Sarasota County Schools News

All district high schools receive A or B grades, graduation rate rises

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SCS News

SARASOTA COUNTY, Dec. 18, 2014 – All eight Sarasota County public high schools received A or B grades for the 2013-14 school year. Pine View School, Suncoast Polytechnical High School, Riverview High School, Venice High School and Sarasota Military Academy, a public charter school, earned A grades. Riverview and Venice high schools improved their grades from B to A. Booker, North Port and Sarasota high schools maintained B grades.

The grades and high school graduation rates were released Dec. 18 by the Florida Department of Education. Grades for elementary and middle schools were released in July. Sarasota County continues to be graded an A district overall.

The district graduation rate improved 5.1 percentage points, from 76.2 percent in 2012-13 to 81.3 percent in 2013-14. Every Sarasota County public high school increased its graduation rate.

For this year, the state raised the scores required for a high school to earn an A or B. Last year, schools needed to score 66 percent or above for an A and 62 percent or higher for a B. This year schools had to score 70 percent or above for an A grade and 65 or above for a B.

Last year 49 percent of the state’s high schools received an A. This year 36 percent earned an A. All Sarasota County School district high schools would have earned an A grade under last year’s grading formula.           

“We are pleased that, even with the more stringent state grading standards, all our high schools received A or B grades,” said Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Lori White. “In addition, when the current formula is applied to calculate the graduation rate for previous years, the district’s 2013-14 high school graduation rate is the highest since the state has been recording this data. Of course, we owe these achievements to the hard work of our students, teachers and administrators, and to the parents and other community members who support our public schools.”   

High school grades were not reported in July when elementary and middle school grades were released because of the additional components used to grade high schools. Fifty percent of a high school’s grade is based on 2014 state assessment scores, including the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Fifty percent is based on the school’s graduation rate, the number of students taking advanced-placement courses, the number of students who pass advanced-placement examinations and indicators of student readiness for college. 

Sarasota County high school grades:

High school grades chart 2013-14 and 2012-13

Graduation Rates:

Using the Federal Uniform Rate, which provides a consistent method for comparing graduation rates among all states and school districts, the 2013-14 graduation rate for Sarasota County public high schools is 81.3 percent. The percentage is 5.2 points higher than the state graduation rate of 76.1 percent and 5.1 points higher than the 2012-13 Sarasota County graduation rate of 76.2 percent. 

New federal regulations require each state to calculate a graduation rate which includes standard diplomas but excludes General Equivalency Diplomas (GEDs), both regular and adult, and special diplomas awarded to some students with disabilities who do not meet the requirements for standard diplomas.

The U.S. Department of Education adopted the method of calculating the Federal Uniform Rate to facilitate comparisons of graduation rates across the nation. In 2011-12 the formula replaced the National Governors Association rate used since 2009-10 and the Florida Graduation Rate used prior to that school year. The Federal Uniform Rate is also used in Florida’s school accountability system to calculate school grades for high schools.

Federal Uniform Graduation Rates, Sarasota County and state of Florida

Sarasota grad rates 2013-14 and 2012-13



Author of ‘Wigglebottom’ series visits Phillippi Shores Elementary

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Howard Binkow at Philllippi Shores Dec 2014Gavin Clayton with author Howard Binkow-Phillippi Shores Dec 2014

CONNECTING WITH KIDS: Above, Author Howard Binkow answers a question from Phillippi Shores Elementary kindergarten student Antigonee Caven (in red shirt) as she and her classmates enjoy Binkow’s presentation at the school Dec. 12. Below, Binkow signs his book, “Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Power of Giving: A Christmas Story,” for Phillippi Shores Elementary kindergarten student Gavin Clayton.

SARASOTA, Dec. 16, 2014 – Listening, treating others nicely and feeling good about yourself — these are among the lessons author Howard Binkow seeks to impart to the young readers of his Howard B. Wigglebottom series of books, games, songs and posters. Binkow, who admits that his stories about a young rabbit who shares his first name are somewhat autobiographical, visited Phillippi Shores Elementary Dec. 12 to speak to students in all kindergarten classes. Binkow tells children that, as a student himself, he sometimes had trouble sitting still, sharing and listening.

“When I was your age I got into trouble with my parents and teachers for not listening and not paying attention,” he told students in the school’s Catherine H. Swift Media Center. He said he started writing books and founded the We Do Listen Foundation to teach young people that there are consequences for their actions, but that they can change and grow — and have fun doing it.

There are 14 books in his series, including “Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Power of Giving: A Christmas Story,” which he shared with Phillippi Shores students during his interactive presentations. The lessons in the books and in Binkow’s presentations are about telling the truth, doing your best, managing anger, belonging, what to do about bullies, sportsmanship, good manners and more.

All the books are animated on the foundation’s website, The site also includes information for parents and teachers about the lessons in the books and how to order hard copies. Students can also write and “color” their own Wigglebottom books on the website. Phillippi Shores students presented Binkow with a book they wrote about his visit, and Binkow signed copies of his books for them.  

Binkow lives in Sarasota and makes free visits to local elementary schools; he visits schools in other areas via teleconferencing. Information about arranging an author visit is on the We Do Listen website.

Teacher Angela Perotta arranged Binkow’s visit to Phillippi Shores. Her kindergarten class has a club to provide a different book to each student every month during the school year; the goal is to encourage them to read for pleasure. The selection for December is the holiday-themed book Binkow shared at his presentation. The club is made possible by a grant sponsored by Achieva Credit Union through the Education Foundation of Sarasota County’s Classroom Grant Program.

Phillippi Shores Elementary is located at 4747 S. Tamiami Trail.     

Education Foundation awards annual classroom grants

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SCS News

NOTE: This news release was issued by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. Click here for more information and photos. 

SARASOTA – Dec. 15, 2014 – More than 350 teachers, donors and volunteers celebrated the 25th annual Classroom Grant Awards Dec. 4 at Michael’s On East. Susan Scott of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County announced grant awards totaling $185,465 for 227 projects developed by teachers from 41 public schools in the district. Each grant will provide high quality enrichment and experiential learning opportunities for students during the 2014-2015 school year.

This year’s program demonstrated the impact the foundation’s Classroom Grant program has on student learning, teachers, grant sponsors, and the community as a whole.

In her remarks, Laura Kingsley, principal of Fruitville Elementary School and the district's next executive director of Elementary Schools, said, “We are lucky to have the Education Foundation and the many donors whose entire mission is to support the children by supporting our teachers. And then we have you, our dedicated, clever and resourceful teachers who have gone above and beyond to create meaningful learning experiences for our children.”

Argosy University sponsored the evening’s reception and presented the Argosy Principal’s Award for the seventh year. The award honors the principal whose school submitted the most grant proposals. Dr. Sandra Wise, President of Argosy University-Sarasota, presented a check for $500 to Principal Brandon Johnson from Lamarque Elementary School.

Rotary Club of Sarasota president Judy Bennett closed the ceremonies with a final drawing. McIntosh Middle School’s Amy Proch-Moore received the Rotary Club of Sarasota's Jim & Jean Henry Teacher's Award, an unrestricted cash gift of $500.

In 1990, the foundation awarded $6,000 in mini-grants to thirteen teachers. Since then, the Education Foundation has awarded over $3.15 million for 4820 projects designed by teachers.

All Sarasota County K-12 public school teachers are eligible to apply for awards of up to $1000 through the Classroom Grants program. These funds go beyond what tax dollars can provide,

giving teachers the resources they need to develop innovative enrichment projects and try new teaching techniques. The Education Foundation raises the money, sponsors workshops for teachers, and organizes community grant-reading sessions where over 150 volunteers score the teachers’ requests each fall. Grant readings give citizens a connection to area classrooms and a chance to learn more about trends and challenges in teaching.

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, founded in 1988 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, serves more than 41,000 students in 52 elementary, middle and high schools.

The Education Foundation is the leading advocate for an exceptional public education for all students in Sarasota County. With strong support from donors and community, the foundation invests in the success of students and teachers undertaking significant, high impact projects and initiatives that go beyond what tax dollars can provide.

The foundation encourages donors with a passion for education to express their imagination in finding solutions, to make an investment in providing new opportunities for student learning, and to share the inspiration their generosity sparks in young people whose lives are forever changed. For more information, visit or call 941.927.0965

Creatures from Sarasota Jungle Gardens visit Lakeview Elementary

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SCS News

SARASOTA, Dec. 15, 2014 – Animals from Sarasota Jungle Gardens will visit Lakeview Elementary from 1:25-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17. Two 30-minute interactive presentations will feature a reticulated python, a black-throated lizard, and American alligator and a large parrot.

The close encounters with tropical creatures will help prepare and inspire students for their study of native Florida fauna and flora in January and February.

Lakeview Elementary School is located at 7299 Proctor Road, Sarasota.

Plantation Community Foundation funds Venice Middle TechActive room

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Plantation Fdn donation to VMS Nov 2014

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Representatives of Plantation Community Foundation gathered for a ribbon-cutting at the new STEMsmart classroom on November 13, 2014. Pictured from left are Pete Petrie, Shirley Reid, Judy Thuer, Bob Hayden, Jon Thaxton (Gulf Coast Community Foundation), Terry Williamson, Marsha Ambrose, Dick Ambrose, Bob Halkyard and John Moore.

VENICE, Dec. 15, 2014 – Plantation Community Foundation has generously made a gift to transform a classroom at Venice Middle School into a technology-rich, collaborative learning environment for students. Representatives of the Plantation Community Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation visited the school Nov. 13 to dedicate the classroom.

The new STEMsmart TechActive classroom is a key component of Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s STEMsmart education initiative. This partnership with the Sarasota and Charlotte county school districts was created by Gulf Coast to improve the way teachers teach and students learn science, technology, engineering, and math — or STEM — in local schools.

STEMsmart TechActive classrooms have been installed in middle schools across Sarasota County.  The classrooms feature state-of-the-art technology, such as touchscreen computers, digital microscopes, and electronic sensors and probes, to facilitate interactive, engaging and immediate learning. Students work together in small teams at shared tables to foster collaborative problem-solving in math and science.

Plantation Community Foundation and many other donors have stepped up to help fund this effort throughout Sarasota County; all gifts for new classrooms are matched by an anonymous Gulf Coast donor.  

“Thanks to the generosity and support of Plantation Community Foundation, we are transforming the way students at Venice Middle School learn science and math,” said Teri Hansen, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “Our neighbors at Plantation have shown just how much they care about our community and its next generation, and we thank them for it!”

Visit to learn more about the STEMsmart initiative.

About Plantation Community Foundation

The Plantation Community Foundation is an organization composed of property owners, residents and employees of the Plantation Golf and Country Club community who are dedicated to helping improve the quality of life in South Sarasota County. Operating in accordance with the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, the foundation is funded through contributions and activities designed to accomplish the dual purposes of fundraising and developing teamwork and a sense of community and mission among its members.

About Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation transforms our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, Gulf Coast has become the philanthropic home of more than 550 families who have established charitable funds here, and has invested $180 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture and the environment. Learn more at



Tuttle Elementary extended-day program helps motivate students

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SCS News

SARASOTA, Dec. 11, 2014 – Tuttle Elementary School has launched an extended-day program to help 60 participating students in kindergarten through fifth grade improve memory, attention and motivation.

The program, which began in November and continues through May 1, is designed to help students with homework before school as well as providing after-school “brain training.” Students use a research-based computer program to focus on 41 cognitive skills. The goal is to help students improve their work habits and academic achievements from the first report card of the school year to the second and third report cards. 

Regular school hours at Tuttle are from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students in the extended program are at school from 7:15 a.m to 4:15 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

Students were selected for the program based on academic progress during the first quarter, as well as input from parents and teachers. Applications were sent home with students and all students who returned the completed application were accepted into the program.

Funding for the extended-day program is provided by the Allen Wirtz Nobbe and Jo Bowen Nobbe Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County in collaboration with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. The Campaign is a partnership of foundations, nonprofit organizations, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. The Campaign focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation: grade-level reading by the end of third grade.

“We appreciate the generosity of our funders, which makes this program possible,” said Principal Tomas Dinverno. “The students are excited about it and we believe it will make a big difference in their confidence and performance at school.”

Tuttle Elementary School is located at 2863 8th St. in Sarasota. 

Sarasota County honors students for 2015 environmental calendar art

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2015 NEST calendar cover-Tatum Ridge artist2015 calendar winners at BCC2015 NEST calendar May-Glenallen artist

RIGHT AS RAIN: Top: cover art for the 2015 NEST calendar was created by Grace Milton, a fourth-grade student at Tatum Ridge Elementary in Sarasota. Middle: Students were recognized at the Sarasota County Commission meeting Dec. 10. Bottom: The drawing for the month of May was created by Krystal Couch, a fifth-grader at Glenallen Elementary in North Port.

Popular calendar cultivates conservation ethic in youth

NOTE: This news release was originally issued by Sarasota County Government.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Dec. 10, 2014 - Sarasota County commissioners today honored 13 elementary school artists whose illustrations appear in the 2015 "Catch the Rain" calendar. More than 1,500 students entered this year's competition to illustrate ways to use landscaping methods that mimic Mother Nature in catching and keeping more of our rainfall to water plants and reduce stormwater runoff.

"The goal of the 'Catch the Rain' calendar is to show the community's youth and their parents how easy it is to capture this vital natural resource, and how this helps keep our bays healthy," said Rob Wright, who coordinates the calendar contest for Sarasota County through its Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) program.

The popular annual calendar contest is open to any elementary student in any public or private Sarasota County school, including charter and elementary-age home-schooled students. Each winner's school will receive a supply of calendars, and copies of their winning artwork will be displayed throughout January 2015 in the Sarasota County School District administration offices at The Landings. Students whose artwork is featured in the calendar are from Brentwood, Englewood, Garden, Glenallen, Gulf Gate, Lakeview, Pine View, Phillippi Shores, St. Martha, Tatum Ridge, Venice and Wilkinson elementary schools.

Copies of the calendar will be available at all county public libraries and administration facilities after Jan. 1. To get a free copy of the 2015 "Catch the Rain" calendar, or to learn more about the NEST program, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Rob Wright.

Sarasota High students stage Mark Twain's ‘Tom Sawyer’

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Ben and Tom-SHS T Sawyer play Dec 2014Becky and Amy-SHS Tom Sawyer play Dec 2014

CLASSIC CHARACTERS: At top, Jacob Smith as Ben Rogers, left, gets talked into whitewashing a fence by Tom Sawyer, played by Tanner Holman. Bottom, Olivia Valek, left, as Becky, and Alana Vaetoe-Coker, as Amy, vie for Tom’s affections in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” at Sarasota High School Dec. 10-13.

SARASOTA, Dec. 8, 2014 – Sarasota High School students will perform “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10 through Saturday, Dec. 13, with an additional matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. They also will stage a special student production for students from middle and elementary schools at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12. This opportunity will give younger students not only a chance to see a production, but also to experience a classic work of American literature brought to life in front of them. 

“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is based Mark Twain’s famous novel. Set in Missouri in the mid-1800s, it is the story of the adventures of a young boy and his friends. Most of these adventures end up with Tom getting in trouble, especially when Huckleberry Finn gets involved. This play has it all: adventure, danger and even romance as Tom's former girlfriend Amy competes for his affection with Becky, the new girl in town. Timeless themes and touching moments mingle with the funny and endearing sketches of childhood to make this production of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” a play both children and adults can enjoy together.

"Working on ‘Tom Sawyer’ has been so much fun,” said Lacey Knispel, who directs the play. “I think what I’ve enjoyed the most is working through the creative process with the students. They really take pride and ownership in their work, both on the stage and behind the scenes, and it’s evident in this production.”

Junior Tanner Holman, who plays Tom Sawyer, said, “Working on this show has been such an incredible experience. Nothing has been more satisfying than watching it develop into an amazing final product. Portraying Tom is an absolute blast! It’s fascinating to participate in the adventures that change him from a naive, mischievous boy to the town hero.”

Tickets are $7 for students and adults ages 55+ and $10 for adults ages 21-54. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door.

Sarasota High School is located at 1000 S. School Ave. in Sarasota.

Ashton Elementary presents Winter Holiday Musical

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SCS News

SARASOTA, Dec. 8, 2014 – Ashton Elementary School will present its Winter Holiday Musical at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10, in the school cafeteria. The performance will feature the 70-member Ashton Choir as well as student violinists. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

The cafeteria will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with music and drama to prepare the audience for the holiday season. Performing Arts Director and Assistant Principal Jacob Ruscoe said, “This is an extravaganza with professional sound and lighting, as our singers and musicians put parents and community members in the holiday mood.”

Ashton Elementary School is located at 5110 Ashton Road in Sarasota.

Alta Vista Elementary moms graduate from nursing program

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SCS News

SARASOTA, Dec. 5, 2014 – Alta Vista Elementary School has partnered with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the American Red Cross and generous donors to provide 11 mothers of Alta Vista students with an opportunity to earn their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate.

After seven weeks in an intensive nursing assistant program with clinical rotations, the women will attend a job fair and graduation ceremony at 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Alta Vista Elementary.

This is the third CNA class arranged by Alta Vista and the Community Foundation. The nursing assistant program is affiliated with the Eagle Academy, a summer program for students in kindergarten through third grade that is designed to increase reading readiness and decrease summer learning loss. The first two nursing assistant classes were held in the summer of 2013 and 2014 while the students attended the Eagle Academy; this is the first adult class to be held during the school year.  

“The nursing program is part of a two-generational approach of educating children and their parents together to help break the cycle of poverty,” said Alta Vista Principal Barbara Shirley. “The idea is to enhance employment opportunities through career and vocational training for parents while their children attend school.”

Alta Vista Elementary School is located at 1050 S. Euclid Ave. in Sarasota.

District names next executive director of elementary schools

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Laura Kingsley 2014

NEW ELEMENTARY LEADER: Laura Kingsley has been named the next executive director of elementary schools for the Sarasota County School District.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Dec. 5, 2014 – Superintendent Lori White has named longtime principal Laura Kingsley as the next executive director of elementary schools for the Sarasota County School District.

Kingsley, 56, has led Fruitville Elementary School since 2001. She is scheduled to begin her new job Monday, Feb. 2, pending approval by the School Board of Sarasota County. She will succeed John Zoretich, who has served as executive director of elementary schools since 1998. Zoretich is retiring from the district at the end of January.

“We are extremely fortunate that the district has leaders of Dr. Kingsley’s caliber,” said White. “Her passionate, creative approach to elementary education and her knowledge of the diverse needs of our youngest students makes her the perfect choice for the job.”

Assistant Principal Steven French will serve as acting principal at Fruitville for the remainder of the 2014-15 school year. The district will begin the search for the school’s next principal in the spring, with input from parents and staff.   

 “Fruitville has been my home for 14 years,” said Kingsley. “I am so proud of the warm and welcoming learning environment our staff and families have built. Although I will miss everyone, I look forward to developing relationships with all the elementary schools in the district.”

 Regarding her predecessor, Kingsley said, “I have such deep respect for John Zoretich and the vision he has helped all the elementary principals realize. My fervent hope is that I can preserve his vision and support our principals so they will continue to lead the best elementary schools in Florida. I am honored to work for our superintendent and be part of the district team and as we serve the children of this great school system.”

Before becoming principal of Fruitville Elementary, Kingsley served as assistant principal of Emma E. Booker Elementary School (2000-01 and 1995-97) and Laurel Nokomis School (1997-99). She taught at Emma E. Booker Elementary from 1988-95, where she served as a supervising teacher for interns and a mentor for new teachers.

In 2012 Kingsley was Sarasota County Principal of the Year, the Council for Exceptional Children Principal of the Year and Florida Studio Theater Educator of the Year. She earned a national award for teaching economics in 1991 and was Teacher of the Year at Emma E. Booker in 1990 and 1993. She taught education courses as an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla., in 2010-11 and has made presentations at various state and national education conferences and workshops.

Kingsley earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Manchester College in N. Manchester, Ind. She earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of South Florida.

Kingsley said she and her husband Ric “are proud of our four children, who all graduated from Sarasota County schools. We also have six grandchildren under the age of 5 who will be future graduates of district schools!”

Schools contest nets two-ton contribution for All Faiths Food Bank

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Atwater Elem kids Make a Difference trophy Nov 2014

FOOD DRIVE CHAMPIONS – Atwater All-Star student representatives Chloe Sutton, left, Se’korrey Thomas, Kailey Provencher and Cole Jackson pose with the traveling trophy they were awarded Nov. 25 from Volunteer Community Connections for collecting the most food in a Make-A-Difference Day project. The eight Sarasota County Schools that participated in the VCC food drive collected more than two tons of food for the All-Faiths Food Bank.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Dec. 2, 2014 – A Sarasota-based community service organization, Volunteer Community Connections, engaged eight Sarasota County School District schools in a Make-a-Difference Day food drive that collected 4,330 pounds of food for All Faiths Food Bank on Oct. 25. VCC Executive Director Cindy Underwood said the food will provide 3,608 meals to families coping with food insecurity.

VCC presented trophies to the two schools that collected the most food in their respective categories. Atwater Elementary in North Port won in the elementary school category by collecting 831 pounds of food. Booker High School won in the secondary school category with 342 pounds of food collected.

Atwater science teacher James Froelich said the students and staff made posters, advertised on their morning news broadcast, and recorded videos to promote the importance of making a difference in the lives of others. “Atwater’s community is a diverse population that is full of both needs and networks of support,” Froelich said. “The young citizens who call themselves All-Stars have made us very proud of them once again!”

The other schools that participated in the food drive were Brookside Middle School and Cranberry, Tuttle, Phillippi Shores, Bay Haven and Gocio elementary schools. 

West Point cadets visit Booker Middle School

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SCS News

SARASOTA, Dec. 1, 2014 – Cadets and professors from the United States Military Academy at West Point will teach robotics to students at Booker Middle School from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 5. More than 50 students, including visitors from Largo Middle School in Pinellas County, will design, build, program and operate robots during the sessions.

In addition to the West Point contingent, teachers from both middle schools who specialize in the STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — will instruct the students. The learning opportunity is sponsored by College for Every Student, a national organization that helps underserved students get to and through college, ready to enter the 21st century workforce. The Tampa Bay College For Every Student STEM program is supported by the Helios Education Foundation.

Booker Middle School is located at 2250 Myrtle St., Sarasota.

About College For Every Student

Over the last 22 years, College For Every Student has helped make college a reality for more than 75,000 low-income, first-generation youth by raising academic aspirations and performance.  CFES currently serves 20,000 students (known as CFES Scholars) in 200 urban and rural schools across 27 states.  Over the last six years, 95 percent of CFES Scholars graduated from high school and went on to college. For more information visit   

About Helios Education Foundation

 Helios Education Foundation is focused on creating opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education by advancing the academic preparedness of all students and fostering a high-expectations, college-going culture in Arizona and Florida.  The Foundation focuses its investments across the education continuum in three key impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years and Postsecondary Success.  As an engaged foundation, embedded in communities across both states, the Foundation is contributing its leadership, expertise and financial resources to better prepare students to succeed academically and to compete in a globally competitive economy. Since 2006, Helios has invested over $130 million in education-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida. As part of that, approximately $12 million has been invested in STEM programs and initiatives. For more information about the Foundation, visit

About West Point

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year co-educational federal undergraduate liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City.  It was founded in 1802 as America's first college of engineering and is world-renown for leader development.  Its mission remains constant-to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to




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