Additional $10,000 Presenting Sponsorship for Teacher of the Year
Sarasota, FL – September 6, 2011 – The Education Foundation’s 2011-2012 classroom grants programs received a $20,000 boost from Verizon tonight, expanding the company’s support for teachers and students in Sarasota County.
Debby Kampert, Director External Affairs for Verizon’s Southeast Region, presented the check to foundation and district leaders at Tuesday evening’s school board meeting. “Verizon is honored to continue to partner with the Education Foundation to provide resources and tools for teachers to be more effective in their classrooms which ensures their students are successful and are ready to compete in the 21st century global economy,” she said.
Education Foundation executive director Cindy Kaiser and board chairman Mike Bryant accepted the contribution, which is larger than the company’s program support in the past school year. “The Verizon Foundation’s generous $12,500 increase in support will fund our new Exploration Grant Program, giving all Sarasota County students access to the rich array of cultural and scientific resources that Southwest Florida has to offer,” Kaiser said. “The increase will also trigger matching funds, dollar for dollar, from The Patterson Foundation for every dollar above the amount you gave for classroom grants last year.”
Area arts, history and science organizations are developing educational experiences tied closely to state academic standards and curriculum plans. These “explorations” are posted on a searchable online database launched just weeks ago. EdExploreSRQ.com will give teachers an easy way to find these opportunities for their students to visit new places, meet experts in their classrooms, or participate in video-conferences direct from the laboratory or rehearsal hall. Some experiences are subsidized by the nonprofits and paid for through school budgets or by student fees. Teachers may also apply for the Education Foundation’s new Exploration Grants of up to $1,500, and a few larger grants of up to $5,000, to help make these experiences possible for their students.
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The remaining $7,500 of the Verizon program contribution will support Edge of Excellence Classroom Grants, an Education Foundation program now celebrating its 22nd year of continuous operation. These competitive “mini grants” of up to $500 each give teachers the tools, materials and supplies they need to develop educational enrichment projects and try new teaching techniques.
Kampert also confirmed a $10,000 Presenting Sponsorship to the Education Foundation for the Sarasota County Teacher of the Year program. The three finalists for the annual award will be surprised at their elementary, middle and high schools on December 15. The evening awards reception will be held on January 26, 2012.