Over 600 St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) students received food, clothing, and supplies from generous members of the Elks Lodge #1520 in Fort Pierce. The December 12th delivery schedule started out promising to serve 3 schools, but as donations poured in, the number of schools quickly grew to 13.
This growth mirrors the growth in the number of students who benefit from the Elks Backpack Program which supports students throughout the year. According to Lenny Smallacombe, organizer of the Elks support program, “Who would have thought we would have the ability to support so many children. Six years ago, when my wife and I started this Backpack Program with five students, I never dreamed it would be so successful!” He added that he and his fellow Lodge members are so happy to be able to provide this service to the community.
Superintendent E. Wayne Gent said, “Support such as this makes a monumental difference in the lives of our students. In order to achieve their very best, basic needs must be met, and with the support of our community partners, everyone wins.”
Smallacombe is deeply committed to helping children and embraces the work that goes on behind the scenes to make this all happen. In a slight modification to the celebrated quote, he said, “No Elk ever stands so tall as one who stoops to help a child.” He and his team at the Elks Lodge #1520 are, indeed, making a difference in the lives of many children.
About St. Lucie Public Schools
St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) proudly serves students as the highest-ranking District on the Treasure Coast and fifth in Florida with a graduation rate of 90.1 percent. As a B rated District, there are no failing schools, and SLPS is ranked among the top one-third of Florida’s districts for student achievement. The District also has the distinction of being recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. The mission of SLPS is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. For more information, visit http://www.stlucieschools.org.
Fifth grader Brandon Roth from Mariposa Elementary School was recognized during the December Board meeting for his courageous actions during a life-threatening situation.
This summer, Brandon was riding his skateboard when he discovered a neighbor in distress lying in her doorway. He ran to her aid and flagged down a passing car to call 911. He continued to wait with her until the rescue trucks and firefighters arrived.
His quick thinking and immediate action averted a potentially tragic outcome. The School District celebrates his quick and responsible thinking.
Maddy Polina, a successful senior at the St. Lucie Virtual School, has unique skills and talents.
Maddy manages her time between studies and training to make some significant accomplishments in a sport she loves – surfing. Most recently, Mandy claimed the Russian Federation National Women’s Surf Championship. She appreciates the support from her teachers, her principal, and most importantly – her dad. They provide help and encourage her so that she is able to realize her potential.
To find out more about this motivated young lady and her career, tune in to WLX TV’s Eye on St. Lucie or watch the show on YouTube.
St. Lucie Public Schools supports Big Brothers Big Sisters each year during the annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake campaign. This year, five schools were recognized by the organization for their tremendous fundraising efforts.
Morningside Elementary 1st Place $1,037.95
Floresta Elementary 2nd Place $970.50
Rivers Edge Elementary 3rd Place $830.00
F. K. Sweet Elementary 4th Place $731.40
Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies 5th Place $606.05