Community Involvement

Pinwheels for Prevention

By on April 18th, 2017

This post was written in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Pinwheels for PreventionMy first realization that not all parents behave as loving parents was in the third grade with news that Penny’s mom had hit her over the head with a trophy. It was shocking, as child abuse was not a topic you typically heard of in the 70s, but conversations soon sprouted throughout our small suburban school and community.

Fast forward to today, and news of children being neglected and abused is far too prevalent.

Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and loving environment and it is our duty as parents, educators—as humans—to look after them.

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed pinwheels have popped up in your community and throughout Florida. A ceremony was held in Tallahassee earlier this month on the lawn of the Turlington Building, which serves as the home of the Florida Department of Education. These pinwheels represent Pinwheels for Prevention, a national campaign that engages communities in a coordinated effort to prevent child abuse. Continue reading


FLVS Students and Staff Give Back

By on February 17th, 2017

Random Acts of KindnessRandom acts of kindness are enough to make anyone’s day.

Whether it is holding a door open, paying it forward in line at Starbucks, or helping someone carry in groceries, we all have the capacity to be kind on a daily basis. This year, in order to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17), we spoke with some awesome FLVS students that really know what it means to be caring and kind.

The Creative Writing club is participating in an ongoing service project that started in February and runs through March. There are many ways that students of the club can help out. They can donate books, read to someone, help out at the library, or even volunteer as a reading, writing, or English tutor. So far, the Creating Writing Club members have donated 25 books.

The STEM/Science Club at FLVS recently participated in a clothing drive. Sometimes it can be easy to take something as simple as the clothes on our back for granted. Continue reading


Twins Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

By on November 17th, 2016

blog_cover_bottom_160805-copyJonathan and Christopher Collins, FLVS Full Time students in Ocala, were recently honored for their exemplary volunteer service with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The twins, currently in 10th grade, have participated in more than 100 hours of service during the past 12 months.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is bestowed upon Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time in service to their community and their country. The Collins twins were presented with the award by Center Point Community Church in Naples.

“I have a passion for helping others and for making a difference in my community,” Jonathan said. “It was an honor to be able to assist children grow and learn; however, I discovered in this process that I was the one who was being richly blessed. Although it was hard work and many days I left tired, I was excited that I knew I made a difference that day.” Continue reading


FLVS Joins St. Jude’s Walk for Children

By on September 8th, 2016

st-jude-walkAt FLVS, our teachers and support staff make up the heart and soul of our organization. All of our efforts are centered on the lives of the individual students we serve.

This month, one of our staff members and his daughter (a student at FLVS) are especially representative of this mission as we join the statewide 5k Walk for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mike Smith, FLVS Peer Counseling and Critical Thinking Skills teacher, says that his family has been a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for more than 25 years. His cousin (who happens to be getting married the same day as the walk this year) was treated and cured there in the early 1990s. Now, Mike’s family is once again part of the St. Jude mission to cure all children stricken with cancer.  Continue reading


National Volunteer Week

By on April 11th, 2016

Meet WingoNational Volunteer Week is being celebrated from April 10-16th this year.

What a great time to reflect and to take action! Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Eleven years ago, our dog died, leaving a big impact on our family. My children were young and the whole family was devastated. Concurrently, I was the Principal of Winter Park High School. I had developed a close friendship with a parent who was a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Continue reading


Student Gives at Animal Shelter and Gains Much More

By on November 24th, 2015

This month, we asked students to share ways they give back in their communities using #flvsgiving on social media. This post was written by one of our students who volunteers at her local animal shelter.

FLVS GivingHi, I’m Alexis Lamphere.

I’m a senior at FLVS and I currently volunteer with the Osceola County Animals Services in Saint Cloud.

In addition to volunteering my time, I foster kittens that are underweight or too young to be adopted and don’t have a mother cat to take care of them.

Working at the shelter is honestly a life-changing experience. I’m given the chance to help improve and change many lives every day. It teaches you to be selfless and you start to have an endless love for each animal. You start to care about the animal’s happiness more than your own and he/she becomes more than “just some dog” or “just some cat.” The animal becomes a loved one, a friend, and part of your heart. Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (3 of 3)

By on July 22nd, 2014

museumEnrichment Activities for Families

This is part three of a three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series about enriching activities that will keep students learning all summer long. Part one shared enriching opportunities that can be found at your local public library. Part two focused on Geocaching. This post (part three) is all about art.

This summer, in between the barbeques and fun in the sun, take a moment to soak in the enriching art and cultural activities of your community.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (2 of 3)

By on July 18th, 2014

geocachingEnrichment Activities for Families

It’s summer! In between the summer camps, pool parties, and lazy summer days, I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.

In part one of this three-part Virtual Voice blog series, I shared enrichment opportunities that could be found at your local public library.

For part two, I will be sharing another enriching activity that will keep students learning all summer long: geocaching. Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (1 of 3)

By on July 16th, 2014

libraryEnrichment Activities for Families

In this three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series, I will share enriching activities to keep students learning all summer long.

As our children enjoy the long days of summer vacation, parents all over the country have been hyperventilating as they fill 10 weeks of play dates, summer camps, pool parties, and weekend family adventures.  It’s enough to make even the most seasoned parent’s eyes glaze over.  As an educator I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.

Now wait!

Continue reading


How Are You Celebrating Read Across America Day?

By on March 3rd, 2014

suess_cover“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” – Dr. Seuss

Did you know that this year marks the 17th anniversary of the National Education Association’s annual Read Across America Day event? This event was created to promote excitement about literacy in schools across the country and dedicated on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2nd.

As we know, research has proven that students who are motivated to read do better in school.

So, get ready to grab your red and white striped hat and read along with the Cat in the Hat for the 17th annual Read Across America Day! Continue reading