B Michelle Caceres

With the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) quickly approaching, Bright Beginnings, a local nonprofit, is partnering with Friends of FishHawk to make sure children are prepared to take the annual test.

The organization is offering a Building Blocks of Academic Success Tutoring Boot camp on Saturday, April 13 from 12– 6 p.m. at FishHawk Fellowship Church, located at 15326 FishHawk Blvd., in Lithia.

The boot camp is being offered at no cost to families and is open to any student in K – 12th grade.

Bright Beginnings’ program director, Brooke Wheeldon-Reece, says her staff has been providing educational services like tutoring, FCAT prep courses and summer learning camps throughout Hillsborough County for the past 11 years. When their funding was cut last year, they had to get creative by launching a Social Enterprise Venture, allowing them to charge a nominal fee for their services. These fees allow them to host free events, like the one in April.

“These free tutoring sessions will be held four times a year, at the end of each nine weeks and prior to exams and FCAT,” said Wheeldon-Reece.

Bright Beginning’s staff will be offering tutoring to older students. The organization is asking for volunteers to assist in teaching the younger students. It is also asking for donations of supply items for the day of tutoring.

“The more support we receive the more children we will be able to help,” she said.

In addition to the tutoring session, optional classes will be offered for parents on an array of topics, including how to help your child with test anxiety, parenting, budgeting and navigating the school system.

Bright Beginnings also manages the Children’s Board Family Resource Center in Brandon, a neighborhood-based center offering universal access to a wide spectrum of services including car seat safety, health classes, tutoring and homework assistance, employability workshops, computer classes, tax season assistance and more.

For more information about Bright Beginnings visit www.brightbeginningshills.org. For more information about volunteering or to make a reservation for your child, contact Brooke Wheeldon-Reece at 281-5535 ext. 105.


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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.