Hensons Recognized with LULAC Advancing Equity Award



Joe and Mary Kay Henson have been recognized by the Florida League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for contributions that advance educational equity and academic outcomes for Sarasota County’s youngest students. The Hensons received the Advancing Equity award for their work in developing and funding impactful programs such as the Summer Learning Academies in Title I schools, which help students and families prepare for school by taking part in enriching learning experiences that help reduce the negative effects of the summer learning slide through a two-generation approach for family learning. 

In addition, the Hensons sponsor a pre-kindergarten program at Gocio Elementary School for 4- and 5-year old children who have not participated in preschool due to a lack of resources. This program prepares young children for school by experiencing daily routines such as riding the bus and eating in the cafeteria as well as learning how to be independent and spend time away from their families. The pilot program is in the process of finishing the second year of implementation with promising results—13 of the original 18 students in the program have qualified for advanced work in kindergarten.

Sarasota County Schools Summer Learning Academies

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