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Talent4Tomorrow FAFSA Workshops for Sarasota County Students

Talent4Tomorrow Partnership

We know hard it can be to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on your own. Don't struggle alone! There are many volunteers ready to help you. Don't miss the chance to get FREE money for college (technical school, 2 year or 4 year college or university). Last year, over 2 million dollars for college was left unclaimed... Visit one of the workshops below to get help completing your FAFSA application and get money for college now! Click here to learn what to bring with you to the workshops.

District Workshops
Thursday, February 11th at North Port High School, 2-8pm

Sunday, February 21st at Sarasota High School 1-4pm

Booker High School seniors only: after school, every-other Friday, starting 1/29

Community Workshops 
Adults going back to school are welcome to attend the following events to get help completing the FAFSA

February 27th at University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, 9:30am-12pm Sponsored by Sarasota Y

 January 26th to April 16th at the following United Way free tax prep sites:

                Tuesdays, 2-6pm, United Way Downtown VITA (1800 2nd St.,Ste 102, Sarasota)

                Saturdays 10-2pm, Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club (3100 Fruitville, Sarasota)

                Saturdays, 10-2pm, North Port Family Service Center (1st Floor, 6919 Outreach Way, North Port)

Questions? Call 211 for more information!

Check out more of the winning (and hilarious!) Sarasota Film Festival FAFSA Public Service Announcements by clicking here

Science Fair Expo Showcases Next Generation of Young Scientists

For the first time ever, students’ winning projects from grades 3-12 were on display for public viewing on the evening of January 27 at Robart’s Arena for the Sarasota Regional Science, Engineering & Technology Fair Expo. The Expo included demonstrations by students and the Suncoast Science Center and featured displays from local organizations.

Top scoring student projects have the opportunity to compete at the state and international levels. The top two high school student projects will be sent to the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona this May.

Click here for a complete list of winning projects.

Robotics demonstration

Click the picture to see the student robotics demonstration in action.

Annual Juried Art Show Picks Top 25

Sarasota, Florida – January 21, 2016 – Twenty-five students from Sarasota County high schools captured top honors before a crowd Wednesday night at Ringling College of Art and Design.  The Education Foundation of Sarasota County’s Executive Director, Jennifer Vigne, welcomed the attendees and launched the 21st Annual Evening of Excellence program.


Katerina Stehlikova, Venice High School student, won Best of Show and the Marie B. Ritter People's Choice Award for her mixed media artwork, Reincarnation.  

  Heart of Art Award winners 2016

Jim Dean, Dean of Admissions for Ringling College of Art and Design, announced the Heart of Art Award recipients selected by their art teachers for their talent and kindness toward other students. Winners receive a scholarship to a summer art course at Ringling College. Heart of Art winners include Mesa Serbin, Booker High School; Solomiya Romarniuk, North Port High School; Paul Colin-Herrera, Pine View School; Giorgia Wise-Jarvis, Riverview High School; Brittany Braasch, Sarasota High School; Taylor Pitts, Suncoast Polytechnical High School; and Mackenzie Reiss, Venice High School. 

2016 Top 25 

A panel of five arts professionals used a blind-scoring process to select the top twenty-five works out of 302 entries submitted by students from every Sarasota County public high school. Dotti Sechrist, 2016 Evening of Excellence chair, announced the top twenty-five artworks. The student artists are donating their winning pieces to the Education Foundation. Each student receives cash awards from $500 to $1,000 and recognition for their talent and generosity.

The students also will be honored at the Evening of Excellence gala dinner and auction on Friday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency.  Attendees have the opportunity to meet the students and view the artwork before bidding. Last year’s event grossed over $220,000, including a live auction total of nearly $40,000.  Proceeds benefit the 42,600 students enrolled in Sarasota County’s public schools through the work of the Education Foundation.

Since 1996, Evening of Excellence has grown to become both the premier arts competition for area high school students and a fixture on the social calendar. This year's theme is La Dolce Vita, inspired by Ambar Morales, the student whose award-winning work from last year’s event was adapted for the gala invitation.  Sponsorships are available starting at $1,000. Individual tickets are $200, $250 for patrons. To request an invitation, call the Education Foundation at 941-927-0965.

To view more photos from the Juried Art Show Reception, taken by photographer Cliff Roles, please click here.

2016 Juried Art Show Opens This Weekend

January 16 -19, 12:00 pm- 4:00 pm daily
Free admission

Diane Roskamp Exhibition Hall at the Ulla Searing Student Center, Ringling College of Art + Design

The artwork has arrived and committee members and volunteers are hard at work displaying over 250 original paintings, sculptures, photographs, jewelry and mixed media pieces submitted by Sarasota County High School students. A panel of 5 judges will score each piece on Friday before the show opens to the public on Saturday. The Top 25 artworks will be showcased at the 21st Evening of Excellence Gala on Friday February 26, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. 

2106 Juried art show art hanging   2016 Mixed media 2016 JAS Dancers 2016 JAS Abstract

Community comes together to review Teachers’ Proposals 

  Achieva Grant Reading

October 20, 2015- The Education Foundation of Sarasota County brought the community together several times this month at various locations across the county to review grant applications from Sarasota County Schools’ teachers. The Foundation’s Classroom Grants Program, in its 26th year, has received over 400 grant applications for the 2015-16 school year.  The demand for the program has been at an all-time high over the past two years. 

This annual signature program has brought cutting-edge teaching and educational adventures into the classroom. Teachers from every grade level and every public school in Sarasota County were invited to apply for grants of up to $1,000. The community plays a vital role in the Classroom Grants Program spending hundreds of hours volunteering to ensure that each grant application is reviewed a minimum of three times. 

The Foundation expanded the number of grant readings this year to accommodate the increase in applications from teachers and to engage more of the community in the process. Education Foundation founder Shirley Ritchey opened her home to host a grant reading for longtime and new friends of the Foundation.

Grant readers at The home of Shirley Ritchey

Achieva Credit Union, a Classroom Grants Program presenting sponsor, hosted a grant reading at their Bee Ridge branch where they invited their members and staff to participate. Achieva employee and grant reader Janet Hazuda said “I loved reading about the passion that these teachers have for learning.” 

Additional grant readings were held at the Venice Community Center and the Sarasota County Schools’ offices at the Landings.  When India Monahan was asked what she enjoyed most about the grant reading experience she noted, “Reading the applications! It is great to know we have such caring and creative teachers.”

The Education Foundation produces the program, raises the funds, sponsors grant-writing workshops for teachers, organizes community-wide grant-reading sessions, and produces an awards celebration and reception for grant winners.  The Foundation engages individuals, corporations, foundations, and civic organizations to sponsor the grants that are named for them or in honor of a loved one. 

The Classroom Grants Program gives the community the opportunity to respond directly to teachers’ needs. Sponsors are encouraged to attend one of the grant reading sessions, are invited to meet the teacher who received their grant at the Classroom Grants Awards Celebration and visit the classroom to see the grant in action. The 2015 Awards Celebration will be held at Michael’s On East on Wednesday, December 2 at 5:30. 

Classroom Grants Program sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Please contact the Education Foundation of Sarasota County at 941-927-0965 for more information.