FREE BREAKFAST & LUNCH TO STUDENTS
All Polk County Public Schools will continue to provide breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge for the 2019-20 school year through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Please note that this applies to traditional public schools in Polk County. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the CEP allows school districts in low-income areas to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications.
KATHLEEN HIGH TEACHERS EARN MASTERS
Nineteen faculty members from Kathleen High graduated from the University of South Florida, having earned their masters degrees at no cost through a $4.4 million Schools of Hope grant. The KHS cohort spent 14 months working after school, on weekends and during the summer to accomplish their goal. The new skills and strategies they learned will be put to work to help further improve the academic gains being made at KHS.
PCPS BUS DRIVERS GET NEW RADIO SYSTEM
Paid for by local capital improvement funds, the Polk County Public School buses have a new radio system. PCPS bus drivers and attendants no longer need to use cell phones to call 911, or radio to the bus dispatchers to call for help. Instead, bus drivers or attendants can press a button and immediately have contact with the county’s 911 system and emergency services. The upgrade will also make it possible to immediately identify which bus is transmitting, and its location.
A SUCCESSFUL YEAR AHEAD FOR POLK STATE
Polk State College welcomed students back on Monday, August 19. Enrollment is up 1 percent from last fall as of Thursday, August 15, and the College continues to see increased retention, specifically for full-time freshmen. The First Year Experience (FYE) program guides incoming students through their freshmen year with advising, extra support, and the First Year Seminar Course focused on college success. FYE welcomed more than 1,150 students and 750 parents to Polk State this month during three events.
WINTER HAVEN TAKES INITIATIVE ON OUR HOMELESS
Winter Haven commissioners approved a 20-point plan created by Brad Beatty, executive director of Heart for Winter Haven to help with homelessness in WH. Including an eviction diversion program, estimated to cost $75,000 the first year, to help at least 25 families. Another program would help rental property managers cover deposits and other fees at an estimated $25,000 in 2019-20. Adopting the report means City Manager Mike Herr and staff will incorporate the program into the city’s proposed 2019-20 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. More info on FB@Heart4WH
NEW BLOODHOUNDS ON THE CASE
Four new donated bloodhounds (and their handlers) are ready to hit the streets of Polk County after completing rigorous training, in the media room at the PCSO Sheriff’s Operations Center, in Winter Haven. The dogs were donated by the not-for-profit organization Find-M’ Friends, Inc., which is located in Citrus County and was founded in March 2014 by Ms. Linda Boles. The four donated hounds have a value of approximately $10,000 each, for a total of $40,000. The donated hounds’ names are: Trace, Preston, Cyndi Lou, and Catherine - she will be called “Cat.” The hounds are between 9 and 11 months old.
DESIGN INPUT MEETING
Grab your skateboard and consider joining the city of Winter Haven, Team Pain Skate Park and Whitehead Construction on September 5th at 6:00 p.m. at the Winter Haven Senior Adult Center at 250 South Lake Silver Drive NW. Join in the discussion about the upcoming skatepark. Have ideas? Discuss design ideas about what would make an ideal skate park for our residents.
HONORING OUR HEROES
Honoring all military, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel who put their lives on the line every day for our freedom. Also, pay tribute to those lost on that horrific day, Sept. 11, 2001. We shall never forget! 6:30 - 8 p.m. in downtown Winter Haven’s Central Park. Freedom Walk begins at 6:30 p.m. ending with luminary service at sunset.