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SRQ DAILY Jan 4, 2020

Saturday Perspectives Edition

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Saturday Perspectives Edition

"Today's effective teachers stay abreast of and respond to emerging needs in our fast-changing world. They eschew complacency and refuse to allow themselves and their charges to grow bored."

- Jennifer Vigne, Education Foundation of Sarasota County
 

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[Community]  Counting Every Voice in Our Community
Roxie Jerde, roxie@cfsarasota.org

As with each New Year, many in our community are looking to the future with a healthy dose of optimism mixed with a dash of reality. Through a handful of New Year’s resolutions and festive gatherings, we hit our metaphorical reset button that refreshes our momentum, and each of our commitments to improving our lives and those around us. While each year brings a reasonable balance of opportunities and challenges, we cannot escape the reality that families across our community—and beyond—are gripped by heavy feelings of anxiety and caution with the start of this new decade.

Regardless of your personal beliefs, 2020 will be a trying year. With a political barrage of presidential and local elections paired with the 2020 Census, the temptation to stress our individual differences rather than our shared commonalities will be overbearing, and some will find refuge in turning inward to avoid these challenging situations. The question then remains: how can we best overcome this as a community? Yes, we should vote. Yes, we should ensure our voices are being heard. But while taking part, we need to resist any pressure to divide ourselves. I encourage all of us to transform anxieties into energy for unity by focusing on what we can do locally to build the community we all want to live in.

While daunting, accomplishing this feat together requires each and every one of us to adopt a renewed sense of tolerance to engage civilly and respectfully with one another. Embracing tolerance is an important step on the path to better understanding each other by turning outward and resisting the urge to isolate ourselves.

In this spirit, the Community Foundation has offered support in the formation of and activities related to the City of Sarasota’s Complete Count Committee in preparation of the 2020 Census. The importance of ensuring a fair and accurate count in Sarasota County cannot be understated: if just 10% of our current population is not counted (estimated to be 40,000 people), as a community we lose $40 million a year in federal funding, or $400 million over the next decade. This could affect the future hiring of teachers, important resources for 12 Title 1 schools, Pell grants for students in need, budgets for infrastructure and the list goes on.  

All of us have a civic responsibility to ensure our growing community has the resources needed for the decade to come. There are countless ways to extend a helping hand: assisting a neighbor in completing their census; taking a flexible, part-time job as a census taker; or encouraging organizations you interact with to dedicate resources—internet access being chief among them—to ensure as many residents of Sarasota County complete the census. We all have a stake in this, so let’s ensure everyone’s voice is heard and valued.  

As we progress from one decade to the next, I encourage all of us to embrace the New Year, with all its inevitable opportunities and challenges, with an open mind and open heart. I am confident there isn’t anything we cannot overcome together. 

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

[CLICKSRQ]  A Magical Evening | SRQ Magazine's Holiday Soiree at Waterworks, December 9
 

Click here for more photos.

[Education]  Teachers Inspire Life Lessons to Succeed in New Decade
Jennifer Vigne, jvigne@edfoundationsrq.org

With the dawning of 2020, we have completed one-fifth of the 21st century and are embarking on not just a new year but a whole new decade. That’s a sobering reminder that time marches on even when some people and institutions remain in a 20th century frame of mind. Fortunately, we can learn from our awesome 43 teachers who were selected by their schools for recognition at our recent Teacher of the Year Awards celebration. By example and instruction, they teach timeless skills that can help students to succeed now and in the not-so-distant future. All of us can benefit by applying these timeless lessons to our personal and professional lives.

  • Be flexible, adaptable and creative.

Today’s effective teachers stay abreast of and respond to emerging needs in our fast-changing world. They eschew complacency and refuse to allow themselves and their charges to grow bored.

Heather Young, the district’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, received accolades for the 21 years she spent teaching gifted students before changing to teach visual arts to K-5 students with varying capabilities.

Josh Grant, 2020 High School Teacher of the Year, changed professions, earned his teacher certification and happily taught English for seven years before switching direction again to revitalize his school’s digital media program using relatable topics and 21st century technological methods.

  • Develop leadership skills by modeling positive traits.

Teacher-leaders recognize that character-building helps our youth grow into responsible citizens competent to handle personal and societal challenges in a global culture. Some teachers focus on building a classroom community, collaborative learning, and managing both success and failure, while others emphasize compassion, patience, risk-taking and turning mistakes into revisions.

Marissa Dobbert, 2020 Middle School Teacher of the Year, teaches manners, kindness, accountability and persistence along with mathematics.

The approach helped turn around an angry middle school student with an unstable home life. “He had been a leader but in the wrong direction,” Dobbert said, “then he started leading in the right direction.” 

  • Discover and commit to an inspired purpose.   

A purposeful plan starts with discovering what sparks excitement and curiosity. Both Young and Ali Binswanger, 2020 Innovation Award recipient, were inspired by their own mothers who taught. They, and many more high-performing teachers, cite parents and beloved former teachers as motivation for wanting to improve children’s lives by teaching. Indeed, many enthusiastic teachers frequently describe their choice to teach as “a calling, my mission, my purpose.”  

  • Build relationships based on the whole person approach.   

The setting doesn’t have to be a classroom; it can be a corporate office or neighborhood. We can improve personal and professional relationships anywhere by remembering that people respond best when we are interested in them as individuals. In the words of Young:

“We don’t always know what kids are going through, and everyone comes in with something different. Be understanding and patient. Aim for positive long-lasting results, not just success on a single assignment.”

Wise words like these from stellar educators don’t go out of style or become dated. I believe that internalizing these and other affirmative life lessons can produce more long-lasting improvements than a traditional but mundane list of resolutions. Best wishes for a prosperous, inspired and creative new decade filled with the joy and insight gained from continuous learning.

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

[Photos]  ClickSRQ Photos of the SB2: Philanthropic Agenda and Good Hero Awards Luncheon, December 9
 

Click for more photos from SB2.



[SCOOP]  Children's World Play Date Program

Established in 1964, Children's World announces their 2020 Play Day program to its many business which include providing uniforms for the Schools in Sarasota, Manatee County and local businesses. Play Days are held in the Children's World toy store providing engagement for kids of all ages from 10am-4pm on  January 25-DIY Puzzles, February 8-We Love Shrinky Dinks Day, February 22-Kwik Stix Hand Art, March 14-St. Patrick's Clay Day, March 28-Spring Olympica, April 11-Easter Crafts, April 25-Tee's for Mom, May 9-Fun Science and May 23-Make-a-Plate for Dad. Workshops held at 4525 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. There are nominal fees covering materials for Tee's for Mom and Make-A-Plate for Dad."

  

Children's World

[SCOOP]  The Bishop Welcomes Two New Manatees to Rehab

Two new manatees — Viva and Collie — arrived at The Bishop’s Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat to receive pre-release conditioning before they return to the wild. Viva is a female manatee about 6.5 feet long, weighing about 332 pounds. She was rescued on November 11 from Pine Island Sound near Captiva Island in Lee County suffering from the effects of red tide. Collie, another female manatee, about 7 feet long and weighed about 551 pounds when she was rescued after a boat strike from the Gordon River near Naples in Collier County on June 11. Viva and Collie are the 41st and 42nd rehabilitating manatees that The Bishop has housed since 1998 and they join the current manatee residents, Felicia and Doscal.  

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

[SCOOP]  Operation Games Donated to Sarasota Sheriff's Office

Every Child, Inc. of Sarasota donated twenty-five copies of the classic board game, Operation, to the Sarasota County’s Sheriff’s Office 2nd Annual Toy Drive. The games were signed by John Spinello, the man who invented the game in 1964.  Dept. Carney accepted the games on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office. Every Child was formed over twenty years ago by Judy Alexander. The mission is to help underprivileged children in our local community. One of their initiatives has been encouraging children to read.  Every Child, Inc. provides free books to agencies and children when they visit The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime located at 821 Apricot Avenue, Sarasota and open Thursday - Saturday 10am - 3pm. 

Every Child, Inc.

[SCOOP]  The Ringling Calls for Call for Donations of "Books and Bags for Kids"

Donate new suitcases, blankets, books, and toiletries for children in foster care at The Ringling. These items will be given to children during the Manatee County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association’s (FAPA) Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service project, “Books and Bags for Kids” that will be held at The Ringling. Donation bins are located in the Visitor Pavilion and Education Center.  

Manatee County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association�s (FAPA)

[KUDOS]  Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recognizes Tervis at State Capital

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection joined the Florida Recycling Partnership and other stakeholders in November to celebrate Florida Recycles Week with a press conference and educational displays at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. DEP Deputy Secretary John Truitt presented a Recycling Recognition Award to Tervis, recognizing the company’s 83.72 percent recycling rate, outstanding reuse efforts, and commitment to Florida's environment and recycling goals. Tervis, located in Sarasota County, has been making sustainable drinkware since 1946. On hand to accept the award was Chris Shockey, the Director of Manufacturing at Tervis.  

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection

[SCOOP]  Ear Research Foundation Resolution for Hearing Health in the New Year

Ear Research Foundation’s resolution is to elevate its research, education, and community care.  With donations from individuals, Gulf Coast Community Foundation CCDHH Fund, and a team of volunteers, the Foundation is elevating its reach at expos, at speaking engagements, to care for those in need, with physician trainings, and preschool visits - testing 1,200 children annually. Dr. Herbert Silverstein, President, shared, “We also have an active study for hearing restoration. It’s an incredible time medically and technologically. Baby boomers and future generations will greatly benefit from our work.” 

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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