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SRQ DAILY Nov 18, 2023

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"This is one of my favorite holidays, a time to spread warmth and gratefulness. "

- Phillip P. Lanham, President and CEO, Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

[Gulf Coast]  Inspiring Family Philanthropy Around the Thanksgiving Table
Phillip Lanham, planham@gulfcoastcf.org

Together we will soon gather with our families and loved ones around the Thanksgiving table to express our gratitude. This is one of my favorite holidays, a time to spread warmth and gratefulness. This is also a popular time of year for families to decide on how they want to give thanks to their community and discuss ways that they can give back through volunteering and making financial contributions. 

At Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we want to inspire you to have these conversations with your loved ones around the Thanksgiving table this year. We encourage you to discuss giving back to your community in meaningful ways and finding out how your family can help. 

So, where do you start?

Here are a couple of suggestions. You could create a family mission statement that serves as the backbone of your charitable giving, thinking about why you want to give and what defines success when it comes to giving. Or you could simply ask your family around the Thanksgiving table, how are we currently giving back or serving our community? What are we passionate about supporting in the community? What causes are most important to us? Who needs our help most?

At Gulf Coast, we can assist you in achieving your philanthropic goals, helping you create a charitable giving plan or consider tax-savvy ways to make your giving go further. Yearend is the perfect time to embark on supporting the causes that mean the most to you, and our Philanthropy team is ready to help you create your charitable plan to give back in meaningful ways. You can learn more about yearend giving through Gulf Coast here. Together we can do more.

A community foundation does two things – it inspires philanthropy and creates meaningful impact. Gulf Coast is uniquely positioned to move the needle on our region’s most pressing needs through our data-driven initiatives and projects. We take innovative approaches and invest in scalable solutions that lead to regional transformation. By becoming a philanthropic partner with Gulf Coast, you can be a part of this powerful impact. 

I hope you have a joyous Thanksgiving. 

Phillip P. Lanham is President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

Photo courtesy Camp Mariposa, Jewish Family & Children Services.

[Argus]  A Superintendent with a Focus on Data
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

In business, data is extremely important to making effective decisions of all kinds and increase growth. Data with both good and bad numbers are vital to identify what is working and what is not. In the past, the Superintendents of Schools in Sarasota after Lori White retired in 2017 would primarily focus on the good data, breeze through the bad data and not really acknowledge problems, let alone develop solutions.

It is a new day in Sarasota County, with a new Superintendent who has vocally expressed that this will be a data-driven district with goals based upon results. It is a great practice and keeps traditional public schools competitive with charter schools and the growing population of private schools. 

The Superintendent has not even been on the job for 100 days, but his proposed annual evaluation tool articulates the objectives based upon key performance indicators and measurable goals.

In his first year, this academic year, while he gets his feet under him and gets to know the district, he has some key objectives to start using data to improve academic outcomes: 

  • Develop a system of monitoring school-based instructional practice to improve student achievement.
  • Develop a revised strategic plan that aligns priorities to enhance academic outcomes.
  • Implement a revised organizational structure to align support for increased student achievement.

In his second and third year, the superintendent is expected to have some measurable results based upon key performance indicators:

  • Improve the overall district ranking as calculated by total points earned within the state accountability system.
  • Increase third grade reading proficiency or ranking.
  • Increase overall grades 3-10 reading proficiency percentage or ranking.
  • Increase overall math proficiency percentage or ranking.
  • Increase reading lower quartile growth percentage or ranking as compared to school year 21-22.
  • Increase math lower quartile growth percentage or ranking as compared to school year 21-22.

This is a great start, and the fact he proposes to make himself responsible for these objectives sends a message to the rest of the district, from the Landings to the schools, that we will use data to determine our focus and measure how we are doing. It mandates a positive movement and improvement in academics.

These unifying objectives are important to become a serious competitor for the number one school district in Florida. Improvement in these areas will be instrumental in getting us there. The Argus Foundation has been a staunch supporter of publicly examining our schools’ data. We are encouraged by the new data-direction of the School District led by new Superintendent Terrence Connor. We are excited to see the results. 

Christine Robinson is Executive Director of The Argus Foundation. 

Image courtesy Pixabay.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Limelight Market , November 18, 10am-3pm

This Saturday, Nov 18 from 10-3 the Spotlight is on Limelight Market! This fun, pop up market happens in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime with rescue dogs, unique guest vendors, food, and live music by Sabrina. Check out the 40+ local creators and curators inside. Great way to support local! Free, until you buy something amazing!
Sarasota Street Talk, a popular podcast with Mark Klecka and Scott Malouf, will be recording and broadcasting live. For more information visit BazaaronApricotandlime.com Located at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Deck the Halls Returns to Florida Studio Theatre , November 25 – December 24, 10am and 12pm

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is excited to bring children and their families the magic of the holiday season with the latest iteration of Deck the Halls. This interactive family-friendly, music-filled show celebrates everything that makes the holidays in Sarasota special. Since Deck the Halls was first produced in 2016, the show has become a holiday tradition for many families on the Suncoast. This year, the festivities return with all-new sketches, all-new songs, and all-new memories ready for the making. Created by Caroline Saldivar and Sarah Durham with additional material by Dellan Short and Jeremy Weinstein, Deck the Halls plays select Saturdays and Sundays with showtimes starting at 10am and 12pm in FST’s Keating Theatre. For more information, visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

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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