business in Polk County accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business.
EMPOWERING COMMUNITY GIVING In 2015 alone, over 155,000 services were provided to children and those in need. An incredible hundred tons of food and needed health-related products and supplies are donated and distributed to our neighbors both here and wherever hardship may exist every month. Thirty thousand diapers are provided throughout the ministry every month. Based on census numbers, 18 percent of Polk County residents live below the poverty line, many struggling to meet basic needs for daily survival. The Harold Clark Simmons Compassion Center, recently opened by FBCH, provides a place for classrooms, distribution, offices, and warehouse storage: 16,000 square feet of hope and help for those struggling to handle seemingly impossible circumstances. In addition to the storage and distribution of donated food and provisions, the new facility is empowering people through community ministry, parenting classes, drug and alcohol counseling, a clothing boutique, and guidance for just about all aspects of life. The goal is to reestablish health, financial independence, and human dignity to those who may be experiencing crisis, those who have been overlooked or fallen behind. Recently, 210 kids received backpacks, haircuts, new
clothes, physicals, and school supplies in time for school to reopen. FBCH and its many volunteers are seasoning the lives of countless children and parents with confidence and renewed belief in their own strength and resilience. COMING HOME For many kids, shelter may be a haven from the carnage and senseless circumstances often out of their control. Shelter is a very literal emergency refuge for homeless or abandoned children. Through its emergency care for children, FBCH streamlines the admission process to take kids with immediate needs into a protected environment. They provide a room and a clean bed, and restore the sanctity of life that is so often lost in a wash of adult problems and issues. This may be the first real bed some of these kids have ever had. In some circumstances, emergency care can evolve into a long-term residential need. FBCH’s Lakeland campus (there are six campuses throughout the state of Florida) opened in 1948 and has four cottages that provide a family atmosphere and include bedrooms, family rooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Each cottage can accommodate up to eight school-age children, and is staffed by house parents who provide
a loving and nurturing home environment. According to FBCH, these stable, patient, caregiving “parents” are selected as part of a team of the “right people doing the right things at the right time in the children’s lives.” But there’s another special ingredient. Each child’s specific needs and preferences are taken into serious consideration so that a bedroom can be specifically designed and clothes that fit their unique personalities can be acquired. At Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, the whole child is important, not just their circumstances. The bedrooms and clothing not only meet the children’s basic needs for shelter, but also provide the personal element that has so often been absent in their lives: care. “Every child deserves to feel special and wanted,” Christi Haag says. “One way we show each child how much we care about them is by making sure they have clothes they love and a bedroom they can be proud of.” Words of encouragement, a timely smile, functional and clean clothes, and a beautiful, safe bedroom can go a long way toward healing deep and jagged emotional wounds. Before his death during WWII, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” If that is the test, FBCH is passing it daily.
“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” — DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Photo by Nate Mundell
THE PORCH LIGHT Several years ago, the Florida Department of Children and Families asked Dr. Haag for assistance in creating a program to rescue and shelter girls exploited by human trafficking. In 2014, The Porch Light was born, giving girls a safe home and restoring innocence and hope. Because of the sensitive nature of these girls’ circumstances, The Porch Light’s location is protected. But its purpose is not. Many of the girls The Porch Light cares for have never experienced the simple joy of having a place to put their things, or a bed to call their own. These girls often come from circumstances where “home” is an old blanket or a box spring in an otherwise desolate and desperate room. The private bedrooms and bathrooms are individually designed to provide a soothing, comfortable, “girly” space for each child. The girls have a cozy and encouraging bedroom, privacy many have never experienced. Recently, The Porch Light became the first State-Certified safe home in Florida. In order to receive this designation, The Porch Light had to meet myriad specific criteria, including specifications for the size, accommodations, security, and location of the home itself. Additionally, the services provided to the girls, including survivor mentorship and evidence of staff training that is aligned with State-approved curriculum, were evaluated. The precious lives of these children are transformed by the healing spirit of faithful mentors, educators, and counselors willing to help shine a light where, and when, it is needed most. In the case of The Porch Light, shelter is actually spelled “sanctuary.”
more about FBCH FLORIDA BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOME CAMPUS LOCATIONS • Chipley • Fort Myers • Jacksonville • Lakeland • Miami • Pensacola • Tallahassee FBCH’S PROGRAMS • Adoption and Foster Care Services • Compassion Ministries • Orphan’s Heart – serving children in 16 countries around the world • Residential Care • Sanctity of Human Life • The Porch Light
more info at fbchomes.org
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“Having grown up at a children’s home in Texas where my father worked for over 30 years, I have seen the huge positive impact a new outfit and an intentionally well designed bedroom has on children on our campuses.” — CHRISTI HAAG
Photo by Nate Mundell
This may be the first real bed some of these kids have ever had.
BRAVE MOMS Brave Moms is a program for mothers who have nowhere to turn, whose options have narrowed into the dark recesses of homelessness and despair. Houses with multiple, yet separate, living accommodations are located on the main campus of FBCH. These homes are set up for independent living, offering single moms and their kids privacy and dignity, together with a chance to recover both financially and emotionally from challenging circumstances. “I can sit on the steps and watch my kids play,” one mother of four told me. “I have security and know my kids are safe. I don’t know how I could have survived.” FBCH Brave Moms shelters single mothers and their children while they save money for
the future, pay off debt, and find a fresh start. I heard comments from moms like, “Amazing,” and, “My health has gotten better, so my kids feel better,” and “I came from a toxic place where my kids weren’t safe. I had nowhere else to go.” One mother shared that at one time, all she wanted was 10 minutes alone to cry. Now, she has hope, help, and safety. The homes and rooms are designed around the needs of each struggling mother and hurting child. The program provides counseling, job placement assistance, healthy food choices, education, stability, and spiritual ministry. Brave Moms shelters and looks after those in society’s vulnerable shadows. The rain didn’t stop the day I visited Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, but somehow it
didn’t matter so much. The people I met and the compassionate, transformative work I saw being accomplished on that campus provided all of the sunshine I needed. Lives are being resuscitated, and the cycle of homelessness and despair is being disrupted. Children are being immunized with love and sheltered from the storm. As I pulled out of the parking lot and into the drizzle, “Shine” by Collective Soul was playing on the radio. “Give me a word. Give me a sign. Show me where to look. Tell me what I will find. Love is in the water. Love is in the air. Oh, Heaven let your light shine down.” Love was in the water and in the air that day. Heaven’s light is truly shining down on Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and the shelter it is providing to the least among us.
Florida Baptist Children’s Homes
1015 Sikes Boulevard, Lakeland, FL 33815
Mailing address: PO Box 8190, Lakeland, FL 33802 863.688.4981 fbchomes.org
SINCE A YOUNG AGE, LITTLE BROGAN PAUL’S BEAUTIFUL FACE HAS CAPTURED ATTENTION ACROSS CENTRAL FLORIDA. MEET THE GIRL WITH THE WINSOME SMILE WHO’S QUITE POSSIBLY LAKELAND’S YOUNGEST RUNWAY MODEL. BY ADAM SPAFFORD
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN AUSTIN
ight-year-old Brogan Paul has already built quite a résumé modeling all around Florida. By age four, she was the winning face of Tampa Bay Parenting magazine’s Cover Kid Search Contest. At six, she made her runway debut with Miami’s Changing the Face of Beauty in the back-to-school launch of GapKids x ED. When Brogan’s mother, Sharon, sent a picture of her little girl to Naples, Florida’s All About April model search, it further launched this beaming smile into an exciting career. From the runway to cover shoots, to dance recitals and more, this young lady shines in the spotlight. We invite you to meet the sweet, spunky, and spirited Brogan Paul.
The Lakelander: So, school has just started again, right? What grade are you in? Brogan Paul: Second. TL: Do you have a favorite subject at school? BP: My favorite subject is science, but I also like gymnastics and cheerleading. TL: What’s your favorite thing to do when school is out? BP: We go to the pool, and sometimes my friends come over.
TL: What have you been doing lately? BP: I did All About April [a children’s boutique in Naples]. I did a runway walk. Do you want me to show you a runway walk? [Brogan readily walks across the room.] My outfit looked like Ariel. TL: What made you want to model? BP: Because it’s super fun! TL: Do you have a favorite model shoot you’ve done?
BP: My favorite was the Gap. TL: What was your favorite part? BP: The runway walk and the pictures. [Sharon explains that the shoot was in Miami. There was a runway show and lots of media taking pictures.] TL: Do you get to travel a lot? BP: Yeah. I liked going to Miami. TL: Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled for a model shoot?
BP: We got to stay in the Ritz Hotel in Miami [for the back-to-school launch of GAP Kids x ED at GAP Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, where Brogan had her runway debut]. TL: Do you have a favorite model? BP: I don’t know … oh, Chelsea Werner! [Chelsea is a gymnast and Special Olympic champion who is now modeling.]
When her mother sent in a picture of her little girl ... it launched this beaming smile into an exciting career.
100 THE LAKELANDER
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TL: Do you have a favorite place to shop? BP: Publix and Whole Foods. TL: How about shopping for clothes? BP: Hmmm â&#x20AC;Ś the uniform store [laughs]. TL: Do you want to be a model when you grow up? BP: Yes. TL: If you could be anything when you grow up, what would be your dream job? BP: A gymnast girl or a cheerleader. TL: What advice would you give someone who wants to be a model? BP: Just have fun!
102 THE LAKELANDER
WHO WILL YOU RUN FOR? Join the Lakeland Family YMCA for our Annual 5K Run & Fun Walk to benefit
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REGISTER AT ONE OF OUR YMCA BRANCHES ONLINE REGISTRATION BEGINNING SEPT. 10 ON ACTIVE.COM
October 15, 2016
Lake Hollingsworth $20 pre-registered/$25 day of race For more information on the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Cancer Survivor Program contact Dorothy Cheshire, 863-644-3528
E M P I R E . E D U
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From the runway to cover shoots ... Brogan shines in the spotlight.
104 THE LAKELANDER
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Brogan recently booked the SoBel Kids Fashion Week at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and was just selected as one of the youth brand ambassadors for Orlando International Fashion Week. We wish her all the best! If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in booking Brogan, please call 863.529.7148.
Props by Wish Vintage Rentals Lighting by Paul Bostrom
106 THE LAKELANDER
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u ns t u f f y BIRTHDAY PARTIES – OR, REALLY, PARTIES IN GENERAL – ARE ESSENTIAL TO ANY GIRL’S CHILDHOOD. BUT HOSTING A GIRL’S BIRTHDAY CAN FEEL MORE OVERWHELMING THAN NECESSARY. WITH A FEW SIMPLE TREATS, A PLAYFUL THEME, AND MINIMAL PREP, WE’LL SHOW YOU HOW TO A HAVE A STRESS-FREE, CHARMING TEA PARTY.
WRITTEN BY KRISTIN CROSBY PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIFFANI JONES EVENT DESIGN AND STYLING BY LISA MALOTT, WISH VINTAGE RENTALS FACE PAINTING BY MARTI MALOTT FURNITURE AND DÉCOR BY WISH VINTAGE RENTALS SPECIAL THANKS TO THE TERRACE HOTEL
THE LAKELANDER 109
Some of the best childhood memories for girls are easily centered around a tea party – particularly make-believe memories, the kind that make a little girl imagine she somehow stowed away to a land of wonder and is seated across from a madman with a hat fetish and a wacky white cat. (Except, in reality, at my table these characters would have looked something more like a few Care Bears and Teddy Ruxpin.) My mom loved to create such imaginative moments for me. English Breakfast tea steeped in fine antique china teacups would be set at the dining table, along with a few plated scones and clotted cream, all placed on top of a doily’d table runner in good ’90s Victorian fashion. Though, more often than not, for impromptu afternoon tea, toast with jam and butter would suffice. Often when friends came over, tea parties were the scene that was set. No matter if it was tea with finger sandwiches, a Little Mermaid-themed 110 THE LAKELANDER
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tea parties are otherworldly. they may be the simplest way for any little girl to step into a world that is both regal and enchanted, any day of the week. sleepover, or a birthday party centered around a Barbie doll cake – yes, you read that right: a Barbie enveloped in a Cinderella-sized birthday cake dress – whether the scene was simple or elaborate, my mother always set it to perfection. But it was the simple afternoon tea that always seemed to offer the perfect elixir to elevate any moment. In the J.M. Barrie classic tale, Peter Pan questions, “Would you like an adventure now, or would like to have your tea first?” Tea parties are otherworldly. They may be the simplest way for any little girl to step into a world that is both regal and enchanted, any day of the week. When time would call for tea, my friends and I would emerge from my room, dressed in big hats, layers of plastic pearls and dresses cascading with ruffles and overwhelmed by ribbons and bows (did I mention I was a child of the 90s?). There was something about tea that transcended me to another world, even if it was just Oreos and Lipton in a fanciful cup (oh, and sugar cubes – you mustn’t forget the sugar cubes). For birthday parties and such, striving to meet what you assume are your child’s 112 THE LAKELANDER
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3 3 3 3 C L E V E L A N D H E I G H T S B LV D . • S A L O N S A LVAT O R E D AY S P A . C O M • 8 6 3 . 6 4 6 . 9 9 9 0 THE LAKELANDER 113
expectations can be confusing and difficult, never mind the expectations you set on yourself. When inviting your little one’s friends (and indirectly the friends’ parents), party planning can be a tad overwhelming. Like most everything else in the ’90s, parties were expected to be pure perfection. After all, it was the dawn of Martha Stewart Living magazine, when domestic expectations set a new gold standard. But it’s no longer the ’90s. No one expects your party to be perfect, particularly a seven-year-old girl (unless, of course, she follows Martha Stewart on Instagram). Even if Suzy’s mom expects Instagramworthy perfection, little Suzy isn’t going to know the difference between bone china and cheap china. When all’s said and done, a moment for tea may rival any perfect
memory. It’s best to teach this to your little ones while they’re young. So when it’s time for your daughter’s next birthday party, and you’re eager to create a magical moment but find yourself torn between expectations, budget, and time, follow these tips for a charmed tea party:
CREATE YOUR GUEST LIST
Invite around five to 10 girls, based on the size of your space (it’s the best amount of guests for a manageable yet lively party).
CHOOSE A SIMPLE COLOR PALETTE
Using just one or two accessible colors will help streamline your party planning and minimize the rest of your choices leading up to the big day.
a piece of cake Take a lead from our set stylist, Lisa Malott, and custom order your child’s birthday cake from a local baker, such as J’aime Cakes. J’aime Cakes creates an array of cupcakes, cookies, and cakes with sculpted finishes. Visit facebook. com/jaimecakesllcflorida, or call 863.450.6654 to place an order.
a cup of tea For this party, local tea house My Cottage Garden provided a slightly sweetened iced raspberry tea which the little ones couldn’t seem to get enough of.
diy kitty toy If you choose to go the kittythemed route, here is a great idea to try: the Knotty Spider (www.friskies.com/diy-toys/ knotty-spider). 114 THE LAKELANDER
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The Lakeland Public Library opened in 1966 on the site of the Lake Morton Grammar school, which had been destroyed by fire in 1963. The new building replaced the previous library on the corner of Lake Morton Drive and Massachusetts Avenue. Known as the Park Trammell Building, the former library is now home to the offices of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. The library pictured here has been enlarged and renovated a number of times since 1966.
Photo Courtesy of Special Collections, Lakeland Public Library
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CREATE A SIMPLE, TIMELESS THEME
Instead of limiting yourself to a celebration that could only emerge from Party City, create themes that allow a broad scope of options for decor, food, activities, and games. Plus, original decor offers a fresh, one-of-akind party feel.
KEEP FOOD FUN BUT SIMPLE
Rather than pressuring yourself to create and assemble perfect petit fours, reflect the party’s theme using simple foods such as decorated cookies and finger sandwiches. Crustless bite-size sandwiches with fillings of cream cheese and cucumber, ham and cheese, or PB&J are easy options and perfect if you’re faced with a group of picky eaters.
CONSIDER YOUR LOCAL BAKER
Buying a custom-made cake that fits the aesthetic and color of your party’s theme means one less thing to worry about. You may be surprised how the added flair of a specially crafted cake can complete the look of the entire event.
LET SOMEONE ELSE DO THE FOOD PREP
If food prep isn’t your strong suit, consider using local vendors.
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CONSIDER HOW YOUR PARTY CAN BENEFIT OTHERS
For this kitty-themed tea party, felt and craft supplies were provided for the girls to create cat toys, which went on to benefit Lakelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SPCA. Schedule your young guests to work on the crafts at the beginning, as they come in.
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At Grace Manor, my dad is treated like family. The experienced caregivers and a community of friends have helped to make his transition to assisted living a graceful one. He stays active and lives independently, with help when he needs it. I have peace of mind knowing my dad is loved and cared for. It truly is like family taking care of family.
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SHINE A LIGHT 5K Friday, September 23 • 6:30pm Lake Hollingsworth SHINE A LIGHT GALA Thursday, September 29 • 6:30pm The Lakeland Center
SHINE A LIGHT DAY OF PRAYER Sunday, September 25 SHINE A LIGHT DAY OF ACTION Tuesday, September 27
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C A L L I N G
T H E
Midwife 122 THE LAKELANDER
written by Drew Arnold • photography by Lee Anne Roquemore
FOR DREW ARNOLD, THE PRENATAL CARE SHE RECEIVED AT CELEBRATE BIRTH — THE ONLY BIRTHING CENTER IN POLK COUNTY — HELPED BRING ALL THREE OF HER CHILDREN INTO THE WORLD. SHE SHARES WITH US HOW THE SIMPLE RESPONSE OF HER MIDWIFE ON CALL ONE NIGHT WAS THE SAVING GRACE FOR THE LIFE OF HER SECOND-BORN.
hen it came time for Ethan, my second out-ofhospital baby, to enter the world, he did it in an unusual fashion — quickly and emphatically. My water broke in the most theatrical way — after the standing ovation of a production of Fiddler on the Roof at Theatre Winter Haven. During the 30-minute drive home — where I had decided to have a natural birth with the assistance of Celebrate Birth and licensed midwife Melissa Conord-Morrow RN — I had two contractions. Two. Forty-five minutes later, I was lying sideways on my bed in my husband’s arms. Within moments, Melissa placed baby Ethan on my belly, snug and perfect. The next day, Ethan was examined by a pediatrician. The day after that, he was seen by Melissa. We were now a glowing, proud family of four. But by the early hours of the fourth morning, I awoke in terrible abdominal pain. I called the midwife, if you will. Melissa immediately answered, made inquiries about my symptoms, and gave me a series of instructions telling me to call back in half an hour if pain was still present. Well, it most definitely was. And her next words, I’ll never forget, “Then I’ll meet you at the ER.” My husband and I packed up the little ones. I was scared and shaky, barely able to move. We arrived at the ER. After many tests, the doctor told me I was perfectly healthy, except for some sort of infection indicated by a higher-than-normal white-blood-cell count. I was prescribed antibiotics and was awaiting discharge. Then, my newborn, Ethan, who had been asleep in the van with Melissa’s gracious husband, awoke hungry. Melissa went to fetch him and returned with a few questions about his eating and sleeping habits. I replied that everything had been normal. But she said his skin color was concerning. She chatted with one of the nurses she knew from her previous employment at the hospital, and came back with a pulse oximeter. After “turning it off and back on again” too many times to count, Melissa asked if she could take Ethan to the pediatrics ER. I knew it wasn’t really a request. Immediately my heart started beating faster (I was still hooked up to a monitor, so I had proof ). Amidst a mix of fear, anxiety, and prayer, I handed him over to this woman I had learned to trust so much. I couldn’t go with him. I wanted so desperately to go with him. It would be days before I could hold my infant again.
Ethan was airlifted to St. Joe’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa for his first surgery. Then he was transferred to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for open-heart surgery to correct the transposition of his great arteries. His heart was a closed circuit. He seemed fine at birth because of the fossa ovalis, a natural opening in newborns between the two heart chambers. It was allowing oxygen through. However, when Melissa saw him in the ER, it was almost closed and he was slowly turning purple. If I hadn’t awoken in mysterious pain that night, if Melissa hadn’t answered her phone, if there had been family there to help with my kids instead of Melissa and her husband winging it in the middle of the night, who knows what I would have awoke to that next morning. During our stay in the CVICU (cardiovascular intensive care unit), Melissa and her husband were there for us. She sat next to me in the cafe, waiting the long hours while a surgeon miraculously relocated and sutured tiny arteries in a heart the size of a strawberry. The staff of Celebrate Birth was there for us during our transition home because they knew us. They knew our whole family on a personal level. Melissa knew my entire prenatal journey. And there she sat beside me as I held the fingertips of my unconscious, recovering infant. Birth is so personal, so intimate. It is transformative. My journey with midwifery care started with finding Melissa ConordMorrow. Though each of my three sons had a different midwife present for the delivery, Melissa was the guiding force for all of them. Not enough can be said about this remarkable woman. She has been involved in midwifery care for 24 years. She has been the owner of Celebrate Birth (previously known as Labor of Love) for three and a half years now. She is trained as an emergency-care nurse. She was even appointed by the Surgeon General of the state of Florida to be chair of the council responsible for reviewing and establishing state laws relating to the safety of births through midwives. This impacts the work of doctors, lawyers, family practice doctors, obstetricians, other midwives, pediatricians, state attorneys, and, of course, the general public. The memories I have from my time at Celebrate Birth are nothing short of familial. After weeks of waddling around, thinking, I can’t do this anymore. I’m so done being pregnant, I would leave from an appointment at the birth center and sigh, “There are women who care about me, who want to hear my laments. They want to hear about the throbbing pain going down my right leg, about how much fear and anxiety I am feeling every day, how it’s hard to drink enough water and not have to pee every 10 minutes, and also about how much I can’t wait see this new baby.” Each prenatal appointment was sacred and so uplifting.
“I chose a midwife for the tenderness, the years of educational experience, the safety, the calm. I wanted my midwife there every step of the way.”
My husband was included in every way. He was required, or (ahem) emphatically requested, to attend their education classes on childbirth, prenatal nutrition, breastfeeding, and lactation so that he could be knowledgeably supportive. He never missed an appointment if he could make it. My oldest son was included. There were toys for him, so I could actually have a conversation. He held the fetal Doppler [a handheld ultrasound baby-heartbeat monitor that allows you to find and hear your baby’s heartbeat] more than once while we listened to that wonderfully strong heartbeat. The atmosphere was home. The staff was a family. They exist to help mothers deliver their babies in the most soothing and safe way possible. There are so many ways to partake in celebrating birth. This was the path I took. I chose a midwife for the tenderness, the years of educational experience, the safety, the calm. I wanted my midwife there every step of the way. But there are many different paths with midwifery care. There is prenatal care only. You could have the love and support of a maternal figure for the prenatal journey all while reserving your delivery for a doctor and hospital. You could choose to partake in their many wonderful education classes in order to really understand what the mother’s body is about to accomplish in birth and, possibly, breastfeeding. Many of these services are covered by most insurance packages. We all have this in common — a birth story, whether it’s our own birth or the birth of our child. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were a little under four million births in the United States in
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2014. Out-of-hospital births are significantly on the rise, so much so that this country as a whole is having to reformulate its ideas about birth. Birth changes everything. There are lifelong scars, visceral memories so deep they will never be forgotten. There are risks, sometimes life-threatening. But embracing all those scary, painful, miraculous possibilities is the only way to truly be as ready as you can. Birth is an act that requires us to relax, trust, and be vulnerable. Let us be encouraged to celebrate not only the delivery of a healthy baby, but the passage, the labor, and the pain of bringing that baby forth into the world. Let’s revel not just in the results, but the process. If you have had the privilege of giving birth to a child, what would it have felt like if you were nurtured as a whole person and armed with knowledge and bravery? How affirming and relieving would it have been if that nurturing was an intrinsic part of your entire method of care and delivery? How would it have affected your postpartum experiences if you were able to reach out and grab the hand of the very same person who delivered your baby and was with you for the entire prenatal journey when you were wading through the muddy “baby blues?” I have been unbelievably fortunate and blessed to have received this level of nurturing care for each of my three babies. The tender recollections I have and the lifelong relationships I’ve forged could also be yours to cherish. This also could be your experience, to have the wellspring of support, knowledge, peace, and bravery a midwife offers, regardless of how or where you give birth.
CELEBRATE BIRTH 1525 Edgewater Beach Drive Lakeland, FL 33805 863.680.BABY(2229) celebratebirth.info
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You choose your doctor. You choose your hospital. Now choose VITAS as your hospice specialist. You and your family have made so many tough decisions. When it comes to hospice care in Lakeland, the choice is easyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;VITAS. Serving Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties. Proud Sponsor of:
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Rooted remedies WRITTEN BY KRISTIN CROSBY PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN AUSTIN & LOREE ROWLAND
WHILE IMPROVING OUR FAMILY’S HEALTH IS IMPORTANT, IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE NUMBER ONE ON OUR AGENDA. (WHAT CAN WE SAY? LIFE HAPPENS.) BUT THIS NEW CRAFTED HERBAL HEALTH COMPANY SEEKS TO MAKE IT A REALITY FOR BUSY FAMILIES.
the midst of new school schedules, baseball practices, and simply getting dinner on the table — never mind getting the family around the table — managing family life is no easy job. That’s right, it is certainly a job. A 24-7 one at that. There are days when just not being the last parent to pick your child up from school is counted a win. Family life is always full of surprises. Particularly with the young ones, life is never dull. Of this, we can all be certain. The ever-evolving journey of raising little ones can keep you on your toes, if not, at times, on the edge of your seat. Yet with the cold and flu season just around the corner, even in an ever-so-warm Florida fall, the health of your family can seem unpredictable at best. It is often when stomach bugs and infections manifest — when having one kid with a cold suddenly becomes a kid with a cold, two kids with the flu, a feverish bedridden spouse, leaving you queasy, whether you’re really coming down with something or not.
So improving your family’s health, never mind managing it, can sound like a tall order. For some, having a healthy family may sound like a dream world: where playtime always translates to the outdoors, where a side salad is favored over a side of fries, where everyone reaches for Brussels sprouts like they’re M&Ms, and overall everyone is simply glowing with health. In a culture where we feel inundated with knowledge and philosophies, a holistic and healthy family can sound like a nearly impossible task. It may appear to require a complete lifestyle turnaround. But it doesn’t have to. While perfection is likely unattainable (you don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid, even if it is green), improvements certainly are more than possible. Most times it simply starts with an increased awareness. Small victories here. This doesn’t have to be an overnight win. Which is just what Lakeland’s newest health company, Sprigs Life, is all about: making your family’s health a reality. Through its extensive line of naturopathic products and informative social media, Sprigs Life offers natural remedies and solutions for common health concerns. 132 THE LAKELANDER
ACCOUNTABLE When planning for your financial future, you need a partner who is committed to managing your savings and investments wisely. Our commitment is to consider all factors that impact your wealth, and to bring about the right result for your family, all while taking responsibility for our involvement. We know that our guidance impacts your life profoundly. What other firm promises responsibility like that?
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Owners Nancy and Jonathan Laudon Photo by Diane Rodriguez
Sprigs Life is owned by husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Nancy Laudon, who recently relocated their office from New York City to Lakeland and are thrilled to bring their company to our city at such a unique time. “We’ve been really intrigued with the entrepreneurial spirit that is here in Lakeland,” the couple says. Though their herbal supplement products will continue to be manufactured in Ohio, the couple is eager for their new home office location, now in Dixieland Village, to influence and improve the health of families throughout the city. With the expertise of herbal health professionals, this company formulates an array of natural remedies to help grow, rebuild, and sustain the body. Currently, Sprigs Life products are sold in over 300 stores throughout the nation. While offering general health products for the entire family, their selection of supplements specializes in women, children, and prenatal care. Using natural ingredients, that may remind you of items once seen in your grandmother’s cupboards, each product is full of herbal and healing properties crafted to boost your immune system and help your family breeze right through this flu season.
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the couple is eager for their new home office location, now in Dixieland Village, to influence and improve the health of families throughout the city.
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According to the USDA, the average American eats 2.2 snacks per day, receiving 24 percent of their calories from snacks. Eating the right snacks can help prevent overeating, keep your blood sugar leveled, and provide nutrients throughout the day. Here are a few simple and wholesome snack ideas from Sprigs Life:
APPLE “COOKIES” GLUTEN-FREE CRAVING SOMETHING SWEET? THIS TASTY TREAT MAY SOON BECOME THE PREFERRED COOKIE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD.
1. Core and slice apples into thin rings 2. S pread peanut or almond butter over one side of ring. Top with almonds, walnuts, coconut, and chocolate chips, or any other sweet and salty topping to your liking.
STRAWBERRY BANANA MINT SMOOTHIE 1 and 1/4 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries 2 bananas splash of any milk of your choice (or a dollop of yogurt) half cup of ice cubes mint sprigs 1. Combine first four ingredients in blender until smooth. 2. Garnish with mint sprigs.
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HEALTHY THREEINGREDIENT CHOCOLATE 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder 1/4 cup coconut oil 2 Tbsp honey (or agave nectar) 1. I n a small pan, on low heat, melt the coconut oil. 2. Stir in the cocoa powder. 3. Add the honey. 4. P our into molds and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
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Meet Dr. Mom Sprigs Life offers effective solutions through its products, but it is also an excellent resource for increasing health awareness for your family with easy and useful tips. In addition to their blog and Instagram account full of easy health tips, Sprigs Life has launched a video series with Sandra Ellis M.H., better known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dr. Mom.â&#x20AC;? Educated in alternative medicines, Ellis has been the go-to expert for Sprigs Life as the company continues to develop its products. Each video answers common health concerns and natural remedies for effective cures. In addition, Sprigs Life carries a line of Dr. Mom products, promoting many of the herbal cures she suggests in her interviews. see more information online at sprigs.life
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Don’t tackle tax season by yourself. Jim D. Lee, CPA
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OPENINGS & COMING SOON
Location: 6220 US Highway 98 North Polk’s first trampoline park features an Olympic-size foam pit, over 60 trampolines, and a few “surprises up in the ceiling,” so you can easily spend hours defying gravity. Prepare yourself for an indoor experience with over 12,000 square feet of connected world-class trampolines. Check out their calendar at 2infinity.us for events and parties.
5TH AND HALL
Location: 1221 South Florida Avenue Inspired by classic 1960s’ Ivy League menswear, this clothing store is already a Lakeland fashion staple. With a frequent rotation of fresh options, 5th and Hall offers current street trends year-round.
Location: 1026 South Florida Avenue This artisanal bakery features the traditional bread of Ireland: Irish soda bread. Each variety of Dublin’s breads are made yeastfree from freshly ground, organic, nonGMO wheat.
EMBROIDERY MILL AND BOUTIQUE
Location: 225 North Kentucky Avenue Custom embroider your bags, hats, and more. The shop also offers women’s apparel, repurposed furniture, and miscellaneous gifts.
JITTERS COFFEE CAFE
Location: 3800 US 98 Highway North Located inside the Lakeland Square Mall, this recently opened coffee café offers fresh, espresso-based products and refreshing teas.
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Location: 5501 South Florida Avenue Masons Live, Lakeland’s latest music venue, features a spacious patio bar, serves a crafted bar menu, and offers unique entertainment from karaoke, trivia nights, and live music.
Location: 3801 US Highway 98 North North Lakeland’s newest Starbucks addition includes a drive-thru. Along with the company’s trusty order app, you’ll be able to pick up your latte in no time flat.
Location: 111 South Florida Avenue This “learn and play studio” is the latest edition of creative education environments for kids in Lakeland. A “play-based learning program,” WonderHere specializes in learning enrichment, homeschool support, and after-school and summer-learning opportunities. WonderHere encourages children to use imagination and exploration as a path to learning. This exciting new center is equipped with learning labs, reading rooms, and open play space to expand your child’s mind.
Location: 3800 US Highway 98 North Date: Fall 2016 The affordable retailer that quickly delivers high-end runway looks to the masses is coming to the Lakeland Square Mall. No longer will you need to drive an hour to Tampa or Orlando to shop at this Swedish multinational clothing company.
LITTLE GREEK FRESH GRILL
Location: Lake Miriam Shopping Center Date: Fall 2016 This Tampa-based, fast and casual Greek restaurant serves a variety of authentic Mediterranean appetizers and entrees.
POSTO 9 GASTROPUB
Location: 215 East Main Street Date: Winter 2016 Posto 9, an upscale Brazilian restaurant soon to open downtown, will be the latest installment of fine dining in the area. This $4 million project will hold three levels, including a rooftop lounge. To ensure quality to large crowds, each floor will have its own kitchen. An evolving menu will feature seasonal Brazilian cuisine and highlight quality local produce.
COMING SOON BULK NATION
Location: 4019 US Highway 98 North Date: Fall 2016 A Tampa-based specialty bulk grocery store that allows you to buy in portions that fit your needs. Over 3,000 specialty food items to choose from, including dried fruits, nuts, vegetables, as well as spices, coffees, teas, ancient grains, and candy. Also offered will be a huge selection of specialty products, including freshly made nut butters, organic fare, protein powders, local raw honey, and more.
Location: Corner of Edgewood Drive and Bartow Highway Date: 2016 This popular one-stop for coffee, fresh food, and fuel services will soon open its second location in Lakeland. An added WaWa bonus: fee-free ATMs!
I insist on being involved in the decisions. Join us for our Walk for Life on Saturday, November 5th at Lake Hollingsworth. For more information and to register as a Sponsored
Though Cornerstone care is available in many assisted living facilities or in one of our Hospice Houses all over Central Florida, most patients like Marjorie still prefer in-home care. But no matter where she needs us, our professionals will be in her corner, ready to provide her with all the comforts of home.
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All Creatures Animal Clinic
NOW ACCEPTING PATIENTS!
2535 S. Florida Ave. | Southgate Shopping Center
Welcome to your â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;? family doctor! All Creatures Animal Clinic has worked hard to not only gain the reputation of being an exceptional medical facility, but also to become an integral part of the families we serve. We are committed to always making time for our clients and providing compassionate care in a cutting-edge medical environment. In addition, we also offer alternative medicine options which include chiropractic care, laser, and a hydrotherapy pool. Our clinic recently earned AAHA accreditation, a distinction awarded to the top 12-15% of animal hospitals in the United States and Canada. We are also a certified Cat Friendly Practice. Pets are our passion, and keeping them healthy is our #1 priority.
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1019 W PIPKIN RD LAKELAND, FL 33811
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RECURRING EVENTS EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT PUB RUN @ RED DOOR LAKELAND 6:15 p.m. - 7 p.m.
EVERY WEDNESDAY DIXIELAND TWILIGHT MARKET 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
EVERY SATURDAY MORNING MITCHELL’S PUB RUN 7 a.m. - 8 a.m.
EVERY SATURDAY MORNING BLACK & BREW FUN RUN 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.
EVERY SATURDAY DOWNTOWN FARMERS CURB MARKET 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
OCTOBER OCTOBER 1 FREE HANDS-ON KIDS WORKSHOP Home Depot 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. workshops.homedepot.com
OCTOBER 3 MY PLAY & LEARN TIME 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. uwcf.org/servlet/eAndar.article/432/FamilyFundamentals
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OCTOBER 3 AFTER SCHOOL ART (AGES 5 & UP) 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. polkmuseumofart.org/after-school-content
OCTOBER 13 LAKELAND FOOD TRUCK RALLY 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. facebook.com/lakelandfoodtruckrally
OCTOBER 4 TERRIFIC TUESDAY SUCCESS BY 6 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. uwcf.org/servlet/eAndar.article/432/FamilyFundamentals
OCTOBER 14 PMOA ARTIST LECTURE, HUMBERTO CASTRO 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. polkmuseumofart.org
OCTOBER 5 DIXIELAND FARMER’S MARKET 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. facebook.com/DixieTwilightMarket
OCTOBER 14 – 16 LAKE MIRROR CLASSIC AUTO FESTIVAL lakemirrorclassic.com
OCTOBER 6 PMOA ARTIST LECTURE, GEORGE LOWE 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. polkmuseumofart.org
OCTOBER 14 BABIES & BOOKS 10 a.m. facebook.com/lakelandpubliclibrary
OCTOBER 11 PRESCHOOL STORYTIME (AGES 4 & 5) 10 a.m. lakelandgov.net/library/classes-events/ childrens-programs
OCTOBER 12 KIDS CLUB AT LAKELAND SQUARE MALL 10 a.m. lakelandsquare.com/whatson
OCTOBER 13 MOTHER GOOSE BABY TIME 11 a.m. lakelandgov.net/library/classes-events/ childrens-programs
OCTOBER 18 SUN STATE PARENTS POSTPARTUM SUPPORT GROUP 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. sunstatedoulas.com
OCTOBER 22 CHILDREN’S THEATRE (AGES 4 – 8) 2 p.m. lakelandgov.net/library/classes-events/ childrens-programs
OCTOBER 26 – 29 THE H.O.G. RALLY flstatehogrally.com
Little Squares of Heaven. (and pretty much everything else on the menu, too!)
2306 E. Edgewood Dr. | 863-450-2986
Since 1972 We’ve treated them like family.
• Comprehensive Medical Services • Professionsal Grooming & Stying • Comfortable & Spacious Lodging • AAHA Accredited 3710 Cleveland Heights Boulevard 863.646.2995 pethospital.com
THE LAKELANDER 145
Date: 1942 Local Boy Scouts on a paper drive to support the war effort.
Photo courtesy of Lakeland Public Library
146 THE LAKELANDER
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