The Shields Painting Difference: Perfection with Every Brush Stroke
Many painting companies in Florida rely on flashy marketing and big promises to try and attract new clients. But when it comes time to work, they fall short of their promises. This is often due to a lack of experience, qualified painters, and a drive to overachieve. At Shields Painting, we do things a little differently than other painting companies in Citrus County. We believe that a professional paint job should be as close to perfect as possible. Our goal is to leave you 100% satisfied, whether we're touching up an old residential paint job or performing a complex commercial project. It might sound simple, but we achieve that goal through honesty, hard work, beautiful results, and reasonable pricing.
As a family-owned and operated painting company in Ridge Manor, FL, we strive to provide personalized, professional, and friendly service. Shields Painting has been in business since 1968 for a good reason. Whenever possible, we go the extra mile to make sure our customers are happy. Unlike some of our competition, we want to know all about your house or business painting project: your vision, your preferences, your challenges, and your goals. When we understand your needs, we can present you with a fantastic final product - one that you're proud to show off to friends and neighbors.
At Shields Painting, we combine our extensive experience with time-tested, meticulous painting processes, resulting in the highest quality painting results around. As a painting contractor in Citrus County, we can take on a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial projects in Florida.
A few of our most popular painting services include:
- Interior Painting
- Exterior Painting
- Residential Painting
- Commercial Painting
- Cabinet Painting
- Ceiling Painting
- Fence Painting
- Sign Painting
- MUCH More!
Our commercial, industrial, and residential painting contractors take the proper steps to protect your property and belongings while we work. Our team will clean up after ourselves, so your property is left clean and free of debris when we're done. After all, we think there's only one way to do a job, and that's the right way.
Eco-friendly & clean work area.
PDCA Certified Member.
Your Go-To House Painting Company in Ridge Manor, FL
Your home is a haven of relaxation and solitude. It is uniquely you - a place where you can express who you are through style and design. Whether you need interior touch-ups for your crown molding or a new exterior coat of paint, hiring a reliable painting contractor is the best way to get quality results.
At Shields Painting, we know how important it is to have a home that highlights your tastes and personality. That's why we offer an extensive array of residential painting services in Citrus County. As tempting as it might be to try a DIY paint job, without the proper skills and experience, there is a good chance that the results will turn out less than satisfactory.
High-quality painting requires skill, experience, and patience. If you're a homeowner who needs residential painting services but doesn't have the time, patience, or skills to handle the job, look no further than Shields Painting. We offer accuracy, precision, and longevity with each paint job we perform. Our customers choose Shields Painting for their home because they receive:
- Free Quotes with Detailed Project Breakdowns
- Affordable Pricing
- Expert Painting Contractors
- High-Quality Paint Products
- Combo of Traditional and Modern Techniques
- Well-Maintained Tools
- Unmatched Craftsmanship
- Friendly, Personalized Service
- Good Old-Fashioned Hard Work!
The majority of our house painting services come in two forms: interior and exterior.
Interior Residential Painting
As an interior painting contractor with decades of experience, our expert technicians have developed an interior painting process that maximizes quality and emphasizes customer satisfaction. We understand that interior painting goes beyond aesthetics. It protects your ceilings and walls and helps you sustain a healthier place to live for your family. When only the finest craftsmanship will do inside your home, Shields Painting is here for you.
Our seasoned team of painting experts and craftsmen is dedicated to respecting your space and providing you with the look and feel you're craving inside your home. Whether you bought a new house and want to make it your own or need minor touch-ups but have no time, Shields Painting is ready to tackle the job, no matter how small or large.
Unlike some painting companies, our interior house painters take the time to get the details right, every time. For instance, color is only one aspect of your interior paint job. The paint sheen or finish is just as important. Certain finishes are better for living rooms and bedrooms than in kitchens and bathrooms. We'll help you find the right finish and paint colors for your home, so you don't have to worry about touch-ups or repainting.
Some of our most popular interior house painting services include:
- Ceiling Painting
- Popcorn Ceiling Removal
- Living Room Painting
- Bathroom Painting
- Basement Painting
- Color Consultations
Citrus County cabinet painting deserves its own section on this page because it requires more time, skill, and quality paint than most sections of your home. If your home's cabinets are built into its woodwork, replacing them can be obnoxiously expensive. Compared to the cost of installing new cabinets, painting your kitchen cabinets is much more affordable.
At Shields Painting, we specialize in transforming old cabinets into new, gorgeous features that are just as usable as they are beautiful. Each step of our cabinet painting process is meticulous and thorough. And we'll take care of the entire job, from cleaning, prep, and sanding to priming, painting, and reassembly. This unique service lets you enjoy a brand-new look in your kitchen without having to go into debt by replacing your cabinets.
Whether your cabinets are new, but you want to change their color or you'd like to transition wood cabinets to a painted finish, Shields Painting has the expertise and experience to give you a new look you'll love.
Exterior Residential Painting
Your home - it's a place that not only keeps your belongings safe. It protects your family and loved ones, too. It's one of your largest investments, and like anything else of value, it should be protected. However, Florida weather can take a toll on your home's structure and paint, lowering your home's value and even putting your family at risk.
While it's true that a beautiful exterior affects your house's value, it shouldn't take thousands of remodeling dollars to make a positive change to your home. There's a fine line between reasonable pricing and top-quality painting, and that sweet spot is what Shields Painting aims for. If you want to transform how your friends and neighbors see your home, never underestimate the power of a professional paint job.
Our exterior residential painting services are designed to boost curb appeal, give your home a fresh look, and help it stand up to Florida's unique weather. But we provide more than that. When you hire Shields Painting for your outdoor painting project, you will enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your home is in truly capable hands. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and help bring out the best in your property, whether you need to re-stain your deck or remove old, peeling paint from your siding.
If you're on the hunt for the very best exterior painting contractor in Ridge Manor, FL, look no further than Shields Painting.
Some of our most popular exterior house painting services include:
- Vinyl Siding Painting
- Deck Painting and Staining
- Stucco Exterior Painting
- Wood Exterior Painting
- Porch Painting and Staining
- Soffit Painting
- Fascia Painting
- Window Painting
- Front Door Painting
- Thorough Painting Prep
The Premier Commercial Painting Company in Ridge Manor, FL
When it comes to first impressions, your businesses' appearance plays an important role. Your commercial property's paint job factors into its overall aesthetics. A great-looking, well-maintained paint job can mean the difference between a customer walking in your storefront and passing by. Conversely, an old, worn-out commercial paint job can send the wrong message to prospective customers. If you can't take the time to keep up your property's appearance, why would a customer spend their hard-earned money on your products?
The same goes for your businesses' interior paint. Would you want to do business with a company that has peeling paint or unsightly crown molding? At Shield's Painting, our goal is to create a beautiful environment that your customers and employees will love inside and out. When you work with our business painters, you can rest easy knowing we treat your business like it were our own. We always clean up after ourselves and know that operations cannot come to a halt just because we're painting. As such, we'll work with your busy schedule to ensure the job gets done right the first time without disrupting your day-to-day commitments.
With decades of commercial painting experience, we know the demands of a commercial painting project necessitate a disciplined and focused approach from the start. Our team of business painters is committed to delivering quality, on-time results on every project, every time - no excuses
We offer professional business painting services to a variety of building types, including:
A high level of care and finesse are required to effectively paint an industrial property. At Shields Painting, we know that industrial paint jobs involve much more than aesthetics. That's why our industrial services are customized to your specifications, using industrial-grade materials that stand up to heavy-duty operations.
Retail Store Painting
Our commercial painters apply effective, yet appealing interior and exterior paint that stand up to the daily rigors of busy retail environments.
Small Business Painting
Do you own a restaurant franchise? Have a small "mom and pop" location that needs a fresh coat of paint? Shields Painting has the resources and reliability to efficiently get the job done the first time. That way, you can focus on serving your customers, not having your business repainted.
Healthcare Location Painting
From walk-in clinics to long-term care facilities, Shields Painting is sensitive to your patients' needs. We know you must protect your patient's privacy while maintaining productivity. Our approach to healthcare location painting centers around your schedule to avoid disruptions in care.
Apartment Complex Painting
Erase signs of wear and make your apartment complex or multi-family building a more desirable place to live with a stunning, professional paint job.
Florida's Most Trusted Painting Contractor
Shields Painting has been in the business since 1968. In a world where so much has changed, we are proud to uphold the ideals that make us successful: hard, honest work, getting the job done right, and excellent customer service. Providing you with trustworthy, quality work will always take priority over rushing through a project to serve the next customer. That is just not the way we choose to do business.
As professionals dedicated to perfection, we strive to provide a unique painting experience for every customer - one that focuses on their needs and desires instead of our own. Whether you need residential painting for your home or commercial painting for your business, we encourage you to reach out today to speak with our customer service team. Whether you have big ideas about a new paint project or need our expertise and guidance, we look forward to hearing from you soon.352-212-1533
Latest News in Ridge Manor, FL
Zifero's brings family recipes, Italian specialties to Ridge Manor diners
Beth N. Grayhttps://www.tampabay.com/news/business/ziferos-brings-family-recipes-italian-specialties-to-ridge-manor-diners/2117712/
RIDGE MANORHeading east on State Road 50, where the road shrinks to two lanes past Interstate 75, travelers could rightly worry that they've passed the last place to eat for a while.But folks are in for a treat a couple of miles down the road, where, at the southwest corner of SR 50 and U.S. 301, a freshly bricked, mansard-roofed trattoria beckons.The grand opening sign still catches the breeze. But it assures that cooks and the wait staff at Zifero's Pizza & Diner have ironed out the wrinkles.Allen Zifer oper...
Heading east on State Road 50, where the road shrinks to two lanes past Interstate 75, travelers could rightly worry that they've passed the last place to eat for a while.
But folks are in for a treat a couple of miles down the road, where, at the southwest corner of SR 50 and U.S. 301, a freshly bricked, mansard-roofed trattoria beckons.
The grand opening sign still catches the breeze. But it assures that cooks and the wait staff at Zifero's Pizza & Diner have ironed out the wrinkles.
Allen Zifer operated a take-out pizza place in Ridge Manor from 1993 to 1995, then worked a stint in Sumter County law enforcement.
"I didn't have any problems," said Zifer, 43, "but I wanted to be my own boss again."
He and his wife, Tammie, opened the dine-in and carry-out emporium — the only full-service restaurant in Ridge Manor proper — in November.
Italian cooking is in Zifer's genes. And his great-grandmother's recipes — brought from Calabria, Italy — are in his file.
Zifer's grandmother, Josephine — "She's famous back in Dover, Ohio, for her restaurant," says her grandson — taught him how to make and handle dough, bake various breads, season tomato-based sauces and replicate a plump, tasty meatball.
The family name was shortened from Ziffero on their immigration to the United States, but Allen Zifer reinstated an "o" for the diner to let people know that his cooking is authentic Italian.
Pizza in nine specialties leads Zifero's menu and sales, the owner said. Grandma Zifer may never have tasted buffalo chicken pizza, one of the nine, but she'd certainly recognize its blanket of ricotta and mozzarella. For a basic pizza, Zifero's lists the availability of 16 toppings, from extra cheese to spinach or pineapple.
Among 10 varieties of hot and cold sandwiches, all served on home-baked bread, Zifer said customers' favorites include the hot steak and cheese sub and the pressed Cuban, both with generous fillings.
The menu includes "super" calzones, according to Dawn Badami of the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, plus appetizers, spaghetti, salads, ice cream and beverages. A chalk board announces daily specialties.
Full-time chef Jason Guy, a former sous chef at Cheval in Lutz, reigns in the kitchen while Tammie Zifer oversees the 24-seat front of the house. Allen Zifer said he is "usually at the oven." About five part-time employees make up the interchangeable-assignment staff. Dad, Ken Zifer, lends a hand, especially when early morning baking demands are great.
Travelers patronize the diner, but the mainstays are locals among the 4,000-plus residents of Ridge Manor who otherwise would need to drive to the I-75 interchange or to Dade City for dining opportunities.
In the near future, Zifer said, he hopes to take his business off-site, under a sizable tent, maybe to high school sporting events, where he would turn over some of the proceeds to the school's athletic teams.
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Beth Gray can be contacted at email@example.com.
Tracking Fred: Sandbag locations open in several Tampa Bay area communities
Posted at 3:57 PM, Aug 11, 2021and last updated 9:14 AM, Aug 13, 2021TAMPA BAY — In preparation for Tropical Depression Fred, several sandbag locations are available in the Tampa Bay area.Hernando County:Starting August 12, the self-serve sandbag sites will remain open until further notice. Officials say bring your own shovel.All locations are open from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.Manatee County: The City of Bradenton is making sandbags available to city residents at the Publi...
Posted at 3:57 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 9:14 AM, Aug 13, 2021
TAMPA BAY — In preparation for Tropical Depression Fred, several sandbag locations are available in the Tampa Bay area.
Starting August 12, the self-serve sandbag sites will remain open until further notice. Officials say bring your own shovel.
All locations are open from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The City of Bradenton is making sandbags available to city residents at the Public Works Annex today, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents should use 9th St. W. to enter into the area behind the Annex, which is located at 1411 9th St. W.
Distribution will be limited to 10 bags per car, and a valid ID to prove city residency will be required.
The City of Pinellas Park will issue sandbags until 5 p.m. on Friday. Unless direction and/or weather conditions dictate an earlier time frame, sandbags will be issued at these city locations:
SELF SERVICE SITES:
Sandbags are limited to 10 bags per household, and staff will be on hand to assist seniors and others who may be unable to fill and load their own sandbags. Residents must provide proof of residence (such as a driver's license) to receive sandbags.
The City of Dunedin is making sandbags available starting at 10 a.m. on Friday until 7 p.m. They will also be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Highlander Pool parking lot, 903 Michigan Blvd.
The sandbag site is opened to City of Dunedin residents and business owners with proof of driver's license or recent utility bill. There is a limit of 15 bags per resident or business owner. Sand, sandbags and shovels are available at the site. Assistance will be provided for those with special needs.
The City of Gulfport self-service sandbag station will be available to residents at the 49th Street Neighborhood Center, 1617 49th Street South, on Friday, August 13 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM and Saturday, August 14 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. There is a 10-bag limit and proof of residency may be required.
The City of St. Petersburg has sandbags available at the Pavement and Traffic Operations Building, 1744 9th Ave. N. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Additional sandbag locations open on Thursday, Aug. 12 and will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sandbags are limited to 10 bags per household, and staff will be on hand to assist seniors and others who may be unable to fill and load their own sandbags. Residents must provide proof of residence (such as a driver's license) to receive sandbags.
Sandbags will be provided to Polk County residents at all Roads and Drainage maintenance units tomorrow and Saturday in preparation of Tropical Depression Fred.
The sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
A maximum of 10 sandbags will be provided to each vehicle to help prevent water intrusion into the home. Polk County Roads and Drainage crews will be at the following locations to provide filled sandbags:
From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 13 and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 14, sandbags will be available outside the gate at our Public Works facility, 300 N. Fifth St.
There will be a limit of 10 sandbags per household. For those who need assistance loading bags, workers will be present.
As Tropical Depression Fred approaches our region, the City of Tampa is making sandbags available to the public starting Friday, August 13 at 1 p.m.
Sandbags will be available from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the following locations:
City of Tampa residents are eligible for a maximum of 10 sandbags per family. Residents are asked to bring an ID verifying they live within the City of Tampa limits. Parks and Recreation staff will be on hand to help those needing assistance.
In addition, Hillsborough County will also be offering sandbags from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the following locations:
The City of Temple Terrace is making sandbags available for city residents from August 12 until 6 pm and again on Friday, August 13 from 8 am to 5 pm. (Distribution will continue Saturday morning if necessary.)
The sandbag stations are located at the Sports Complex at 10369 US Highway 301.
Sandbags from this distribution point are reserved for residents of Temple Terrace, who must show a valid ID or recent utility bill that includes a City address. The station will be self-service with bags, shovels and sand provided. Assistance is available for the elderly or persons with disabilities. There is a limit of 10 sandbags per vehicle.
Tips on how to properly fill and stack your sandbags: Fill bags one-half to two-thirds of the way full, over-filled bags will result in a leaky sandbag wall. Stack sandbags so that the seams between the bags are staggered and tuck the top of each bag under to ensure that that bag is sealed by its own weight
Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Hernando, Fla., Is Getting Ready for Two Disasters, Not One
(TNS) — Hernando Emergency Management Director Cecilia Patella doesn’t just have to get her county ready to face one worst-case scenario.She has to get them ready to face two worst-case scenarios.Her foremost concern, as of eight months ago, is a Hurricane Michael-type storm coming ashore in western Hernando, striking anywhere from Aripeka to Hernando Beach to Pine Island.“When we’re talking about scenarios, obviously that level of damage, for me, would be the worst-case scenario,” she said....
(TNS) — Hernando Emergency Management Director Cecilia Patella doesn’t just have to get her county ready to face one worst-case scenario.
She has to get them ready to face two worst-case scenarios.
Her foremost concern, as of eight months ago, is a Hurricane Michael-type storm coming ashore in western Hernando, striking anywhere from Aripeka to Hernando Beach to Pine Island.
“When we’re talking about scenarios, obviously that level of damage, for me, would be the worst-case scenario,” she said.
But in Hernando, the effects of such a major storm striking the west side would inevitably be felt on the east side of the county.
That’s because torrential rains and stormwater runoff will feed into the Green Swamp — a 560,000-acre ecosystem that sits in Hernando, Lake, Pasco, Polk and Sumter counties, feeds four rivers and provides much of central Florida’s drinking water.
Hernando Emergency Management Director Cecilia Patella [Times 2017]And then, days or weeks later, all that water will start to flow into the Withlacoochee River and threaten to flood neighborhoods and areas in eastern Hernando.
“If we’ve had a rainy season and then we get a significant storm that drops a huge amount of rainfall in the Green Swamp, that wave of water will flow north,” Patella said. “Then we anticipate that within 10 to 14 days, the river will start to rise well above its major flood stage — and then we will see significant flooding along the river.”
It happened in 2004, she said, when Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne all impacted Florida.
So how does a county get ready for two natural disasters days apart?
Hernando’s emergency management plan is scalable, Patella said. That means officials can quickly ramp up their response, ordering more evacuations, opening more shelters and bringing in more supplies and help.
It helps that flooding is a slow-motion disaster. That’s how it happened in 2004.
“We had to literally wait until the hurricane winds were over, but we knew we had the luxury of time,” she said.
“Ten days of lead time is a long time to move assets into the area. The river is slowly rising so it gives residents some lead time.”
River residents also know the dangers they face from a major storm or rain event, and they wouldn’t live along the Withlacoochee unless they were prepared to take care of themselves until help arrived.
“They’re savvy,” Patella said. “They know the river. They’re very aware of their environment. I seldom hear from anyone in that area in a panic over the rising river.”
©2019 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
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Exploring the Oak Scrub Habitat
Could Cypress Lakes Preserve be a new home for the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay?Ridge Manor, Fla.– Environmentally Sensitive Lands provide preservation of natural habitats utilized by threatened or potentially endangered species such as the Florida Scrub-Jay and opportunities for public access and enjoyment.Florida Scrub-JaysIn 1984, Florida scrub-jays were recorded in Hernando County, according to Fish and Wildlife Service documentation. (https://ecos.fws.gov/docs/recover...
Could Cypress Lakes Preserve be a new home for the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay?
Ridge Manor, Fla.– Environmentally Sensitive Lands provide preservation of natural habitats utilized by threatened or potentially endangered species such as the Florida Scrub-Jay and opportunities for public access and enjoyment.
In 1984, Florida scrub-jays were recorded in Hernando County, according to Fish and Wildlife Service documentation. (https://ecos.fws.gov/docs/recovery_plan/900509.pdf) and three years later, on June 3, 1987, the Florida scrub-jays were federally listed as a threatened species due to habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation.
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Florida Scrub-Jays are endemic species, meaning they are only found in Florida and within very particular habitats. The birds require a small habitat range, known as a “territory” of around 24 acres with a mixture of dense and open sandy soil habitats, for instance, thick oak scrub and rosemary scrub.
“At Cypress Lakes, we are managing to enhance an area of scrub that has been restored over the past ten years from an overgrown state to optimal conditions, which are preferred by the Florida scrub-jay,” Conservation Lands Specialist Mike Singer said. “If we can emulate perfect conditions for the scrub-jays, we can potentially expect to see them translocate here.”
Cypress Lakes Preserve is made up of 331 acres in Ridge Manor. The preserve is managed by Mike Singer, Conservation Lands Specialist for Hernando County’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands.
Florida scrub habitat is listed as a “Globally and State imperiled habitat” by the Florida Natural Area Inventory (FNAI), meaning “because of its rarity or because of some factor(s) making it vulnerable to extinction throughout its range.”
“This will provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to see a vegetative community that is disappearing across the state,” Singer said.
Invitation to Explore Nature
For the past three years, Singer has taken steps to make Cypress Lakes Preserves more accessible. One step, in particular, was the widening of the Cypress Lakes hiking trails. A 1.3-mile section of the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) and an additional 3 miles of hiking trails exist at the preserve.
“We are making it as user-friendly as possible,” said Mike Singer.
Some hikers like the very primitive trails, especially those that hike the Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST), which guides hikers through Cypress Lakes Preserve. However, the additional 3 miles of paths within Cypress Lakes Preserve take visitors around scenic areas within the preserve which you would otherwise miss if only hiking the FNST. Widening the trails creates a more welcoming and inviting space to walk side by side.
In 1994 a resource management plan for Cypress Lakes Preserve was drawn up. The conceptual drawing in the plan included proposed improvements and access, for instance, a couple of boardwalks, an observation tower, and an accommodating parking area.
The preserve concept is well-inviting to any visitor. Hiking trails lead to boardwalks for incredible and scenic wildlife viewing. Having the opportunity to walk through the cypress dome, surrounded by hundred-year-old cypress trees that encompass these ‘old Florida’ swamps is breathtaking.
“What I am working on specifically, is implementing improvements for access and accessibility. Potential improvements include improved parking, kiosks with trail maps, habitat information, and other recreational opportunities,” Singer said.
Cypress Lakes Preserve has some fascinating spots. There is such a diversity of engaging habitats. There are massive cypress trees in the swamps and wildflowers that bring a variety of pollinators to ensure blooms every season.
“On all properties under my responsibility, I strive to manage them for the natural vegetative communities present utilizing best management practices while also enhancing appropriate passive recreation opportunities,” Singer said
When a Hernando elementary school vice principal asked the Hernando Computer Club for the donation of a valuable teaching tool, the club answered the ‘call.’ Now, all throughout Hernando schools, the whisper of a worthwhile project has evolved into a roar.
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To date, the club has delivered about 300 handmade Whisper Phones–fun learning tools that promote reading and phonics skills–to elementary schools in The Hernando School Corp., grades K through 4th.
Whisper Phones now can be found at Spring Hill Elementary, Deltona Elementary, Suncoast Elementary, and Challenger K-8; and this is only the beginning.
“The district is going to need a total of about 7600 phones,” reveals Hollis Taylor, Community Liaison Director of the Hernando Computer Club.
This project finds its origins in October 2019, when Taylor asked Maureen Keiper, assistant principal of Deltona Elementary School, what the club could provide for her students in the way of refurbished computers. Her answer surprised him.
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“She said that the kids needed Whisper Phones,” said Taylor. “I did a double-take. What was a Whisper Phone?”
Likening a play phone in appearance (indeed, students are encouraged to personalize their phones with decorative duct tape), a Whisper Phone is, in fact, a serious and highly effective learning tool and auditory device.
According to information provided by Taylor, the phones–whether used individually or with a pair connected–help children practice reading and speaking skills in a variety of ways.
As the student reads aloud into the receiver, the phone’s built-in pipe funnels the sound of the student’s voice into his/her ear–all the while funneling out surrounding noise and distractions.
The Whisper Phones enable pupils to concentrate on and comprehend their reading passages, also reading aloud quietly to hear their own voices–in the process enhancing their reading and phonemic skills (meaning their awareness of individual words and sounds) and honing their attention spans and overall language structure.
And when teachers ‘listen in on the other line,’ via their own phone, they can advise the child of any areas and skills in which they need improvement.
“Ms. Keiper did a demonstration in which she held a phone up to her ear and invited me to do the same,” said Taylor. “When you hear your own voice, then you get a feeling that there’s no other way to achieve.”
Determined to provide the students with the tools they needed to learn and thrive, this 501C3 organization pledged to make all needed Whisper Phones by hand–fabricating each model from pipes, elbows, and PVC adhesive. And in funding the project, they turned to the Hernando community for help.
Lowe’s in Spring Hill, under the guidance of assistant manager Josh Wade, donated enough pipes and elbows to make 300 phones. As well as, the Timber Pines Educators Club donated $400 toward the production of more phones.
“The Educators Club’s main objective is to help the school children of Hernando County. We do that by volunteering our services, which include tutoring (elementary/junior/senior high, GED), clerical duties (copying tests/homework papers), but also as judges (history and science fairs). We donate throughout the school year (music programs, supply stores, and Whisper Phones),” said Pieter Trappenburg, president of the Timber Pines Educators Club. “It is this last endeavor, Whisper Phones, that our membership has found especially intriguing. A number of our volunteers spend their time with the younger elementary students (K – 3rd grade) and are involved with additional challenges that some students face. Typically, they are hyperactivity related, not fully ADHD, but having similar symptoms like careless mistakes, short attention span, poor listening skills, and the Whisper Phones have been found to be particularly effective.”
Trappenburg fully supports the educational value of whisper phones.
“Whisper Phones make the student listen to their own voice, immediately recognizing if they come off too loud, don’t pronounce properly, or speak too rapidly,” he said. “It forces them to slow down, concentrate on enunciation, and lower their volume. In doing so, they focus on what they’re reading and retain more. They do this all on their own, no teacher has to sit with them to achieve these results.”
“Consequently, we gladly endorsed this approach and willingly donated to the creation of these devices that the computer club was willing to assemble,” he continued. “Some of our tutors have seen and confirmed the effectiveness of these devices.
Kristen Tormey, principal of Spring Hill Elementary, also has seen first hand the immense value of Whisper Phones in her classrooms.
“SHES PreK-2nd grade classes utilize Whisper Phones to encourage reading fluency and automaticity,” she said. “Our PreK and Kindergarten classes begin with sight word fluency. First and second-grade classes utilize Whisper Phones
to encourage independent reading. The phone amplifies the sound, in turn, helping students clearly hear the sounds and words promoting phonemic awareness. We cannot thank our community partners enough for their support of early literacy at Spring Hill Elementary.”
Hollis Taylor said that many more Whisper Phones are currently in production, to be delivered far and wide across the Hernando school district.
Because it only takes five minutes to make a Whisper Phone and the results of one “call” can last a lifetime.
To support the HCC Whisper Phone effort, call the Hernando Computer Club at 352-684-7171, or visit https://hernandocomputerclub.org/quick-links/contact-us/.
The Brooksville Farmers’ Market is a local food market giving customers and community residents an alternative to standing at a packed store. They are making use of the mandated social distancing guidelines and limiting the number of people in the tent. They are also trying to support a local business that has laid off 22 people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many goods will be available including fresh produce, cottage foods, crafts, and deliciously prepared food. The Brooksville Farmers’ Market has temporarily changed their location and will be located at Marker 48 Brewing, 12147 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville on Wednesday, April 1 through Saturday, April 4 from 3 pm to 7 pm. Their Facebook page states they will offer a drive-through service so you do not have to get out of your car. They will follow this schedule until they can return to their regular Sunday market location at Tractor Supply.
Brooksville Farmers’ Market via Facebook @ Hernando County Growers’ Association,
www.hernandogrowers.org or call (352) 593-3096
The Brooksville Farmers’ Market is pet-friendly.
Hernando a red-hot destination for homebuyers
In the year of COVID-19 and with so many new residents fleeing big cities to take up residence in sunny Florida, Hernando County is proving itself a winner among the state’s 67 counties.While places like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Miami and Orlando get most of the attention when people think of Florida, crowding, traffic, and higher home prices and higher property taxes are making those places a little too much like the crowded, pricey cities around the country many are trying to get away from.Comparatively, land is more affo...
In the year of COVID-19 and with so many new residents fleeing big cities to take up residence in sunny Florida, Hernando County is proving itself a winner among the state’s 67 counties.
While places like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Miami and Orlando get most of the attention when people think of Florida, crowding, traffic, and higher home prices and higher property taxes are making those places a little too much like the crowded, pricey cities around the country many are trying to get away from.
Comparatively, land is more affordable in Hernando. Impact fees for new homes and taxes are lower. Traffic snarls common in Pinellas and Hillsborough, and even neighboring Pasco County, are virtually non-existent. In a red-hot real estate market where everything listed sells in short order, it’s selling even faster in Hernando and builders are struggling to keep up.
But they’re doing what they can, as fast as they can and builders and real estate pros predict big things for Hernando in the way of larger residential development.
“They’re already here,” said Walter “Buddy” Selph, broker/owner of Brooksville-based Tommie Dawson Realty, referring to national builders like D.R. Horton, M/I Homes, Adams Homes and Lennar Homes. “We’re going to see more builders leaving places like Hillsborough (County) to come to Hernando.”
There are a “combination of reasons” Hernando is becoming so attractive to buyers and builders, said Selph, but price is the biggest among them.
“The same house at State Road 54 in Pasco is $100,000 more than the exact same house in Brooksville,” said Selph. “It (building) just keeps marching north for lower costs.”
Selph said large Hernando residential projects in the offing include a 200-acre parcel under contract near the Hernando County Fairgrounds. Another is 65 acres just off Commercial Way north of Weeki Wachee near Centralia. Nearby is Lake Hideaway, an 850-acre residential community zoned under a Development of Regional Impact designation 3.5 miles north of Cortez fronting Commercial Way at Royal Highlands.
It’s lower land and impact fees that allow builders to offer homes for less, said Bob Eaton, owner and founder of Artistic Homes, which has been building in Hernando for four decades. At a time when the available home inventory is at a record low in the region, he and other builders are working hard to keep up with demand.
Areas of the county with the most potential for home building include Royal Highlands, said Eaton, who’s built several homes there.
“There are literally thousands of lots there,” he said. Residents there approved having road paving added to their annual property tax bills, which has made the mostly undeveloped area more attractive as lime rock roads are replaced with fresh blacktop.
There’s plenty of room to grow in Ridge Manor, east of Brooksville, said Eaton. It also has a number of unpaved roads and a paving plan like the one implemented in Royal Highlands is all that’s needed to “make it take off.”
One of the more ambitious projects on the drawing boards is a proposed master-planned community designated Spring Center. If it happens, a 450-acre tract of woodlands extending north from Northcliffe Boulevard and bounded on the east by Mariner and the west by Deltona boulevards would bring 3,000 new homes to Spring Hill. A unique feature would be a “downtown” area with shops and restaurants. Traffic studies, compliance with environmental regulations and compliance agreements between developers and the county will be needed, according the county planning department.
Selph said much depends on how hot the housing market will remain going into 2021. But with inventory of homes so low, he suspects builders are going to be busy for some time.
“We normally have six months of inventory on hand but now it’s only a month,” he said, adding there’s a lot of catching up to do to meet demand.