Education Grants Will Support New Programs and Collaborations at Selby Gardens

July 1, 2013 – Sarasota, FL – Thanks to two EdExplore NEXT grants, thousands of students in the Sarasota/Manatee area will be able to explore Selby Gardens in the coming school year. The grants, awarded through the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and supported by the Patterson Foundation, help connect classrooms with community experiences in art, science and history.

The first grant of $10,000 will support curriculum development for a new Children’s Rainforest Garden scheduled to open this fall at Selby Gardens. The second grant was awarded in collaboration with Mote Marine Laboratory. In total, the two organizations received $25,000 to support the development of a series of new explorations that combine science, technology, language arts, and fine arts.

Both institutions are working with area teachers and the Sarasota County School Board to develop useful tools for teachers and students as they examine the natural world.  Through the use of Safari Live and other technology, Selby Gardens and Mote Marine will be able to reach students before and after site visits.

The rainforest programming and the collaboration with Mote Marine are designed to complement and enhance the principles set forth by Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS).

A new website,, was developed through collaboration between Sarasota County Schools, the Arts and Cultural Alliance and the Science and Environment Council of Sarasota County with support from The Patterson Foundation. The site provides a central portal of exploration opportunities offered by arts, science and history organizations in the area.