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SRQ DAILY Nov 10, 2022

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

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Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"Although reading scores in Sarasota County Public Schools are higher than the state average, there is always room for improvement."

- Heather Kenny, President, Unleashed Innovation, Inc.

[Educational Resource]  Local Residents Provide a Jump Start on Reading
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

Lakewood Ranch resident, Heather Kenny, Ph.D., President of Unleashed Innovation, Inc., a woman-owned small business specializing in educational curriculum, is hoping to make a positive impact on children’s literacy rates in the community. Kenny, along with Laura Robbins, M.Ed has created Sounder & Friends™, an animated adventure series and educational app specifically designed to help young children, aged 3-6, develop phonemic awareness skills in a fun and playful way. Paul Kenny, Heather’s husband, serves as an Executive Producer for Sounder & Friends®

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and play with individual sounds (or phonemes) in spoken words. It is a crucial literacy skill that lays the foundation for proficient reading and spelling. If children become attuned to the speech sounds that they hear and say in spoken words, they can understand how and why to use letters to read and spell the written versions of those words.

In the enchanting world of Sounder, the dog, and her friends, Will, Sky and Trae, sounds are not only heard, but they are seen as colorful swirls that, when blended together, form objects in the environment. The lovable but impulsive raccoon, the Sound Snatcher, is fascinated by these colorful swirls. Children will enjoy watching the Sound Snatcher as he gets into mischief or solves problems by snatching and switching sounds.

“Although reading scores in Sarasota County Public Schools are higher than the state average, there is always room for improvement,” says Heather. A reading interventionist and literacy consultant, she observes that children who have difficulty learning to read, frequently have deficits in phonemic awareness.

In addition to the Sounder & Friends® short episodes, which are available on YouTube and pbs.org, Kenny and Robbins have created Sounder & Friends® The Game, a free app that can be downloaded onto iOS or Android mobile devices. The app encourages children to complete sound puzzles while having fun and earning prizes. Both the episodes and the app are featured on the National Council on Improving Literacy’s Kid Zone.

“Our short episodes are available in interstitial format (1 minute segments that are like educational commercials) that we are making available to PBS members stations,” shares Heather. “We are hoping that WEDU will pick it up for airing it in the region.”

According to the creators, children who experience success in learning to read are well-positioned for success in school and in life. Virtually every parent, grandparent, teacher, and caregiver understands why it is important to help children learn the ABC’s, yet few of these early childhood educators appreciate the importance of phonemic awareness, an even more powerful predictor of early literacy success. Heather and Paul Kenny believe that Sounder & Friends® can help children get a “jump start” on developing the skills that they need to experience reading success, right from the start.

For more information about Sounder & Friends®, contact Heather at hkenny@unleashed-innovation.com. 

To view an episode, click here.

[Recognition]  Sarasota Military Academy Senior Cadet Wins Youth Philanthropy Award at National Philanthropy Luncheon

Sarasota Military Academy Senior Cadet, Lorenzo Liberti was presented with the Youth Philanthropy Award at the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) Southwest Florida Chapter Luncheon on Tuesday at Michael's on East. Lorenzo began a summer project to make wooden flags with his father's help and sell them to support America's forgotten heroes. He auctioned 2 flags at the Turning Points gala and raised $2.3K for homeless veterans. In 2020, he raised over $2K for Suncoast Charities for Children and also fundraised for Manatee Children Services. Lorenzo would make and send a wooden flag to a hospital in every state! So, he started a GoFundMe campaign. Soon after, a few medic outlets picked up his story and Lorenzo was interviewed by "Fox and Friends". His project got a huge boost and hundreds of people bought his handcrafted flags. By year-end, he had been featured in several publications and, thanks to donations from hundreds of supporters, he reached his goal to donate $30K to Turning Points of Bradenton. But Lorenzo did not stop there. In 2021, after brainstorming with his family, an idea was born for a more comprehensive solution to end veteran homelessness. He founded a nonprofit, Give-A-Buck.org to fund construction of a campus for veterans with housing, meals and essential services, like job training. Today, Liberti's heroic flags hang in hospitals around the country as an emblem of hope and thanks to the people working there—and he’s raising money for veterans in the process. 

Pictured: senior Raphael Fabyanic; Mr. Bob Carter, sponsor of Youth in Philanthropy Award; senior Akiel Reyes Melendez; Mr. Rafael Robles, Executive Director of SMA Foundation. Photo courtesy of SMA.

[Retirement]  Superintendent Saunders Announces Retirement

School District of Manatee County Superintendent Cynthia Saunders is officially announcing her intent to retire at the conclusion of her contract which occurs at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Ms. Saunders has served 34 years in public education in Florida, including the last five years as superintendent in Manatee County. Her last day as superintendent will be Friday, June 30, 2023. Sworn in as Superintendent on June 26, 2018, Ms. Saunders has earned a reputation as a change agent and educational innovator. Her career in education includes time as a math teacher, assistant principal and principal, before coming to Manatee County where she served as Executive Director of Secondary Schools (2013-2015) and Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services (2015-2018) prior to becoming Superintendent. In December 2020, Ms. Saunders was named the 2020 STAR Superintendent of the Year by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations for her strong support and dedication of the Manatee Education Foundation. 

[Recognition]  Manatee District Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

The School District of Manatee County is proud to announce its Principal of the Year is Carol Ricks of Myakka City Elementary School, and Assistant Principal of the Year is Adrienne Vos of Johnson K-8 School of International Studies. Both are eligible for the Florida Department of Education’s Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year programs. Principal Ricks has led Myakka City Elementary School since 2019. She formerly served as Assistant Principal of McNeal Elementary, as well as being a student support specialist at Witt Elementary and a teacher at Witt, Myakka and Tara Elementary Schools. She has been with the school district since 2008. Adrienne Vos became Assistant Principal of Johnson K-8 in 2020. Previously, she served as a student support specialist at Abel Elementary School and King Middle School, where she was also a teacher. She has worked for the school district since 2010. The Principal and Assistant Principal Achievement Awards for Outstanding Leadership recognize exemplary school administrators for their contributions to their schools and communities, according to the Florida Department of Education. The program honors leaders who have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Asolo Rep Introduces PlayDate: Workshops for Young People During Mainstage Performances

Asolo Repertory Theatre proudly introduces an exciting new program - PlayDate. PlayDates are production-based workshops for young people ages 5 to 12 that offer a convenient and affordable childcare option for adults attending Asolo Rep’s mainstage performances. PlayDate is offered during select Saturday matinees throughout the 2022-23 season. Facilitated by Asolo Rep’s Education & Engagement team, PlayDate workshops are based on age-appropriate themes found in the shows on stage, inviting families to connect about the art they experience. The program was developed with the joint goal of engaging with students in exciting and creative ways while also making it easier for caregivers to attend theatrical performances. PlayDate workshops for ages 5 to 12 are $25 per student and are held at the Asolo Rep Annex at 5333 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.PlayDate registration can be added during the ticket purchasing process for a mainstage performance, in person at Asolo Rep's Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by phone at 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, or online at asolorep.org. 

[Children First]  Flip Flops & Fashion Luncheon and Rockin' Lobster Beach Party

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Flip Flops & Fashion Luncheon and Rockin' Lobster Beach Party. We are proud to announce that thanks to our sponsors and donors, Children First had its most successful fall events in our agency’s 61-year history.
Flip Flops & Fashion was a beautiful day on the beach, where guests enjoyed a fashionable, fun, and philanthropic afternoon. Thank you to Presenting Sponsor & Fashion Partner Bealls Inc. and co-chairs Krystel Beall, Asa Harris, and Ollie Johnson. Attendees heard firsthand from Shaquita Ford, an incredible woman and mother to four beautiful children whose lives transformed when they found Children First.At Rockin' Lobster, supporters enjoyed a spectacular sunset as they dined and danced in celebration of our mission. Guests also heard firsthand from parents Brittany and Levanial who have worked to overcome years of trial and tribulation with support from Children First. Thank you to Presenting Sponsor TRUIST and co-chairs Keith & Adrienne Johnson, Elizabeth Stamoulis & Mark Creech, Al & Norma Cohen, and Jo & Stan Rutstein. The celebrations were for the many children and families whose lives will change for the better because of your support. 

Find out more and donate.

[Postponement]  4th Annual Trolley Bash Postponed to November 29

Due to impending bad weather, Discover Sarasota Tours has postponed its 4th Annual Trolley Bash to November 29. This is Discover Sarasota Tours' Fourth Annual Customer Appreciation Party! Discover Sarasota Tours celebrates four years in business and announces an exciting new season of 2022-2023 tours and trolley entertainments! Guests are invited to come and celebrate, learn about new tours and enjoy complimentary food & drink, entertainment from our delightful performers, and three fun mini-tours. Includes gourmet grilled sandwich of choice from Big Blue Grilled Cheese Company, ice cream treat from The ChillMobile, and one drink ticket at the Trolley Cottage Tiki Bar. 20% off Trolley Cottage Gift Shop coupon. And guests may choose from a trio of fun mini-tours. DST will be collecting donations for the Historical Society of Sarasota so anyone wishing to donate should bring cash or check for the donation basket. RSVP REQUIRED; limited to first 150 guests. Guests may RSVP for the Trolley Bash at DiscoverSarasotaTours.com or by calling 941-260-9818. Trolley Cottage is open Tuesday-Sunday. 

Pictured: Discover Sarasota Tours CEO Tammy Hauser with staff and guides at the 2021 Trolley Bash. Photo courtesy of Discover Sarasota Tours.

[Shop Local]  Spotlight on Limelight Market

Saturday, Nov 19 from 10-3 the spotlight is on Limelight Market! This fun, outdoor, pop up market is happening outside The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime with dogs looking for their fur-ever home, unique guest vendors, food, and live music. You can also check out the 40+ local creators and curators inside and Support Local! Free, until you buy something amazing! For more information visit www.BazaaronApricotandlime.com Located at 821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota. 

[Hurricane Relief]  Goodwill Partners with Centerstone for Mental Health Services in DeSoto County

In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Centerstone – a nonprofit health system offering mental health and substance use disorder services – will offer Disaster Behavioral Health Response services at Goodwill Manasota’s Arcadia location in DeSoto County. Funding through the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network is supporting these services through at least the end of June 2023. Centerstone’s Trauma Recovery Project case manager Michelle Miller and parent partner S. Camille Seabrook will be available for walk-in services at Goodwill Manasota’s Arcadia location (1701 Oak St.) on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. They will meet with community members individually as well as provide group support opportunities. To make an appointment, community members are invited to contact Centerstone’s Call Center at 941-782-4150; these requests will be forwarded to Centerstone’s Trauma Recovery Services team. Goodwill Manasota’s vice president of mission services, Margie Genter, affirms that there are numerous community members in need of assistance due to the storm. The organization is currently providing information and referrals through its Community Resource Centers as well as store vouchers for those in need in the wake of the hurricane. In addition to having access to mental health services, residents with other storm-related issues can call Goodwill's Community Resource Hotline at 888-230-8820, which is staffed around-the-clock. They can also text “RELIEF” to 941-254-5977 to receive information about needs such as roof repair or tarping, removal of fallen trees, mold mitigation, appliance removal, and more. To learn more about Centerstone’s programs and services, visit centerstone.org. For more information about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org. 

[Podcast]  Women Who Roar Episode 2 with Melissa Larkin-Skinner

EPISODE 2 | Join us for SRQ Magazine's Women Who Roar podcast with Melissa Larkin-Skinner, Chief Executive Officer of Centerstone of Florida. Special guest interview by SMARTgirl Ambassador Madison of Venice High School and AMoment of Inspiration with Kristie Skoglund of The Florida Center for Early Childhood. 

Click to view the podcast.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Siesta Key Crystal Classic , November 11 – November 14

The free Siesta Key Breeze Trolley runs daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm to and from Siesta Key Village and Turtle Beach. A mobile app is available to track the trolley in real time. New transportation on and off Siesta Key is now available via Sarasota County’s OnDemand Service. Customers can request a ride via a mobile app, which is available in app stores for iPhone and Android devices, online at scgov.net/OnDemand, or by calling 941-300-1553. OnDemand uses accessible minivans and operates similarly to today’s popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lift. The OnDemand vehicle will pick up customers and take them to their destinations within the same zone.

Siesta Key Beach

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: The Secret Marriage , October 28 – November 12, Varied

The Secret Marriage (Il matrimonio segreto) An opera in two acts. Sung in Italian with translations in English. Music by Domenico Cimarosa and Libretto by Givovanni Bertati. Tells the story of a social-climbing father who wants his eldest daughter to marry an aristocrat and is prepared to buy his way in. When the would-be suitor arrives, his eye falls on the younger daughter instead. But she has secretly married her father’s clerk. Although not often performed, this delightful comic opera was such a hit at its premiere, that the audience insisted on an encore, of the entire opera! (61 N. Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236 Ph. 941-328-1300 Email boxoffice@sarasotaopera.org) October 28th-November 12th

Sarasota Opera

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Manatee Performing Arts Center: PUPPY PALS Comedic Stunt Dog Show , November 12, 2:00pm

A family fun action-packed show where adopted and rescued dogs perform spectacular stunts and breathtaking feats. Watch as we lead the puppies and audience through challenging and comical tricks as the pooches show everyone who is really boss! Full of surprises and laugh-out-loud canine comedy this performance appeals to children of all ages. During the PUPPY PALS Comedic Stunt Dog Show you will witness some of the most incredible dog stunts and behaviors ever performed by man’s best friend. For more information: www.manateeperformingartscenter.com, Ticket Office 941-748-5875.

Manatee Performing Arts Center , 502 Third Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205

[SOON]  HEALTH: Vets, Pets & Jets 5K & Fun Run/Walk , November 12

2022 Vets, Pets & Jets 5K and Fun Run at SRQ presented by KW Suncoast, Humane Society of Sarasota County and Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. This one-time-only event is sure to add some spring to your step. Go inside the gates of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) for a competitive 5K and a 1-mile fun run/walk like no other. The course will be safely nestled along an active taxiway on the north airfield of SRQ. We’ll also have food, music, vendors, activities, and prizes, so bring the entire family—even the four-legged members. And since it coincides with Veterans Day weekend, we’ll be doing a special salute to our military service members. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Sarasota County. All participants and attendees must register by 11:59pm on November 9. No day-of registrations allowed, even for spectators, per airport policy.

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, 1120 Clyde Jones Road Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Co-Production with Sarasota Jewish Theatre and the SaraSolo Festival: A One-Woman Musical About Golda Meir , November 9 – November 13, (Preview) Nov. 9 at 7:30 PM; Nov. 10-12 at 7:30 PM; Nov. 13 at 2 PM

The Players Centre is proud to team up with Sarasota Jewish Theatre and the SaraSolo Festival to present Rhapsody for Golda, Nov. 9 – 13, 2022 at Studio 1130 at The Crossings at Siesta Key mall (3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239.) Blake Walton directs this new musical with book, lyrics and music by Sharon Ohrenstein and music by David Ohrenstein, and choreography by Vanessa Russo. Sharon also stars as Golda Meir. Synopsis: This original one-woman musical tells the story of the rise of one of the greatest stateswomen of the 20th Century, Golda Meir. Meir was an Israeli politician, and teacher, who served as the fourth prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. She was the first woman to become head of government in Israel. Where: Studio 1130 – The Crossings at Siesta Key, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239 - Please park and enter the mall at Connor’s Steak and Seafood - Tickets: Preview night- $20; All other dates- $25.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra - Chamber Soiree 2 , November 13, 4pm

Sarasota Orchestra Presents Acclaimed Guest Artists in November Concerts. Chamber Soirée 2: Orion Weiss and Friends November 13th, 4:00pm at Holley Hall. Sarasota Orchestra musicians are joined by world-renowned pianist Orion Weiss, one of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of American musicians. Bach’s Trio Sonata from The Musical Offering is a Baroque masterpiece. Cesar Franck’s mighty Piano Quintet is a highly Romantic work, full of emotional intensity.Known for his affinity for chamber music, Orion Weiss is widely regarded as a “brilliant pianist” (The New York Times) with “powerful technique and exceptional insight” (The Washington Post). Tickets from $40, available at www.SarasotaOrchestra.org or (941) 953-3434">

Sarasota Orchestra Presents Acclaimed Guest Artists in November Concerts. Chamber Soirée 2: Orion Weiss and Friends November 13th, 4:00pm at Holley Hall. Sarasota Orchestra musicians are joined by world-renowned pianist Orion Weiss, one of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of American musicians. Bach’s Trio Sonata from The Musical Offering is a Baroque masterpiece. Cesar Franck’s mighty Piano Quintet is a highly Romantic work, full of emotional intensity.Known for his affinity for chamber music, Orion Weiss is widely regarded as a “brilliant pianist” (The New York Times) with “powerful technique and exceptional insight” (The Washington Post). Tickets from $40, available at www.SarasotaOrchestra.org or (941) 953-3434

Holley Hall

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents Sybarite5 performing “Apartments” , November 15, 7:30 PM

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is pleased to present Sybarite5 opening the Tuesdays at the Historic Asolo Theater Series at 7:30 p.m. on November 15. They will perform their Groove Machine program with new dance-inspired works along with the world premiere of “Apartments” by Jackson Greenberg, which was commissioned for them. The piece explores the intersection between everyday sounds (rain, electrical wires, coffee machines), human communication (via string instruments), and current events (via AM news radio). The concert is sponsored by Charlotte and Charles Perret. For more information and tickets, visit ArtistSeriesConcerts.org or call (941) 306-1202. Tickets ($30-$50).

[SOON]  : The Ringling - A Decade of Collecting , October 22 – January 22, Varied

A Decade of Collecting brings together a survey of artworks acquired for the permanent collection over the past eleven years. As the State Art Museum of Florida and a division of Florida State University, The Ringling’s collections are constantly expanding to provide our state and local community with access to current contemporary works in all media and thoughtful additions to our historic collections. Though the core of the collection has always been the works acquired by John and Mable Ringling, the museum’s holdings have been expanding ever since the State of Florida took full possession of the bequest in 1946. In the early years, these additions were mainly in pre-1800 European art and circus-related material, but over the second half of the 20th century, directors and curators also began acquiring works by modern and contemporary artists. A Decade of Collecting presents a unique snapshot of how The Ringling’s collection continues to evolve, allowing us to tell new stories of the past, present, and future. Visit ringling.org to plan your visit.

Museum of Art Searing Galleries

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Manatee Performing Art Center: Pets! , November 2 – November 20, Varied

Pets! November 2 – 20, 2022. This critically-acclaimed musical revue consists of 22 musical scenes dealing with the very special relationship between people and their pets. It’s clever, user-friendly and suits audiences of all ages. Cats, dogs, mice, turtles, iguanas, parakeets and other species are having the times of their lives. The scenes range from a dog hungrily eyeing his owner’s bagel in “There’s a Bagel on the Piano'' to the hilarious, harried Rumanian dog walker in “I Walk Ze Dogs.” For more information visit www.manateeperformingartscenter.com, Ticket Office 941-748-5875

Manatee Performing Arts Center , 502 Third Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Art Museum: Jazz Thursdays , January 13 – January 12, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Jazz Thursdays at Sarasota Art Museum will runs through January 12, 2023 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members. Sarasota Art Museum invites you to be our guest at our first Jazz Thursday at SAM, featuring Hot Club of SRQ. Sarasota Art Museum is partnering with the Jazz Club of Sarasota for Jazz Thursdays. Join us for our special late-night performances on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza. Jazz Thursdays will occur on the second Thursday of each month until January 12, 2023. Galleries + Bistro + Shop will be open.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - The Orchid Show 2022 , October 15 – December 4, 10am-5pm

EXHIBITION: The Orchid Show 2022, October 15 – December 4, 10 AM – 5 PM Marie Selby Botanical Gardens showcases the beauty and diversity of orchids in “The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot.” This immersive, photography-themed exhibition features innovative horticultural vignettes with hundreds of orchids in flower in the Tropical Conservatory and large-format photos of rare orchids from the Gardens’ own collection in the Museum of Botany & the Arts. On view through December 4 at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus. For more information, visit selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 Historic Spanish Point campus401 North Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229 TEL 941.210.0874

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FOOD: Epicurean Greece Menu at Michael's On East , November 1 – December 1, Tuesday through Saturday evenings

On November 1st we launched the Epicurean Greece menu at Michael's On East: "The culinary team at Michael’s On East is challenged to create new dishes inspired by the world’s most exotic destinations each month. Join us to experience ever-changing, palate-pleasing global cuisine with Michael's Epicurean Adventures. The three-course dinner menu is available Tuesday through Saturday evenings for $42.95 per person." The menu includes: “Kasarma Seafood Saganaki” - Shrimp, Clams and Swordfish with Roasted Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Spinach, Gremolata Butter, Orzo Pasta, Toasted Goat Cheese, and Ouzo Flambé; and “Grande Bretagne Braised Baby Lamb Shank” - Braised Lamb Shank with Green Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Carrots, and Lemon Risotto.

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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