As school assemblies go, this one has its share of giggling and
commotion.

The children, neatly attired in their uniforms, file outside under a giant
oak tree and take a seat on the basketball court.

There is banter and jostling until the principal walks out in his stocking
feet. Soon he begins chanting – in Arabic.

Welcome to the afternoon prayer at Universal Academy of Florida, a school
in Tampa founded by Hernando County Muslims.

Situated on Sligh Avenue, just down the street from the region’s largest
mosque, the academy is a school with Hernando fingerprints all over it.

Of the 320-plus students in prekindergarten through Grade 12, nearly 60
come from Hernando..

 

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