Sarasota County school board action, community partnership create thrivable EdExploreSRQ

Sarasota County school board action, community partnership create thrivable EdExploreSRQ

Posted on April 17, 2013 by Laurey Stryker, Ed.D., Fellows Program Manager

The Sarasota County School District, Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Education Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation are entering into a unique community partnership to sustain and grow EdExploreSRQ for the benefit of all area students. This mutual commitment, that was presented before the Sarasota County school board on April 16, sets the framework for EdExploreSRQ thrivability.

The passionate new partner at the table is the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which, with support from The Patterson Foundation, is creating an EdExploreSRQ Endowment fund to make sure all Sarasota K-12 students can benefit from explorations offered on the site.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County committed $500,000 -- $100,000 annually -- over the next five years to fund explorations.  The Patterson Foundation is providing up to $3 million in matching funds, to be placed into an EdExploreSRQ Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, so that the EdExploreSRQ initiative will thrive for years to come. In addition, The Patterson Foundation will match all donations for current and future explorations 2:1, with the match money going into the endowment. 

The Community Foundation plans a rolling application process to promote “just in time” explorations that connect to what students are learning in the classroom. Teachers can apply for grants for explorations throughout the year rather than a specific grant cycle.

TPF initiatives are learning journeys which build connective tissue to create new realities. Since the idea began in 2010, EdExplore was built on these principles. Connective tissue  based upon trust and deep understanding developed among the partners. EdExploreSRQ became the solution identified by the partners to expand hands-on, community-based experiences as an effective means to motivate, educate, and prepare our students for careers and life. New realities emerged around assuring access to all children and schools – which led to creating a targeted endowment.  The endowment promotes TPF’s value of incentivizing philanthropy, especially new donors, and providing for the thrivability of its initiatives.


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