POINCIANA – In the middle of July, it may seem a bit early to be thinking about going back to school, except for one thing.
While summer vacation doesn’t end for most Americans until after the Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, it does end earlier in Florida, with students heading back to school next month between Aug. 16-22.
The Osceola County Commissioners are aware of this, however, and two of them are hosting back to school events early in the month to get the kids – and their parents – ready for the new semester.
Osceola County Commissioner John Quinones is sponsoring a Back to School event on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon at Buenaventura Lakes in Kissimmee, in that development’s Robert Guevara Community Center.
“He is going to be giving away back packs and book bags,” said Bethzaida Garcia, public information coordinator for the Osceola County Commissioners.
Then on Saturday, Aug. 20, Commissioner Brandon Arrington will host his own Back to School event in a different location, at the Poinciana Health Clinic on Doverplum Avenue, next to the Poinciana Public Library.
That location is important, Garcia said, because Arrington’s focus isn’t on school supplies, but on the students’ health.
“For Commissioner Arrington’s event, they will be giving out flu shots to the kids, and having all the physicals for the schools,” Garcia said.
The Poinciana event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This is the first year that commissioners decided to host special events aimed at welcoming students back to school, she said.
“This Back to School program is new, our first year,” Garcia said.
Next week, commissioners will be celebrating something else: the groundbreaking for a project that they hope will provide some stimulus to downtown Kissimmee, while also making it easier for shoppers who come there to find a convenient place to park.
On Monday at 1 p.m., commissioners and Kissimmee city leaders will be meeting at the Osceola County Administration Building at 1 Couthouse Square for the groundbreaking on the new Osceola Square parking garage.
“It’s going to be 800-plus parking spaces,” Garcia said. “Also, we’ll have flex spaces available. It will be right in the back of the administration building.”
The project is meant to attract more people to downtown Kissimmee and it’s numerous shops and restaurants — and to make it more convenient for them to find parking. It also helps the city and county employees who work at the municipal office buildings in downtown, Garcia said.
“It’s for the employees and the citizens, too,” she said. “Parking has always been an issue in our area, and this will help a bit.”
Construction on the new garage is expected to start this month.
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