Lakeland High School

The Lakeland High Dreadnaught Marching Band participated in the Florida Bandmasters Association, District 12 Marching Music Performance Assessment on Oct. 21 at Denison Stadium in Winter Haven. The band, under the direction of drum majors Brianna Lynch and Alexander Bush, received straight superior ratings, the highest possible rating. The director of bands is Zachary Murdock and soloists included Peter Perez on trumpet and Kedrick Adams on alto saxophone. The band played selections from the music of Earth, Wind and Fire.

Bob Jones University

Rachel Gray of Davenport was recently named to Bob Jones University's 2017 Concert Choir. Gray is a junior majoring in theater arts.

Carlton Palmore Elementary

Carlton Palmore Elementary in Lakeland has received a five-year grant, with the total foundation contribution being more than $44,000. With the initial professional development completed, Carlton Palmore is officially a “Leader in Me” school and hopes to become a Lighthouse school in the future thanks to the local Panda Express restaurant and its charitable foundation, Panda Cares. Panda Express has sponsored more than 850 Leader in Me schools throughout the United States impacting more than 650,000 students. The Leader in Me is FranklinCovey’s whole school transformation process. It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.

Polk Girls in STEM

Polk State College received a grant of $8,611 from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation through the organization’s Impact Polk annual grant program and has partnered with Janie Howard Wilson Elementary and Bok Academy to expose young girls to the ideas that college is attainable and science is a possible career path. Fourth- to eighth-grade girls from Lake Wales schools have had the opportunity to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from female scientists at Polk State College through the Polk Girls in STEM program. Fifty students participated four Saturdays in October and will participate again in January under the guidance of 10 female students from Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society’s Polk State chapter — the girls’ STEM mentors. The girls will study microplastic water pollution through hands-on activities such as collecting water samples from local lakes and analyzing them under microscopes in Polk State’s science labs. They will also create a short digital video and posters in English, Spanish and Creole to distribute throughout Polk County to raise awareness about the topic.

Blake Academy

Blake Academy's visiting therapy dog, Simon, visits the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The students write him notes, and Simon writes them back. They write him stories, read them to him and give him treats. Students have looked forward to Simon's visits since he was a puppy — 4½ years.

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