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The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc. was founded in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in support of public education, independent of the Sarasota County School Board. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided over $14 million in direct support to Sarasota schools. Our MISSION is to invest in every childís success through the generosity of our community. Our VISION is that every child will be prepared for tomorrowís world. The Foundationís primary goals are to secure private sector resources for K-12 public education, target and support programs and activities that provide educational benefits for Sarasota County public school children, provide the private sector with a primary channel of giving, and promote innovative programs that have a positive impact on learning. The Education Foundationís board has committed to the following strategic objectives: A. Increasing the graduation rate; B. Helping all students become better readers; C. Preparing students for success in the work place and global economy; D. Serving as the leading advocate for our communityís public schools. The Education Foundation engages the entire community in support of its public schools through collaborations, volunteerism, sponsorships, and private philanthropy. There are no other agencies that publicly award teacher achievement or offer these avenues for broad community involvement in Sarasota County schools. We serve more than 41,400 students in 57 public elementary, middle and high schools, charter schools and alternative programs. Our programs are designed to generate enthusiasm for teaching among teachers at all grade levels, incorporate parent involvement into many of the projects, and benefit the community at large by encouraging excellence in our public school system.
Impact Summary from the Nonprofit Here are examples of how donors are helping Sarasota County students succeed, in the classroom and in life: TEXCELLENCE: BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR FAMILIES IN NEED ""I cannot take this smile off my face!"" That was eighth grade student Manny Davila's reaction when he learned he was finally going to get a computer of his very own. Manny and his brother are two of over 5,400 students who have brought home their families' very first computer thanks to Texcellence, an innovative collaboration between the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, the school district and generous donors. Students who are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program attend training sessions with family members, where they learn how to set up and use their new technology. They receive a nicely refurbished computer, educational and productivity software, flash drives and a phone number to call for ongoing tech support. Texcellence, which now offers expanded training and internet access, is gaining national attention and serving as a model for other school districts around the country. GIVING TEACHERS WHAT THEY NEED TO INSPIRE STUDENT LEARNING In the past three years, an 82% of teachers who received 791 classroom mini-grants realized the learning objectives they had established for their students. Individual teachers and teams secured a total $532,028 for projects, materials, supplies and experiences that classroom budgets could not possibly cover. A whopping 98.5% of teachers reported that they had increased their effectiveness in teaching the designated subject through use of their Education Foundation grant award. Each award is sponsored by a local family, business, foundation or civic group. Donors have the chance to join community grant reading sessions every fall to score and rank teacher's proposals. Donors present their grants to the winning teachers and are invited to see their investments at work in the classroom, first-hand.
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