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 The Eustis Elk Lodge will join elementary students and their teachers on Thursday, July 23, to celebrate the last day of a five-week summer reading program the group helped support with a $2,000 grant. The Elks will grill hot dogs for the students and co-host a ceremony where each student will receive a certificate of participation. The program was a summer school offering for 100 students from Eustis Heights and Eustis elementary schools who needed extra time and support to maintain and strengthen reading skills during the summer break. Students were able to take home a new book each week of the program, which was held at Eustis Heights Elementary School. The celebration begins at 10:30, the ceremony begins at 11:00 and a grilled hot dog lunch will be served immediately after the ceremony.

The Mount Dora High School Air Force JROTC FL-951 has earned the “Silver Star” Community Service with Excellence Award for 2014-15, the Department of the Air Force recently announced.

This prestigious award recognizes the top 5 percent of all AFJROTC units based on community service in support of schools and local communities. The Mount Dora unit is one of only two in Florida and 47 worldwide to earn the award. The other Florida unit is from Treasure Coast High School in Port St. Lucie.

The mission of the AFJROTC is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. “The importance of service and understanding how it positively impacts our cadets, schools, communities and our nation is a critical component of what we strive to teach through our program and a vital part of our mission in AFJROTC,” Col. Bobby C. Woods, USAF Director, wrote in a press release.

The award is earned by units with the highest per cadet average of community service hours that are planned and conducted by cadets under the supervision of AFJROTC instructors. This year, cadets broke a new record with more than 1.6 million community service hours. The goal for next year is 1.7 million community service hours.

“We recognize that it is not just about hours,’’ Woods wrote. “It is about the positive impact that these hours represent.”

Senior picture Robby casual

Robert J. Simpson, a 2015 graduate of Mount Dora High School, has been awarded a 2015 National Merit Scholarship, the Florida Department of Education announced this week.

Simpson is one of 122 outstanding Florida students who earned the scholarship. They join approximately 3,900 students nationwide who earned the scholarships, which are funded by U.S. colleges and universities and are worth between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.

“These students have worked exceptionally hard,’’ Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said. “I am so proud of their accomplishments and thank their teachers for preparing them for success.”

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among National Merit finalists. This year, 184 public and private institutions participated in the program.

Simpson’s scholarship of $1,000 per year is sponsored by Auburn University. He is planning a career in Aerospace Engineering.

Scholarship winners began the process last year as juniors by submitting an application that included their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities and future educational goals. Students were also required to have a recommendation from a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm their performance on a qualifying test. More than 1.4 million students initially entered the 2015 National Achievement Scholarship Program.

Rosanne Brandeburg

School Board member Roseanne Brandeburg has been appointed to the 2015-16 Central Florida Congress of Regional Leaders, which will be chaired by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

The Congress was created by myregion.org, a “Line of Business” of the Central Florida Partnership. It is made up of elected leaders from Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties and is dedicated to developing shared policies that implement the Regional Growth Vision.

boot camp

The High School Freshmen Boot Camp is a day of empowerment presented by the Dream Center Institute to provide incoming 9th grade students in Lake and Sumter counties the information they need to prepare for a successful high school journey and future collegiate or vocational opportunities. Discussion topics include graduation requirements, scholarships, honors and AP courses, community service, virtual courses and more. All participants will be assigned a mentor to help them meet their goals.

This free event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1, in the Leesburg High School cafeteria. Breakfast begins at 9 a.m. and the boot camp follows at 10 a.m.

Register at https://eventbrite.com/event/17379175582/

For information, call 1-888-263-6576 or email beinspired2live@aol.com.

LCVS

Did you know that your child can take online courses through Lake County Schools? Lake County Virtual School is a public school in Lake County that offers students access to high quality, online curriculum that is state approved. Our office is conveniently located in Eustis, and Lake County Virtual School is staffed with highly qualified Lake County teachers. Lake Virtual implements the same academic calendar as the school district and communicates regularly with students, parents and guidance counselors regarding courses and student progress. If you are interested in learning more about Lake Virtual, please visit our website at http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/lcvs or call 352-483-4260.

Red_For_ED_July_2015The second annual community based school supply drive branded July is Red for Ed kicks off this Sunday with the Central Florida Cruisers Red for Ed Poker Run. Registration starts at 11:00 at the American Legion Post 35 at 920 S. Highland Street, Mount Dora. Last year the club’s inaugural run netted 264 pounds of school supplies and $387. Oasis Saloon, Knuckle Heads and Mama Lillies are the planned stops with the run ending up at the American Legion. The last bike in is at 2:00 and entertainment will be by Eustis Station.

July is Red for Ed is presented by THAT Company and LSTV and hosted by the Educational Foundation of Lake County which serves as the direct support organization for the Lake County Public Schools. Over 60% of the students in Lake County schools are on free and reduced lunch and over 2,600 are homeless.

Last year over 2 tons of supplies and food were collected during the drive. In addition to the Central Florida Cruisers Club, numerous other businesses have already committed to being drop off locations for school supplies and nonperishable food. A complete list can be found on The Educational Foundation’s website as well as a list of supplies needed ww.edfoundationlake.com. Businesses that would like to become a drop off location can contact the foundation at 352-326-1265. Boxes, signage and buttons will be provided at no charge to the participating business. The foundation is also accepting monetary donations and has the ability to purchase school supplies in bulk at greatly reduced prices. Checks can be made payable to EFLC/Red and mailed to 2045 Pruitt Street, Leesburg 34748.

All donations will be distributed at three backpack fairs in August with the remaining supplies offered to the school social workers and placed in one of three Apple-Mart stores, where teachers shop for free.

The month long campaign ends with an old fashioned weigh in at Wooton Park in Tavares on Thursday, July 30 from 4:00-6:00pm. There will be entertainment, food and collections will be weighed and posted. Three overall participating businesses or clubs will be selected as winners for most supplies, most food and most monetary contributions. An office pizza party will awarded to each of the three winners. For more information follow us on http://www.facebook.com/redfored or call 352-325-1265.

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