The Patterson Foundation recognizes EdExploreSRQ platform champions

Posted on May 14, 2013 by The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation (TPF) recognized EdExploreSRQ champions with the "Pay it Forward Awards" to recognize teachers and organizations that embraced EdExploreSRQ and its possibilities in one of four ways during the online platforms first two years.

The awards focused on:

1) Use of the EdExploreSRQ.com site

2) Expansion, especially of low-income students who benefited

3) Those who built new connections through collaborations

4) Those who created new realities through use of technology or new innovative explorations.

The cash awards must be used for student participation or new/enhanced explorations during the 2013-2014 school year.

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County developed Exploration Grants that were awarded for the past two years. The funds came from their donors and a TPF match. More than 14,000 students benefited who wouldn’t have otherwise participated in a myriad of explorations.

TPF recognized four teachers with the highest increase in the number of students benefiting from their exploration funding – each will receive $1,500 for next year’s explorations.

  • Elementary  - Kim Morris, Alta Vista Elementary with 640 student participants; Principal Barbara Shirley
  • Elementary - Karen Johns, Lakeview Elementary with 650 student participants; Principal Joan Bower
  • Middle School - Deborah Herbert,  Booker Middle School with 800 student participants, Principal  LaShawn Houston-Frost
  • High School - Hellen Harvey, Booker H.S. with 980 student participants; Principal Rachel Shelley

TPF also recognized two providers of explorations that had the highest number of  “hits” with a $5,000 award

  • Mote Marine: Manatees, President and CEO, Kumar Mahadevan
  • Van Wezel: Clifford the Big Red Dog, Executive Director Mary Bensel

Connective Tissue and Innovative Collaboration are key to The Patterson Foundation's principles. The following two organizations will receive $5,000 for their unique demonstration of these tenets:

  • Embracing Our Differences - Make a Day of It! - Students visiting the EOD exploration add another exploration the same day, using the bus transportation paid for by EOD. EOD expanded its 2010 program from seven organizations and 7,000 students in 2010 to 13 participating organizations and 13,500 students this year – all of which could be completely booked by teachers online. Executive Director, Michael Shelton
  •  The Arts and Cultural Alliance - For development of the Artist in Schools program, which resulted in 25 teaching artists with more than 40 posted explorations connected to curriculum standards. Executive Director, Jim Shirley
  • Technology Innovator - $5,000 award to the  first  adopter of Safari Montage Live as an interactive tool with classrooms:  Florida Studio Theatre – Write a Play program – FST broadcasted to 22 schools and is now using Safari Live technology to bring  Write a Play to five Florida military bases. Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins
  • $5,000 for the Most STEMposium and EdExploreNEXT projects: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens  successful awards resulted in 11 new science explorations supporting the school district’s STEM goals. President and CEO, Thomas Buchter

The last award was for EdExplore’s MVP – the most valuable player is defined in the dictionary as the man or woman judged to be the outstanding player. The MVP never does it alone but they need to inspire others, have excellent judgment and execute the plays that lead to success. That person is Angela Hartvigsen, Sarasota School District EdExplore project manager and Fine Arts Program Specialist


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


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