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Community Connections

It comes as no surprise that USF St. Petersburg holds the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation.

Here are just a few examples of how we support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.

Festival of Reading

Carl Hiassen autographing his book, Flush

Carl Hiassen autographing his book, Flush

The free Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is an annual celebration of the written word featuring presentations by nationally renowned authors, book signings, a book market, and a food court.

USF St. Petersburg has hosted the Festival of Reading since 2005.

The 21st annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

More on the Festival of Reading

Neighborhood News Bureau

Neighborhood News Bureau ribbon cutting

Ribbon cutting of Neighborhood News Bureau, Sept. 30, 2006

Our Neighborhood News Bureau is a working newsroom, staffed by our Journalism undergraduate and graduate students, located at 2335 22nd Ave.South in St. Petersburg.

It functions as a community connection for collecting and disseminating information and news.

It produces stories, features and announcements for use by local and regional news media and community organizations.

Tax preparation for elderly and lower income individuals

Jim Fellows, Ph.D., CPA is the 2009-2010 Bank of America Professor in our College of Business. He is coordinating efforts with the I.R.S. VITA internship and volunteer program. This active program allows students to engage in “real” tax return preparation while helping the community’s elderly and lower income individuals.

Closing the achievement gap

"Listening to Babies" training provided by the Family Study Center

“Listening to Babies” training provided by the Family Study Center

Our Family Study Center, in collaboration with the Concerned Organization for the Quality of Education for Black Students (COQEBS) and other community partners, works to address the achievement gap between African American students and their school-aged peers.

The innovative focus of this initiative is on front-end support for our youngest citizens and their parents and caregivers: enhancing early learning environments to better prepare infants and toddlers for the eventual transition to preschool.

At the community events, which have become known as “Baby Talk”, African American parents, infant care providers, and others concerned about the well-being of children in south Pinellas County gather to hear from panelists and learn routine everyday strategies appropriate for promoting the brain development of babies and toddlers, including daily floor time and reading of books.

Integration of academic instruction into the local community

Citizen scholarship sets USF St. Petersburg apart.

Faculty members offer students both classroom and community learning opportunities within their curricula. Many courses engage USF St. Petersburg students with community businesses, agencies and schools in focused academic service.

By pairing courses with corporate and community partners for immersive learning, professors involve students in the world outside the classroom.