In today's world, public funding to support arts, science and history experiences inside and outside of the classroom can be hard to come by, but when generous donors, nonprofits and charitable foundations come together, the results are something that will ensure these connections continue for local students for decades to come.
The Patterson Foundation this year has matched $1.2 million in donations made toward EdExploreSRQ endowments at Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota Ballet and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The match of generous donations made toward the organizations’ endowments, which are administered by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, ensures the long-term availability of funds for experiences offered by these organizations on EdExploreSRQ.com and benefiting Sarasota County students.
Created in partnership with The Patterson Foundation and Sarasota County Schools, EdExploreSRQ.com is a web-based platform that helps teachers, principals and parents identify and learn about curriculum-aligned learning experiences offered by nonprofits and teaching artists in our community.
An additional $1 million in match dollars from The Patterson Foundation are still available. Donations can benefit named endowments for specific organizations, as well as any qualified EdExploration listed on EdExploreSRQ.com.
“From the inception of the EdExploreSRQ.com partnership with Sarasota County Schools in 2011, we knew sustainability of funding would be crucial for long-term impact,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “By offering an endowment match opportunity, donors who also believe in experiential learning could be part of making this a reality. The endowments ensure life-changing, community-based experiences inside and outside of the classroom.”
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is part of a local partnership committed to sustaining and growing EdExploreSRQ for the benefit of all Sarasota County students. The Community Foundation committed $500,000 over five years for experiences listed on the platform -- particularly for schools with higher concentrations of students from low-income families.
“Integrating arts, cultural, and science-based experiences into education is an investment that impacts students and their parents in life-changing ways,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are proud to have the opportunity to steward these endowed funds, allowing our community’s amazing assets to be leveraged for effective and interactive learning for years to come.”
Education research points to arts, science and cultural experiences as critical parts of the curriculum. These experiences support children’s intellectual and creative development by engaging all of the senses and inspiring creative thinking. This has positive long-term implications for the community because children who participate in these experiences inside and outside of the classroom are more successful in school and grow-up to become more active and engaged members of society.
To learn more about The Patterson Foundation, visit ThePattersonFoundation.org. For more information about EdExploreSRQ, please visit EdExploreSRQ.com. To make a contribution benefiting the EdExploreSRQ Endowment, visit CFSarasota.org.
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