Swimmin’ like fishes
While swimming is fun, parents can enroll kids in a swimming course
that could save their lives. Islamorada resident Colleen Hammon, a
25-year veteran swim instructor certified with the American Red
Cross, offers open enrollment for two-week safety swim classes at
In separate classes of 30 minutes each, Hammon
teaches water safety and basic swimming skills to children of
various ages and skill levels. There are four different group levels
The “Parent and Babies” for ages 6 to 23 months classes are at 1
p.m. and requires an adult to assist each child. The “Parent and
Child” for ages 2 to 3 years is set for 1:30 pm and also requires an
adult with each child. In “Level 1-2 Beginners” for children age 4
and 5 parent can assist if they want and the class begins at 2 pm
“Level 3” begins at 2:30 pm for children 6 and older.
All two-week sessions are set for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday with a rain make-up day on Saturday. The pool is closed
There are three sessions open for enrollment. Session 1 is June
15 to June 26. Session 2 is July 6 to July 17 and the final option,
Session 3, is August 3 – August 14. Space is limited. Each class is
30 minutes and cost $80 or $85 for the sessions for Village
residents and non-residents respectively.
For more information about group sessions or private swim lessons
contact Colleen Hammon at (305) 852-3003 or Founder’s Park at (305)
’09 CAMP and Careers accepting applications
The Educational Coalition for Monroe County (ECMC) in collaboration with Monroe County School District and Florida Keys Community
College presents the Cultural American Multidisciplinary Program (CAMP) and Careers 2009. Applications are currently being accepted
from 6th through 12th grade students. New programs include one art,
culinary arts/hospitality management/tourism and film/video
production. High school and DE are credit available to qualifying
CAMP runs June 13-July 19 at Marathon School. Countywide
transportation is provided and public, private & home school
students are invited to apply. Train with world renowned
instructors: winds, percussion, brass, guitar (bass, classical),
vocals, physical performance/theatre, rhythm, Stomp, ballroom dance
(Dancing Classrooms), film, culinary arts, health careers, and art
Junior CAMP is open to 4-6 grade students, but space is limited
and based on teacher recommendation.
The cost for CAMP is $400, but information to assist students in
seeking business sponsorship is available, although limited. Intern
positions are available for FKCC college students and Monroe County
for an application, more info, or to reserve a place.
Get safe; take the Weekend boating safety class
Sign up for the class and learn – boating rules, laws, safety
equipment, boat handling, weather and possibly get a break on your
boat insurance. This year the program will include a session aimed
towards “Local Knowledge Navigation.” Many insurance companies offer
discounts on boat insurance to individuals who successfully complete
this program. Individuals who successfully complete the course and
exam are awarded certificates and state boating cards.
Session Dates: Saturday, June 20 from 8am – 4pm and Sunday, June
21 from 8am – 1 pm at Holiday Isle (Quarterdeck) in Islamorada.
This comprehensive program designed for both beginner and
experienced boater will be taught by certified U.S. Coast Guard
Auxiliary Volunteer Instructors, and professional guest lecturers
(FWC and NOAA). Class size is limited and course organizers strongly
suggest early registration. Deadline for registration is Friday,
For more information or to pre-register call 1 (888) 470-5566 or
Patricia Fincannon at (305) 896-1964.
Free Plant Clinics in Key West & Key Largo
Get bugs identified and plant problems correctly diagnosed before
treating your landscape with pesticides or other chemicals. Free
plant clinics are being offered at the Monroe County Extension
office located in the Gato Building, 1100 Simonton Street, Suite
2-260, Key West, on the first and third Mondays of the month
throughout the summer. Master Gardeners will conduct the clinic from
9 am to noon. Bring insects or sick plants for diagnosis or
Free plant clinics will also be held on the first and third
Wednesdays of the month throughout the summer at the Monroe County
Extension office located in the Murray E. Nelson Government &
Culture Center, 102050 Overseas Highway, Suite 244, MM 102, Bayside,
Key Largo. Master Gardeners will conduct the clinic from 9:00 a.m.
Additional information is available from Monroe County Extension
Services, Key West phone 292-4501, Key Largo phone 453-8748, or
online at monroe.ifas.ufl.edu. Services are free and
available to all without regard to race, color, sex, or national
And say goodbye to Morse Code! Free classes for HAM radio
certifications are being offered by licensed ARRL Instructor John
Gassler in the coming weeks. Candidates for the Amateur License
(Technician Class) may take the HAM Radio Technician License class
on June 11 and 12 from 7 pm to 10 pm and June 20 from 8:30 am to 2
pm in the training room at the Islamorada Main Fire Station, MM 81.8
(Gulf). Testing is only $14 per exam and interested and ambitious
operators may opt to earn a Technician, General, or Extra
For registration or questions concerning the class call John
Lower Keys Chamber announces essay winners
The Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored our annual
essay contest. The topic the students were asked to write about this
year was “If You Were a Super Hero For A Day, What Would You Do &
How Would You Do It?” Seven essays were read and evaluated by the
Board of Director’s Essay Committee. The essays were creative,
interesting to read and we are proud of each entry submitted.
US Savings Bonds donated by First State Bank will be awarded at
graduation to the following students: 1st Place: Shelbi Swanson,
Amanda Larson (2nd), Olivia Priester (3rd), and Lea Hay (4th).
The Lower Keys Chamber would like to thank Principal Theresa
Axford, Assistant Principal Marla Russell, Eighth Grade Language
Teacher Victoria Fairbrother-Smith, and all of the eighth grade
students who participated in the 2009 LKCC Essay Contest. Special
thanks to Jason O’Brien of First State Bank for the savings bonds.
The Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff
wishes to extend our congratulations to these students and to all
graduating eighth graders at Sugarloaf Middle School.
Take Stock sends 42 graduating seniors to college
The 42 proud seniors in this year’s graduating class will join 224
from Monroe County who preceded them for a total of 266 scholars who
have successfully completed the Take Stock Program and are pursuing
their college educations. Following these seniors there are
currently 228 Take Stock students in grades 7 through 11 that have
signed contracts awarding them full tuition, four-year college
scholarships. These students have committed themselves to good
behavior, good grades, staying crime and drug-free, and attending
regular weekly meetings with their mentors. In return, each child
gets a fully paid four-year college scholarship including all local
Take Stock Florida board member John Padget explains, "Our
mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education—one
child at a time—and we’re doing it."
Jim Hall explained, "Saturday we say good-bye and good luck to
these 42 graduates. When school resumes in August, we will once
again offer Take Stock contracts and scholarships to the next cohort
of 7th graders. I’m happy to announce that we have scholarships for
every student who can qualify financially and academically, and
wants to go to college."
Continuing, Mr. Hall said, "We have a loyal corps of mentors, but
every year we always need new mentors for the incoming students and
to replace mentors that change jobs or are unable to continue for a
variety of personal reasons."
For more information on mentoring a student or donating to the
scholarship fund, call Jim Hall at (305) 293-1546.