The perfect gift this Valentine’s Day is the gift of heart health. Along with Valentine’s Day, February marks American Heart Month, a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle and make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women.1 While Americans of all backgrounds can be at risk for heart disease, African American men, especially those who live in the southeast region of the United States, are at the highest risk for heart disease.2 Additionally, more than 40 percent of African Americans have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.3 That’s why this February during American Heart Month, Million Hearts® is encouraging African American men to take charge of their health and start one new, heart-healthy behavior that can help reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
Black History Month is celebrated every February and is a time set aside to learn about the accomplishments, culture, and contributions of African Americans.
Black History Month 2018 Theme
Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme.
The Black History Month 2018 theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and honors the roles that black Americans have played in warfare, from the American Revolution to the present day.
Tallahassee-based artist Thomas H. Lewis aims to create one-of-a-kind colorful, detailed, complex and exciting works of stained glass art that capture and translate images in a manner that reflects the reality, emotion and true nature of the subject being presented.
Lewis has worked in the medium of stained glass for more than 23 years. His concentration has been in perfecting the copper foil technique, which allows the subject to be translated onto glass in realistic detail. The objective in all of Lewis’ work is to achieve a detailed realistic presentation of the subject; be it humans, flowers and plants, animals or birds.
Lewis was selected to present his work in juried shows beginning in 1998. In 2012 “The Queen and Her Baby” and “Hold Me Forever” were accepted for inclusion in the Fourth Annual PINNACLE National Juried Art Competition sponsored by the Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery at Florida A&M University. His work “The Queen and Her Baby” was selected as the “Best in Show.”
Lewis was commissioned by Anheuser-Busch Corporation to complete three pieces for the corporate officers of Essence Communications. These three stained glass panels were presented at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana to Susan Taylor, Senior Vice President of Essence Communications, Edward Lewis, Publisher of Essence Magazine and CEO of Essence Communications and Clarence Smith, President of Essence Communications. These works are in the private collections of the recipients and on public display in the corporate offices of Essence Communications in New York City.
In 2002, Lewis was commissioned by the Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs Art in State Buildings Program to design, create and install the signature work of art for the entrance lobby of the South Walton County Health Department in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The twelve-foot long, four-panel piece of work is titled “The Estuary on the Emerald Coast.” It is a detailed four-panel copper foil stained glass presentation of the water, sky, plants, animals, birds and aquatic life indigenous to Walton County, Florida.
In the spring of 2002, Lewis was selected as the featured artist in the FLA-VOUR Magazine. A quarterly statewide publication that captures Black Florida life and style.
In 2007 and again in 2011, Lewis was selected to present in the City of Tallahassee’s Town Show. The Town Show is a juried selection and his piece “Yellow Sundress” was selected a favorite of the show. In 2011, his work “Hold Me Forever” was selected a favorite of the show and was featured in the 2011 City of Tallahassee’s art show at the Lemoyne Center for the Visual Arts.
Lewis is a graduate of Kentucky State University with a B.S. in Accounting and Economics and he received his Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh. Following a 43-year career in community development, urban revitalization and education at the local, state and federal government level, Lewis retired in 2012 as the Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development for the City of Tallahassee.
We are very proud of the significant increase in writing proficiency. Our students and our teachers have worked very hard this year to make this happen. If you notice, our percent proficient increased in each grade level tested.
While the state saw a decline in 4th Grade, our percent proficient increased by 7 percent to 55%, which exceeds the state average of 53%.
In 8th Grade, our percent proficient jumped 9 percent to 56% – while the state only saw an increase of 2%.
And our 10th Grade percent proficient increased by 12 percent to 62% – while the state only saw an increase of 2%.
Again, these incredible increases are the result of the efforts of our students and teachers and we are so proud of them.
FCAT Writing Results 2014
St. Lucie Public Schools made great strides on this year’s FCAT Writing assessment. Twenty-nine out of 36 St. Lucie schools (81%) increased their proficiency levels in Writing over last year’s performance. Across the District, our proficiency rate at a Writing score of 3.5 rose 10 percentage points. These gains can be attributed to focused and concentrated efforts in schools to improve Writing across the District.
At every grade level, St. Lucie Schools realized significant gains in writing performance. At 4th grade, St Lucie students performed at 55% proficiency (above the State average of 53%), which represents a gain of 7 percentage points over last year’s performance. At 8th Grade, St Lucie students exceeded last year’s performance by 9% and 10th grade students meeting the performance target increased by 12%.
St. Lucie Schools with the highest gains in writing proficiency:
Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts – UP 35%
St. Lucie Elementary – UP 35%
Dam McCarty Middle – UP 28%
Oak Hammock K-8 – UP 20%
Weatherbee – UP 20%
Floresta – UP 19%
Fort Pierce Central – UP 16%
Savanna Ridge Elementary – UP 16%
Bayshore – UP 15%
Grade 3 Reading and Math Results
Growth in 3rd Grade Reading and Math scores in St. Lucie remained consistent with growth levels across the State. Overall for the District, 50% of our students were proficient in Reading (at or above Achievement Level 3) and 47% of our Grade 3 students were proficient in Math.
St. Lucie Schools with the highest gains in Reading proficiency:
Windmill Point – UP 10.5%
Manatee K8 – UP 8.1%
Northport K8 – UP 7.8%
Village Green – UP 7.6%
Sam Gaines Academy – UP 7.1%
St. Lucie West K8 – UP 5.3%
Morningside Elem – UP 4.9%
Schools with the highest gains in Math proficiency:
Manatee K8 – UP 22.3%
Weatherbee – UP 13.9%
Morningside Elem – UP 11.1%
Northport K8 – UP 8.3%
Palm Pointe – UP 6.1%
NAU Charter – UP 5.1%
Village Green – UP 5.0%
St. Lucie West K8 – UP 4.8%
Sam Gaines Academy – UP 4.6%
Windmill Point – UP 4.5%
Seven schools had gains in both Reading and Math in Grade 3. They include Manatee K8, Morningside, Northport K8, Samuel Gaines Academy, St. Lucie West K8, Village Green, and Windmill Point.
Dr. Kelly, President of Florida Atlantic University and Debra Snyder, Principal of Palm Pointe tour the school Friday afternoon. The President was showered with gifts as a token of appreciation for the partnership the University has with the School.
Fort Pierce Westwood High School’s Agriculture program is growing a beautiful crop of cabbage. The cabbage will be put on the lunch lines in the cafeterias for students to taste and have a part of their meals.
Child Nutrition Services launches a Farm to School Program in all school cafeterias. Locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables such as romaine lettuce, oranges, peppers, strawberries and cucumbers will be served to all students starting on Wednesday January 14th. This is just the beginning of many locally grown produce items that will be offered to our students.
Students will also learn the nutritional value of the wholesome items that are being offered. This locally grown produce is delivered within 24 hours of harvest to the schools, straight from the farm to the plate! It has been the Child Nutrition Service Program’s goal to have partnerships with our community farms. When students learn where what they eat comes from, it will open their awareness of how important eating fresh fruits and vegetables is to the body so that they can continue to grow and learn successfully.
The Child Nutrition Program is extremely excited to see that students will receive locally grown fresh fruit and vegetable products at the highest nutritional value throughout the harvest months of November through May each year.
Ms. Sabrina Faniel, this year’s St. Lucie Public Schools Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year, threw out the first at Friday night’s St. Lucie Mets game. Faniel proudly represented the School District as she took the field.
The annual Family Reading Night Celebration at F.K. Sweet Elementary was another huge success with over 100 students, parents, and community members in attendance. Children were allowed to rotate from reader to reader and listen to teachers and community members reading lots of their favorite stories. Students filled goodie bags with pencils, pens, bookmarks, and books. Concessions, face painting, and balloons were also available. Pictured are the fifth grade teachers Christy Nuccio, Jodie Steele, Donald Logue, and Cindy Young entertaining a packed room with the book Jolly Mon, by Jimmy Buffet.
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – The 7th annual Family Reading Festival is slated for Saturday, April 23 from 9 AM – 1 PM at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. Families are invited to bring their children to this free event and experience the many joys of literacy. Meet Mother Goose, read with VIPs, receive free books, and enjoy interactive puppet shows. And there is more. Bring your gently used books for a book trade, browse the Scholastic Book Fair, visit with authors, and try your hand at a variety of literacy-themed games and activities.
“We look forward to bringing this event to our community each year,” said Reading Council President Lori Beans. “Literacy is the cornerstone for learning and is a valuable gift for all of our children.”
This event is organized by the St. Lucie Reading Council and supported by the Children’s Services Council as well as the St. Lucie Mets. Tradition field is located at 525 Peacock Avenue, Port St. Lucie, Florida. For more information on this event, visit www.slcreadingcouncil.org.
Another free opportunity for the public scheduled at the same time and venue is the St. Lucie Safety Festival. St. Lucie Public Schools, first responders, and other local agencies and organizations will be present with demonstrations and giveaways.
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, www.stlucieschools.org or contact Kerry Padrick at email@example.com.
The third annual Family Reading Festival, sponsored by the St. Lucie County Reading Council, drew approximately 3,000 visitors on Saturday, April 21, at Digital Domain Park. “We are so happy that so many people came to the event to celebrate literacy, and that we could put books in the hands of families to take home to enjoy,” remarked Vince Scotto, fifth grade teacher at Manatee Academy and incoming council president. There were puppet shows, an author’s alley with authors signing their books, Mother Goose reading to children, and a book exchange, as well as the VIP area where children could read to VIPs, such as school board members, the superintendent, school board staff and principals. Pictured, left, is Floresta Elementary School principal Deborah Iseman listening to a young reader.
For homework recently, Mrs. Madorma’s Northport fifth grade students taught their parents how to divide fractions using “Keep, Change, Flip!” They then sent their pictures to Mrs. Madorma through Class Dojo. Looks like Math is fun!
These faces can tell just how much fun was had by all at the recent Family Fun Night at F.K. Sweet Elementary. The annual event is sponsored by the PTO, with many members of the faculty and staff assisting with ticket and food sales. A few of the available activities were dunking teachers in the huge water tank, sports, music, face painting, the bounce house, and everyone’s favorite, the giant slide. Camryn Gardner and Kayla Jungjohan both agree that the slide was the most exciting.
The Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County is sponsoring their annual Family Fun Fair! This event is free and will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Lawnwood Stadium. For more information, see the flier above.