Health First expanding in Melbourne, it opens child`s center to public



Health First expanding in Melbourne, it opens child`s center to public
Vol. 28 No. 16
April 19, 2010
A Weekly Space Coast Business Magazine
Health First expanding
in Melbourne, it opens
child’s center to public
By Ken Datzman
Some good news for parents in the
region, the Center for Child Development
on the Holmes Regional Medical Center
campus in Melbourne is opening to the
public, and now accepting enrollments for
the 2010–2011 school year.
Operated by Health First Inc., the
roughly 11,000–square–foot day–care
center previously served only the children
of Health First associates.
Located at 611 E. Sheridan Road, next
to Health First’s Pro–Health and Fitness
Center, it is one of the largest facilities of
its kind in Brevard County. The center is
licensed to serve 407 children.
Recently, Health First purchased a
10,000–square–foot building behind its
current Center for Child Development and
is widening its reach in the market with
the targeting of enrollments from the
general community. Now, the operation
will have more than 20,000 square feet of
space devoted to child–development
“The new building gives us the capabil-
ity to open the center to the public for
enrollments of 3–, 4–, and 5–year–olds,
which is exciting,” said Health First’s Vasu
Vasudevan, manager of the Center for
Child Development, which is accredited by
the National Association for the Education
of Young Children.
“I think we will have from 40 to 50–plus
openings, including 10 to 15 slots for the
state–funded Voluntary Prekindergarten
program,” she said.
The VPK program provides 4–year–olds
access to quality education experiences
that are proven to prepare them for future
success in school and in life. “There is
considerable documentation of the
successes of VPK programs in Florida,” she
Vasudevan started working at the
Center for Child Development 19 years ago
as a weekend staff member and rose
through the ranks to become its manager.
She has watched the organization grow.
“We started in a small modular unit,
across from Holmes Regional on Sheridan
Road, with an enrollment of about 30
Please see Health First, page 19
BBN photo — Adrienne B. Roth
Health First’s Center for Child Development is now open to the public. Previously, it catered only to Health
First associates. Health First purchased a 10,000–square–foot building on the Holmes Regional campus
in Melbourne to expand the operation, which now touts more than 20,000 square feet between two
buildings dedicated to child development. Vasu Vasudevan, left, is the center’s manager. Kathy Turner is
the childcare and education coordinator.
Federal government takes charge of the student–loan program
President Barack Obama recently
signed a bill that ends a 45–year–old
program under which banks and other
private–sector lenders such as Sallie Mae
receive a federal subsidy for making
government–guaranteed college loans.
Instead, the U.S. Department of
Education — which already makes roughly
a third of these loans through its direct–
lending program — will make 100 percent
of them starting July 1.
The change will have a big impact on
some lenders and colleges but relatively
little on borrowers. They will continue to
get the same loans — including Stafford
loans for students and Plus loans for
parents and graduate students — on
largely the same terms.
Students who previously had to choose a
private–sector lender for their guaranteed
loans will now have only one choice: the
Banks can continue to make private,
non–guaranteed college loans, but these
are generally more expensive than
guaranteed loans.
With a single lender providing all
guaranteed loans, some fear that customer
service could deteriorate or that discounts
once offered by private–sector lenders will
On the upside, the interest rate on Plus
loans is only 7.9 percent in the direct–loan
program versus 8.5 percent in the bank
program. Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of
By Kathleen Pender
Scripps Howard Service, says the approval rate on Plus
loans is also higher in the direct program.
The rate on Stafford loans is the same
in both programs.
The change will not affect any loans
Please see College Loans, page 16
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APRIL 19, 2010
McCormick survives lymphoma,
competes in Disney marathon
VIERA — Paula McCormick, vice president and branch
manager of Seacoast National Bank’s office in The Avenue,
recently celebrated multiple milestones in completing her
first marathon, surviving lymphoma, and closing in on her
fund–raising goals for the Leukemia and Lymphoma
Her journey began in mid–2009 when she discovered an
abnormality in her eye while preparing for a July 4
celebration. What she originally thought was an irritation
turned out to be later diagnosed as a treatable form of
lymphoma, which led her to learn more about the disease
and what she could do to support the Leukemia and
Lymphoma Society.
In November, McCormick began four months of
training with the Central Florida Chapter Team in
Training to prepare for the Disney Princess Half–Marathon, which benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma
Society. During her training, she also underwent four
weeks of radiation treatments to arrest the lymphoma,
during which time she suffered a spasm in her coronary
artery that resulted in a subsequent heart attack on
Christmas Eve of 2009.
Undaunted by these challenges, McCormick successfully completed her treatments in mid–January 2010 and
continued to train and raise sponsorship funds. Placing
7,364 out of 11,352 runners that finished the marathon on
March 7, she has raised more than 72 percent of her fund–
raising goal to date. The 11 Team in Training chapters
have raised more than $750,000 to benefit the Leukemia
and Lymphoma Society.
“I was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma, which is
treatable through radiation, and wanted to do something
for all the people who have to endure longer chemo–
therapy treatments,” said McCormick.
“I was a non–runner when I decided to train with
Central Florida’s Team in Training. Fortunately, there
wasn’t any tissue damage to my heart muscle and I was
able to continue my training and my fund–raising efforts.”
Members of Central Florida Chapter’s Team in
Training program are trained by local athletes. They
attend training sessions and nutrition and fitness clinics in
preparation to run or walk a 26.2–mile marathon or a
13.1–mile half marathon, cycle a 100–mile ride, or
complete an international distance triathlon — all in honor
of a community member affected by leukemia, Hodgkin’s
or non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or myeloma.
To learn more how you can become a Team in Training
sponsor, visit
Rossetter House Museum event set
The historic Rossetter House Museum in the Eau Gallie
Arts District in Melbourne will present a free–of–charge
“Public Archaeology Day” on Saturday, April 24, from
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The address is 1320 Highland Ave.
Representatives from the Florida Public Archaeology
Network will survey the historic “Houston Cemetery.” The
program will include archaeological displays and demonstrations. For more details about this event, call 254–9855
or visit
APRIL 19, 2010
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Study: To predict student success, there’s no place like home
By Larry Lansford
Current school reform efforts, like No Child Left
Behind, emphasize teacher quality as the most important
factor in student success, but University of Florida
researchers have identified another, stunningly accurate
predictor of classroom performance — the student’s home
Right down to the neighborhood and street number.
The researchers attribute their finding to a profound
correlation they documented between home location,
family lifestyles and students’ achievement on state
standardized tests.
“The core philosophy of school reform today is that
effective schools and quality teaching can correct all
learning problems, including those of poor minority
students who are most at risk, and if they fail it’s the
educators’ fault,” said Harry Daniels, professor of counselor
education at UF’s College of Education and lead investigator of the study. “While school improvement and teaching
4300 Fortune Place, Suite D
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Adrienne B. Roth
Ken Datzman
Frank Schiffmann
Brevard Business News is published every Monday by
Brevard Business News Inc. Bulk Rate postage is paid at
Melbourne, FL and Cocoa, FL. This publication serves
business executives in Brevard County. It reports on
news, trends and ideas of interest to industry, trade,
agribusiness, finance, health care, high technology,
education and commerce.
Letters to the Editor must include the writer’s signature
and printed or typed name, full address and telephone
number. Brevard Business News reserves the right to edit
all letters. Send your letters to: Editor, Brevard Business
News, 4300 Fortune Place, Suite D, West Melbourne, FL,
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$26.00 for one year (52 issues). Send all address
changes to: Circulation Department, Brevard Business
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32904, or email [email protected]
quality are vital, we are demonstrating that the most
important factor in student learning may be the children’s
lifestyle and the early learning opportunities they receive
at home.
“Where students live — their neighborhood and even
the street — may be the most accurate indicator of
academic achievement.”
Since 2006, the researchers have conducted ongoing
studies in two Florida school districts, in Alachua and Bay
counties, tracking children from working poor families
compared with more well–off counterparts.
Daniels and co–researchers Eric Thompson and Dia
Harden, both UF graduate students in counselor education, reported their findings March 20 in Pittsburgh at the
American Counseling Association’s annual conference and
exposition, the world’s largest gathering of counselors.
Collaborating with UF business geography professor
Grant Thrall, the Florida researchers produced special
“geo–demographic” maps of the two school districts,
showing every student’s home address, color–coded to
indicate their household lifestyle traits.
The researchers borrowed “lifestyle segmentation”
profiling methods used by direct marketers and political
strategists to classify every student into one of several
lifestyle groups (four in Bay County, three in Alachua),
each based on a common set of values, income level,
spending patterns, education level, ethnic diversity of
neighborhood and other shared traits.
“The color–coded patterns on the maps reflect the
tendency of families with like lifestyles to live in clusters in
the same neighborhoods, and family income level is just
one of several variables they share,” Daniels said.
The researchers then examined the relationship
between each group’s lifestyle profile and their math and
reading scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment
Test, the state’s standardized exam used to evaluate
student and school performance. Researchers discovered
the groups’ socio–economic level corresponded with their
group ranking on FCAT scores. The most affluent lifestyle
group registered the highest FCAT scores, the second
richest group ranked second in test scores, and so on. On
the math tests, the gap between the highest and lowest
scoring lifestyle groups was more than two grade levels.
“The testing patterns in both counties virtually
mirrored each other,” Daniels said. “Every lifestyle group
improved in FCAT scores from year to year until the 10th
grade exam (which students must pass to graduate high
school), when improvement leveled off. But they all
improved at the same rate, so the achievement gap
persisted year to year.”
On the researchers’ special maps, the color–coding
patterns by neighborhood were almost identical for both
FCAT achievement levels and lifestyle profiles.
While neighborhood location and a student’s home life
are factors beyond teachers’ control, Daniels said such
home–based variables merit heightened attention in
bridging the achievement gap in America’s schools.
“The promise of this approach is its potential to help
schools reach those younger students in time to improve
their chances for success,” he said.
The UF study entailed analysis of massive student test
results. Researchers tracked five years’ worth of test scores
for Bay County public schools (2003–2007), and three
years’ worth (2004–2006) in Alachua County schools.
They analyzed scores only from students who took the
FCAT every year of the study–more than 14,000 in each
county. Over the years, those students generated more
than 42,000 FCAT scores each in reading and math in
Alachua County, and some 72,000 test scores in each
subject in Bay County. Overall, more than a quarter–
million test scores were analyzed.
William Goodman, supervisor of guidance and student
services for Alachua County Public Schools, said the UF
team’s data–mapping methods can help school districts
target specific neighborhoods and schools for federal and
state grant money to improve educational services.
“Data mapping and life–segmentation research is likely
to become more prevalent as there is a growing awareness
about how this decision–making tool might best be used to
improve the quality of life for students,” Goodman said.
Space Coast Scramble to benefit Brevard youngsters
AMIkids Space Coast will hold its annual Scramble Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 1, at Viera East Golf Course.
The fund–raiser assists the nonprofit in the redirection and rehabilitation of Brevard’s male youth who have committed
Supporters and golfers attending the event will have a breakfast provided by the culinary art students at AMIkids
Space Coast and the barbecue lunch will be provided by the Brevard County Sherriff’s Office.
Brevard Sherriff Jack Parker, board member of AMIkids Space Coast, said, “It’s an honor to be involved with a
program that’s effective in eliminating crime in our community.”
Graduates of AMIkids Space Coast, formerly known as the Space Coast Marine Institute, have an 83 percent success
rate, meaning they are unlikely to become repeat offenders in the community.
“With the involvement of our 22 board members, the popularity of the Space Coast Scramble has grown and so has the
need for our services,” said Wendell Watson, executive director of AMIkids Space Coast.
“We’ve been holding this event for the past 21 years and the results have been a great asset in helping us continue
what we do best — putting kids first. Brevard’s community members, businesses, volunteers and board members work
together in organizing the event so students’ needs are met and their educational opportunities grow.”
Golfers who are interested in participating in the tournament as individuals or as part of four–player teams can learn
more about the event by visiting or calling 752–3200. The cost is $125 per player or $500 per
team. Sponsorship opportunities are available starting at $100. Registration and breakfast begins at 7 a.m., with a
shotgun start at 8 o’clock.
Call Adrienne Roth at 321-951-7777 for Advertising Information
APRIL 19, 2010
Florida Tech is among university
participants at CERN in Geneva
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the
European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva,
Switzerland, has launched a new era for particle physics.
On March 30, the first particles collided at the record
energy of seven trillion electron volts (TeV). These
collisions mark the start of a decades–long LHC research
program and inaugurate research by thousands of
scientists around the world.
Florida Institute of Technology is among four Florida
universities, including Florida International University,
Florida State University and the University of Florida,
participating in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)
experiment at CERN. The CMS is one of the international
experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
Florida Tech Department of Physics and Space Sciences
faculty members have been actively involved with
constructing and commissioning the CMS particle
detectors. The Florida Tech team includes Marc
Baarmand, who initiated the school’s participation in the
CMS project in 2001; Marcus Hohlmann; five graduate
students; and research scientist Igor Vodopiyanov.
Florida Tech also hosts a “Tier–3” computer center,
built under the direction of Hohlmann, which is one of the
many regional hubs in the LHC Computing Grid.
The Florida Tech CMS research group, which has
received nearly $2 million in funding to support its
research from the Department of Energy, will analyze
collision data collected in the coming years, searching for
signs of new fundamental particles and forces in nature.
This could lead to major discoveries and publications in the
field of elementary particle physics.
“Today’s first 7 TeV collisions are a great start for LHC
science,” said Dennis Kovar, associate director of science
for High Energy Physics at the U.S. Department of
Energy. “We eagerly anticipate the work of the world’s
physicists as they begin their search for dark matter, extra
dimensions, and the ever–elusive Higgs boson particle.”
More than 1,700 scientists, engineers, students and
technicians from 89 U.S. universities, seven DOE’s
national laboratories and one supercomputing center
helped design, build and operate the LHC accelerator and
its four massive particle detectors. United States participation is supported by the DOE’s Office of Science and the
National Science Foundation.
Now, the real work begins for the LHC teams. Over the
next 18 to 24 months, the LHC accelerator will deliver
enough collisions at 7 TeV to enable significant advances
in several research areas. More than 8,000 LHC scientists
around the world will sift through the flood of data in
search of the tiny signals that could indicate discovery.
CERN is the world’s leading laboratory for particle
physics. Its headquarters are in Geneva.
Cocoa Village Playhouse board to meet
The Cocoa Village Playhouse Board of Directors will
meet at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 30, in the Cocoa Village
Playhouse, 300 Brevard Ave. The Cocoa Village Playhouse
is a direct–support organization of BCC. For more
information, call BCC’s Jim Ross, vice president for
advancement and public affairs, at 433–7023.
APRIL 19, 2010
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APRIL 19, 2010
TRDA to conduct seven statewide
small–business owner workshops
Small businesses receive more than $2 billion in federal
grants and contracts each year through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business
Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, but the road to
receiving this funding is filled with competition.
Florida’s Technological Research and Development
Authority “understands that small–business owners need
this funding and works to help them receive it.”
Continuing its assistance, TRDA has put together
seven workshops around the state featuring the “best
SBIR trainers in the business.”
The workshops will occur between late April and
September and will feature nationally renowned SBIR
trainers Mark Henry, president of Grow Emerging
Companies in Colorado; Jim Greenwood, president of
Greenwood Consulting Group in Sanibel Island; and
Sharon Ballard, president of Enable Ventures in Arizona.
“Florida has some of the brightest entrepreneurs across
the nation, and TRDA strongly believes in helping these
companies get the funding they need to make a difference
in their respective sectors,” said Chester Straub, TRDA
executive director. “These workshops will be invaluable to
small– business owners working to achieve that goal.”
The schedule of events and locations:
l April 29 — Melbourne, TRDA Business Innovation
Center, 1050 W. Nasa Blvd.
l May 4 — Jacksonville, University of North Florida
University Center, 1200 Alumni Drive.
l June 3 — Miami, University of Miami in Coral
l June 10 — Tallahassee, National High Magnetic
Field Lab at Innovation Park, 1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive.
l July 15 — Largo, Star Technology Enterprise Center,
7887 Bryan Dairy Road.
l Aug. 4 — Orlando, Disney Entrepreneur Center, 315
E. Robinson St., Suite 100.
l Sept. 16 — Boca Raton, Enterprise Development
Corp. Technology Business Incubator at FAU, 3701 FAU
Blvd., Suite 201.
The workshops are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The
cost is $49 per person, per workshop, and includes lunch.
Parties must register at Contact Bonnie
O’Regan at [email protected] or 872–1050, extension 107,
with questions or for more information.
Support for this program was provided by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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Brevard Youth Expo set for Wickham Park
Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host the
Brevard Youth Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 24 at
Wickham Park Main Pavilion, located at 3845 N.
Wickham Road, in Melbourne. This event provides parents
with an opportunity to discover activities and programs
that are available for children throughout Brevard. The
event features local organizations and businesses that offer
programs designed for pre–school through high–school age
youth. For more information or to pick up a exhibitor
application, visit the South Area Parks Operations office at
1515 Sarno Road, B–2, in Melbourne, or call 255–4400.
This event is being sponsored by “Florida Today.”
APRIL 19, 2010
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Symetrics’ Garner and Koller
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Executives Mitch Garner and Randy Koller of
Symetrics Industries in Melbourne have been named
revenue chairs for the 2010 March of Babies, the March of
Dimes’ signature fund–raiser of the year.
They have “personally committed to raising more than
$30,000” toward the March for Babies goal of $250,000 to
support March of Dimes research and community programs, which help mothers have full–term pregnancies
and babies to begin healthy lives.
In Brevard County, the March for Babies event will
take place on April 17 at The Avenue Viera and April 24 at
Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral. To walk with Brevard
County’s leading businesses, sign up for the event at or call 775–0205.
“In order for the March of Dimes to continue to support
all the efforts in Florida, the need for Brevard County to
participate in March for Babies is more important than
ever,” says Garner, president and chief executive officer of
Symetrics. “I challenge Brevard’s business leaders to join
me to raise critical funds so that all babies have the chance
to be born healthy.”
“Without the support from Brevard County residents
and businesses, the March of Dimes may have to cut back
on research that saves babies’ lives and may not be able to
help all the families who depend on its highly respected
programs like NICU Family Support, which provides comfort and information for families with a baby in intensive
care,” said Shanna Michel, of the March of Dimes.
The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S.
today is premature birth, Michel said. “It affects more than
500,000 babies each year, with the number growing every
day.” Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have
disabilities. The March of Dimes “is committed to reducing
this statistic by funding research to find the answers to
premature birth.”
For the latest resources and information, visit or
‘All That Jazz’ set for downtown Titusville
The Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce will host
“All That Jazz,” a street–party celebration, at 5:30 p.m. on
Friday, April 23, in downtown Titusville. Guests can watch
“the filming of Titusville’s first music video.” The event will
feature live entertainment, jazz music, food, activities for
youngsters, and more. A free movie night sponsored by
Parrish Medical Center is part of the program. Jazz
vendors and performers are needed for the event. Call
267–3036 for more information about the Street Party.
‘Fight for Air Asthma Walk’ May 1 in Viera
The American Lung Association’s second annual “Fight
for Air Asthma Walk” will be held on Saturday, May 1, at
Space Coast Stadium in Viera. Event registration is set for
9 a.m. May is Asthma Awareness Month. The program
will feature a number of activities and is suitable for all
ages. In Central Florida, more than 45,000 children are
affected by asthma. The American Lung Association is
looking to raise $15,000 from this event for the fight
against asthma. For more information, call (407) 425–5864
or visit
APRIL 19, 2010
One Senior Place’s Kelsch and
PMC’s McAlpine to lead Forum
The Brevard Healthcare Forum has announced its
incoming Executive Committee members. Shawna Serig
Kelsch and Chris McAlpine will serve as the Forum’s chair
and vice chair, respectively, beginning May 1.
The organization serves as the health–planning body
for Brevard County and seeks to foster collaborative
relationships that facilitate the sharing of data and
expertise to address the county’s most pressing health–
care issues.
Kelsch, who most recently was the Forum’s vice chair,
has been an active member of the organization since 2004,
participating on various committees since joining. She is
currently employed as the marketing director for One
Senior Place in Viera and is actively involved in a number
of community and charitable organizations.
McAlpine is senior vice president of professional
services/administration for Parrish Medical Center in
Titusville. He serves as co–coordinator for American
Cancer Society’s North Brevard Relay for Life, and is a
board member of the Central Florida Health Forum,
Hospice of St. Francis, the Brevard Symphony Orchestra
and the advisory panel of the American Heart Association.
Keith Lundquist, outgoing chair, is the vice president of
planning and marketing for Health First Inc. Since 2006,
Lundquist has led the board in a number of successful
initiatives to help improve the health of the community.
Among them are ongoing programs designed to
improve access to care, combat childhood obesity and
address chronic drinking — priority issues identified by
findings from a recent Brevard County community–health
A Patient Safety Task Force under the guidance of
Lundquist also has been successful in implementing
hospital–safety initiatives including coordination of a
tobacco–free environment on all Brevard hospital campuses in 2009.
Recently retired Brevard County Health Department
health director, Dr. Heidar Heshmati, also served as vice
chair of the committee from 2007–2010.
Since 1996, the Brevard Healthcare Forum has been
sponsored by Florida Institute of Technology and served as
a countywide coalition of health–care providers and other
Current membership includes representatives from
these organizations: Brevard Community College, Brevard
County government, Brevard County Health Department,
Brevard Health Alliance, Brevard Public Schools, Circles of
Care, Devereux Florida, Florida Institute of Technology,
Health Council of East Central Florida, Health First,
Healthy Start Coalition of Brevard, Parrish Medical
Center and Wuesthoff Health System.
Honor America seeks parade applications
Honor America and the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum
are accepting applications from individuals and groups to
participate in the annual 4th of July parade in Melbourne.
There is no charge to enter the parade, which begins at 11
a.m. and travels through downtown Melbourne and ends
at the museum on Oak Street. For more information on
this event, call Honor America at 727–1776.
APRIL 19, 2010
Mighty Mushroom Open House
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Computer Information
Sponsored by:
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Systems Department
Monday, April 19, 2010, 6–8 p.m.
Mighty Mushroom Pizzeria
2400 Dairy Road, West Melbourne
(1/3 Mile South of U.S. 192)
Free beverages and pizza!
Meet and greet the Computer Information Systems faculty,
who teach on the main campus and online for the Virtual Campus.
Learn about the Master of Science degree in C.I.S.
For more information, e-mail [email protected]
or call (321) 674-8391
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Northrop Grumman steps up in tight economy with uplifting
commitment to community, a laser focus on education and the
environment; strong partnerships with Florida Tech, Brevard Zoo
By Ken Datzman
VIERA — Since the upheaval in the economy
began more than two years ago, corporate America
has whittled across a wide swath of its business
foundation, including cutting research and development spending, slicing employment ranks, and
reducing philanthropy and giving.
Communities of all sizes around the nation have
felt the impact of these recession–driven changes,
particularly in the giving sector because it plays such
a central role in supporting education, event
sponsorships, and other areas that align closely with
businesses needs.
Some corporations though, both public and
private entities, have held to their community–
involvement agendas through the downturn,
continuing to invest through dollar contributions
and in other ways.
Los Angeles–based Northrop Grumman Corp.,
with operations in 50 states, including Florida's
Brevard County (where more than 2,000 people are
employed), is one company that has kept its laser
focus on supporting education and the environment,
among other community involvements. That
commitment is evident in Brevard, where the
company has taken a leadership role in corporate
“I think it’s very critical to do so especially in
today’s economy,” said Tom Vice, vice president and
general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace
Systems sector and the company’s business leader
on the Space Coast. “Communities are where we
live, where we go to church, where we send our
children to schools. So part of our overall strategy is
to focus on the community, as well as being environmental stewards. And we are stepping it up.”
Northrop Grumman has been a “strong supporter
of Brevard” since it first opened in Melbourne
decades ago, with the Joint–STARS program, Vice
said. The employees and the company have given
tens of thousands of dollars in donations to many
organizations, and thousands of hours of volunteer
time to the community. “Our reach is wide and we
have often been recognized by those groups for our
support of them. We are humbled by, and proud of,
those honors.”
Northrop Grumman is the presenting sponsor for
the Brevard Zoo’s signature fund–raising event,
“Safari Under the Stars,” set for April 24 at the zoo
and typically attended by hundreds of
businesspeople in the community.
“We are thrilled to have Northrop Grumman
support us this year,” said Keith Winsten, executive
director of the Brevard Zoo, a nonprofit organization
that does not receive government funding and
generates its revenues from admissions and the sale
of goods.
“They have been supporting the Brevard Zoo in a
variety of ways, and we feel we bring real value to
the community, including to the employees of
Northrop Grumman. We also share some similar
missions, in terms of educating children in mathematics and science. It’s a perfect partnership for
us,” Winsten added.
Vice said Northrop Grumman has a global
commitment to reducing its carbon footprint across
50 states and 25 countries where it operates. “Every
employee is working to leave the planet in better
shape than we were given, for our children and our
grandchildren. I believe our support of the Brevard
Zoo is another great example of how we are linking
together our commitment to education and to the
Like most corporations, Northrop Grumman
prioritizes its funding resources in communities. Its
strategy centers on two main audiences: the men
and women who serve in the military, and the
children and teens who will be the nation’s future
work force.
Vice said his company has a “very strong focus on
energizing young people to consider pursuing a
STEM career,” which stands for Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math. “Education is a passion of
mine,” said Vice, an aerospace engineering graduate
of the University of Southern California.
In 2009, Northrop Grumman made a $1 million
gift to Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
The donation funded the newly named Northrop
Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design
Showcase, a spring competition where students
design and build original products, from robots to
rockets. Florida Tech engineering and science
students have been required to complete a hands–
on, detailed senior project before graduation.
“The $1 million endowment enables the university and our company to accelerate opportunities for
enterprising college seniors to succeed and prepare
them to join the work force,” Vice said.
This year, Northrop Grumman launched the
“NextGen” engineer program at its Melbourne
facility to give 29 high–school juniors across Brevard
a hands–on experience with some of the company’s
“leading engineers on a variety of topics. The
students’ enthusiasm and energy is boundless and
we want to keep that going,” he said.
To help strengthen that interest and enthusiasm
beyond high school, “we offer a dedicated engineering scholarship to students entering their freshman
year of college and pursuing a degree in engineering,
math, or technology. It’s a very competitive applica-
BBN photo — Adrienne B. Roth
Tom Vice, right, is vice president and general manager for Northrop Grumman’s
Aerospace Systems sector. His company has played a role in strengthening the local
community through significant corporate donations and employee volunteerism. An
example is its partnership with the Brevard Zoo, where Keith Winsten is the executive
director. Northrop Grumman is the presenting sponsor of the zoo’s 2010 signature
fund–raiser, ‘Safari Under the Stars.”
tion process and the applicants are incredibly talented.”
In addition to the $10,000 they receive toward their four–year
college education, the “students are linked with one of our senior
engineers, who are mentors to them for the entire four years. Personally, I think the greatest value to the program is the cross–generational
collaboration that occurs from the experience and what the students
end up with — and that is often a job at our company,” Vice said.
Corporate planning for community involvement has moved out of
the “crisis mode and into a recovering mindset,” according to a new
annual survey of corporate–giving strategies of U.S. companies,
released March 31 by The Conference Board, a global business research
and membership association.
Twenty percent of companies said they would reduce their giving
budgets in 2010, compared with 53 percent in 2009. The report is titled
“The 2010 Philanthropy Agenda: Is the Pressure Easing?”
A growing number of business executives across the nation,
including Vice, believe corporations should play a greater role in
helping communities solve problems in education and other areas.
“Absolutely. Businesses can play big roles in solving problems in
communities. I think that businesses and the public sector have to
work together to help solve these problems.”
Call Adrienne Roth at 321-951-7777 for Advertising Information
APRIL 19, 2010
Timeless musical ‘Ragtime,’ with a record cast, headlines The
Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse during April; to be followed by
‘Man of La Mancha’; Playhouse tracking a ‘break–even’ season
By Ken Datzman
COCOA VILLAGE — Staci Hawkins–Smith is
sitting in a small room off The Historic Cocoa
Village Playhouse stage, where racks of colorful,
highly detailed costumes, many of which are
handmade, are kept. One flight up is another room
where even more costumes of a wide range are
Many of the hundreds of outfits will be worn by
the cast of “Ragtime, the Musical.” The cast
consists of 104 people, with the youngest showman
5 years old. Each person in the cast has at “least
three costumes” for the performances.
“It’s the largest cast I’ve ever had to assemble,
outside of a children’s show,” said Hawkins–Smith,
who is in her 20th year as executive director of the
Playhouse, a direct–support organization of
Brevard Community College. “Ragtime is a very
multicultural show and it takes all these performers because they are representing the different
segments of our culture. At the turn of the last
century, this nation was very sectional.”
“Ragtime” opened April 2 at the Playhouse and
is sponsored by community–minded Bright House
Networks. It is an epic tale of a “young America”
played out in song and dance. The play paints a
nostalgic and powerful portrait of life at the turn of
the twentieth century, she said.
The costumes and sets for the production are
creative pieces in their own right. The Playhouse
team includes Wendy Brenier, choreographer; Dan
Hill, costume designer; Ian Cook scenic designer;
and Jeremy Phelps, associate designer.
American novelist E.L. Doctorow created his
unique novel, “Ragtime,” in 1975. Hawkins–Smith
said Ragtime blends three fictional families with
various historical figures between 1902 and 1917,
poignantly illustrating wealth and poverty, among
other themes.
The historical figures include Henry Ford and
John Pierpoint “J.P.” Morgan. “So you have these
real characters through history intertwined with
the ones that are fictional,” representing the
“melting pot of America,” she said.
The three major, complex storylines of Ragtime
are: a businessman–explorer and his dissatisfied
wife; the African–American composer “Coalhouse
Walker Jr.” and his love, “Sarah”; and a Jewish
immigrant, “Tateh,” and his daughter.
The acclaimed musical won 1998 Tony Awards
for “Best Score, Best Book and Best Orchestrations.” Locally, J. Thomas Black Jr. is the music
director and conductor for Ragtime.
Ragtime plays through late April on various
APRIL 19, 2010
dates as part of the Playhouse’s “Broadway on
Brevard” series. Individual tickets are $22 for
adults, $20 for students and senior citizens and
$15 for children 12 years and younger.
To purchase tickets for Ragtime or other
Playhouse shows, call the box office at 636–5050 or
visit The full
schedule and dates for of performances are listed
on the Web site.
The Ragtime cast includes BCC’s associate
provost in Cocoa LeRoy Dabry as “Coalhouse
Walker Jr.”, Yvana Clowney (“Sarah”), Brenda
Sheets (“Mother”), Terrence Girard (“Father”),
John Dudley (“Little Boy”), Jason Crase (“Younger
Brother”), Bill Kienstra (“Grandfather”), Stacy–
Hawkins Smith’s husband Brian Smith (“Tateh”),
Adagio Leo (“Little Girl”), Eli Chamberlain
(“Emma Goldman”), Rene LaDulce (“Evelyn
Nesbit”), Tim Smolinski (“Harry Houdini”), Don
Griffin (“J.P. Morgan”), and Steve Davis (“Henry
Following Ragtime on the Playhouse schedule
is a single performance of “1776,” directed by
Hawkins–Smith. The show is set for 7 p.m. on
Tuesday, April 20, at the Maxwell C. King Center
on the BCC campus in Melbourne. Tickets are on
sale for $22. Set in Philadelphia, “1776” is the Tony
Award–winning musical about the signing of the
Declaration of Independence.
Area actors will be showcased with a score that
features hits such as “Sit Down, John,” and “He
Plays the Violin.” The play will be adapted to the
King Center stage using the sets, costumes,
lighting, and sound systems from the production’s
previous successful run at the Playhouse.
“On Sunday night (April 18), we will load our
equipment at the Playhouse and transport it in a
truck to the King Center. There, we’ll set up to
rehearse for ‘1776.’ So it’s going to be a pretty fast
turnaround for the Playhouse team,” Hawkins–
Smith said.
Next up on the Playhouse’s Broadway on
Brevard schedule is “Man of La Mancha,” the Tony
Award–winning musical and perennial crowd–
pleaser. It will open May 7 and run through May
23 on selected dates.
The show is an “inspirational musicalization” of
the Miguel de Cervantes masterpiece about Don
Quixote and Sancho Panza and their adventures in
17th century Spain at the time of the Spanish
One of the biggest successes of the Playhouse
over the years has been the children’s program,
“Stars of Tomorrow.” Typically, more than 200
area youngsters from 7 to 17 years old participate
in the program. June is children’s month at the
BBN photo — Adrienne B. Roth
Staci Hawkins–Smith is executive director of The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse,
which is faring well in a challenging economy. Dan Hill is costume designer.
‘Ragtime,’ now playing at the 490–seat facility, features a record cast of 104 people.
Ragtime showcases handmade costumes and unique sets, depicting life in America
at the turn of the twentieth century.
Playhouse and the Stars of Tomorrow will perform in three shows.
First is Disney’s “Cinderella” junior, scheduled June 4–6. This is Walt
Disney’s timeless version of the classic fairy tale presented as a live
stage show.
“Seussical Jr.” will take center stage June 11–13. The fun and
magic of “Dr. Seuss” comes to life in this “fun–filled musical” for the
whole family. The third performance is Disney’s “High School Musical
2,” the sequel to the original hit show. The schedule closes with
“Friday FUNday,” a variety show on June 25 for young audiences
featuring acts created by the Stars of Tomorrow. Tickets for the Stars
of Tomorrow shows are $10 for general admission, and $8 for
students, senior citizens and children.
On July 10, the Playhouse will announce the schedule for its 21st
season. Hawkins–Smith said as the current season winds down, “the
Playhouse is looking at a break–even number at the end of the year if
all goes well. It’s been a good year. We’ve worked hard. We are very
appreciative of the support of the BCC Trustees, Dr. Jim Drake (BCC
president), and the Cocoa Village Playhouse Board of Directors,
working together for the success of the Playhouse.”
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Patriotic sounds of Sousa to headline
concerts set for Melbourne Auditorium
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The patriotic sounds of the man dubbed “America’s first music superstar” will “ring
loud and clear” when the Melbourne Municipal Band presents a “Sousa Style Concert”
on Wednesday, April 21, and Thursday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd.
It is the second in a series of concerts this year during which the band is auditioning
candidates for the position of principal conductor and will feature Aaron Collins as the
guest conductor. Collins is a composer and the conductor of the Space Coast Symphony
Orchestra. He also serves on the Brevard Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.
The program will include Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” Dmitri
Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture,” Jacques Offenbach’s “Orpheus in the Underworld,”
William Schuman’s “Chester,” and two works by one of America’s most popular contemporary composers, Frank Ticheli.
Interspersed with these selections will be a variety of Sousa Marches, a program style
that was typical of Sousa concerts.
David Ewing and Phillip Vu, musicians with the Melbourne Municipal Band, will be
featured as soloists on the program.
Sousa was the creator of the American Pops concert and was the model for Arthur
Fiedler when he started the Boston Pops. His concerts were a blend of “light classics,
new works, virtuoso soloists, and Sousa’s own inspiring marches, blended by a master
showman.” He is remembered for many patriotic songs and marches, including the
celebrated “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
There is no charge for the concert and tickets are no longer required. Call 724–0555
or visit for more information.
Space Coast Writers Guild workshop set
The Space Coast Writers Guild will present its spring workshop, “Is Print–on–
Demand Right for Me? The Benefits and Downsides of Self–Publishing,” from 9 a.m. to
12 p.m. on April 17 at the West Melbourne Public Library, 2755 Wingate Blvd. Bethany
Brown, co–owner of the Cadence Group, will answer this question and many more
regarding print–on–demand, book services, sales and marketing for self–published
authors and small to mid–sized presses. The workshop fee is $20. The Cadence Group
provides consulting, editorial and book services for self–published authors and small–to–
mid–sized presses. The Web address is Amy MacGregor,
former sales director of Adams, F&W and Sourcebooks, launched the Cadence Group
three years ago and has built a “thriving business with an impressive client list.” For
more information about the workshop, e–mail Joyce Henderson at [email protected]
‘The Sunshine Boys’ to open at Henegar Center
Neil Simon’s Broadway comedy “The Sunshine Boys” will open at the Henegar
Center in downtown Melbourne on Friday, April 23. The show will run through Sunday,
May 16, on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The cast includes:
Don Cross, Gordon Ringer, Jim Schweller, Kaleb Lankford, Noah Marines, Kelsie
Currie, Betty Schweller, Pete Jacobsen and Joe Hennessy. The show is produced by the
Henegar Center and Red Carpet Productions. Gail Jean is the director, with technical
direction by Brock Tucker. The Henegar Center is at 625 E. New Haven Ave. Tickets are
$22 for adults and $20 for senior citizens. Reserved tickets may be purchased at the
Henegar Center box office Monday through Friday, or by calling 723–8698. Tickets can
be purchased online as well, at
Call Seacoast, it won’t cost you a dime.
Central Florida Winds concert May 2 in Suntree
Feel good about your bank
Central Florida Chamber Winds will perform a concert free of charge at 3 p.m. on
Sunday, May 2, at Suntree United Methodist Church, 7400 N. Wickham Road, in
Melbourne. The group will be joined by Nancy Clew to perform “Poem for Flute” by
Charles Giffes. Clew is the founder and director of the Space Coast Flute Orchestra and
instructor of flute at Brevard Community College. Carl Adams, who has performed at
the Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Carnegie Recital Hall, will be featured, too. The
Chamber will also perform “Octets” by Carl Reinecke and Josef Mysliveck. The final
work on the program will feature an expanded group for a suite for wind orchestra, “The
Little Three Penny Opera,” by Kurt Weill. To receive tickets to ensure admission for the
concert, call 223–6688 or visit
Call Adrienne Roth at 321-951-7777 for Advertising Information
APRIL 19, 2010
Two international opera stars to perform
April 25 at Florida Tech’s Gleason Center
Two internationally acclaimed opera stars, one formerly and one currently with New
York City’s Metropolitan Opera, will sing show tunes, old favorites and well–known
arias in a concert that will delight people of all musical tastes.
The performance will be held at 4 p.m. on April 25 at Florida Institute of Technology.
Likely to be included in the program will be numbers from “South Pacific,” “Les
Misérables,” and “Carmen.” The event, to be held in the university’s Gleason Performing
Arts Center, was organized by the South Guild of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra.
The singers, who have homes in Brevard County, are tenor Mark Baker and baritone
Dean Peterson. Also featured on the program will be guest soprano Carla Cortner
Mueller, a Brevard County native who has performed operatic roles in both the United
States and Europe.
Baker, who performed more than 200 times at the Met since his debut in 1986, has
appeared with Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo, and has sung
leading roles in the opera houses of Paris, Buenos Aires, England, Chicago, San Francisco and more.
Among his many roles are the title role in “Peter Grimes,” “Don Jose” in “Carmen,”
“Siegmund” in “Die Walkure,” and “Samson” in “Samson et Dalila.” Retired from the
Met two years ago, he teaches voice at Brevard Community College and lives in West
Peterson, who continues to perform at the Met, has appeared at opera houses all over
the United States and Canada, including the Spoleto U.S.A. Festival, and in Italy, Spain,
Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Among his favorite roles
are “Mustafa” in “L’Italiana in Algeri,” “Mephistopheles” in “Faust,” “Trulove” in “The
Rake’s Progress,” and the king in “Aida,” all performed at the Met. He has a home in
Satellite Beach.
Tickets are $50 each. All profits will benefit the Brevard Symphony Orchestra. For
tickets, visit The Symphony House at 1500 Highland Ave., in the Eau Gallie Arts
District of Melbourne, or call the office at 242–2024.
Tickets may also be purchased at Wesche Jewelers, 8145 N. Wickham Road, in Viera,
and at RE/MAX Olympic Realty, 445 5th Ave., in Indialantic.
The Gleason Performing Arts Center is located on University Boulevard at Babcock
Street in Melbourne.
new ad on FTP site
Indialantic Chamber Singers to perform two concerts
The Indialantic Chamber Singers, in its 11th season, will present “Life, Love and
Lord Nelson” at two venues in Brevard. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April
23, at Suntree United Methodist Church, 7400 N. Wickham Road, in Melbourne; and at
3 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 106 N. Riverside
Drive, in Indialantic. The concerts are free of charge and open to the public. Donations
are accepted to cover the cost of music and the orchestra. For more information, call The
Indialantic Chamber Singers, under the direction of David Vogeding, at 960–5000 or
send an e–mail message to [email protected] “Our selections will
include two works, Franz Joseph Haydn’s exquisite ‘Lord Nelson Mass’ and John
Rutter’s delightful ‘A Sprig of Thyme.’ These two pieces are absolutely magnificent,” said
Tony Spadafora, president of the Indialantic Chamber Singers.
A Bachelor’s Degree
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Alzheimer’s professional caregiver training set
A class titled “Special Care of Persons with Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia” will
be presented from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 26, at One Senior Place in Viera. The
program will be conducted by professionals from the Legacy Harbor Memory Resource
Center, East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic, and One Senior Place. This class
is geared to the health–care professional and provides an overview of Alzheimer’s
disease and related disorders, communication challenges, and dealing with difficult
behaviors. The class is approved by the University of South Florida Training Academy of
Aging and meets the requirements of Florida’s mandated Alzheimer’s disease training
for nursing home, hospice, adult–day care, home health, and assisted living. At the
conclusion of the class, each participant will receive a certificate of completion. The class
fee is $15 per person, payable to East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic. To make
a reservation to attend the event, call One Senior Place at 253–6320. One Senior Place is
at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road.
APRIL 19, 2010
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ASF auction catalog debuts,
bidding to begin on April 30
Brenner Spring Fest
new ad on FTP
Scott Glover, CIMA®
First Vice President - Investments
Wealth Management Advisor
100 Rialto Place
Suite 900
Melbourne, FL 32901
Anderson named BRPH director of design
The Cancer Care Foundation Cordially invites you
to attend the Caring Hearts Benefit
In loving memory of Peter Bailey
Fine Wines, Lavish Buffet
Live Auction of Wines, Art Work & Jewelry
Music by Frankie Lutz - Steel Drum Sounds of the Carribean
Saturday, May 1, 2010
At the Riverside home of Ed and Jeanne André
3800 N. Riverside Dr., Indialantic, Florida
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Reservations are limited
$125.00 per person / Sponsorship Opportunities Available
In keeping with Kentucky Derby Day hats tradition,
we invite our guests to wear their “Derby Hats”.
Proceeds will assist the uninsured cancer patient in Brevard and
Indian River Counties with basic living expenses.
For more information please contact Marta Fiol at
(321) 952-8837 or [email protected]
From walking on the moon to “Dancing with the Stars,”
the next leap for former “moonwalker” Buzz Aldrin is onto
the auction block for charity.
A private dinner with Aldrin is just one of the unique
one–on–one astronaut experiences featured in the
Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s semi–annual
Astronaut Experiences and Memorabilia Auction, which
debuted its catalog at
The auction, which benefits the nonprofit Astronaut
Scholarship Foundation, offers 40 lots in all — eight
experiences with celebrity astronauts and 30 space
memorabilia and artifact lots straight from these American heroes’ personal collections.
From deep–sea fishing with former Mercury astronaut
Scott Carpenter, to owning a piece of netting that was on
the moon’s surface, the auction’s lineup is varied.
More than 80 American icons have joined forces to offer
these extraordinary experiences, personal memorabilia
and signed items, all in the name of charity.
Highlights of the auction include a segment of lunar–
surface safety line used on the moon in 1971 during Apollo
14; segments of the actual heat shield that protected the
Apollo–Soyuz test–project capsule upon its re–entry into
Earth in 1975, and a John Glenn–signed vintage “Life”
Auction–goers must secure a virtual paddle number at in order to
participate in the online bidding starting at 9 a.m. on April
30. The auction will close at 5 p.m. on May 8. Winning
bids, over fair market value, “should be considered a
charitable donation.”
Auction proceeds go directly to support the Astronaut
Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose
mission is to aid the United States in “retaining its world
leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in these fields.”
Call 455–7015 or visit
for more information.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith
Incorporated (MLPF&S) and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.
Investment products:
Are Not FDIC Insured
Are Not Bank Guaranteed
May Lose Value
MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, member Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and a wholly owned subsidiary of
Bank of America Corporation.
© 2010 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.
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page 9
Call Adrienne Roth at 321-951-7777 for Advertising Information
Roger Anderson, a member of the American Institute of
Architects, has joined Melbourne–based BRPH as the
firm’s director of design. He is a licensed architect with
nearly 20 years experience in the industry. Anderson most
recently served in a “high–profile role” with a nationally
recognized design firm, tvsdesign — Thompson, Ventulett,
Stainback and Associates in Atlanta, where he spearheaded the development of the company’s 2030 Carbon
Neutral Program. He has worked on projects across all
industry sectors, including aviation, commercial, corporate
and education. Anderson will oversee the design development for BRPH’s entire portfolio of projects across all of the
firm’s offices. He will “initiate a design network between
offices, strengthen BRPH design capabilities to build upon
the competitive advantages of the company and will work
directly with clients to design cutting–edge facilities.”
Anderson will work out of BRPH’s corporate headquarters
in Melbourne, but will frequent the firm’s regional offices.
APRIL 19, 2010
Space Florida, Lockheed Martin to
sponsor Undergraduate Academy
recently announced that Lockheed Martin is the sponsor
for the May 10–14 Undergraduate Academy program.
This work force and education program will be held at
the Kennedy Space Center, and is provided free of charge
to accepted applicants.
Additional partners include the Florida Space Grant
Consortium and NASA at KSC. The Academy goals are
to provide opportunities for Florida undergraduates to
visit KSC and interact with the knowledgeable work
force, while gaining valuable hands–on experience by
building scientific payloads.
During the weeklong Academy, students design and
build their own scientific payloads equipped with GPS
locators and live cameras. These payloads are then
attached to weather balloons and released from KSC.
Scientific balloons and payloads are capable of soaring
to nearly 20 miles high, at which altitude the students
will be able to see on their monitors the curvature of the
Earth and the blackness of space. Another valuable
element of the Academy engages students in stimulating
science and math activities, as well as providing them
with opportunities to meet key employers and scientists
from KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
“Lockheed Martin is proud to sponsor this opportunity
for Florida undergraduate students,” said Adrian Lafitte,
Lockheed Martin director of Florida government
relations. “In the past few years, we have witnessed the
benefits of the Academy program in the students that
enter the work force. This is a great opportunity for
undergraduate students to get hands–on experience and
excite them toward the future of our space program.”
Space Florida’s Tony Gannon, director of education
added, “We are most grateful to Lockheed Martin for this
support. Sponsorship of these Academies provides
practical aerospace work–force experience for engineering
To be eligible, applicants must attend a Florida
university or community college and be a U.S. citizen.
Application forms are available at
Volunteers launch ‘Neighbor 2 Neighbor’
More than 70 Cocoa Beach community volunteers
have joined in a grassroots effort to lend a hand to
neighbors in need. Cocoa Beach “Neighbor 2 Neighbor”
initiative is part of the Save our Neighborhoods group
recently formed to investigate options for improvement to
the overall community’s appearance. The Neighbor 2
Neighbor goal is to provide assistance to Cocoa Beach
homeowners unable to clean up their yards, paint their
house exterior, or to perform minor repairs to their
residence, with no cost to the homeowner. If you want to
improve your property but are unable to, because of
physical limitations of age, illness or other situations
beyond your control, you may qualify for their help.
Those interested in becoming a candidate for assistance,
or as a program volunteer, should contact Jack
Kirschenbaum at 258–6356 or respond to P.O. Box 1870,
Melbourne, Fla., 32902.
APRIL 19, 2010
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Annual Spring Festival April 17 at Centre at Suntree
The fourth annual Spring Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday,
April 17, at the Centre at Suntree. The family festival has free admission and free
activities including pony rides, horse and carriage rides, face–painting, a rock–climbing
wall, and a host of children’s activities. The Brevard County Professional Firefighters will
also be selling chili at the festival. The Centre at Suntree is a plaza just north of the
Pineda Causeway on Wickham Road. It is anchored by Charlie & Jake’s Brewery Grill
and the YMCA. These nonprofit organizations will be taking part in the festival: Boy
Scouts of America, Congregations for Community Action, Coastal Poodle Rescue,
Devereux Foundation, Epilepsy Association of Central Florida, Florida Wildlife Hospital,
Green Brevard, Guardian Ad Litem, Habitat for Humanity, Harmony Farms, Indialantic
Chamber Singers, Keep Brevard Beautiful, Literacy Alliance of Brevard, Rolling Readers
Space Coast, Sea Turtle Preservation Society, South Brevard Sharing Center, S.P.C.A. of
North Brevard, The Women’s Center, and Yellow Umbrella.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare
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In fact, healthcare services added 372,000 jobs throughout 2008,
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Continued from page 1
made before July 1. Borrowers who already have bank loans and take out direct loans in
the future will have a chance to consolidate them so they only need to make one payment.
The government estimates it will save $61 billion over 10 years because it has a lower
cost of funds than the banks it is replacing and won’t have to pay them a subsidy. Some of
that money will go toward Pell grants for needy students, community colleges, and
minority–serving colleges. The rest will go to other uses including deficit reduction and
health–care reform.
Banks have been making government–guaranteed loans under what is now called the
Federal Family Education Loan Program, created in 1965.
The Education Department didn’t start making direct loans until 1994.
Most colleges signed up with one of the two programs and offer students loans from
that program only. The loans were essentially the same under both programs because the
government sets the rates and terms.
At times, borrowers could get bigger discounts on rates (contingent on timely payment)
or origination fees from banks than on direct loans. Since the credit crisis hit, those
discounts have largely evaporated.
In 2006, direct loans accounted for about 20 percent of federally guaranteed loans.
When credit dried up, private–sector lenders started backing away from this market
and the government stepped in. The share of direct loans grew to 25 percent in fiscal
2008–09 and to 35 percent in the first half of 2009–10, Kantrowitz says.
In reality, the government’s role in the market has been much larger. Since mid–2008,
it has been providing most of the capital that private–sector lenders used for loans. After
one year, the banks had a chance to either repay the capital or turn the loan over to the
government. Most chose the latter.
Because of the credit crisis, many colleges have already switched from the bank
program to the direct program.
The Department of Education has always hired outside firms to service direct loans
and will continue to do so after July 1. Some of these servicers are the same companies
that originate student loans, such as Sallie Mae and Nelnet. When servicing direct loans,
these companies are not allowed to use their own brand names or promote their own
The previous bill increased the maximum Pell grant from $5,350 this school year to
$5,550 next year. Because of the recession, more students than expected qualified for Pell
grants “and there was a funding shortfall,” Kantrowitz says.
The new bill fills the funding shortfall. That ensures that the maximum Pell grant will
be $5,550 next year and everyone who is eligible will get one. Starting in 2013–14, the
maximum will be indexed to inflation for five years. Obama had proposed indexing the
Pell grant to the inflation rate plus 1 percentage point, but the final bill links it to the
consumer price index only.
The bill also makes changes to the new income–based repayment program, which
helps borrowers who have large debts relative to their income.
Under this program, loan payments are limited to 15 percent of discretionary income
and any balance remaining after 25 years is forgiven. The new bill will limit payments to
10 percent of discretionary income and forgive balances after 20 years. But these changes
only apply to loans taken out by new borrowers on or after July 1, 2014. They are not
Call Adrienne Roth at 321-951-7777 for Advertising Information
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Continued from page 1
children and quickly grew to 300 youngsters,” she said.
“We have created a very caring, nurturing environment
for children. They come to us as infants and they leave us
when they are 5 years old. However, many of them come
back to the center as teen volunteers while enrolled in high
school and pursuing their community–service hours. They
remember the great experiences they had at the center.”
Part of the center’s core mission is administering the
VPK program. It is designed to give children a jump–start
on kindergarten by preparing them for school and enhancing their pre–reading, pre–mathematics, language and
social skills.
“And the VPK program doesn’t cost the parents
anything,” said Kathy Turner, childcare and education
coordinator for the Center for Child Development.
“The program is designed to prepare children who are
planning to attend kindergarten in the fall. We think it
presents an outstanding opportunity for children in
Brevard to get a jump on kindergarten.”
In the state of Florida, children who turn 4 years of age
by Sept. 1 are eligible for the VPK program. The child can
attend one of two programs offered annually. One begins
as early as May 1 and the other in August.
The state’s VPK program is jointly administered by the
Department of Education, the Agency for Workforce
Innovation, and the Department of Children and Families.
VPK classrooms offer programs that include high–
literacy standards, developmentally appropriate curricula,
and qualified teachers, said Vasudevan. “The VPK
curriculum is very challenging. The children from our
center fare well when they attend kindergarten. The
teachers tell us that they are good learners.”
According to the 2008–2009 Voluntary Prekindergarten
Readiness Rate results announced two weeks ago by the
Florida Department of Education and the Florida Agency
for Workforce Innovation, more than 120,000 students in
the Sunshine State entered kindergarten “better prepared”
as a result of their participation in a VPK program.
Based on the results, children who completed VPK last
year performed better on key kindergarten–readiness
measures than children who did not participate. Additionally, children who only attended a portion of a VPK
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APRIL 19, 2010
program outperformed students who had no exposure to
the program at all.
Vasudevan says she has seen this firsthand at her
center, especially on the Early Childhood Observation
System (ECHOS) portion of the kindergarten screening,
which measures readiness in multiple areas. The system
assesses whether youngsters are “ready” for kindergarten.
“For example, there was one 4–year–old at our center
who was asked to count from one to 10 during the testing
portion. He looked up at the teacher and asked, ‘Do you
want me to count in English or Spanish?’ We’re very proud
of our students,” said Vasudevan.
“We generally test about 40 children and our scores are
consistently very high,” added Turner. “That says a lot
about the students and the dedicated staff we have at the
center.” The center’s staff is comprised of 30 associates.
On the ECHOS part of the kindergarten screening, 93
percent of children who completed a Florida VPK program
were assessed as “ready” for kindergarten compared to 87
percent of students who completed only part of the
program and 83 percent who did not participate.
On the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading
portion of the screening, which measures “pre–reading
skills,” 74 percent of the children who completed VPK were
assessed as “ready” compared to 59 percent of students
who completed only part of the program and 55 percent
who did not participate.
The youngsters attending the Center for Child Development are grouped in the various classrooms according to
their ages, said Vasudevan. “We do not combine different
age groups. They learn and develop their skills with their
age–related classmates. We think it provides for the best
learning environment.”
The years before kindergarten are among the most
significant in shaping a child’s foundation for learning and
school success, Vasudevan said. Research has shown that a
child’s learning begins at birth, and takes shape as
children are nurtured, challenged, and engaged in high–
quality learning environments and in relationships with
parents and other caregivers.
Every day, more than 11 million children under the age
of 5 spend time outside the care of their parents, and in a
variety of environments — each of which should promote
and encourage their early learning and development,
according to the U.S. Department of Education. However,
the report say the quality of early learning settings varies
greatly, despite some progress.
“Quality–oriented lesson plans, programs, and assessments drive our mission,” said Turner, who joined the
Center for Child Development seven years ago as a
classroom teacher in the program for 3–year–olds.
She added, “We do monthly assessments on every child
in the school. It’s part of our role to make sure the students
are meeting their growth goals and are reaching new
heights in the classroom.”
In January, the Center for Child Development was
accredited by the National Association for the Education of
Young Children under a new, rigorous system, said
Vasudevan. “It took two years of planning and preparation
to achieve this accreditation. And it required a big commitment to training, credentialing, and other key areas of the
The NAEYC Academy for Early Childhood Program
Accreditation of Washington, D.C., evaluates a host of
areas when it reviews child–development centers seeking
this voluntary accreditation.
The NAEYC accreditation looks at all aspects of a
program, but focuses on “what really happens to children
over the course of the day” at a child–development center.
For instance, are the teachers and caregivers loving and
responsive? Are groups of children and adults consistent
over the course of the day and over time, fostering good
The NAEYC says about 5,000 child–development
programs (or roughly 5 percent of the market) have
achieved the accreditation. An additional 10,000 programs
are working toward that goal.
The evaluation includes leadership management, the
physical environment of the center, the teaching staff, the
center’s relationships between families and the programs,
and the promotion of nutrition and health of the children.
Health First stood out in all of these areas, and more. “We
tallied some very good scores and we had some very strict
criteria to follow under the new system,” Vasudevan said.
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