These are the activities that children will always remember. These experiences shape what kind of learners our children become.

Dr. Laura Kingsley, Executive Director of Elementary Schools

Recent News

EdExploreSRQ ED-stravaganza Grant Winners Named

Tuttle Elementary School, Woodland Middle School and individual teachers from Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, Sarasota Middle School, Wilkinson Elementary and Tatum Ridge Elementary were all big winners at this year’s EdExploreSRQ ED-stravaganza. Thanks to the generous support of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation, each was the recipient of a grant ranging from $500-$1,000 to be used toward active learning experiences in their classrooms this school year.

Hosted by Sarasota County Schools’ EdExploreSRQ program, ED-stravaganza is an annual event that brings together representatives from nearly 50 local arts, culture, history, science and environmental organizations and teaching artists to showcase the experiential learning opportunities, or explorations, they have available to area teachers and schools throughout the year. All of the learning experiences showcased are vetted by the school district to make sure they meet state educational standards and benchmarks.

In total, more than 200 teachers and administrators from Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Desoto counties attended this year’s ED-stravaganza, which took place during the fall. As part of the event, participating teachers and their schools were entered in grant award drawings to be used toward EdExploreSRQ explorations.

This year’s grant winners were:

  • Tuttle Elementary School (School with the most attendees, north county – $750 from Community Foundation of Sarasota County),
  • Woodland Middle School (School with the most attendees, south county – $750 from Community Foundation of Sarasota County),
  • Karen Brown, Tatum Ridge Elementary (EdExploreSRQ Passport grant – $1,000 from The Patterson Foundation),
  • Mary Wedebrock, Bay Haven School of Basics Plus (EdExploreSRQ Passport grant – $1,000 from The Patterson Foundation),
  • Nohemi Hall, Tuttle Elementary (EdExploreSRQ Passport grant – $500 from The Patterson Foundation),
  • Robin Murphy, Sarasota Middle (EdExploreSRQ Passport grant – $500 from The Patterson Foundation),
  • Geneve Cawley, Wilkinson Elementary (Go Wild for Literacy grant – $500 from The Patterson Foundation).

“We are deeply grateful to The Patterson Foundation and Community Foundation of Sarasota County for making these grants possible and for their ongoing support of our program,” said Angela Hartvigsen, arts curriculum specialist for Sarasota County Schools and manager of EdExploreSRQ. “Thanks to their enduring commitment to education and experiential learning for all, area teachers and students are enjoying the opportunity to explore our community and the world around them in ways that were previously out of reach for many of our schools.”

Launched through a community partnership involving Sarasota County Schools, The Patterson Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, EdExploreSRQ is an experiential learning resource that has provided over 300,000 student experiences in grades K-12 since its inception in 2011.

Aimed especially at students from families with limited means and abilities to access some of our community’s most valued natural and cultural resources, the program provides teachers with a customized, web-based platform,, to find experiential learning opportunities best suited for their students.

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