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</head> Dog tag reading hit Stephens Elementary
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Updated: 11/22/2012 08:00:14AM

Dog tag reading hit Stephens Elementary

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Stephens Elementary students show off their hard earned dog tags. in the front row, from left, is Nicholas Satterfield, fifth grade; and Jadian Walker, fourth grade). In the second row, from left, is Daniel Cabrera, second grade; Omar Alarcon, second grade; Dayana Avalos, first grade; Olyvia Rasmussen, first grade; Gaberiel Luker, second grade; and Titus Walker, third grade. in the back row, from left, is Jason Wu, third grade; India Dix, third grade; Tukayla Sims, third grade; Leandre Grimes, third grade; and Kennedi Adams, third grade.


Students at Sephens can earn these dog tags in the Accelerated Reading tests. They are looking to break last year's record. So far, 357 dog tags have been awarded.

Christine Roslow

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During the 2012-13 school year, the students of Stephens Elementary are working to beat last year’s Accelerated Reading number of books read.

Last year the students read a total of 37,658 books with an 88 percent passing rate. They passed 33,274 AR quizzes with 19,320 total AR points earned. This year, as an added incentive, students can earn dog tags based on the number of points they earn for passing AR tests. The dog tags are awarded at the school’s quarterly awards ceremony at the end of each nine-week grading period.

The students are well on their way to outpacing last year’s efforts, the school reports. At the end of the first nine weeks, 279 students at Stephens Elementary had taken 7,896 AR tests with a passing rate of 88 percent. The dog tags have been a huge success with 206 students earning a 5 point tag, 91 earning a 15 point tag, 31 earning a 25 point tag, 4 earning 50 point tags, and 1 earning a 75 point tag.

The Raiders win
three first places

The Summerlin Academy Raiders Teams took first place Saturday, Nov. 3 in the Polk County JROTC Raiders competition at Ridge Community Senior in Davenport. All three teams took home first place trophies: The all male team, the all female team and the male mixed team.

The Raiders is led by ROTC Instructor, SGT.Mark Kalapp.

Fill-a-Gift-Bag to
benefit homeless students

As of Nov. 1, the Hearth Project has identified 1,453 homeless students in Polk County Schools and students have started the Fill-a-Gift-Bag Project to provide some of these students with a holiday gift.

The Fill-a-Gift-Bag project will distribute jackets, gift cards, books, hygiene items and more.

Hearth is looking for donations of:

• $5 Walmart and McDonald’s Gift Cards

Send donations to: The Hearth Project, 1915 S. Floral Ave., Bartow, FL 33830

• Monetary donations for jacket purchases

Make checks payable to the Polk Education Foundation with “Hearth Project” noted on the memo line. Checks should be sent to: The Hearth Project, 1915 S. Floral Ave., Bartow, FL 33830.

• Bagged Hygiene items

Individual gallon-size bags are to be filled with: 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner, bath soap/body wash, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, brushes/combs, wash cloths

Bag items should be sent to: Mark Thomas, Principal Gause Academy, 1395 Polk St., Bartow, FL 33830.

All donations will be accepted until Friday, Nov. 30.

Some facts Hearth has released about homeless students:

• The average age 9.

• Children and families are the fastest growing subset of the homeless, representing 40 percent of the population.

• The average homeless family is a 20-year-old mother with children younger than 6.

Christine Roslow can be reached at Staff writer Mary Cannaday contributed to this report.