Florida Association of
Partners in Education
Florida Association of Partners in Education Newsletter

June 2014
In This Issue
President's Message
Regional STEM Workshop
The Education Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards
TEEN Dating 101
Tips on Speech Notes
Quick Links

3938 Bobbin Brook Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32312


FAPE Board

Liz Stark, President
Michelle Roberge, President- Elect
Sara Au-VP Business Partnerships
Dorothy Spradley, Secretary
Marilyn Seay, Treasurer
Linda Morris, Past President
Kelli Walker, DOE Liaison
Rick Everitt, Ex Officio
Cheryl Freeman, Region 2
Ginger Blair, Region 3
Tanice Knopp, Region 4
Debi Elfen, Region 5

President's Message

The end of a school year is always a time to take a breath and reflect on what went well and what things you could have done better.  It is also a time to gear up for the next school year.  Many folks think that those of us who work in a school district get our summers off.  Not so, for most of us!  It is one of the busiest times of the year for many.  Sure, we may get to take off a week, or two if we are lucky,   to recharge, but then we are off and running. 

The FAPE board will hold a retreat in July to evaluate the strategic plan and if we met the goals in the plan.  We will also plan for the next year and tweak our strategic plan to better serve our members.  This has been one of the most challenging years in FAPE's recent history.  We lost our long time Executive Director, Pam Lastowski.  We also lost our DOE Liaison, Susan Walton.  Both of these ladies have been strong advocates and supporters of FAPE for many years!  And this is the sixth year of not hosting a state conference. 


As challenging as this year has been, it has brought successes, as well.  We hosted the first drive-in workshop at Legoland.  We had a great turnout and the evaluations were very positive.  You can read more about the workshop in this newsletter.  We have a new improved website.  Please make sure you visit often - www.flpie.org.  We have doubled our FAPE memberships!  We have added Regional Representatives to help with the work of the board. And we have instituted mentors for new coordinators.

But what I am most proud of is the hard work the FAPE board has put into the organization.  Each board member has stepped up and taken on duties previously performed by the ED.  It has been a pleasure to work with this dedicated group of people who believe in FAPE and continue to support its efforts to enhance student learning by building effective community and school partnerships!


I hope you get to stick your toes in the sand or a cool lake or river or wherever you go to reflect and recharge and get ready for a new school year.  Happy summer!

Liz Stark
Regional STEM Workshop
By Sara Au 

Nearly 75 educators and parent involvement coordinators and presenters from across Florida gathered at LEGOLAND Florida for the May 12 FAPE Workshop on STEM-based subject matter. The first in a planned series of regional one-day workshops hosted by FAPE, this event brought together presenters from the Florida Department of Education, NASA Educator's Resource Center at Kennedy Space Center, Pinellas County Public Schools, and LEGO Education representatives, in addition to tours of the STEM highlights at LEGOLAND itself.

The day kicked off with a rousing keynote address by Florida Teacher of the Year, Dorina Sackman. Ms. Sackman was just back from the National Teacher of the Year celebration at the White House in Washington, D.C., where she was a finalist. Ms. Sackman spoke about reaching students, especially those in Title I schools, and their parents through STEM.

Highlights included hands-on activities led by LEGO Education Certified Teacher/Trainer and iBrick Academy founder James Jones, who was instrumental in developing the state of Florida robotics curriculum. He paired with LEGO Education's Dustin Rhoades to showcase Story Starters, a kit that promotes language arts and STEM integration, by allowing students to build illustrative models of a book or story.

The NASA Educator's Resource Center provided two hands-on activities building a robotic arm and working on a touchdown activity.  Links to those activities can be found here:

Robotic Arm:  http://pbskids.org/designsquad/parentseducators/guides/mission_robo_arm.html 


Touchdown:  http://pbskids.org/designsquad/parentseducators/resources/touch_down.html 


Pinellas County's Diane Wolf, coordinator in the Department of Strategic Partnership and experienced educator of children with learning differences or disabilities, teamed with Laura Spence, Coordinator of STEM Education and host of the YouTube series Science Rocks Pinellas, to present about their extremely successful STEM Tutor Training program and efforts to increase family involvement.

Ms. Spence also joined Samantha Thorstensen, STEM Director of the Florida Afterschool Network, for a roundtable discussion with attendees about business and community involvement in STEM education, with real world examples of best practices shared to the group.

Lani Lingo, an Educational Policy Analyst from the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Family and Community Outreach, outlined the myriad of ways Family Involvement Matters. With 20 years in education, she's trained across the nation and sits on the State Advisory Committee for the Education of Exceptional Students. 

FAPE is planning to host additional regional one-day workshops on a myriad of topics and invites all members to share their feedback on what would be most desired for both location and subject matter in this short online survey.  

PCS STEM Coordinator Laura Spence discusses STEM and Parent Engagement.

Veterans Involved in Teaching & Learning

Columbia County School District

Lake City, Florida

By Dorothy Spradley   


V.I.T.A.L. (Veterans Involved in Teaching & Learning) began as a pilot project and is a cooperative effort between Pinemount Elementary School and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.  In it's twenty-seventh year, this program allows a unique partnership between a U.S. government facility and a local school system.  Twelve-second graders are selected each semester and go to the VA on a weekly basis to work with residents of the nursing home unit.  The students and Veterans are paired and remain as partners for the entire semester.  VITAL assists in increasing the residents' verbal coordination, range in motion and sensory perception, but more importantly, the residents feel useful and needed. For the students, understanding of veterans and governmental facilities, acceptance of the handicapped and aging, respect and dignity for the elderly, and discovery of the needs of those in the aging process is gained.  Students are taught compassion and come to the realization that older people have much to contribute to society. The extreme success of this program is like no other re-motivation programs.




This project provides the outlet and direction needed to help students understand more about their fellow man and their responsibility to others.  Not only does it help students develop a sense of purpose and responsibility, it also helps shape their character, values and commitment to society as they become more aware of the needs, cares and concerns of the elderly.  As the elderly's reservoirs of resources, wisdom and capacity to love are tapped, their sense of dignity and meaning of life increases.  Likewise, the young glean from these reservoirs and develop personally through the responsibility their new friendships require.


  • Provide an opportunity to share experiences, discovering the joy of reminiscing as the elderly pass along their history, wisdom, memories and understanding of life.
  • Help lessen negative stereotypes of aging.
  • Increase harmony and understanding between generations serving to benefit our community by producing more informed and resourceful citizens.
  • Educate the young as to the thinking and concerns of the elderly.
  • Help youth experience a realistic view of the aging process and develop respect and dignity for the elderly.
  • Give recognition to volunteer work of community service as an important dimension of the student's personal growth.
  • Provide the opportunity for the students to study the natural process of aging.
  • Provide opportunities for the student to investigate the career options available in working with the elderly.


The Education Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards

The Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards celebrate private sector involvement in public education. The Florida Education Foundation and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart proudly salute these organizations for their innovative partnerships and unwavering commitment to Florida's public schools:






Alachua County Scholastic Chess Assn.

Gatorland Family of Dealerships


Jersey Mike's Subs


Hungry Howie's



Florida Power & Light


Ascend Performance Materials

Seville Rotary




Ag Venture Inc.

Junior Achievement of Polk and

Highland Counties


Akers Media

Walt Disney World



Tartan Consulting


Regions Bank

Signature Brands


Whole Foods Market



Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Kate & Justin Rose Foundation - Blessings

in a Backpack


Osceola County Government

Vision Quest


Beaver Toyota Scion St. Augustine


Suncoast Credit Union


Murray Ford Super Store


C.A.T.A.L.Y.S.T. Global Youth Initiatives Inc.

South Daytona Police Department

Also recognized:





TEEN Dating 101


 By Michelle Roberge


Pinellas County School, Countryside High School was selected as a 2014 Regional Winner from the Florida Department of Education/Florida Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Parent Involvement Award. Countryside High School provides opportunities for all students to be successful leaners and to become active participants in society by creating a safe learning environment and building positive relationships. Countryside High has sponsoring TEEN Dating 101 with The Haven of RCS, Clearwater Police Department, GFWC North Pinellas Woman's' Club and GFWC Clearwater Juniorettes. Students and parents attend workshops on cyber bullying and on "love is never nonviolent". More than 500 students and families had the opportunity to hear Melisssa Dohme speak about her experience about dating behaviors and how to recognize red flags in relationships. She encourages students to get involved and to speak up if they see their friends in a violent relationships. Melissa is alive today because two teens saw her being attacked by her boyfriend. Instead of looking the other way they got involved and saved her life.  Countryside HS Teen Dating 101, domestic violence has been a public service presentation for the last seven years, teens can't hear it enough.  If you would like more information on Teen Dating 101. Please email Jane Hussar, Countryside High School, family & community liaison at [email protected]



Tips on Speech Notes

VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

Managers of volunteer programs are frequently in the position of speechmaker, rather than trainer.  The person goes to the local service club or college class and presents information on programs and volunteer opportunities.  In most cases the person uses notes (and if you are not, you should) to make key points.  Here are some tips on making a polished speech when using notes.

Type on note cards.  Using your printer get those notes on actual note cards.  4X6 or 5X8 are those used most often.  Double or triple space and use a 14-type font for easy reading.  The idea is key words on each card, as then you will talk more conversationally.

One thought per card.  Each card needs to relate to one idea, concept, or fact.  Use a highlighter pen to underscore what is the key message for that card.

Number the cards.  Each card gets a number.  What if you drop them as you walk to the podium?  It is easy to rearrange if they are numbered.

Arrange cards on lectern or podium.  Put card #1 on the left side of the stand, with rest of the pages to the right.  As you are speaking, pages 1 and 2 are always in front of you.  Transition from card # 1 to #2 becomes seamless.  As you are talking about # 2 card, move it to the left on top of # 1 to reveal card # 3 and so on.


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