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Thursday, June 04 2020

By: Staff Writer.

Lakeland - The role of a nurse is not an easy one. It is stepping in to care and provide security in the face of uncertainty. An extraordinary nurse can ease every anxiety during the most traumatic and chaotic moment of our lives.

Sarah Yankey can do this and so much more. The moment she steps on the unit, there is a sense of comfort that sets the tone for the entire day.

Sarah is professional and diligent in her duties while aware of everything that is happening around her. Despite performing all these actions simultaneously Sarah always maintains a personal approach packed with just the right amount of humility.

For these and so many more reasons, the Peace River Center CSU, in conjunction with The Northeast Polk Gazette, recognizes Sarah Yankey as an extraordinary nurse.


Posted by: Content Coordinator AT 09:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 04 2020

Content Provided by Organization's Website.

Lakeland - Dr. Pam Craven is a professional educator with over 40 years of intense instructional and administrative involvement in the field of education, both in the public and private sectors. She is in her twelfth year as Executive Director of the Learning Resource Center. She is an adjunct with Florida Southern College’s graduate program and Polk State College’s Early Childhood Department.

Dr. Craven received a Bachelor’s Degree in English-Journalism Education in 1967 and a Master of Education Degree in 1988 from the University of South Florida. She began her doctoral studies in 1992 in Interdisciplinary Studies, however switching to Adult Education in 1993. In December 2000, she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education from USF.

Pam Craven has a broad background in educational reform, serving on task forces and advisory boards. Her area of training specialization is learning styles, effective teaching strategies, and integrated curriculum. She is a member of Polk Businesses for WorldClass Education and serves on the READ Polk Board. She is a member of the Leadership Polk Steering Committee. She also is involved with the Leadership Lakeland Alumni, Polk Vision Steering Committee, the Mentoring Alliance of Polk County, the Polk County Grants Alliance, United Way of Central Florida’s Community Impact Cabinet, Phi Delta Kappa International, and Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society.

Posted by: Content Coordinator AT 09:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 04 2020


As we gather to celebrate National Safety Month, I can't think of a better time for us to remind each other of the importance of lending a helping hand. The truth is that "personal safety" doesn't have to be a one-person job... or a self-centered act to keep ourselves and only ourselves safe.... it goes beyond that. And that's exactly what the National Safety Council Organization is trying to do with their National Safety Month campaign.

According to the Nation Safety Council, now, more than ever, safety is crucial both inside and outside the workplace, which is why the National Safety Council will still be recognizing National Safety Month in June. Observed annually by NSC, the nation’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, National Safety Month focuses on saving lives and preventing injuries, from the workplace to anyplace.

This year, NSC will shine a spotlight on pressing topics, including, but not limited to: Mental Health, Ergonomics, Building a Safety Culture, and Driving.

In the Northeast Polk Gazette, we want to invite each one of you to think safe, practice safety, and to lend a helping hand to others so that we can help ourselves and others stay safe and healthy. Life is crazy and crazy things are constantly happening around us but if we make a point of being there for each other, life will surely become less complicated and less chaotic.

A wise woman once said... "In a world where you can be anything, be kind" ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee ~

Let's be kind to each other and let's keep each other safe. At the end of the day, we are all in this together.

Posted by: Content Coordinator AT 09:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 04 2020

By: Mike Ferguson. Contributing Writer.

Lakeland - The COVID-19 pandemic has at least temporarily changed life for many, but a Polk County nonprofit is determined to make sure the learning continues.

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) of Polk County has spent the last 45 years catering to the educational needs of children from as young as five to adults. The nonprofit works with local public and private schools, colleges and has a wide variety of programs to go along with about 400 total tutors.

“We usually have a very robust and far-reaching summer program,” said Pamela Craven, the nonprofit’s executive director. “We have three different levels of study skills courses we usually run. We’re going to be monitoring what local and state governments do, but we’re hoping to have them again.”


For high school students, the Get REAL! Program teaches a variety of skills for high school students, including on-the-job training, resume writing, time management, and practice interviews. One of the newer programs, Get REAL! works in flux with other nonprofits. Craven said she hopes that it can begin in July.


Also on the slate for July is “Camp READY!”. While Get REAL caters to high school students, Camp READY! is a four-week kindergarten preparedness class.

“This is not only to get them ready with reading skills but social skills,” Craven said of the program. “A lot of times, the vocabulary is just not there.”

If possible, Camp READY! will take place in person and will be available at 10 locations across Polk County. There are four Lakeland sites as well as sites in Bartow, Fort Meade, Haines City, Lake Wales, Mulberry, and Winter Haven. Sites are funded by the United Way of Central Florida and GiveWell Foundation.

Although the course will go on as planned in person, Craven noted that facilitators will make sure that COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control are met. That includes potentially wearing masks, social distancing, temperature taking, proper sanitation, and limiting movement when possible. There is a $25 fee, but it can be waived based on attendance and other factors.


For Winter Haven students, a Summer Success Camp will be hosted in partnership with the Public Education Partnership (PEP) Center. The program catering to students from first through sixth grades is online and will focus on math, reading, and science. It lasts from June 1 through July 23.

LRC will be offering its Super Summer Success program for students who have completed grades from kindergarten through fifth. The online program will still be hands-on. It aims to improve reading and math skills.

For students with hopes of attending college, Craven said LRC will be offering SAT and ACT prep courses remotely. Programs for ESE and Title I students can also be done remotely, she said.

“We’re using the same models that have proven successful before,” Craven said. “The only difference is they’re online.”

The “Study Habits of Successful Students” courses are planned to take place in person, Craven said but could be moved online if necessary. The week-long course encompasses skills from setting goals, thinking critically and strategies for test-taking. Craven said there will be courses offered for elementary, middle and high school students.

“If we have setbacks, we know parents won’t be wanting their kids to meet in person,” Craven said. “This is something we could definitely do online.”


There are fees associated with most courses, but some can be waived. For more information, visit LRC online at or call 863-688-9477. Information is also posted on the nonprofit’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“Most programs are underwritten with some other type of funding,” Craven said. “We’re pleased to work with and have support from other nonprofits.”

The Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc. (LRC) was founded by the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. in 1975 to help students by providing personalized supplemental education programs and consulting services for parents. At that time it was known as the Learning Disabilities Center and its primary purpose was to serve students with specific learning disabilities and provide support for their parents. The name changed in 1977 as programs for the learning disabled grew in the public school system and LRC expanded its services to help all students maximize their learning potential.

From its humble beginnings as a small volunteer group working in borrowed space to today, LRC has over 500 certified teachers who provide countywide services to over 4,000 students ages five through adult.

About the Author: Mike Ferguson currently serves as the public information officer at the Haines City Police Department. Mike earned his bachelor's degree from Florida State University in 2009. Mike and his wife Jennifer live in Davenport, Florida with their two children.

Posted by: Content Coordinator AT 09:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 04 2020


Content Provided By the National Safety Council Website.

USA - Whether it happens at work or on the golf course, overexertion continues to be a leading cause of injury over all age groups. It was the second leading reason (after falls) that adults age 25-64 ended up in emergency departments in 2013, and the third leading cause for kids ages 10 and older, often from too-heavy backpacks, computers and gaming, and poor posture.

Overexertion causes 35% of all work-related injuries and is, by far, the largest contributor to workers' compensation costs – more than $15 billion, or 25% of the total cost in 2012, according to Injury Facts 2016®. It also is the #1 reason for lost workdays. More than 322,00 people missed work that year due to overexertion.

Here are the statistics for some preventable injuries at work, by industry, from 2018:

* Construction – 320,000
* Manufacturing – 540,000
* Wholesale trade – 110,000
* Retail trade – 510,000
* Transportation and warehousing – 280,000
* Professional and business services – 230,000 * Education and health services – 820,000
* Government – 940,000

Over all age groups, whether work-related or off-the-job, hospitals treated 3,132,271 overexertion-related injuries in 2014, and the trend doesn't seem to be going downward. What gives?

It's Really About Ergonomics

Ergonomic injuries are disorders of the soft tissue, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels, and spinal discs caused by:

* Excessive lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching

* Repetitive motion
* Working in awkward positions
* Sitting or standing for a prolonged period of time * Using excessive force
* Vibration, resting on sharp corners or edges
* Temperature extremes

Whether you become injured on an assembly line or typing on a computer, playing video games, or helping someone move, it's important to know the signs. Ergonomic injury is cumulative. Symptoms can include everything from posture problems and intermittent discomfort, to tendonitis, chronic pain, and disability.

Overexertion can be Prevented

Regular exercise, stretching, and strength training to maintain a strong core all are beneficial in preventing injury. Following are some additional tips for work and home:

  • *  Plan a lift before you begin, keep your back straight and lift with your legs

  • *  Limit the amount of time you spend doing the same motion over and over

  • *  Take frequent breaks from any sustained position every 20-30 minutes

  • *  If you work at a desk, move frequently used items close to you, use a footrest

    and adjust the height of your computer

  • *  Report pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, tenderness, clicking or loss of

    strength to your doctor before it becomes a full-blown injury.

    About the National Safety Council: The National Safety Council is a 501 nonprofit, public service organization promoting health and safety in the United States of America. Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, NSC is a member organization, founded in 1913 and granted a congressional charter in 1953.

    This article first appeared in

Posted by: Content Coordinator AT 09:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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