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The Sarasota Regional Science, Engineering & Technology Fair is the culminating activity of science curriculum taught in the classroom. It focuses on scientific research skills, use of the scientific method and technology. Every student, Kindergarten through 12th grade is invited to participate. Area students have consistently progressed to international competition, returning with scholarships and major awards. During the Science Fair students are interviewed and their projects assessed by volunteer judges. Nearly 200 community leaders, elected officials, and professionals in science-related fields such as medicine, engineering, academia, research and technology serve as judges.
*Instructional meetings will be held on the judging days at 8:00 a.m. To better serve our judges, additional opportunities to receive instruction will be available at your convenience on the days preceding the judging.
The Education Foundation Classroom grants program provides grants ranging from $500-$1000 to fund curriculum or project based learning projects for classrooms that the teachers and district could not otherwise afford.
Thanks to generous donors, the Foundation has awarded over $2.65 million for 4,326 classroom grants, opening new horizons for thousands of students over the years.
Innovative curriculum-based projects are made possible through the Classroom Grant Program. Now in its 26th year, this annual signature program has brought cutting-edge teaching and educational adventures into the classroom. Teachers use the grant to fund materials for the classroom, fieldtrips, digital software, and hardware, things that would otherwise come out of their own pocket if they’re able to afford it. To produce the Classroom Grants program, the Education Foundation raises the funds, sponsors grant-writing workshops for teachers, and organizes community-wide grant-reading sessions where as many as 200 dedicated volunteers evaluate the grant proposals.
Each year, teachers from every grade level and every school in Sarasota County are invited to apply for these $500- $1,000 grants. Through the generosity of this community, over 200 grant applications were funded for the 2014-15 school year– and thousands of students experienced more excitement for learning as new worlds were opened up to them.
Individuals, corporations, foundations and civic organizations sponsor grants named for them or in honor of a special person. They are invited to present the grant to the teacher at a festive awards ceremony and visit the classroom to see the grant in action.
Evening of Excellence Student Art Program
Evening of Excellence is an innovative art program and established Sarasota social event that raises over $300,000 each year. Proceeds benefit more than 40,000 students in the public schools through the work of the Education Foundation. The event combines an elegant dinner with a spirited auction showcasing the talents of the Best of the Best high school artists. The program has raised more than $2.7 million for Sarasota County’s public schools over the past 20 years, while raising awareness about the vital role the arts play in learning.
Texcellence Home Computer Program and Digital Learning Labs
||Technology is a critical tool for education. The Texcellence Home Computer Program and Digital Learning Labs aim to increase access to computers, internet, and digital literacy training. Digital literacy is essential if students are to attain 21st century learning skills – effective communication, problem solving & critical thinking, productive collaboration, creativity, and innovation – and become college and career ready. More about Texcellence...
Jennifer Sams, Texcellence Program Coordinator
Student Scholarships and Awards
Evening of Excellence Student Art Awards
Student Art Awards are given annually through the Evening of Excellence Student Art Program. Entrants must be students of grades 9 – 12, enrolled in Sarasota County public high schools for the entire academic year, and who are taking an art class for credit. Placement in the Top 25 Best of the Best artworks from the juried art show can earn art awards from local corporate and private donors. Every artist who places in the Top 25 receives a monetary award.
Michael Archer Scholarship
The Michael J. Archer Scholarship was established in memory of Mr. Michael Jason Archer. To honor his legacy and family, the Tervis Tumbler Company funds this scholarship in his name.
One scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to a graduating Sarasota County public high school student who plans to attend a Florida four-year college or university. It is renewable for three additional years with required documentation and progress toward a degree.
2015 Teacher of the Year Edward Hashey celebrates with his students after being suprised by the teacher tribute tour.
“I really just love being a teacher and spending the day with other teachers and students,” he said in February when he was surprised as the district’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. “This is the toughest job I’ve every loved. To be a teacher is more than a job — it’s a lifestyle; you have to live it. But I get to work with students who are struggling and help them succeed. The work rewards me every day because it reminds me that even the toughest problems can be solved with collaboration and teamwork.”
Each year, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and the Sarasota County School Board proudly partner to present the Sarasota County Teacher of the Year program. This program focuses attention on the contributions of classroom teachers and honors those who have the talent to inspire a love of learning in all students.
The annual celebratory awards reception is the highlight of this important effort. Sponsors, school district administrators, the press, and the candidates’ principals and family members gather to honor the Teachers of the Year from every public school in the Sarasota County school district. The district Teacher of the Year, who is selected from the three finalists, is announced at the reception and begins a year as good will ambassador for the school district. He or she also represents our community at statewide educational events.
Click here to sponsor Teacher of the Year
Academic Olympics is a competition modeled on television’s “College Bowl,” where teams of students compete to answer a variety of questions based on an array of topics. This program recognizes and encourages intellectual achievements in our students.
All area high schools and hundreds of students participate, and many dedicated community individuals help to produce this program – volunteers from AAUW, the Military Officers Association, the generous sponsorship of the Dart Foundation, student sponsors, contributors, parents, coaches and school administrators. More about Academic Olympics...
Literacy for Life
To help achieve its strategic goal of helping every child become a better reader the Foundation has identified a 3-5 year initiative that will provide high school teachers with advanced training from nationally known literacy experts. The objective is to improve student skills through new instructional methods that infuse reading and writing in all subject areas. Students develop reading, writing and critical thinking skills for success in school and the workplace. Low-performing students are specifically targeted for under-performing in reading and writing.
Teachers that are leaders in advanced teaching methods train other teachers in their schools, ultimately ensuring that all high school teachers understand how to help improve students’ literacy skills. The main idea is: all teachers are reading teachers. Math, Science, and Social Studies area-content teachers need for their students to comprehend reading their subjects, just like Language Arts teachers do.
This year, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County invested an additional $30,000, almost $100,000 to-date, to support this initiative. It benefits an estimated 5,000 young people in Sarasota County each year.
PALS Volunteers in Education: Tutors and Mentors Program
PALS’ innovative tutoring programs give caring adults a chance to make a real difference in the lives of Sarasota County students. Comprehensive training is provided for in-school tutors and other volunteers. PALS’ innovative reading programs provide elementary students with the most important service that our overburdened educational system cannot always deliver - one-to-one interaction with an adult. More about PALS…