Off-Campus Field Trip

Provider: Embracing Our Differences and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Contact: Brenna Wilhm

Starting cost per student: $4

Additional Info: $600 per school for up to 150 students

Max. Capacity: 150

Transportation Needed?  Yes

Who Arranges Transportation? Other (see description)

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Yes


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Embracing Our Differences is proud to partner with Newtown Alive and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to celebrate the history and cultural heritage of Newtown, one of Sarasota’s oldest communities.  In preparation for Black History Month, fourth grade classrooms will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Sarasota’s African American pioneers on a guided bus tour led by students from the Booker High School Coexistence Club and attend a live performance at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. Students will sway to the rhythm, tap into the neighborhood’s heartbeat, visit landmarks and meet the courageous trailblazers who built a thriving community. While on the tour, fifteen large colorful historical markers with pictures installed through Newtown, will showcase the historic trail around the community where the men and women fought for equal rights, triumphed over Jim Crow segregation, KKK intimidation and vigilante violence.

Grades: This educational initiative is only available to Sarasota County 4th grade classrooms.

Dates: January 16 through February 2, 2018   

Start Time and Schedule:  Explorations will begin at 10:00 am at Booker High School where you will pick-up your student docent and begin a tour of Newtown’s historical markers which should last 45 minutes. Your class will arrive at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (1646 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34236) at 10:45 am for an 11:00 am performance lasting thirty minutes (including a 10 minutes Q&A session).

Location:  To view a map and description of Newtown’s historical markers, please CLICK HERE. Your tour will include stops at the following markers:   (1) Early Settlement;   (2) Making a Living;   (3) Activism & Elected Officials;   (4) the Wright Bush House;   (5) Bustling Business District;   (7) Segregation, Desegregation and Integration;   (11) Military Service;   (13) Medical History;   (15) African American Churches.

Capacity: Maximum of 150 students, teachers and chaperones per day – 3 buses total per day. Space is strictly limited and allocated on a first come/ first serve basis.

Cost / Financial Assistance: $600 per school. Teachers MUST apply for funding through the EdExploreSRQ grant program. CLICK HERE for a sample grant application. If your school grant application is denied, please contact Bernadette Bennett for alternate financial assistance to cover the cost of this exploration.

Registration:  Teachers MUST register for this exploration online no later than December 22, 2017CLICK HERE to register.

Transportation: Transportation is provided free courtesy of Embracing Our Differences.

Teacher Resources:


Teachers participating in a Newtown Alive exploration will receive a classroom copy of Newtown Alive: Courage, Dignity and Determination courtesy of Embracing Our Differences.

Newtown History Timeline
The People of Newtown
The Places of Newtown
Historic Preservation in Newtown
Powerpoint Presentation (coming soon)


4th Grade Florida Standards/ Benchmarks:

SS.4.A.6.3 Describe the contributions of significant individuals to Florida.

SS.4.A.7.1 Describe the causes and effects of the 1920's Florida land boom and bust.

SS.4.A.7.2 Summarize challenges Floridians faced during the Great Depression.

SS.4.A.8.1 Identify Florida's role in the Civil Rights Movement.

SS.4.C.2.1 Discuss public issues in Florida that impact the daily lives of its citizens.

SS.4.C.2.2 Identify ways citizens work together to influence government and solve problems.

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