Student Emergency Fund Helps Public School Students Thrive

Posted on January 05, 2012 by The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation, in partnership with Sarasota County Schools, established the Student Emergency Fund to provide one-time funding for emergency needs of students.

The fund gives Sarasota County public school staff, teachers, and administrators the ability to provide students with emergency assistance for critical necessities when all other resources have been exhausted. The fund provides resources to meet students’ immediate needs without teachers and staff members using personal money to help.

Sarasota County students face challenges that can have a profound impact on their ability to be productive and engaged in their learning.

  • In the past decade, Florida has seen a 36-percent increase in the number of students who qualify for a free or reduced-cost lunch.
  • Currently in Sarasota, about 48 percent of the K-12 students qualify for the free or reduced-cost lunch program.

For example, a student arrives on the first day of school without shoes because his or her family cannot afford to purchase them. The Student Emergency Fund can be used to help provide the student with shoes.

A teacher may notice a student having trouble learning and participating in class and finds out the student has severe hearing problems and needs surgery. The student’s parents are underinsured and have limited financial resources to help. The Student Emergency Fund can be leveraged with other donated services to help the student receive the procedure he needs.

The Patterson Foundation’s initial investment provides the seed money for the Student Emergency Fund. The Patterson Foundation seeks to inspire philanthropy in the community by issuing a match for donations to the Student Emergency Fund through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Through this generosity, the fund will become self-thriving and continue to meet the needs of Sarasota County students.

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


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