100 Days of Impact: Partnering

10 Dec

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee granted $35,000 to Embracing our Differences (EOD) in 2014, which provided program training to 220 teachers in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

EOD QuoteJoanna Fox has been teaching creative writing and language arts at Booker Middle School for fifteen years where teaching students to be a part of the community and not apart from the community is engrained into her curriculum.    By transforming her classroom into The Dragonfly Café, Fox has created a community environment where sharing of ideas is encouraged.  Through writing, students are taught that word choices can have an indelible impact on one’s destiny.  Fox’s work with Embracing our Differences (EOD) exemplifies partnership not just between students and teachers, but also between schools and the community.  By supporting our community’s students, EOD seeks to provide opportunities for every student in every school to participate in the program, as well as, visit the exhibit.

One of Joanna Fox’s students, Michael, was touched so deeply by EOD, that its impact literally transformed his life.  With the recent death of his father and abandonment of his mother, Michael moved in with his uncle and transferred to Booker Middle School.  With his world shattered, it’s no wonder why he arrived in class seemingly distant and unengaged.  But, submitting a quote to EOD and being selected turned Michael’s life around.  This simple, yet powerful recognition was described by Michael as “the best day of my life.”  After receiving a candy bar from the school’s principal as part of that recognition, Michael broke off pieces to share with the entire class, savoring the last bit for himself.  No longer feeling apart, Michael finally expressed desire in becoming a part of his community.

Michael’s Quote: The true color of people is not the shade of their skin but the tint of their personalities.



100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact started on September 22 and will run through the end of 2014. Each week we will demonstrate the the collaborative impact that we and our donors make locally and globally.


You are the Jewish community. This is your Federation. Together, we do extraordinary things!


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