All posts by Tara Newsom

SPC Gibbs Campus Launches Educational Ecosystem

SPC Gibbs is launching an Educational Ecosystem. An Educational Ecosystem is a resource of partners to wrap around the agreed population of students and their families in order to make a difference in their projected personal and professional paths.

The Gibbs Educational Ecosystem hopes to share resources with students and community partners.

Initial partners include Dixie Hollins, The Florida Dream Center, Azalea Middle School, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Community Health of Pinellas County and Lealman Innovation Academy.

SPC is grateful for the opportunity to develop meaningful conversations about the needs of the community and develop reciprocal relationships that help strengthen our impact on students and our community.

For more information about the Gibbs Educational Ecosystem, please contact Dr. Meg Delgato at

Take Part in SPC’s MLK Month of Service 2018

MLK Month of Service at SPC banner

St. Petersburg College honors the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s promise to serve others by dedicating the month of January to diverse volunteer opportunities in Pinellas County through the MLK Month of Service.

Hope to see you at one of these many service projects!

MLK Month of Service projects 

Allstate Center

SPC Downtown/SPC Midtown

  • St Pete Free Clinic
    • Jan. 12, 9 a.m. –  noon
    • Meet in SPC Downtown Lobby at 8:30 a.m.
  • Food Bank Sorting and Pack-a-Sack
  • Florida Dream Center

Poster for MLK Month of ServiceClearwater Campus

  • RCS Food Bank for our Week of Service Activity
    • Jan. 16  – 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus

Seminole Campus

  • Bauder Elementary Reading and Tutoring, plus a canned food drive
    • Jan. 18,  9 a.m. – noon
  • Tampa Bay Watch Oyster Dome Construction
    • Feb. 2,  9 a.m. – noon
    • This project involves pouring marine-friendly concrete into fiberglass molds to create oyster domes and taking apart the molds that were previously poured. Oyster communities help stabilize shorelines, provide hard bottom habitats for fish and wildlife resources and promote water quality improvements in the Tampa Bay.
    • 3000 Pinellas Bayway South in Tierra Verde.
    • Sign up online. It is limited registration and first-come, first-served.
    • To volunteer, please contact Dr. Doug Rivero,

Tarpon Springs Campus

  • MLK Month of Service events lists
    Additional details and contact information for events

    Brookdale Assisted Living Facility

    • Jan. 19, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
    • 1651 Pinellas Avenue, Tarpon Springs
    • Karaoke Singers (60-70s music selection)
    • Angel Walk – Assist with putting on sweaters, setting up walkers, and walk buddies
    • Arts and Crafts
    • To volunteer, please contact: Rosa Edwards-Harris, 727-712-5280, WOW Advisor

Report volunteer hours

Please remember to log into to report your volunteer hours on our Engage for Change survey:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
Dr. Martin Luther King



SPC Paints the Block with Habitat!

Group photo of SPC Baseball team



With the help from SPC, Habitat for Humanity in Pinellas County painted over 17 homes in St. Petersburg this past Saturday.

SPC’s Baseball Team came out in force showing the community that SPC’s athletes are leaders who strength of character goes beyond the field.

Dr. Griffith ,Associate Provost of Downtown & Allstate Campuses, also rolled up her sleeves and painted side by side students ready to chip in on a Saturday morning.

Student Life Coordinator, Frank Jurkovic and and Career Services Coordinator, Michael Jean-Felix were tireless in their organization making sure students, faculty and staff partnered in the event.

SPC is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity-an organization making home ownership possible for low income families wanting the American Dream.

For more information, please contact Tara Newsom at

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: North Greenwood Healthcare Fair

Picture of fruit and veggies in a heart shaped bowl with a stethoscope

The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure has never been more true than today. Health literacy and preventative care can mean a longer and healthier life. Having access to healthcare can sometimes be an obstacle. This weekend those challenges are being set aside by North Greenwood’s dedicated Faith Communities and the Martin L. King Center who are hosting a Healthcare fair on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 9am-1pm at Martin L. King Center, 1201 Douglas Avenue, Clearwater, Fl.

This collaborative effort is working hard to make sure everyone has access to health awareness and education resources as well as lifestyle screenings. This  includes resources for nutrition, heart health, cancer and behavioral health and diabetes prevention.

Lifestyle information screenings will also be offered for blood pressure, BMI, and cholesterol. Flu vaccines will be offered and how to execute an Advance Directive will also be available.

This is free to the community and no pre-registration or fasting is required.

Education and screenings are facilitated by Morton Plant Mease Faith Community Nursing. For more information on their Faith Community Nursing Program visit:

The League@SPC registers new voters for National Voter Registration Day!

The League at SPC registers new voters for National Voter Registration Day

SPC students partnered with the League of Women Voters to register new voters in honor of Voter Registration Day.

SPC’s commitment to registering students and community members to vote has received national recognition from TurboVote, a voter education application.

Boots on the ground efforts like today’s voter registration drive students to their basic citizenship responsibilities and create as culture of support between the college and the community.

SPC back to work in the community!

Volunteer Habitat Reschedule

Hurricane Irma may have hit the St.Pete area but it won’t stop SPC’s efforts to strengthen the community. SPC’s 9/11 Day of Service has been rescheduled in many parts of Pinellas County due to Hurricane Irma but many of those efforts are now underway!

Downtown & Midtown Campuses will remember 9/11 with an annual Day of Service this Friday, September 22 by partnering with Habitat for Humanity.

Please join us on Friday September 22 at 7 am at the Downtown Campus Lobby to drive to the Habitat location and 7:15 am pick up at the Midtown Campus.

To sign up or for more information, please contact the Downtown Student Life and Leadership office at 727-341-4261, sign up in room DC-225.

Calling all Citizen Superheros!

A picture of Superman in front of an American Flag with his face cut out to say "Insert your face here"

Join the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, the Institute for Policy Solutions and the League of Women Voters for “Democracy 101”. This workshop will remind participants of the foundations of U.S. government and engage in thoughtful dialouge about contemporary political issues and become Citizen Superheros!

Former Congressman David Jolly and Chairwoman & County Commissioner Janet Long will help participants understand the different approaches to contemporary political issues from the local and federal levels.

Learn how to practice your citizenship skills and engage on the local, state and federal level!

Event Information: Monday, August 28th Downtown Campus, American Stage 6-8pm

For more information, please contact Tara Newsom at

Gadgets for Good initiative receives Mobile Technology Incubator!

Gadget for Good group photo

This past January, SPC’s Chad Mairn championed the Gadgets for Good electronic recycling initiative in partnership with Tony Selvaggio, founder and CEO of eSmart Recycling, and Tara Newsom, Director of SPC’s Center for Civic Learning. The initiative’s goal was to collect and recycle used electronics to develop a mobile technology incubator, which will deliver equitable access to technology and provide learning opportunities to those in need in our community. Close to 2,000 pounds of electronics were donated to various SPC campuses and picked up by eSmart Recycling to inventory, destroy all data, and to prepare the electronics for recycling. This week, SPC will receive their first installment of 10 laptops as part of a mobile technology lab. This is great timing, as we celebrate Open Access Education Week!

The drive to ensure equitable access to technology started in 2001 when Mairn received a $20,000 grant from the Friends of the Gulfport Public Library to create a mobile laptop lab to teach computer literacy to the elderly, so he has years of relevant experience. Mairn will collaborate with the Center for Civic Learning to develop learning opportunities within the College and will embed the use of this incubator in coursework across disciplines.

“Creating comfortable and open access to learning is what we do at SPC,” Mairn points out. “Accepting these computers will help SPC fulfill one of our goals, which is to bring equitable access to technology so people in need will gain essential technological skills that they can use in their professional as well as their personal lives.”

The first batch of laptops will be used in the community and Mairn and Newsom will work as mentors to “train the trainer” within various disciplines to help expand this effort and increase computer literacy across SPC’s service area.

Esmart Recycling is a collaborative partner with SPC whose mission is to improve core literacy and re-enforce the importance of pre-workforce readiness through access to technology. It is in this context that eSmart Recycling passionately believes creating an agile, 21st Century international economy is vital for the next generation to achieve their full potential. The eSmart Initiatives™ team embraced this idea from a standing start in 2014 while expanding internationally with tech incubators in Venezuela and Peru. Setting a global benchmark in the crusade to end the cycle of poverty by 2030 remains the deep routed commitment of Tony Selvaggio, today’s E-Revolutionary.

Valentine’s Day: Sharing Our Hearts

Valentine's Day Sharing Our Hearts

This Valentine’s Day, St. Petersburg College wants to celebrate its commitment to caring for our community.

As Tom Shadyac said, ” . . . True Success is Intrinsic. It’s Love. It’s Kindness. It’s Community.”

SPC believes in nurturing the strengths of our students, faculty and partners. The Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement continues to reach into the community and partner with individuals and organizations to build pathways to success with everyone we meet.

Valentine's Day Sharing Our Hearts - Florida Dream Center Martin Luther King Jr. Day underway SPC students
SPC students participate in the Florida Dream Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day projects.

The college believes the best way to show our love for our community is by supporting our neighbors.  For example, SPC students work regularly, shoulder-to-shoulder, with our partners at the Florida Dream Center, focusing on Adopt-A-Block efforts to clean and restore homes near SPC Midtown.

It’s all about lending extra hands and hearts to help others.

SPC students also serve as mentors at Pinellas County Schools, helping with literacy efforts, reading to students in Seminole, and continually contributing to  the educational ecosystem of our area.  SPC also hosts speakers and events that generate collaboration and unity.

Other projects the SPC community has participated in include:

  • Exploring strategies for engagement in American society through a peacemaking event at the Clearwater Campus
  • Partnering with eSmart Recycling for Gadgets for Good, a collection effort to gather donated gadgets to support children in the local community without access to technology
  • Taking part in the Recycled Tunes donation drive, collecting musical instruments that are refurbished and donated to Pinellas County Schools’ music programs

This Valentine’s Day, the SPC family is committed to the success of our students and our community. We love to share our hearts.