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Friday, Oct 19, 2018
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Cork ‘Strawberry school’ alumni to reunite

PLANT CITY - Former classmates who attended a school that was closed during strawberry season will share memories and renew friendships at an April 20 reunion. Cork Academy was one of several so-called “strawberry schools” that operated in the Plant City area until the 1950s. Unlike today’s schools, which take a break for the summer, schools such as Cork Academy weren’t in session from December through April. The schedule freed up children to help harvest strawberries, said Delores Townsend Tillman, who attended school there until 1947. The school, the forerunner of Cork Elementary School, went up to the ninth-grade when Tillman attended. She finished up her schooling at Turkey Creek High. The annual reunion, from 1 to 4 p.m., will be at Cork Elementary, 3901 N. Cork Road. The former classmates who attend are asked to bring old school photos that they can pass around.
Former students, teachers and friends are invited, and light refreshments will be served. The classmates have been getting together annually for at least eight or nine years, Tillman said. With age, their numbers dwindle, but the reunions typically draw about 100 people, she said. For information, call Tillman at (813) 681-7935 or Lavon Brannen Dudley at (813) 752-2047.
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