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SRQ DAILY Mar 20, 2021

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"As a community leader, our role at Gulf Coast Community Foundation was to find a way to make sure the Jessies, Bills, and Junes of our region got the help they needed to overcome those challenges."

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation
 

-Rigged For Success, as seen in SRQ's March 2021 edition. Click the photo for the full article.
[Gulf Coast]  One Year Later: The Stories That Keep Us Going
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

This week marked an anniversary that many of us either celebrated or quietly let pass.

It was 365 days ago this past Monday when we were told to stay home unless our job was considered “essential.” Essential typically meant someone tirelessly working in a hospital intensive care unit, a first responder making sure our lives were safe, or someone working the front lines of a grocery store or pharmacy to keep our families fed and medicated. 

Over time, many of us adjusted to the changes, despite how drastic they might have seemed. But for tens of thousands of our neighbors in and around Sarasota County, the COVID-19 pandemic literally upended their lives, as businesses closed, jobs were lost and school was transformed. Whether they were striving to provide for their families, better themselves, or nurture others, these community members—through no fault of their own—suddenly found themselves in dire situations they never saw coming.

Like “Jessie,” a disabled, single mom who lived in a hotel room with her five children for nearly three months. Even when she found a place to move, Jessie couldn’t afford the security deposit and first month’s rent on top of the mounting hotel bill.

Or “Bill,” an older worker just settling into new a job a short bike ride from his apartment when the pandemic hit. Soon Bill was furloughed, along with hundreds of fellow team members, when Goodwill Manasota locations were forced to shutter. With no time off accrued yet, Bill wasn’t sure how he’d pay his rent or buy food and medicine.

And “June,” a foster mom caring for a girl who turned one during the pandemic. June said it was hard keeping her foster daughter home “with the same people, the same toys, and the same books day in and day out.” I can only imagine...

As a community leader, our role at Gulf Coast Community Foundation was to find a way to make sure the Jessies, Bills and Junes of our region got the help they needed to overcome those challenges. Thanks to the many donors at Gulf Coast and our friends at Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, we have invested millions of dollars into COVID-19 relief. Our nonprofit partners responded with creativity and courage that has positively impacted thousands of lives.

For Jessie, Family Promise of South Sarasota County was able to cover that security deposit and first month’s rent for her family’s new home. The agency even sent a taxi to get them there because Jessie doesn’t drive. And after learning that the family had slept on the tile floor the first night because their belongings were still in storage, Family Promise bought air mattresses and bedding for them the next day.

After Goodwill Manasota had to furlough over three-quarters of its workforce, a grant helped the agency quickly hire back five GoodPartner Coaches. Normally these mentors help Goodwill staff plan and achieve financial and life goals. Now they served as navigators and counselors to help their furloughed colleagues access unemployment assistance, food, housing, and healthcare. Shirley was Bill’s coach, as well as his advocate, motivator, and friend. She helped him secure the benefits to which he was entitled until he could safely return to work.

The Safe Children Coalition knew that unanticipated needs would hit foster families hard. With a grant from our initiative, the agency supplied gift cards to every foster family in the 12th Judicial Circuit. June used hers to buy books with push buttons for songs, lullabies and animal sounds to nurture her foster daughter’s mind and spirit. “She loves them and has begun ‘dancing’ and perfecting her moves,” June told us.

Those are just three examples of thousands of stories that have played out in our community. The grit and compassion of our region’s nonprofits has been astounding. The heart shown by philanthropists has equaled it. The positive things we have learned and built will only help us moving forward. Even amid our forced separation, we have proven, once again, that we are better together.

Mark Pritchett is president and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

To see a complete list of grants awarded from Gulf Coast and Barancik Foundation’s joint COVID-19 Response Initiative, go here.

[Argus]  Priority-Driven Local Government Budgeting
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

We learned a lot from The Great Recession. A priority-driven budget process was one of those important lessons.  Local governments are beginning their budgeting processes now for their budgets effective Oct. 1. As the lessons from the recession fade, we find that the will to address policies through budget prioritization has faded as well.

Now, today, we are finding shortfalls for sudden unprioritized issues in some governments because they failed to budget and plan. Some governments are seeking more revenue sources for items or issues they never identified as a budget priority nor directed staff to prioritize in their budgeting process. They are starting with the premise of asking for additional revenues without ever having prioritized existing revenues or making the issue a part of their strategic plan.

Make no mistake about it, governments are getting more taxpayer money every year.  Property tax values are increasing ever year and have been for a decade, which means government gets additional funds every year with millage rates staying the same. Since they already do have more money every year, they need to tame the government budget beast before it gets out of control. There will be a time in the future when revenue contracts.

So what can be done? Go back to the lessons of the recession. 

In 2011, the Government Finance Officers Association put out a white paper during the worst of The Great Recession for government. It was called, Anatomy of a Priority-Driven Budget Process. This paper explains that governments typically use an “incremental” approach to government budgeting. “The current year’s budget becomes the basis for the next year’s spending plan.” It is based upon revenue growing and expenses being even.

A priority-based budget, however, takes into account large growing expenses and is a more business-like approach to budgeting. You can’t run government like a business, but you can apply business principles to government to make it more successful. This certainly is a business principle that is now largely absent from local government budgeting. 

The white paper explains, “The philosophy of priority-driven budgeting is that resources should be allocated according to how effectively a program or service achieves the goals and objectives that are of greatest value to the community.”

The white paper gives a step-by-step approach to budgeting with the following bullet point philosophy:

  • Prioritize Services
  • Do the Important Things Well
  • Question Past Patterns of Spending
  • Spend within the Organization’s Means- don’t use last year’s expenditures as a basis for decision-making
  • Know the True Cost of Doing Business
  • Provide Transparency of Community Priorities
  • Provide Transparency of Service Impact
  • Demand Accountability for Results

It makes sense to taxpayers to focus on results, but it is a government mindset shift to what is being done today as tax revenues continue to rise. This philosophy is uncomfortable for upper level government management as oversight kicks in and it shifts the power back to the people through their elected officials actually working on the budget themselves rather than just signing off on recommendations.  

The GFOA white paper concludes, “As your organization adapts to the new normal, the process will guide decision-makers in making resource allocations that fund the programs that are most highly valued by the organization and, more importantly, by the citizens who depend on those programs and services for their well being, comfort, and expected quality of life.”  The Argus Foundation hopes we see a shift back to funding articulated community priorities, with plans, within the current growing tax revenues.

Christine Robinson is Executive Director of The Argus Foundation. 

To view the GFOA white paper go here.

[Higher Education]  Integrated and Aligned Nursing Education
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

Our region’s nurses performed heroically throughout the past year when our community has never needed them more. They responded to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic and shouldered the burden of long hours in the midst of a statewide nursing shortage.

To ensure the professional advancement of today’s nurses and develop the next generation of care givers, Florida’s public nursing educators must address how we educate our nurses and expand access to our programs. Our state has an effective public nursing education system, with the technical colleges, state colleges and universities each filling a role in a seamless pathway from entry level to advanced degrees:

  • Technical Colleges – Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Medical Assistants (CNA)
  • State Colleges – LPN to Registered Nurse (RN), RN, and the RN to Bachelor of Science Nursing
  • Universities – traditional BSN, Master of Science Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice

 

The current system does not duplicate effort or award credit that does not transfer to the next educational level, but it provides limited on-ramps to the continuum of nursing education, limited mechanisms for acceleration, limited access to affordable high-quality programs and faces gaps in the pipeline that feed the next level of academic advancement.

The nursing shortage exists at every level – from CNAs to LPNs to RNs to nurses with advanced degrees needed to teach in the education continuum. A shortage anywhere in the nursing pipeline creates a shortage everywhere.

To address meeting the nursing demand in Florida, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, participated in a work group last spring with its Florida College System partners. Florida’s state colleges graduate more than 4,000 registered nurses each year. The working group developed the Integrated and Aligned Model to address the limitations of the current nursing education model while retaining vitally important seamless career pathways for students.

The IAM envisions a collaborative approach with district high schools, technical colleges and state colleges. The long-term solution to the nursing shortage is to create multiple opportunities for advancement within the field that will serve student aspirations, patient care needs and the need for nursing educators now and in the future.  

In partnership with high schools, state colleges could provide pre-nursing dual enrollment and college credit certificates to enhance student preparedness and accelerate entry into a registered nursing program by meeting prerequisites before graduating from high school. In partnership with a technical college, the state college could offer remediation, concurrent enrollment and college credit certificates to enhance preparedness and accelerate progression toward completing the ASN with the FCS institution while a student completes a health sciences career certificate at the technical college.

Co-located programs would support student progression and resource sharing by offering aligned programs in the same location. All these efforts lead to an ASN degree that is seamlessly transferable as nurses move through their careers.

The model offered by the technical colleges in proposed legislation this year offers a pathway for LPN students to become registered nurses but fails to retain the invaluable seamless transfer component and is a costly duplication of existing public options. Working together, technical and state colleges can develop pathways from other health science programs into the nursing profession, increasing the number of nurses at all levels.

For more information about SCF’s role in the IAM please contact Brian Thomas at 941-752-5392 or thomasb1@scf.edu.

The FCS Integrated and Aligned Model guides a collaborative effort to address Florida’s nursing shortage at all levels by expanding the best of what each institution offers to ensure the educational and career opportunities of our nurses and to preserve high quality healthcare for our community.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is President of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 



[In This Issue]  Eat, Live, Lunch
Ariel Chates, ariel.chates@srqme.com

Health conscious dining in Lakewood Ranch. 

Click here to read the full article in SRQ's March 2021 edition.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Hermitage Artist Retreat: Talking Theater: An Evening with George Brant & Laura Kepley , April 15, 6pm

On Thursday, April 15 at 6pm “Talking Theater,” An Evening with George Brant and Laura Kepley. Presented in Collaboration with Venice Theatre. Celebrated American playwright George Brant (Grounded; Into the Breeches) and Cleveland Play House Artistic Director Laura Kepley - married artists in residence together at the Hermitage Artist Retreat – will present a talk about their work and the state of the American theater, in a partnership between the Hermitage and Venice Theatre. The conversation and audience Q&A will be moderated by Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg and Venice Theatre Producing Executive Director Murray Chase. Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. Registration required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Hermitage Artist Retreat: Conveying Meaning With Kristen Miller, Michelle Lopez, and Kathleen Driskell , April 30, 6pm

On Friday, April 30 at 6pm “Conveying Meaning” with Hermitage Fellows Kristen Miller, Michelle Lopez and Kathleen Driskell. Visual and interdisciplinary artist Michelle Lopez will share how she conveys what social justice means to her through visual mixed media. Kristen Miller translates poetry, conveying meaning from the original language. Learn about this delicate transfer of meaning between cultures. Writer Kathleen Driskell will show how the punctuation you learned in English class can be used to enrich prose and deepen literary meaning. Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. Registration required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Hermitage Artist Retreat: Artists and Writers, Thinking Out Loud With Crystal Wilkinson, Hari Kunzru, and Lucy Kim , May 14, 6pm

On Friday, May 14 at 6pm “Artists and Writers, Thinking Out Loud” with Hermitage Fellows Crystal Wilkinson, Hari Kunzru, Lucy Kim. Author Crystal Wilkinson will discuss and read from her latest work, Perfect Black, a book of poems and legends about ancestry, culture, and the terrain of a black girl becoming. Visual and multidisciplinary artist Lucy Kim will discuss her transition from traditional painting and photography to her less vison-centric, more visceral, three-dimensional work. Novelist Hari Kunzru will introduce and read from Blue Ruin, his third novel in a trilogy about music, literature, and visual art. Listen to the thinking that went into their work and join them in a Q&A afterward. Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. Registration required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Hermitage Artist Retreat: Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens with Musical Theater Composer Rona Siddiqui , May 27, 6pm

On Thursday, May 27 at 6pm “Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens” with Musical Theater Composer Rona Siddiqui. Following her inspiring and uplifting performance on the Hermitage Beach this past fall, Rona Siddiqui continues her residency at the Hermitage and will present a sneak peek into her work at Selby Gardens Downtown. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound St, Sarasota. Registration required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre Improv: Triple Play , March 20 – December 25, 8:30pm

Florida Studio Theatre’s resident improv troupe, FST Improv, will return to a weekly live performance schedule with Triple Play, a full-length show created specifically to entertain from a distance. Drawing inspiration from audience suggestions, a rotating cast of three improvisers will perform games, scenes, and songs—all made up on the spot. Starting Saturday, March 20, Triple Play will take place Saturday evenings at 8:30pm for socially-distanced audiences in FST’s Keating Theatre. Tickets are $15 per person and are now on sale. To purchase tickets, call FST’s Box Office at 941.366.9000 or visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org. FST's musical improvisers, Jim Prosser and Helena Rankin, will provide comical accompaniment as performers play some of Sarasota's favorite improv games - all while maintaining social distancing. In addition to live audiences, the cast of Triple Play will draw inspiration from prompts submitted virtually through text or via Twitter. With this added virtual element, FST Improv will engage with audiences in Sarasota and beyond. Triple Play performances will be socially-distanced and in compliance of all CDC guidelines, including socially-distanced seating, paperless ticketing, and limited theatre capacities. Facial coverings must be worn at all times - including throughout performances - when on campus at FST, aside from dining in FST's Green Room Cafe & Bar. Socially-distanced pre-show dining is available indoors and outdoors in FST's Green Room Cafe & Bar one hour before each Triple Play performance.

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Pops Orchestra: High Five Pop Up Concert Series , March 20 – May 15, 5:30pm

The Pops Orchestra is proud to present a “High Five Pop Up Concert Series” featuring the String Quartet, Woodwind Quintet, and Brass Quintet from The Pops performing in various outdoor settings around the Suncoast region at 5:30pm. Conductor Robyn Bell will lead you through a 60-minute show full of laughs, stories, and, of course, wonderful light classical, Broadway, film, and other popular music performed by the chamber music groups. It’s just what your soul has been seeking. Due to Covid restrictions, you won’t actually be able to give anybody a “high five” See you at the safe show. You have three opportunities to catch the Pops Orchestra's Chamber Groups in concert: on Saturday, March 20 at 5:30pm at Marie Selby Gardens, on Sunday, April 11 at 5:30pm at Historic Spanish Point (and help Robyn celebrate her birthday on this date), and on Saturday, May 15 at 5:30pm at Nathan Benderson Park.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Ring Sarasota: Highways & Byways , March 21, 6pm

Ring Sarasota, Sarasota's Premier Handbell Ensemble, announces Highways & Byways performance on March 21, 2021 at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key. After two successful performances this season, Ring Sarasota is headed to St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key for their third performance of Highways & Byways on Sunday, March 21 at 6pm. Not your traditional handbell choir, Ring Sarasota’s 16 musicians utilize 14 pairs of Mallets, 95 Handbells, 70 Chimes, and one Keyboard during their performances. Playing off the “travel canceled because of COVID” we’ve been dealing with for 10 months, Highways & Byways will take you on a guided musical tour with cinematography through the highways and byways of our great country. Leaving from their base in Sarasota they will join a hoedown Deep in the Heart of Texas, dance the Tennessee Waltz, give their regards to old Broadway, jive to those California Good Vibrations, sit By the Lakeside in Minnesota, enjoy a Mint Julep with Georgia on My Mind, march to the Washington Post in DC, and bring it all back home to Beneath the Sparkling Skies of Sarasota. Due to social distancing guidelines, masks and pre-registration is required at https://secure.accessacs.com/access/eventlogin.aspx?id=LsY2eRuCnmt9h1UUxnz9dA==&site=90120&ReturnUrl=events%2fwz_people.aspx&ChurchID=2088&EventID=203887&sn=90120. For those that can't attend in person, live stream link - https://boxcast.tv/view/st-boniface-concert-series-ring-sarasota-289221.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Bishop: How to Use Your Telescope , March 21, 7pm-8:30pm

If you’re looking at your telescope and wondering “How do I use this thing?” this hands-on workshop on Saturday, March 20 from 7pm to 8:30pm at The Bishop is for you. Our experts will help you get comfortable setting up and using your telescope so you get the most out of it and avoid many pitfalls that can lead to frustration. Weather permitting, you’ll see the moon and stars with your own telescope by evening’s end. Then, when you head home, you’ll be well equipped to enjoy the rich hobby of astronomy. This is a BYOT program — Bring Your Own Telescope. Cost is $45 per telescope for Discovery Society Members (includes 5 participants per scope); $50 for all others (includes up to 5 participants per scope). Each ticket includes admission to the March 24th Stelliferous program on Zoom. Please note: Number of participants is limited to allow for individual attention. Each Ticket includes up to (5) participants. 

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

Copyright © 2021 by SRQ Media Group, 331 South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
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