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KIDS TAG ART Kicks Off 9TH Year in Polk County

Southern Homes Returns as Major Sponsor of Kids Tag Art for 4th Year

Bartow, Florida / PR Free/ July 28, 2014

Joe Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County recently presented a $34,293 check to the Polk County School Board, on behalf of Kids Tag Art, a 5th grade school art project created and hosted by the Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County. This year’s total brings the total dollars this program has contributed to Polk County Schools over the past 8 years to $195,000. But, this does not include monies raised by over 8 other counties in Florida, whose tax collectors have gotten on the bandwagon with Kids Tag Art.

This total dollars represent the combined monies going to public schools as supplemental arts funding for the 2013-2014 school year, as well as monies earned by charter and private schools. To most schools, Kids Tag Art funding has been in excess of $500 per year, providing art teachers with sizable discretionary spending to enhance their art instruction and take on projects that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Some schools such as Chain of Lakes Elementary in Winter Haven have raised as much as $4,666 since the program first began in 2006. Teachers use these supplemental funds to afford classroom iPads, watercolor/acrylic paints and canvases, kilns and pottery wheels, as well as field trips and other supplies that engage students and teachers alike in creative self-expression.

Christie Bassett, Polk County’s Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the state award, who is also a fifth grade art teacher shares, “ My 5th grade students so look forward to competing in the Polk County Tax Collector’s Kids Tag Art competition and fundraiser each year. It’s awesome that two winners from our school are selected to have their artwork showcased on a traveling display. Not only does this program promote art enthusiasm in our school, but the students have the opportunity to purchase their artwork on a plastic card tag, magnet or keychain. The proceeds from their purchase go back to our school, resulting in over $2,500 being raised for our art program in the past six years!”
For the fourth year, Southern Homes of Polk County is the major sponsor. Southern Homes, a local home builder whose key market is first-time home buyers and growing families, sees a connection between young families and Kids Tag Art.

“Southern Homes is proud to support Joe Tedder and the Tax Collector’s Office Vision to provide our students with a positive first experience with local government, while contributing to and enhancing the arts programs throughout Polk County,” said Greg Masters, Co-Founder of Southern Homes. “Kids Tag Art exposes students to a governmental process and encourages them to exercise their creativity — it’s a win-win for our community and our students.”

Kids Tag Art inspires young artists in 5th grade to create their own unique design, learning the practical application of license plate art to support worthy causes, fashioned after Florida’s 100+ specialty license plates. Parents and the public have the exclusive opportunity to purchase their child’s design. In addition, two student designs from each participating school become part of a large mosaic exhibition of tag art which travels around the county during the remainder of the school year. The Kids Tag Art Exhibition, (a collection of the Awards of Distinction recipients for 2014), is free to the public and travels around to locations throughout Polk County. An exhibit calendar is available by visiting and clicking on the Kids Tag Art button.

In addition to Southern Homes, other generous sponsors of Kids Tag Art this year include founding sponsors Douglass Screen Printers, Inc., Alphagraphics, Polk Education Foundation, Vecchio, Carrier and Feldman, P.A., along with MIDFLORIDA, LEGOLAND Florida, Florida Heart Research Institute, Grasslands & OakBridge, and Paint Along Studios. KTA partners and board members include Ashley Lane with Southern Homes of Polk County, Lane Hickey-Wiggins and Rossely Martinez with Douglass Screen Printers, Ellen Chastain with Polk Museum of Art, Meri Mass with Polk Arts Alliance, Stacy Mallard and Dr. Kym Cruz with Polk County Schools and Debby Thompson and Martha Roe Burke, with The Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County, who hosts the Kids Tag Art program.


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