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SRQ DAILY May 7, 2022

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[Education]  Appreciating the Power to Transform
Jennifer Vigne, jvigne@edfoundationsrq.org

This past week has been Teacher Appreciation Week, and I have been reflecting on the unique power of great teachers. As the mother of three and as the President and CEO of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, I see the role teachers have in the lives of students, and I am struck by the ways that, through their competence, commitment, and character, teachers can transform lives. 

While one teacher can profoundly change a student’s life, the power to captivate young people is made easier when students have been inspired to wonder, to look deeper, to ask why at every stop along their K–12 journeys. 

We are fortunate in Sarasota County to have so many tremendous teachers who do just that. Through my involvement with the Ignite Education Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration, I am honored to have met and seen in action educators who fuel curiosity and a desire to always know more in our youngest learners. Teachers such as Shannon Haddad, Alex Kellemen, and Kari Johnson embrace the material they teach with such mastery, passion, and joy that their students can’t help but be inspired. What a great way to begin this journey.

Sometimes it’s not a single teacher. The collective energy and commitment of a school uniting to develop a lifelong love of learning can uncover countless new pathways. 

This February, at Glenallen Elementary School, I witnessed an immersive grant in action, one that created a week-long learning adventure. Pre-K through fifth grade students arrived at school to discover a staged archeological dig site taped off on school grounds. What followed was a week of discovery. As students processed what they’d found, clutching shells and artifacts, brushing them clean, the joy was incredible. These students felt immense ownership of the material as they researched and presented on what they’d learned. Inquiry-based learning was in action, and I am certain a future scientist will look back at that week and remember their teachers’ commitment and excitement—and know that it all mattered.

As students progress along their journeys, as they reach middle and high school, it might seem more challenging to captivate learners. Distractions abound. Students gain more independence. And teens have their own superpowers, one of which can be the power to keep their feelings and their enthusiasm concealed. As a mother of three, I know this doesn’t mean that teachers aren’t making a profound difference, modeling character, guiding their students, helping them find their purpose.

I also know that many teachers keep drawers or file folders filled with sources of inspiration, and in these are cards from their students, sometimes from students they would never have expected, sometimes years after they have graduated. In their letters, these students share the impact that their teacher had on them—how that teacher filled them with a fascination with calculus or crustaceans or Camus, how the teacher led that student to pursue history in college, or become an EMT, or start a business. 

Students write messages like this: You helped me understand math, for the first time! I wouldn’t be where I am today without your belief in me. Your class changed my whole plan for my life. I’m so lucky I had your class—your passion for theater and everything you taught us has meant so much to me. Your class meant so much to me.

That’s what great teachers do. Their love of the subjects they teach is so strong they can’t help but engage their students. Their creative ways of imparting lessons and making the material clear and meaningful, indeed vital, that matters.

This past week, I hope you took a moment to reflect on and maybe even to reach out to a teacher who inspired you, a teacher who fueled your curiosity, your need to know more, and who maybe even led you to pursue a different major in college, a different career path, a whole different trajectory in life. Our best teachers can do that. It’s their superpower. 

On behalf of the Education Foundation, our board, and our generous donors, we salute you, teachers, and your power to transform. We value your competence, your commitment, and your character. You keep our community thriving.

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

[Community]  Magic Revealed
Roxie Jerde, roxie@cfsarasota.org

Magicians like to keep their secrets just that – secret. It keeps the audience curious and awaiting the next trick. But this also keeps that mastery among a select few and puts their craft at risk of atrophying.

The greatest magic any of us can perform is to help grow the abilities of others as well as enhance their belief in themselves to create magic in their everyday lives. We saw that magic come to life this past week during the 2022 Giving Challenge, when tens of thousands of people came together to raise nearly $16 million for the nonprofit caretakers of our community.

Thanks to the generosity of everyone who made a gift, the spark of magic they ignited will manifest in the lives of people they may never meet.

The person who receives food and caring, the young person who will pursue a career to address climate change, the performer who will bring joy into the lives of their audiences. This is true magic that continues to reverberate well beyond the 24 hours of giving that initiates this energetic progress toward the good.

I extend a heartfelt appreciation to everyone who took part in the Giving Challenge this year, and every year prior. Over the last decade our community has raised more than $75 million through eight Giving Challenges. That amazing effort is greatly supported by our partners at The Patterson Foundation, whose matching gifts have provided $30 million of that total. The funds certainly provide the launching power for so much good to come about, but perhaps more important is the way that these funds have built the power of the helpers in our community.

It takes all of us to come together and create a community where everyone can thrive. I feel fortunate to get to see this time and time again in our work at the Community Foundation where we truly believe every person can impact another person, a cause, a community. The Giving Challenge is a way for us to reveal the secrets of the magic that happens when people come together.

In sharing knowledge and resources, we build hope and engage the hands, hearts, and minds of our entire community.

I’d like to know what someone may have shared with you that challenged you to give yourself to causes you care about. Please reach out and share.

In remembering that initial spark, we can send flares out to others to welcome more magicians into our community.

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

[SRQ Event]  TGIF Best of SRQ Party is BACK!

We’re back with the incredible TGIF | BEST OF SRQ LOCAL PARTY celebrating the winners recognized and voted on by our readers in SRQ Magazine’s biggest ever 2022 Best of SRQ Local Readers Competition. Join us on Friday, June 3rd, from 5-8pm at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Sarasota to taste and experience some of this year's "Best of SRQ Local" restaurants and cocktails. Share a hip evening with our area’s passionate localvores and foodies.

Click here to purchase tickets! 

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: CreArte Latino Cultural Center Partners with Suncoast Remake Learning Days Festival , April 29 – May 8, Varies.

CreArte Latino Cultural Center is a major participant in the 2022 Suncoast Remake Learning Days Festival, presented by Remake Learning, which hosts festivals in 14 regions across the nation. This festival will be held in four Florida counties, including the Sarasota area, for the first time, April 29 through May 8. CreArte Latino invites children and families to three free special events promoting arts and literacy, created in cooperation with other community organizations and sponsored by The Patterson Foundation and The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Roses & Rose , May 8, 4-5pm

There's no better place to celebrate Mother's Day than at The Bay! Join us at Sarasota Garden Club for a sip of Rosé, complimentary roses, and live Latin Fusion music by  Jaleo featuring a Flamenco dancer. 

[SOON]  GALLERY: Free Second Sundays at SAM , May 8, 11am-5pm

Sarasota Art Museum will host another Free Second Sunday on May 8, 2022 with activities for all ages and musical performances. Bring your friends and family to explore new art and thought-provoking exhibitions, and participate in our fun activities.

[SOON]  GALLERY: SPAACES Gallery: The Queue: Beyond The Surface , April 15 – May 7, Gallery hours.

The Queue: Beyond The Surface, A Solo Exhibit by Nneka Jones. In this exhibition, Nneka Jones comments on topics such as identity, stereotypes and the digital age. Jones embeds and camouflages portraiture, making some of her subjects almost unrecognizable. Contrasting technological symbols, such as barcodes and QR-codes, with the soft edges and skin tones of the figure, Jones creates a timely discussion on humanism vs. futurism. She brings to light a growing struggle to maintain true identity in the face of our highly influential social media sites. Jones believes social technologies create a digital mask ultimately causing issues with mental health and social segregation. She aims to magnify these issues in the hope of starting conversations surrounding identity and unity. Opening Night Reception is Friday, April 15th, 2022 from 6pm to 8pm. Open Exhibition Dates are April 16th through May 7th By Appointment Only.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Key Chorale: Choral Splendor in 40 Parts , May 6 – May 7, 7:30pm-9:30pm and 4pm-6pm

Choral Splendor in 40 Parts will take place on Friday, May 6 at 7:30pm at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, and Saturday, May 7 at 4pm at First Presbyterian Church. A concert 450 years in the making, featuring 40 voices of the Chamber Singers and special guest Les Canards Chantants, a solo-voice ensemble specializing in music of the Renaissance. Experience a rare opportunity to hear Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium (Hope in any other) considered one of the greatest compositions of all time and Alessandro Striggio’s Mass in 40 parts, a masterpiece lost for more than 400 years. These rarely performed works are scored for 40 independent vocal parts, and as many as 60 parts for Striggio’s final Agnus Dei − a feat unequaled to this day. Experience an unforgettable program of polychoral extravagance and unparalleled splendor.

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Contemporary Dance: In-Studio Performance Series featuring Marsi Burns , May 6 – May 7, 7pm

This In-Studio Performance Series featuring Marsi Burns will take place on Friday May 6th and Saturday May 7th 2022 at 7pm and its Virtual Stream will take place on Saturday May 7th at 7pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Booker High VPA: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum , May 6 – May 7, Varies.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will take place May 6-7, 2022 at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Plant Parents Spring Plant Sale , May 6 – May 7, Varies.
We hope you'll join us at the SPRING Plant Sale! Come to our sale of the season to enjoy unbelievable bargains on plants starting at $1! Our gate opens Friday 5/6 at 9AM. Houseplants & Landscape Plants For Your Home & Lanai Great buys on Orchids, Bromeliads, Palms, Containers & More Explore Our Greenhouses & Get Expert Advice $1, $2 & $5 Bargain Prices, Beautiful Selection Family-Friendly Event
[SOON]  MUSIC: Outdoor Pops: Iconic Songs of the '70s , May 6 – May 7, 8pm

Sarasota Orchestra collaborates with Nashville-based duo Swearingen & Kelli, who recreate the magic of '70s singer-songwriters such as James Taylor, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell and more. Christopher Confessore, a frequent guest with the Orchestra, conducts. This longstanding partnership between Sarasota Orchestra and the Orioles gives music-lovers a chance to take in a live performance while enjoying ballpark fare and a relaxed, fun ambiance under the stars. A spectacular fireworks display closes out an evening of musical hits and home runs. Tickets from $15, availible at www.orioles.com/arts or (941)-893-6312

Orioles' Ed Smith Stadium

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Ringling: Artist Talk with Mimbre , May 7, 10:30am

Join The Ringling for a conversation with Mimbre about their latest work "Lifted" which is a collection of funny, poetic and surprising moments, which explore in different ways what it means when one body is carried by another, on May 7 at 10:30am. Or when one person carries two people. Or when a person doesn’t want to be carried. Or when three people find the perfect balance. Mimbre is a London based female-led company creating nuanced, breathtaking and highly-skilled acrobatic theatre. They use circus and dance innovatively as a physical language to illuminate human connections and promote a positive image of women.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Florida Maritime Museum hosts Hands-On Habits , May 7, 10am-1pm

The Florida Maritime Museum (FMM) is pleased to partner with Rowlett Academies for Arts and Communication to host “Hands-On Habits,” a FREE outdoor learning event that is offered in conjunction with Suncoast Remake Learning Days. “Hands-On Habits" will take place on FMM grounds on Saturday, May 7, from 10AM −1PM. "Hands-On Habits" will feature students from Rowlett Academies Lighthouse Team and Student Council teaching the basics of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® to participating families through fun, interactive activities. This engaging event is open to the public and registration is not required.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Key Chorale: Tomorrow's Voices Today , May 9, 7:30pm-9pm

Tomorrow’s Voices Today will take place on May 9, 2022 7:30pm-9pm. Celebrate the power of choral music through an inspired performance by more than 200 singers of all ages, from high school students to seniors. This intergenerational choral festival has inspired countless high school students by encouraging music-making at the highest level. Hear the very best repertoire of the season from Booker, Riverview and Sarasota High School choirs performing separately and alongside Key Chorale.

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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