SARASOTA, FL – August 30, 2013 – Fifty-one Sarasota County teachers and teacher teams received good news as they welcomed their students back to the classroom this month. The Exploration Grant proposals they submitted to the Education Foundation in June will receive full funding, benefitting over 7,900 students at 23 different schools.
Fruitville Elementary second grade teacher Lauren Johnson responded, “How exciting not only for me, but especially for our students who are the benefactors of these great grants! …How exciting that we get to begin our project right away!!!”
Awards totaling $73,513 are going out to underwrite learning adventures, educational field trips, and in-class workshops for students as the school year begins. Forty-nine grants of up to $1,500 each and two Expanded Exploration grants of $5,000 each will link their classrooms to high-impact experiential opportunities, opening doors to arts, history, environmental and scientific resources that many of these children have never seen before.
Teachers based their projects on “explorations” posted on the EdExploreSRQ.com website, which now includes over 36 organizations and teaching artists. Each exploration is tied to state curriculum standards and benchmarks mandated by grade level.
A list of grant-winning teachers, schools, projects and participating EdExploreSRQ partners is attached.
To inspire further generosity, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) continues to match new or increased philanthropic gifts for Education Foundation Exploration Grants from individuals, families, companies, clubs and associations over the next two years, up to a total of $500,000. Half of the matching funds pay for current grants. The other half funds an endowment to sustain these grants in the future.
Top Exploration Grant program contributors include Achieva Credit Union, which donated $25,000 from its second annual Reindeer Trot Run/Walk held last December. Other top Exploration Grant donors are Bank of America Client Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Judy Hoffman, Kates Foundation, Koski Family Foundation, and Taubman Centers, Inc.
September 20 is the next deadline for teachers to submit applications for Edge of Excellence ($500), Exploration ($1,500), and Expanded Exploration Grants ($5,000) to fund winter and spring projects. After teacher proposals are screened by a volunteer grants committee, they will be scored by a corps of 200 community volunteers at reading sessions scheduled on October 8 at Northern Trust/Venice and on October 10 at Northern Trust/Sarasota. The second round of 2013-2014 classroom grant awards will be made in December.
Gifts of any amount are welcome to support Edge of Excellence and Exploration Grants. New and increased donations for Exploration Grants will be matched, dollar for dollar, by The Patterson Foundation. To make a gift or pledge, visit www.EdFoundation.net or contact Laura Breeze at 941-927-0965.
About Education Foundation of Sarasota County.
Dedicated to quality education for all children, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County was founded in 1988 as an independent, not-for-profit organization working in partnership with Sarasota County Schools and the community. With the support of individuals, families, businesses, civic groups and foundations, the Education Foundation awards more than a million dollars each year to initiatives that elevate our public schools to the top of Florida’s education system: teacher classroom grants, fine arts programs, scholarships and mentorships, Literacy for Life, the Texcellence Computer Donation Program and Digital Learning Labs, Teacher of the Year, Academic Olympics and the Regional Science, Engineering and Technology Fair. For more information visit www.EdFoundation.net or call 941-927-0965.