Founder's Day 25th Anniversary at Academy at the Lakes

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 | On Target Page: Land O'Lakes, Academy at the Lakes

The Founders’ Day Assembly to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Academy at the Lakes was held on Friday, October 6, 2017 from 9:30 pm to 10:30 am, located at the Academy Gymnasium.

They’d just arrived at the Old Lutz School, and before long, they were yanking weeds, pushing wheelbarrows and spreading mulch at the historic schoolhouse, an icon in the community of Lutz.

They were also picking up branches and sticks, strewn about by Hurricane Irma.

This crew was just one of many spending the day doing volunteer work at various locations — as Academy’s students and staff spent the 25th day of its 25th year, giving back to the community.

“Service has always been one of our core values, whether you’re a 3-year-old or a senior in high school. We provide age-appropriate opportunities for children to learn an ethic of service,” said Mark Heller, head of school.

“We need to make sure that all of our children know how to be net givers to the world, as opposed to takers from the world.

“They need to understand, and be taught, and experience how to do things that make a difference for others — and how good it feels to do that.

“That’s part of what we did on the 25th day, thanking the community that has nurtured us and sustained us over our first 25 years,” said Heller, who leads the school, located at 2331 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes.

Suzin Carr, who organized the workday at the Old Lutz School, was delighted to have Academy’s help.

“Today, they’ll help clean up after the hurricane. They’ll do some mulching,” she said, pointing to a huge pile, across the schoolyard.

“That pile will be gone by the time they leave, no doubt,” Carr said.

She also appreciated the timing of the volunteer effort.

“They’ll help us get ready for our market, which is Oct. 14, the Market at the Old Lutz School,” Carr said, putting in a plug for the upcoming fundraiser.

Beth Nevel Rader and her brother, Ben Nevel, were there helping, too. To read more, visit:

To learn more about Academy at the Lakes, visit:

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