Pay It Forward Awards spark creativity in experiential learning

Pay It Forward Awards spark creativity in experiential learning

Posted on September 03, 2013 by Laurey Stryker, Ed.D., Digital Access for All Initiative Manager

At the May 2013 “High Five for Hands on Learning” event, The Patterson Foundation surprised four teachers and five organizations with Pay it Forward awards ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Recipients were recognized as outstanding EdExplore pioneers, collaborators and innovators.

Teachers used the awards to choose 2013 explorations for their students. Organizations could use awards to increase students coming to their explorations or new/enhanced experiences.

Here’s how recipients creatively invested:

  • Deb Herbert at Booker Middle connected the Big Cat Habitat exploration with creative writing and graphic design teachers. Science, art, and writing assignments lead to a Gallery Exhibition/book and brochure!  Sounds like experience to share.
  • Aly Busse at Mote Marine Laboratory is creating a new series of Explorations based on research around ocean acidification geared toward middle and high schoolers.
  • The Florida Studio Theatre crew invested in interactive technology with purchase of video editing and production equipment that will improve quality for Safari Montage Live! and other Web-based platforms.  FST's "Write a Play" signature program requires a lot of field work, so iPads for staff will increase productivity and allow for more “Facetime” connections.
  • District Fine Arts Specialist Angela Hartsvigsen gave away $500 awards to three schools at Summer Common Core Teacher Institutes, and made the point that EdExploreSRQ experiences provide the common core real-world applications.
  • Karen Johns dedicated her award at Lakeview Elementary to bringing in Teaching Artist Bob Fieberts “Amigo One String Guitars” linking sound and science for all fourth grade classes.
  • Embracing Our Differences is expanding its popular Make A Day of It!, which lets teachers choose to go to another exploration on the same day of the EOD visit with NO transportation costs.
  • Booker High School teacher Hellen Harvey will use explorations for interdisciplinary emphasis connecting literary, scientific, and moral issues.
  • Selby Gardens plans to expand support of school outreach which is expected to “blossom” with the Fall opening of the interactive Ann Goldstein Children's Rainforest Garden.
  • Van Wezel will support the development of new Common Core lessons tied to each production and allow for participation of Sarasota Schools who would otherwise not be able to participate due to financial limitations.
  • The Arts and Cultural Alliance added a summer "Teaching Artist" training session so more qualified Artist Residencies could be posted on EdExplore.  The Artist Residencies were implemented in 2012 and have been successful in arts integration into core subjects. The balance of their award went to five $500 exploration gift certificates given out at the Summer Common Core Standards institutes.


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


  • SHARE THIS POST:

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.