Lee Academy’s  Lower School Science Fair was held on Friday, February 12th.  Students arrived very excited and well prepared as experts on their chosen topic.  The day included presentations for fellow classmates, students in other levels and teachers.  To keep the event safe and successful, students set up their display boards outside, one student per table, leaving ample space for maintaining an appropriate physical distance.  Although they weren’t able to participate in person, parents joined the event via Zoom to show support and enjoy student speeches. Those students currently participating from home were a part of the day as well.  They presented their information and board displays via Zoom to classmates and parents.

Our budding scientists described their experiments and shared their findings with great success!

Lee Academy incorporates the following guidelines in its approach to independent reading. The positive results of this approach are readily visible in the depth of comprehension in our students and their high levels of interaction with each other and in class discussions. It also creates a love of reading that will stay with them throughout their lives!

In preparation for an upcoming trip to the Florida Keys, students participated in a beach clean-up. The clean-up helped to address two key topics that the students have been learning about; coastal ecosystems and human impact on the environment.  After spending the afternoon cleaning, it was clear to students how important it is to not only take care of waste properly, but how to decrease the amount produced in general.  They discussed the realities of decomposition and the negative consequences that waste has on marine life.  This experience, along with the trip to the Keys, will increase student awareness of Florida’s unique ecological needs.  More importantly, they are learning that they can be advocates for their community and environment.

This Tampa Area literature festival was held on the Lee Academy campus.  Created by the Artists and Writers Group, Deep Carnivale featured  published authors, poets, scriptwriters, and artists from the area sharing and discussing their work with the audience, including conversations about writing, storytelling and related topics.  Campus venues will included Lee Academy’s outdoor stage, its lakefront deck and  multipurpose room, where some authors and filmmakers projected digital images related to their presentation.  Deep Carnivale also included readings by Lee Academy students, including a special homage to the important American poet Mary Oliver, who died in January. The festival was free and open to the public, who were able to enjoy our students and the following local artists:

Paul Wilborn discussed and read from his new book about Ybor City, CIGAR CITY: TALES FROM A 1980s CREATIVE GHETTO. David Audet showed some of his photographs that illustrated the book.

Ben Montgomery (Tampa Bay Times reporter and author) discussed GRANDMA GATEWOOD’S WALK: THE INSPIRING STORY OF THE WOMAN WHO SAVED THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL, winner of the 2014 National Outdoor Book Award for History/Biography. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won awards for a series for Tampa Bay Times, “For Their Own Good,” about abuse at Dozier, Florida’s oldest reform school.

Poetry, always a major component of DEEP CARNIVALE, included readings by Silvia Curbelo, Melissa Fair, Lori Karpay, Maureen McDole, Rhonda J. Nelson, Gianna Russo and Allison Moore.

Kristy Andersen presented her feature documentary about Harlem renaissance writer, Zora Neale Hurston, created for the American Masters Series on PBS.

Bob Gonzalez (University of Tampa, head of theater program) performed NONSENSE with one of his students and discussed the Dadaist influence on language and art in the early 20th century

Fred Smith (Young adult author) discussed writing for teens and his newest book THE COOLEST LABELS.