In 2006, the tax collector’s office in Polk County, Florida, envisioned a program that would educate children about the now 121 Florida specialty license plates and the role art plays in commerce while inspiring them to explore their artistic abilities. Before this time, volunteer staff members from their office would go into local elementary classrooms and teach students about specialty plates during the Great American Teach-Out. Students would send their own specialty plate designs to the tax collector’s office in the form of thank-you notes. Their idea was born.
Since its inception, the Polk County Tax Collector’s office has shared their program with their peers across the state. In 2013, Janet Holley approached School Superintendent, Malcolm Thomas, about partnering to bring this vision to our community, while also providing supplemental funding for art supplies to every elementary school across Escambia County. Children design and draw their art on a unique palette, which then is available for purchase as a vanity tag to friends, family, and the general public through school sales.
With the help of sponsors and community partners, the program has been very successful in other Florida counties… and it continues to expand. Sponsorship dollars will enable us to support and promote art curriculums in all participating schools.