We provide onsite youth educational and life enrichment programs to youth age 5-17 who reside in public housing. All Sarasota Housing Authority’s Youth Thrive programming is on public housing property and free-of-charge to Sarasota Housing Authority families.
The fact that we are always present onsite, our programs are in walking distance for our families, and we are able to build strong relationships with our youth and parents makes Sarasota Housing Authority’s Youth Thrive the main source of academic support and life-enrichment opportunities for public housing youth.
Our Youth Thrive staffing and programming are made possible by the generous financial support of our major funding partners:
- Sarasota County – Contracted Human Services
- Community Foundation of Sarasota County
- First Horizon Foundation
- Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Kids and Teens Love Us!
Our After-School Program
Two portable buildings that include classrooms, computer lab, small libraries, a kitchenette and a teen lounge.
Our after-school program operates from 2:30-6:30pm, Monday-Thursday, through-out the academic year. The program serves an average of 23 students daily, grades K-10th, all of whom deboard their school bus and come directly to the Sarasota Housing Authority Learning Center for homework help, access to the computer lab, or other youth classes such as Art with The Ringling Museum, Social Black Belt with Our Y, BINGO/ Games with North Sarasota Library, financial literacy with Iberia Bank, and Healthy Kids, Happy Kids cooking classes
Sarasota Housing Authority employs one certified Sarasota County teacher to work with students, in addition to the Sarasota Housing Authority Youth Thrive Program Manager, the Youth Thrive Academic & Attendance Coach, and volunteer tutors.
Full Day Program
Our Summer Enrichment Program
Summer Enrichment Program is a full-day program offered Monday-Friday through-out summer break. Sarasota Housing Authority partners with Patterson Foundation’s Suncoast Grade-level Reading Campaign, The Ringling Museum’s “Where Everyone Belongs” program and Sarasota County Libraries to provide summer learning and enrichment opportunities to 20 public housing students.
The emphasis of the program is on improving reading skills. Students read daily, either independently, one-on-one with a reading tutor, or in book groups facilitated by an adult. Students earn exciting field trip opportunities once they’ve reached their reading goals.
- Recent field trip destinations include Mote Aquarium, Bishop Science Museum, InStride Equine Therapy, The Ringling, Myakka State Park, and Busch Gardens.
- Summer students have received onsite weekly nutrition and cooking classes, weekly “Mindful Kids” yoga classes, and free weekly swim lessons at the YMCA.
- The Learning Center is also an All Faiths Food Bank Summer Hotspot, providing free hot breakfast and lunch every weekday of summer vacation to our students and any area youth looking for a meal.
Partners: Ringling Museum’s “Where Everyone Belongs”, Van Wezel, Sarasota County Libraries, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s “Youth in Nature”, Girls Inc, Home Depot, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Explore in Nature
Our Youth in Nature
Research indicates that contact with nature is important for children’s cognitive, emotional, social, and educational development. Youth growing up in Sarasota Housing Authority’s public housing will typically never get to visit and experience the natural wonders of our region but with valuable partnerships, we are working to change that.
Through a partnership with Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and Mote Aquarium, our teens experience morning kayaking on Sarasota Bay and afternoon admission to Mote Aquarium multiple times per year.
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s “Youth in Nature” program exposes SHA youth to a range of experiences in our region’s spectacular parks and preserves.
Selby Gardens generously welcomes SHA youth both for summer enrichment and their annual “Lights in Bloom.”
Book Rich Environment
Each summer, Sarasota Housing Authority partners with Sarasota County Libraries to hold three Book Rich Environment events:
- Summer Kickoff event
- Books & Badges street convoy event (in partnership with Sarasota Police Department)
- Back-to-school books and school supply event
At each event, Sarasota Housing Authority Youth Thrive and Sarasota County Libraries distribute new books to all youth in Housing. Sarasota Housing Authority is one of only 37 housing authorities nationwide to participate in the Book Rich Environment program.
Parents love us!
Early Head Start -
Sarasota Housing Authority partners with Children First to provide four onsite Early Head Start classrooms on public housing property to promote healthy development for our youngest children.
1723 N. Orange Ave.
Sarasota, Florida 34234
Call: (941) 953-3877
Fax: (941) 954-8047
Shop with a Cop:
The Sarasota Housing Funding Corp, Sarasota Housing Authority’s 501(c)3 affiliate, partners with the City of Sarasota Police Department and Target each year to provide underprivileged youth with a unique holiday experience. This December the Sarasota Housing Authority will be hosting our 12th Annual “Shop with a Cop” event at the local Target.
The Annual “Shop with a Cop” event is an initiative designed to help build positive and respectful relationships between law enforcement and children living in Sarasota Housing Authority communities.
The Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation through grants/donations received from local business organizations and individuals. This past year’s event was made possible through donations by Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Communities Unified, Target, First Horizon Foundation, Knights of the Eagle Widows Sons Riders, Gary Dornbush, United Universalist Social Justice Committee, and other private donors.
100% of all Shop with a Cop donations are utilized to purchase Target gift cards ($100 per Child) for the event. Our goal again this coming year is for 150 plus children, so in order to do that we must raise $15,000.
Donations can be made at our Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation’s donation page. We hope you are willing to sponsor this special event. Should you have questions and/or concerns regarding the event, or sponsorship opportunities, please feel free to contact us at (941) 361-6210 ext. 221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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