Patriot Plaza showcased during Edstravaganza event for educators

Patriot Plaza showcased during Edstravaganza event for educators

Posted on August 25, 2016 by Sandra Beckley

Patriot Plaza was one of more than 40 experiences showcased recently at the Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota as part of Edstravaganza, an event for educators throughout Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

Organized by Angela Hartvigsen, EdExploreSRQ Manager, 200 teachers, principals, and assistant principals had the opportunity to:

  • Meet 40+ organizational providers and teaching artists offering explorations on EdExploreSRQ.com, an online platform that connects educators with curriculum-aligned experiences
  • See 30+ sample demos & performances
  • Learn about grants and funding options available to Sarasota County teachers
  • Win FREE Explorations and other great prizes funded by The Patterson Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County

EdExploreSRQ is transforming the way Sarasota County teachers, principals and parents identify and learn about experiential learning opportunities available in our area. Featuring hundreds of offerings by local nonprofits and individual teaching artists, each EdExploreSRQ “exploration” is reviewed and approved by school district staff to ensure connections to educational standards.

Patriot Plaza guides and Kelli Smith from The Patterson Foundation greeted educators with information on the Patriot Plaza exploration and tours offered.  Some of those stopping by shared the following stories:

Our family lives very close to Patriot Plaza. I drive through with my two children ages 9 and 11 to look at the artwork - they LOVE it. We go all the time and they ask such interesting questions. Patriot Plaza is beautiful. We're filled with so much knowledge when we leave.

Another educator walked by the Patriot Plaza model a few times. She said her dad, a 94-year-old World War II Veteran living in Bradenton, was a Tech Sgt-Belly gunner on a B-24 in the 15th Air Force Stationed in Africa and Italy. He flew missions over Germany, Poland and Romania. She plans on bringing her class and her dad to visit Patriot Plaza.

The Patriot Plaza exploration on EdExploreSRQ.com is written for three levels: 4-6 grades, 7-8 grades and 9-12 grades. It consists of pre-visit activities, a Patriot Plaza tour, and post-visit activities. Transportation to Patriot Plaza is covered through funding by The Patterson Foundation that is administered by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.

In April 2016, following a visit to Patriot Plaza, Principal Kirk Hutchinson wrote:

I had the opportunity to visit Patriot Plaza with some of my 5th graders yesterday. I can’t say enough about this amazing gift and opportunity that you and The Patterson Foundation provided us, and the community at large. This was a truly moving field trip for the students and adults in attendance; we even had the honor of experiencing a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps during a service. Thank you again for helping to provide this amazing opportunity.

Patriot Plaza is open to visitors during daylight hours every day. Attending upcoming events or participating in a tour are great ways to experience the plaza and renew your patriotism. For information regarding group and school tours, call Cindy Balistreri at 941-365-5118 x301. Public tours are every Tuesday at 10 a.m. except for federal holidays.


  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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