From shutting down schools in 2020 for a spring break that never ended, to challenging teachers and students statewide with remote learning, the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges largely unimagined for education. Teachers struggled to find ways to make sure students did not fall behind in their studies, all while combating the normal social problems that contribute to low performance and dropout rates in schools.
But they didn’t have to plot this course alone. A variety of nonprofits and foundations in the region worked harder than ever to keep exceptional educational programs running and rise to the demands created by an expansive, unpredictable crisis. The Sarasota-Manatee region’s rich history of philanthropy and community support kicked in to help teachers and students navigate the challenges of the pandemic.