Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Foster Children Receive Items From WMU-Cooley Law School

Donated items collected by WMU-Cooley Law School’s students, faculty, and staff were delivered to Everyday Blessings, a nonprofit foster care organization located in Thonotosassa.  Items collected included games, toys, gift cards, personal hygiene products and more.

Those living at Everyday Blessings range in age from newborn through 17 years old, and come from all economic backgrounds and ethnic groups. The foster care organization houses children who have been removed from their previous homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

“WMU-Cooley’s students, faculty and staff have a special place in their hearts for the children at Everyday Blessings,” said Lisa Erkens, who coordinated the donation drive at the law school. “We want every child to have an opportunity to feel special during the holiday season.”
Riverview Library Children’s Programming For January

The Riverview Library, located at 10509 Riverview Dr. holds programs each month that are courtesy of the Friends of Riverview Library and the Hillsborough Library System. Inquire at the Library Service Desk or call 273-3652.

Local Schools Lead Graduation Rate as Hillsborough County Claims Increase in Student Success

The Florida Department of Education released high school graduation rates last month showing the positive news for Hillsborough County Public Schools, including a 3-percentage point increase over the previous year.

According to the report, the District, managed increase its graduation rate from 76 percent in 2014-2015 to 79.1 percent in 2015-2016.

The graduate rate includes all schools that fall under the umbrella of Hillsborough County Public Schools, including charter, career centers and alternative schools.
While HCPS’ 27 traditional high schools are at a graduation rate of 86.2 percent, Newsome High has managed to lead the way at 97.5 percent.

Armwood High is now boasting of increasing its graduation rate by 8 percentage points to 72.5, while Middleton High increased its graduation rate by 9 percentage points to 74.7.

School officials said the increase means that students have more opportunities for post-secondary education, more opportunities for better jobs with higher wages, and more opportunities to support a family in the future. This benefits the entire community by growing our economy.
Superintendent Jeff Eakins said that working together with the School Board he has created a District Strategic Plan where raising the graduation rate continues to be a top priority.

“Our graduation rate shows me we care about each child. It shows me we are not going to stop. It shows me we are going to get to every child and make sure they have every opportunity to receive a standard diploma,” Eakins said.
School officials were also pleased with the report showing the District’s success of closing the achievement gap between its African American, Hispanic and white students.
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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.