Students visit with patients at Consulate Assisted Living, a long standing tradition for Brandon Academy students.

Brandon Academy Students from grades K-12 are reaching out to serve those in need in the surrounding community. During the first nine weeks of the school year, various classes from K-5 have visited the elderly at Consulate Assisted Living, a long standing tradition. Students perform songs, assist with crafts, read stories they have written as well as visit with patients. “I often tell my students this quote from Audrey Hepburn, who said, ‘You have two hands…one to help yourself and the second to help others,’” said Sondra Cliggitt, lower school principal at Brandon Academy.

The upper grades (6-12) serve various groups during three scheduled Scorpion Days. During the first one, the 6th graders prepared 100 lunch bags for the homeless in conjunction with THORN Ministries.

Seventh grade students participated in a cleanup of Limona Park, and 8th graders went to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. Students from grades 9-12 spent time working at Feeding Tampa Bay.

“Part of my mission for my students is to create opportunities to serve others. While we are developing strong minds, we are also exposing our students to areas of need not only within our community but also within our world. Today’s children will be tomorrow’s leaders and the most successful leaders have empathy,” said Dominick Giombetti, upper school principal at Brandon Academy.

In November, students raised funds and gathered food for Thanksgiving baskets for students of families who attend Trapnell Elementary School in Plant City. The Student Council donated $100 from the proceeds from its recent Spookfest, 8th grade students sold Spookygrams and raised $238, grades K5 gathered shelf stable nutritious food items for baskets and Brandon Academy’s community partner, Winn Dixie, donated $250 toward this project.

The combined efforts served over 31 families this Thanksgiving. “Serving families in need is important to me. Everyone deserves food, especially a nice meal around the holidays,“ said Sean Burns, Regional Manager of Winn Dixie in Valrico.

December is the time when Brandon Academy students become Scorpion Angels for adults with physical and/or mental disabilities who either live in group homes or are monitored by Dream Support. This will be the fifth year that the school’s students have served these clients who are generally forgotten during the holidays.

Brandon Academy is located at 801 Limona Dr. It serves pre-K 3 through 12th grades. For information, call 689-1952 or

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