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Environmental Jeopardy

Our annual High school competition sees students put their brains to the test during Citrus 20/20’s "Save Our Waters Week," which has been a Citrus County environmental awareness staple for over two decades.

Four teams of three players and an alternate — one from each of the district’s high schools, including the Academy of Environmental Science — put their environmental expertise to the test, and the winning team is given a check from the Citrus County Education Foundation.

The purpose is that the questions and answers are based around environmental issues, not only in Citrus county, but in the entire state of Florida.

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First Library

Building Pathways to Literacy

CCEF has used the Pre-k classrooms at our local public schools due to the fact that these students are prescreened based upon learning disabilities and economic need. Statistics show that a child from a middle income home typically enters the first grade with over 1,000 hours of one-on-one picture book reading time with parents or guardians, while a child from a low income family typically averages below 100 hours. By providing these at-risk students with a library of books to take home and call their own at a young age, CCEF and its partners hope to increase those students' chances of success in reading by the time they reach third grade, leading to greater success throughout their academic lives.

The program encourages reading by coordinating “read-ins” with the classrooms on six designated dates throughout the school year. Following each “read-in,” each student is given a copy of the book to take home for their own “first library.” Students are encouraged to share the book with their parents and inspire a passion for reading nightly in the home.

Recent research shows that there is an undeniable and strong correlation between early childhood reading and long term academic success. One study by the The Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that students who are reading at or above grade level by the third grade are significantly more likely to graduate high school and find a job than those who are behind.

Because of this, having the building blocks and access to reading materials at a young age is extremely critical. Beginning in October 2013, CCEF worked with each of the 22 Pre-Kindergarten classes in the county to help create each student's “first library,” and Kindergarten classrooms were added during the 2017-2018 school year.

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Golden Citrus Scholars

The Golden Citrus Scholar Awards recognize the best and brightest graduating seniors in Citrus County. Each High School can nominate one student in each of eight categories:

  • English/Literature/Journalism
  • Fine/Performing Arts
  • Leadership/Service
  • Mathematics/Engineering
  • Science
  • Social Studies/Civics
  • Career/Technical
  • World Languages/Foreign Studies

A panel of judges including local Rotary members, Chamber of Commerce representatives, and Citrus County Education Foundation members review the nominees' achievements and select a single winner from each category, as well as an overall Golden Citrus Scholar Hall of Fame winner.

This recognition program seeks to highlight the tremendous achievements of Citrus County’s finest graduating seniors. All nominees receive scholarships funded by the generous support of donors including CCEF.


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Foundation 4 Success

Each year CCEF and its partners award classroom and department mini-grants to the deserving educators across Citrus County’s public schools. Teachers, departments, and Resource Centers can apply at the start of each school year for a grant up to $500 per individual teacher or $1,000 per team of teachers to focus on mathematics, literacy, or science/social science that enhance curriculum and classroom instructional activities.

Local funds raised by CCEF are matched dollar-for-dollar by state Department of Education funds through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.

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Health and Wellness Mini-Grants

The Health and Wellness Mini-Grant program is designed to advocate for and promote health and wellness initiatives at Citrus County Schools.

Individual teachers can apply for $500, and teams of teachers can apply for $1,000. Beginning during the 2016-2017 school year, teachers received mini-grants to achieve a classroom, school-wide or community health and wellness initiative.

Programs like the “Coping Skills for Success” initiative, which provides children struggling from negative external factors such as parent incarceration, grief, poverty, and family substance abuse. The program teaches students various coping skills through stress management techniques and evidence-based curriculum.

These mini-grants also help continue long-term school initiatives like free after-school running clubs.

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Book, Line, & Thinkers

“Book, Line, and Thinkers” is an educational fishing field trip that addresses science and math standards taught in the classroom. This program benefits 5th grade students by reinforcing the standards and providing memories that will last a lifetime. Partnering with the Homosassa Guide’s Association, this provides a valuable, hands-on, real-world learning experience. Students will be guided by fishing captains to the springs to observe the wildlife, pull crab traps, and learn through inquiry. Then, back at the Learning Center in Homosassa, students will rotate through educational stations that focus on various topics such as the water cycle, weathering and erosion, and animals brought over from the Wildlife Park.

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Women Building Women

The goal of Citrus County Education Foundation’s Women Building Women Program is to provide young women in Citrus County with a positive, influential, female role model.

Sadly, hundreds of students in our Citrus County schools lack a female figure to provide guidance and inspiration in their everyday lives. CCEF’s Women Building Women Program provides each of these young women with the necessary leadership and direction to potentially become successful in life.

Mentors from our county voluntarily interact with these young women on a weekly basis. Each of the mentors involved in CCEF’s Women Building Women Program look forward to improving the lives of Citrus County’s youth.

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Men Building Men

The goal of Citrus County Education Foundation’s Men Building Men Program is to provide young men in Citrus County with a positive, influential, male role model.

Sadly, hundreds of students in our Citrus County schools lack a male figure to provide guidance and inspiration in their everyday lives. CCEF’s Men Building Men Program provides each of these young men with the necessary leadership and direction to potentially become successful in life.

Mentors from our county voluntarily interact with these young men on a weekly basis. Each mentor involved in CCEF’s Men Building Men Program look forward to improving the lives of Citrus County’s youth.

School Resource Rooms

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Sometimes Students Need More Than School Supplies

The Citrus County Education Foundation invites you to give to the new student resource rooms, now in all district high schools. All three high schools have on-site Resource Rooms, operated by students to provide items their classmates in need. It is not always easy for high school students to ask for help or admit they don’t have items many take for granted.

Please consider donating items or money to this program or offering your organization as a collection site. While items in need change with the needs of the students, examples of items to donate (in addition to school supplies) include:

  • Travel size shampoo, deodorant & soaps
  • Hair ties & plastic combs
  • Baby wipes
  • Wash cloths & towels
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste
  • Socks & undergarments
  • Non-perishable food items, including crackers & granola bars
  • Gently-used clothing

Items may be dropped off at the school district office (1007 W. Main St., Inverness, FL 34450) to the attention of the Citrus County Education Foundation or pick-ups can be arranged by calling or emailing CCEF at 352.726.1931 x2240 or


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Bagging-Up-Love was founded in early 2017 when a foster family welcomed a teenager into their home and the child carried all 17 years of their life in that one bag.

Our mission is simple, “To be a blessing to the children and families of our Community.” We feel that helping these students get an education is more than just pencils and paper, but giving them the tools to feel cared for.

Together, we can make a meaningful impact and create a community of care. $20 can provide a student with a NEW bag filled with items of their own. If you would like to donate items such as deodorant, hairbrushes, hair ties, travel size shampoo, travel size conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other personal items please contact Heather Verlato at (352) 601-3377 or

Citrus Regional Science & Engineering Fair

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This annual event features over 250 projects from county students in grades 5 through 12 who present their scientific ingenuity and compete for awards. Students compete in 14 categories in the Junior (middle school) and Senior (high school) divisions with the goal of attending the State fair in Lakeland, held every March. Twenty students participate at the State fair, 10 each from our high schools and middle schools.

The Citrus RSEF utilizes approximately 50 volunteers to judge the Elementary, Junior and Senior levels. Many members of our district staff assist as well.  

Approximately 30 students are awarded monetary prizes annually.

Supplemental Program Funding

In addition to the other programs mentioned, CCEF provides direct funding for a myriad of programs reaching each and every school in Citrus County. These funding initiatives vary from year to year, but CCEF and its partners are proud to help support public education programs and initiatives that have a proven track record for building success. Just a few of the great programs funded in past school years included:

  • Web-based Curriculum Programs including BrainPOP and Gizmos
  • Math Field Day
  • CREST Successmaker
  • Career Pathways to Success
  • Student Art Festival
  • Special Olympics
  • Summer Camp Invention
  • Marine Science Center Summer Camps
  • School-to-Work and STEM-focused after school programs
  • WTI Electrician Certification Program
  • WTI Small Machinery/Robotics Program
  • All-County Chorus
  • AVID
  • Youth Leadership Citrus

CCEF works with the Citrus County School District, individual schools, administration, staff, and teachers to identify the pressing needs of our local public schools. Funding decisions are made on an annual basis by the CCEF board, and are intended to supplement and not supplant CCSD funding.

Supplies 4 Success

Our teacher store provides essential school supplies needed in the classroom. The store opened during the 2018-2019 school year, fulfilling a longtime vision of many – offering teachers the tools they need. FREE.

If you have school supplies you would like to donate, please contact us. Greatest needs include glue sticks, markers, expo markers, highlighters, colored pencils, construction paper, erasers, sticky notes, printer paper, tissues, and rulers.

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Nature Coast Investment Practicum

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The Nature Coast Investment Practicum (NCIP) was established to provide an avenue for Citrus High School Sophomores and Juniors to learn about investment management principles and techniques by managing real money.

In this process, students are taught general economic theories and principles, spreadsheet development, how to research principles and analysis, work in teams, write analyst reports, and other topics as determined by the faculty advisor and Investment Advisory Committee.

As students learn about these topics, they put this learning into practice through the active management of The Manatee Investment Fund. This fund was established as a separately managed designated fund for the purpose of providing a learning environment to further the goals of the NCIP as well as providing for annual scholarships. If you are interested in donating to this program, please contact us at (352) 726-1931 x2240 or Edward Jones Investments at (352) 860-2839.

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Welcome Back for Teachers and Administrators

The Citrus County Education Foundation hosts a Welcome Back for Teachers at the beginning of each school year. This event provides time for our K-12 Citrus County teachers to meet, collaborate, and practice our district-wide vision – Engaging Our Students – for the coming school year. Sponsors can participate in our Exhibit Hall and present their products/services to approximately 1500 educators – new and veteran teachers, guidance counselors, media/technology specialists, support staff, principals, assistant principals, and district administrators. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us.

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