ConnectED Header
April 2018  
Visit us online Donate
In this edition of ConnectED:
  • Tomorrow is Give Day Tampa Bay! 
  • Save the Date: Erase the Need, support the School Supply Drive
  • Florida Economic Forum to benefit Take Stock in Children program
  • Hooked on Education Fishing Tourney raises $120K for scholarships
  • HCPS ranked as one of the nation's top-rated large school district
  • Tampa Bay Rays host HEF, HCPS for Spirit Night
  • Mentors celebrated at appreciation event
  • Volunteer in the Teaching Tools Store this summer! 
  • HEF Spotlight: Mitzi Castiglione, HEF Senior Accountant
Celebrate teachers on Give Day Tampa Bay

Tomorrow, the Hillsborough Education Foundation is participating in Give Day Tampa Bay, a 24-hour online day of giving organized by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Give Day provides local nonprofit organizations with the chance to 
promote and raise money to support their mission. 

This year, we are encouraging education supporters to make a gift to the Foundation in honor of their favorite teacher and share stories about that teacher in the comments on our  Fundraising Page , as well as on social media, using hashtag #ThankATeacher

Give Day donations help HCPS students in need (and their teachers) via school/classroom project funding, school supplies, scholarships, mentoring and more.

Help us reach our $10,000 goal! Click here 
before the end of the day tomorrow, May 1, to make a gift in honor of your favorite teacher. 

#ThankATeacher on Give Day Tampa Bay
#ThankATeacher on Give Day Tampa Bay

In Hillsborough County,  1 in 2 public-school students qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch.  If lunch is difficult to afford, it's unlikely school supplies are in the family budget.

Could you imagine starting your first day of school without even a pencil?

With your help, we can ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies to students most in need.

Click here to sign up as a supply drive host, see a list of public drop-off locations or to support the Virtual Supply Drive.

Questions? Contact Denise Becker at

Media Partners


Florida Economic Forum Luncheon to benefit HEF

The Economic Club of Tampa will host the 2018 Florida Economic Forum Luncheon on May 21 at Armature Works, with proceeds benefiting Take Stock in Children scholarships. The luncheon's theme is "The Business of Professional Sports" and attendees will hear remarks from Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers COO Brian Ford and a representative from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Click here to purchase a ticket or to become an event sponsor.

Hooked on Education Fishing Tourney 
raises $120,000-plus for HEF

On March 30, Wilder Architecture hosted the 12th Annual Hooked on Education Fishing Tournament at the Westshore Yacht Club, raising $121,625 to go toward college scholarships. 

Special thanks to Wilder Architecture, all of our tournament sponsors and 140-plus anglers who came out to support HCPS students!

HCPS ranked as top-rated large school district
Hillsborough County Public Schools is ranked as one of the nation's top-rated large school districts, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Testing by NCES is part of a national initiative known as "The Nation's Report Card" that rates performance by fourth- and eighth-grade students in 27 large school districts across the nation. 
According to results released this month, Hillsborough's students maintained stellar performance in reading and math, out-performing public school students in other large districts. 
Hillsborough fourth-graders tied for first place nationally in reading and math, while the district's eighth-graders tied for first place in reading and second place in math. 

Congratulations, HCPS! We are proud to partner with you to prepare students for life.

Tampa Bay Rays host HCPS Spirit Night
On April 14, the Tampa Bay Rays celebrated education by hosting a spirit night for Hillsborough County Public Schools during their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Tropicana Field. It was a fun, wonderful way to honor our students, teachers and school staff.  Thank you to our friends with the Rays for all that you do to support our students!

2018 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Christine Campbell throws the first pitch.
During HCPS Spirit Night on April 14, the Rays Baseball Foundation made a generous donation, which will go toward our goal of making sure every HCPS student achieves academic and personal success. 

Mentors celebrated at appreciation event
The Hillsborough Education Foundation was honored to celebrate our nearly 300 mentors at a Mentor Appreciation Party on April 26 at Citi. The event provided our Take Stock in Children mentees with a chance to thank their mentors for giving their time this school year. We want to thank all of our mentors for another wonderful year! 

Thank you, Citi, for hosting us! 

Mentor of the Year finalists (back row) with our Take Stock in Children staff (front row). 
Mentor of the Year Stacy Wrenn, with her mentee, Emily.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Click here to learn more.

To get matched with a student for the 2018-19 school year, contact Anna Laird at  or (813)463-4283.

Help out in the Teaching Tools Store this summer!
Help us get the Teaching Tools Store stocked for the 2018-19 school year! We are looking for individuals and groups to volunteer on week days in June and July.

For more information, contact Melanie Jimenez at  or  (813)574-0260.

Mitzi Castiglione | Senior Accountant

Responsibilities include:  Financial reporting, financial statements and fiscal grant management.

Years at HEF: 3

What advice would you give to a student who doesn't like doing homework?  
Don't think of it as homework. Think of it as opportunities. It is what will ultimately get you ahead in this world! 

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Mr. Larson. He was my chorus teacher in sixth grade and could play piano like no other. His class piqued my interest in music. Plus, I remember him telling me that my name is so unique and one that he can see in big lights. Ha! 

What was your first job?
I started earning money by mowing lawns in my cousin's neighborhood at 14 years old. We hustled every weekend by door knocking. When we got tired of that, we both got jobs as cashiers at grocery stores. I got my first paycheck from Winn-Dixie in my hometown of Plant City. 
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Time travel - I would travel back and meet my grandparents. 

What was your most memorable vacation?
I've been fortunate to travel to many beautiful places near and far, but one that has been memorable was our honeymoon to California. Not only for the scenery, the Sequoia forest and the coastal cliffs, but my husband and I naively crossed the U.S./Mexico border without our passports! We laugh about it today, but at that moment, I wasn't sure they'd let us come home again!