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SRQ DAILY Oct 5, 2019

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"The proactive approach makes sense: Students who learn to incorporate life skills are better able to focus on academic work and make informed plans for their future college and career plans."

- Jennifer Vigne, Education Foundation of Sarasota County

[On City]  100 Years of Success
Paul Caragiulo

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. I am extremely honored and eager to begin my term serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The GSCC is a wonderful organization with a fantastic board and an even better CEO/president and professional staff. For me personally, it’s a great opportunity to continue serving my community and one I will always be grateful for. Let me tell you a bit about who we are and what we do.

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is a not-for profit organization focusing on growing our community's economy. The organization is a bridge that links businesses, governments, foundations, other organizations and residents together with innovative programming meant to help strengthen Sarasota's long-term economic vitality, business success, job creation and quality of life. Our members represent nearly 1,200 companies and organizations, ranging from the ubiquitous “Mom and Pop” sized operation to the multi-thousand employee behemoth, from industries like construction, healthcare, education, hospitality, banking and manufacturing.

The Chamber has been an important voice on civic issues in the community since the very beginning. Whether advocating for better roads, better rail service, the creation of public utilities or just general governance issues, the organization has always been front and center. In fact, the 1945 Sarasota City Charter, which changed the government to the city-manager form (still in place today) was written by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber also ushered the 1945 Charter through both the state legislative process and the local referendum. 

More recently in 2018, the Chamber worked closely alongside the ACLU, NAACP, GCBX and the Argus Foundation on the successful “Change the Date” campaign, a Charter Amendment that proposed to change city elections from low-turnout spring to where they belong in high turnout fall elections. In that referendum, citizens voted in favor of the amendment nearly 2 to 1. 

Programming is one of the most important components of the GSCC. Last year, CareerEdge, a national-award-winning workforce and employer-led initiative became part of The Chamber. CareerEdge partners directly with employers in fast-growing sectors within the regional economy, to help fill skills gaps and meet employment needs. This is absolutely crucial for our community’s economic development. This past spring, an accelerated HVAC maintenance program was created at the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club, and last week, seven newly trained technicians graduated from the program eager to begin their new jobs. This program marked another successful collaboration with the Argus Foundation and special a shout-out to my friend and former colleague, Sarasota City Commissioner Willie Shaw, for bringing the idea forward.

In 2020, the GSCC will be one of three Chamber Organizations in the state that will participate in The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Public Policy Institute. This will be a statewide effort to help identify and recruit the next generation of public servants. As Florida continues to grow we will need dedicated citizens willing to serve. I am especially excited about this because I know there are some extraordinarily talented folks in Sarasota.

There has never been a better time than now to get involved at the GSCC. Join up, attend some events, and maybe even get on one of our committees. For more information call us at 941-955-8187 or check out our website at www.sarasotachamber.com

Paul Caragiulo is a former Sarasota City and County Commissioner. 

Photo courtesy Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

[Education]  “Screenagers” explores solutions for teens’ emotional well-being
Jennifer Vigne, jvigne@edfoundationsrq.org

As proponents for empowering students with social-emotional skills, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County is pleased to note much-needed attention being given to increasing awareness of and finding solutions for harmful effects of heightened stress on school-aged youth.

The encouraging movement is boosted by Florida’s new requirement, effective this school year, that all students in grades 6-12 will be provided with a minimum of five hours of mental health lessons, and by our local community’s collaborative efforts to present mental health experts’ research and guidance on this important topic.

There is no question this is a grave issue that warrants our collective concerted attention. Nationwide, millions of young people experience high stress and depression. Since 2011, there has been a 59% increase in teens reporting depressive symptoms. In a 2017 survey conducted with Florida high school students, 27.8% reported feeling sad or hopeless for two or more years in a row.

A proactive approach is integral to the EFSC’s College, Career and Life Readiness Initiative. We can and must teach our youth to build crucial skills for navigating stress and anxiety. That is why, at the EFSC, we continually illuminate the importance of social-emotional learning as a core component of life readiness.

Teaching our children to develop healthy emotional behaviors is a proactive approach and best explicitly taught throughout the education continuum alongside academic subjects.

The proactive approach makes sense: Students who learn to incorporate life skills are better able to focus on academic work and make informed plans for their future college and career plans.

Conversely, surveys show that teens say their main way of coping with stress is to turn to a screen, while scientific data indicates that two and more hours a day on social media correlate with a higher chance of having unhappy feelings.

These facts, and more, are interwoven with families’ personal stories and surprising insights from brain researchers and psychologists, into the just-released documentary film, Screenagers Next Chapter: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience.

The new film is the second documentary by Dr. Delaney Ruston, a physician and parent. Last year the EFSC sponsored local showings of Ruston’s first award-winning film, Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age

Through donors’ support of EFSC initiatives, we are able to provide educators, families and the community with free showings of the latest film with its emphasis on developing teens’ stress resilience and supporting their mental wellness in the digital and social media age.

Admission is free to “Screenagers Next Chapter.” Required reservations can be made online at EdFoundationSRQ.org/Screenagers. The film will be shown from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 15 at North Port High School and 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Riverview High School.

Immediately after the film, a question-and-answer session with a panel of subject-matter experts in the fields of child psychology, education and mental health will be led by Suzanne Burke, the EFSC’s senior director of CCLR. Burke, whose doctorate is in education and curriculum, brings a depth of knowledge to the issue with 33 years’ experience in education that includes 10 years focused on social-emotional learning.

The film is recommended for middle school and older students, families, teachers, and anyone interested in promoting healthy social-emotional behaviors in students. The film trailer can be viewed at ScreenagersMovie.com. 

Jennifer Vigne is president of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. 

[Community]  In Tune with the Heartbeat of Sarasota

Anniversaries are unique moments in an individual or organization’s life, pauses that encourage personal reflection on what has come before and excitement for all that lies ahead. This year, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is celebrating a milestone anniversary: 40 years of uniting people and organizations to create opportunities for families across generations to improve lives and create lasting impact in our community. 

In anticipation of our 40th Anniversary, we have taken a thoughtful look back at all the donors, nonprofit partners, local professionals, and community members who have partnered with us over the years, and we are proud to see that this legacy of trust and partnership has only strengthened over time.

As a testament to this, just this week we were able to share that the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is recognized as a national leader among community foundations for overall community impact and donor satisfaction by a 2019 Donor Perception Report conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), an independent industry analyst that evaluates philanthropic funders for effectiveness. Ranking in the top 99th percentile in these respective fields, our Community Foundation was described as an effective, trustworthy, and responsive partner, with our donors viewing us as a key resource based on our strong understanding of community needs.

However, the most rewarding aspect of this report was reading the constructive remarks and comments from the donors who partner with us. As part of our continual aim to grow as community needs evolve, I view listening and considering these thoughtful responses as a crucial process. Reflection often brings insights and renews our team’s dedication to build bridges between past and future opportunities. One comment in particular continues to spark my imagination: “The Community Foundation is in tune with the heartbeat of Sarasota [County] and its community.”

This begs the question: what is the heartbeat of our community? From my perspective, it is the collective efforts of community members and organizations working hand-in-hand to foster a community-wide culture of caring, empowerment, and belonging and build the community we all want to live in. And this starts with expanding opportunities for families and individuals across our area to ensure they can reach their full potential.

In our pursuit of these efforts, our Community Foundation has also been ranked locally as the largest community foundation in Florida by asset size and nationally as second in total number of giving transactions by the 2018 Columbus Survey, which collects and compares data metrics from 250 other community foundations nationwide.

While we are tremendously proud of these results, these numbers ultimately reflect the generosity of our community and the passion of our donors who are making a difference every day. We continue to feel honored and humbled that donors have chosen us to be their partner in charitable giving, and we remain committed to listen with open ears and an open heart to continuously strengthen our community knowledge and relationships.

While anniversaries present an opportunity to reflect on the past and reenergize for the future, I encourage every one of us to embrace a spirit of continual improvement for the betterment of our community by celebrating achievements and inviting constructive feedback in all you do. And, if you listen closely, you will hear the heartbeat of our community.  

Roxie Jerde is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. 

[SCOOP]  Cat Depot Behind the Scenes

To keep cats active while they are at Cat Depot awaiting their forever home, staff and volunteers teach cats a variety of behaviors like leash-walking, sitting pretty, completing a feline-specific agility course, and how to give high fives on cue. This enrichment also gives potential adopters enhanced opportunities to get to know the individual kitties. Soon more programs for cats and cat lovers will be rolled out for everyone to enjoy. 


Cat Depot

[SCOOP]  The Roskamp Institute's 3rd Annual Grey Matters (GM3) An Illuminating Success

More than 450 guests filled the Ritz-Carlton ballroom for the sold-out third annual Grey Matters Symposium on Alzheimer’s research, benefiting Sarasota’s Roskamp Institute and Neurology Clinic. Its mission: to conduct research for developing safe and effective new drug therapies to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. Keynote speaker Kimberly Williams-Paisley, actress, New York Times-bestselling author and an Alzheimer’s awareness advocate, delivered a heartfelt speech about her mother, who passed away in 2016 after a long battle with dementia. During the “Neon for Neuroscience” Cash Call, an anonymous donor agreed to match donations up to $25,000, which encouraged attendees  to raise an avalanche of glow sticks in the darkened room in support of The Institute. Altogether, the event raised more than $166,000 for medical research.  

The Roskamp Institute

[SCOOP]  Inspiring At-Risk Youths Through Dance - The Next Generation

On Tuesday, October 29th, The Sarasota Ballet will present the annual On Pointe evening, a fundraising and awareness event for the company’s Dance – The Next Generation drop-out prevention program. Dance – The Next Generation (DNG) has been nurturing the development of at-risk schoolchildren since its founding in 1991 by The Sarasota Ballet Founder Jean Weidner Goldstein. Designed to engage students who have been identified as being at risk of dropping out of school, DNG instills self-esteem and discipline through dance instruction and extracurricular support. The program is free of charge to the students’ families, with The Sarasota Ballet providing full scholarships, dance clothes and shoes to the students. On Pointe will take place at 6pm at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by Wednesday, October 23rd, by calling 941-225-6519 or emailing events@sarasotaballet.org 

The Sarasota Ballet

[SCOOP]  The Ringling Welcomes Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art welcomes the acclaimed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of southern India to Art of Performance. One of the premier Indian Classical dance ensembles performing today, Nrityagram is more than a dance company. Founded as a village devoted to dance and the preservation of the Odissi classical dance tradition, the all-female ensemble’s daily life of intensive training and meditation brings to the stage compelling captivating performances that are at once sensual and lyrical. The artists of Nrityagram elegantly recount the stories of the Hindu epics through the sinuously curving classical movements of Odissi dance. Nrityagram, the first company to earn consecutive “Best Dance of the Year” honors from The New York Times, is committed to preserving and revitalizing the Odissi tradition by bringing it from the village to the modern stage. The company will present performances October 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Historic Asolo Theater. 

The Ringling

[SCOOP]  Celebrate Sarasota "Bike to Work Day" Event During Mobility Week

The Florida Department of Transportation’s Commute Connector program has partnered with the City of Sarasota, Sarasota County and Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to host a “Bike to Work Day” event. The ride will take place before work in downtown Sarasota on Friday, November 1, starting at 7:30 a.m. The event is part of Mobility Week, an annual initiative from October 25 through November 1. Mobility Week is a coordinated and concentrated celebration of activities to promote transportation choices and safety.   

The Florida Department of Transportation's Commute Connector

[SCOOP]  The Ringling Presents Artists and Climate Change Incubator

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce they will be offering an Artists and Climate Change Incubator with Chantal Bilodeau of The Arctic Cycle (NYC). The program, which will include interdisciplinary conversations, interaction with exhibits, film and workshops will be held November 21-24. The Incubator is an intensive workshop for artists, activists, scientists, citizens and educators interested in furthering their engagement with climate change through the arts. Intended for an intimate working group, it provides a space for focused reflection, exchange of ideas, learning from other fields, and expanding possibilities beyond traditional forms and venues. 

The Ringling

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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