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Saturday, Nov 22, 2014
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Tea honors PTA leaders, literacy programs


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BAYSHORE – Literacy and school reading programs was celebrated at a tea that recognized the 118th anniversary of the PTA.

The Lennard High School Intensive Reading Students program, under the direction of the Tracy Stanley, won top honors from the Hillsborough County Council of the International Reading Association in the Celebrate Literacy awards program.

The award, called the MaryEllen Elia Award, was presented by the Hillsborough County School Superintendent Elia, for whom the award was named. In included a $300 cash prize.

In the program, Lennard High students conduct book drives for Title 1 elementary schools in the community and read to the younger children. Title 1 is the largest federally funded education program to assist schools with a high number of children in poverty.

“I support all the good work you all do in your schools,” she told about 125 PTA leaders, school board members, school district administrators and reading association members at the Feb. 19 event at Tampa Garden Club.

Second place award went to Valarie Richards, a guidance counselor at Randall Middle School, who uses “literacy dogs,” which allow the students to read to the dogs while improving their own reading skills. Third place winner was the Adams Middle School Literacy Team which sponsored a literacy event to engage students, parents and community members in reading.

Bridgette Kramer, president of the Hillsborough County Council of PTA-PTSA, led a candlelight service to honor the founders of PTA and the local leaders.

Included in the service was a tribute to Colleen Lunsford Bevis, a children’s advocate who died in 2013. She had served as county and state PTA president.

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