St. Lucie Soars Take-Off Ceremony Set for November 1st

St. Lucie Soars Take-Off Ceremony Set for November 1st

ST. LUCIE COUNTY – Business and civic leaders will join St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) officials on Tuesday, November 1st at the Treasure Coast International Airport to celebrate the official take-off of the District’s early literacy initiative – St. Lucie Soars. The kindergarten through grade three focused effort is in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties.  Its purpose is to recruit volunteers and mentors in an effort to help close the gap on third grade literacy.


Superintendent E. Wayne Gent said, “Giving a child the gift of reading opens the door to the world.”  He encourages community members to consider becoming a volunteer for St. Lucie Soars by donating one hour each week to read with a child.  This will be the message from Gent and other dignitaries including Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson, Port St. Lucie Mayor Gregory Oravec, and Big Brothers Big Sisters Chief Executive Officer Dr. Judi Miller at the take-off ceremony which will be held amid airplanes in an aircraft hanger at the International Airport.


Jim Bede of BEDE AERO Southeast, a premier aviation design and manufacturer, is donating his corporation’s space for this event which is slated to begin at 10 AM on November 1st.


Information and registration are available through the St. Lucie Public Schools homepage at  Interested volunteers will find registration information, a mentor guide, a training video, and more through this online portal. Consider becoming a volunteer today.  Through your weekly, one-hour commitment, the difference you make will help a child soar!


About St. Lucie Public Schools

The mission of St. Lucie Public Schools is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. For more information visit,  or contact Kerry Padrick at



Fort Pierce Westwood High School Raiders’ Victory

Fort Pierce Westwood High School Raiders’ Victory

Cadet Diana Soto was recently awarded the “Pushed to My Max” Award for displaying exceptional physical courage during the 5k Team Run at the Port St. Lucie JROTC Raider meet last weekend. Diana is a member of the Elite Westwood Raider Team. She was congratulated in front of her JROTC class by her instructor, CSM Federico Dottin, and Westwood Raider Team Co-Captains Brandon Payen and Nathan Andrews. The Westwood Raiders took first place in the fitness challenge, second in the Tire Flip and Rope Bridge and were the 3rd Place Mixed Team overall. The Panther Battalion will host the next Raider meet on Saturday, October 29th.



On Friday, October 14th, the host and creator of Jostens’ “The Harbor TV” Mike Smith made a stop at Lincoln Park Academy as part of his nationwide tour, visiting schools that embrace the Jostens’ Renaissance educational model.

Mike shared his message that impacts today’s youth about civic duty, digital citizenship, awareness and service with the Greyhounds in grades 6 through 12 in two separate assemblies that included a dance off and the world’s largest “selfie.”

Student leaders along with teachers and administration from Port Saint Lucie High School also participated in the assembly.

After the conclusion of the presentations, Mike conducted a tour of the campus, visiting classrooms, talking with students and answering questions.

“The Harbor TV is an educational video resource that provides students with real perspectives from real people that will help them achieve greater success in the outside world. The Harbor, featuring Mike Smith and guests, facilitates the teaching of character development in classrooms by showcasing tangible life lessons through a school year’s worth of episodes with rich, raw and engaging video content, which are designed for the classroom, along with a downloadable critical thinking discussion guide to foster student led discussions for each episode.”

Lincoln Park Academy has been using this resource for the past two years as part of the platform for its character development education.











Students Take to the Sunrise Stage for the 4th Annual STEAM Rap Battle

Students Take to the Sunrise Stage for the 4th Annual STEAM Rap Battle

Learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics along with a splash of the arts (STEAM) makes students want to sing and dance.   From a scientific point of view, the previous three trials (AKA previous three annual Rap Battles), support the hypothesis that the 4th annual STEAM Rap Battle will play to another full house at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 7 P.M.


Middle school and high school student teams from St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) across the District will align STEAM-based lyrics to hip-hop beats in a Rap Battle that promises to showcase the astute academic content knowledge as well as the gifted artistic talents of students.  According to event coordinator Allison Barajas, “This event is a beautiful blend of content and the arts.  Student performers have clear parameters — the lyrics must be closely aligned to content standards and shared within a defined time limit.  The creative element students bring to each performance regarding the visual and performing arts is remarkable.”  She explained that during rehearsals for the STEAM Rap Battle, there is a synergy among the students, their teachers, and event coordinators.  “There truly is electricity in the air as teams rehearse their performances, thrive on feedback, and refine their stage presentation in preparation for their live evening debut,” added Barajas.


While the evening’s performers are supported by their teachers, parents, and backstage personnel, the event itself is wholly supported through the generosity of business partners who sponsor engaging educational opportunities and community partnerships.  This year’s sponsors align to the STEAM acronym.  Beginning with the “S” and representing science, is SLPS’s Career and Technical Education Team. Florida Institute of Technology heralds the “T” for technology in education, and the “E” which stands for Engineering is sponsored by FPL. That brings us to the “A” for arts which is supported by the Education Foundation of St. Lucie County, and PNC Bank represents the final piece of the equation.  PNC is the proud sponsor of the “M” for mathematics in STEAM education.  Donations from each of the sponsoring organizations has gifted the students of SLPS with the opportunity to deepen their studies of STEM-related content and exploration of the arts as the STEAM Rap Battle enters its fourth year.


One might ask, why the connection between the arts and STEM-related studies?  It is vital to continue the effort to engage students in STEM-related fields of study as they prepare for college and the world of work. Success in the 21st Century has high demand for an in-depth knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Likewise, it is important for students to hone their ability to integrate and apply these skills in order to problem solve the challenges they will be faced with in the work force of tomorrow.  As arts are integrated into the studies, opportunities for diverse learning opportunities and diverse forms of expression present themselves.  Incorporating the arts into STEM studies sparks imagination, triggers innovation, and fuels creativity.


This blend of STEM and the arts will be brought to center stage on November 10 as veteran Rap Battle performers and brand new talent perform live at the Sunrise Theatre. Eighteen teams will vie for the STEAM Rap Battle Championship, and a panel of community leaders will serve as judges.  Utilizing a specific scoring rubric that takes into account depth of content, collaborative impact, and artistic quality to score and rank performances, they will name the middle school champion and the high school champion for the 4th Annual STEAM Rap Battle.


Tickets are free and going fast. To reserve your seat, call 772-429-7752.