Sixth grade students at Benjamin Franklin K-8 Center in Miami-Dade, received some special classroom visitors this winter—NBA referees!
Executive PASS© Business Partner Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, teamed up with Benjamin Franklin K-8 Center to bring the TIMEOUT for Reading program to sixth grade students at the school. TIMEOUT for Reading, a unique mentoring program in partnership with Scholastic and the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA), is designed to deepen literacy and instill a love of reading in students through NBA referees who are willing to share their time.
Through the TIMEOUT for Reading program, referees from the NBRA commit one hour, once a month from November to February, to act as mentors and read to sixth grade students. Benjamin Franklin K-8 Center is one of 12 schools in NBA cities across the country to welcome referees into the classroom each month to read aloud and discuss the importance of education.
“This program is an amazing experience to see a true business and educational partnership,” noted Arlene C. Weissberg, South Florida Account Executive at Scholastic Education. “Each month, students are able to have an opportunity to hear from the NBA referees when they are in Miami for a Heat Game. The students gather to hear a new book read to them by the referees and after the reading, they are encouraged to ask questions and chat for a while with the referees.”
While acting as TIMEOUT for Reading mentors, referees continually stress the importance of literacy in their personal and professional lives. Miami-based NBA referee Tony Brown explained, “I am always excited to get in front of a classroom of kids to read because it surprises them. We are able to connect the importance of reading to having any kind of job—even one that's very visual like ours. We stress that reading is a big part of what is required of us every day to be successful at what we do.”
Research from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™ found that 83% of children ages 6–17 say they love having someone read aloud to them. To encourage reading outside the classroom, students received take-home books provided by Scholastic following each of the referees’ four visits to Benjamin Franklin K-8 Center.
PASS© and Executive PASS©
Statewide Sponsors: Raymond James Financial and Publix Super Markets Charities
- The South Florida PASS Networking Session was held on February 19th at Miami Northwestern Senior High. All seven of the schools participated in the event and shared the many projects undertaken at the school sites. Principal Kiwana Alexander-Prophete of Carver Middle School shared samples of the prototype candy that is being developed by her students as a part her school’s partnership with IT’SUGAR CEO, Jeff Rubin. Special thanks to Northwestern Principal Wallace Aristide and his business partner Arthur Noriega for providing breakfast and lunch. The delicious lunch was prepared and served by the students in the Culinary Arts Academy. Later that afternoon, the school was visited by US Secretary of Education, John B. King Jr. to announce Miami-Dade’s participation in the federal government’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative aimed at keeping students in school.
- Ponce de Leon Elementary in Pinellas County has had a very successful partnership with the City of Largo this year. Principal Paula Texel and Joan Byrne, City of Largo representative have met to discuss how the city can support the school.
- Beautification Day – Over 40 parents, staff, students, and City of Largo employees came together one Saturday morning to help spruce up the campus by laying down mulch in certain areas throughout the campus. Other volunteers helped touch up the painting in the main hallways.
- Great American Teach In – several City employees came to speak to students about the jobs they do. Students enjoyed having them visit that day.
- Mentors –City of Largo mentors have continued to work with the students this year. These students are struggling academically and truly need an adult who can mentor them.
- Largo Rec After School Program – Partnered with the school to provide wellness activities for a Family Fun and Wellness Night in January. Staff and students also received a discounted membership to the Rec Center and activities provided by the City.
- Through the Executive PASS Program, Appreciation Financial is working to support the growing need for personal and professional Leadership/Mentoring for extraordinary students. With the already growing success of the District STEM Initiative, Appreciation Financial is further working to actually embed themselves into the classroom of the STEM related Academy at John I. Leonard Community High School in Palm Beach to implement programs that help students with 'real world' application in areas of math and personal finance.
- Exciting things are happening at Mort Elementary in Tampa, including:
- Saturday Academy for third through fifth graders
- Faculty participated in Language Arts Florida Standards Training led by the English Language Arts Team
- Mort Student Council Presidents, the Teacher of the Year, and Ida S. Baker Award winners were honored guests at a luncheon hosted by The Children’s Home Society and the Honorable Cathy Castor
- Teachers were challenged to plan engaging Pop Corn centered lessons/activities across content areas
- The Instructional Leadership Team planned effective strategies for using protocols by conducting a fish bowl Professional Development session
- Red House was honored at the Monthly Casa Celebration and treated to pizza and music
- Fifth grade teachers, Science Resource Teacher, and Assistant Principal attended Area Science Data chats
- Principal Nicole Clifton at Sandy Lane Elementary in Pinellas County is reporting positive results for the school. The first graders took their cycle 2 assessment for Science. The overall results for the grade level are as follows: 70% of students are proficient, 23% of students are approaching proficiency.
New Executive PASS Partnerships In Miami…
- Biscayne Gardens Elementary – Principal Deborah Riera with Business Partner Rachael LeCroy, MassMutual;
- Jose De Diego Middle – Principal Dr. April Thompson-Williams with Business Partners Remy Dou, MassMutual and Doug Levine, Levine Management;
- Hialeah Senior High - Principal Heriberto Sanchez with Business Partner Richard LePore, MassMutual;
- Miami Jackson Senior High – Principal Carlos Rios Jr. with Business Partner Scott Barkow, Raymond James Financial;
- North Dade Middle – Principal Fabrice Laguerre with Partner Holly Brady-Rumble, Inter-City Arts Collaboratory;
- Miami Edison Senior High – Principal Try Diggs with Business Partner Rhonda Wimberly, Turner Construction;
- Natural Bridge Elementary - Principal Frank MacBride, with Business Partner Nasly Duarte, IT Doctors;
- Hialeah Elementary – Principal Rosa Iglesias with Business Partner Favio Taborda, Retirement Ready Advisors;
- Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High – Principal Eric Acosta with Business Partner Rich LePore, MassMutual Miami.
A printable version of the Update is available for download below.
Council for Educational Change Board....Florida's Educational Think Tank
Charles B. Blumenkamp, Chair • Dr. Elaine Liftin, President and Executive Director
Founder, Leonard Miller
Andrew L. Ansin* • Philip F. Blumberg • Columba Bush* • Ambassador Charles E. Cobb Jr.*
Scott A. Curtis* • Diane Davis* • Edward W. Easton* • Dorothy Eisenberg • T. Willard Fair*
Karen Fryd • Dr. Robert W. Graham, III • Steven T. Halverson*
Lori R. Hartglass • Cyrus M. Jollivette* • Jonathan I. Kislak • Joseph E. Mahoney, Jr. • Daniel W. Mahurin*
Gene E. Marshall • Brad Martin • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller
Arthur Noriega V • Harold E. Patricoff • Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell*
Steven J. Saiontz • Ned Shandloff* • Steven J. Uhlfelder • Scott Ulvi • Steven S. Wasserman
Joe G. Weaver • Lynne Wines* • Paul Zimmerman, MD *Life Trustees
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