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May 22, 2023

The Key to Reaching Far and Deep Is Relationships

Rachel Ploss, TPF Fellow 2022/23

Editor’s Note: Twenty-five thousand one hundred and sixteen individuals experienced wonder, curiosity, and joy due to the collaborative efforts put forth by you and hundreds of partners in our region.

The community worked hard for Suncoast Remake Learning Days 2023, and now it’s time to celebrate! If you hosted, attended, or just want to know more about Suncoast Remake Learning Days, then you’re invited to the appreciation breakfast on Friday, June 23 at Michael’s On East. There will be games, delicious food, and a mystery surprise! 

Register here, and be our guest!

 

More than 270 partner organizations created 206 events in ten days boasting 25,116 attendees. This is the far-reaching success of Suncoast Remake Learning Days (SRLD) 2023. As someone deeply involved in this year’s SRLD, I believe the success comes down to three key components: partnerships, connection, and community engagement.

In the months leading up to SRLD, we convened to tell the story of Remake Learning Days to drum up interest, build relationships, and let folks know how easy it would be for them to participate, build excitement, and encourage innovation. It is out of these sessions that events were dreamed up, designed, and thoughtfully planned out.

We know that for an event to be successful, it must have three key components. Think of it as a three-legged stool with the legs being event content, audience, and venue, supporting the seat. In this case, the successful event. Organizations recognized this sturdy stool; if they were missing a leg, they partnered with someone else with the needed parts. The open exchange of ideas between individuals and organizations was joyous, and the partnerships created during these sessions were meaningful.

For example, Atomica Arts planned several virtual events and wanted to do something in person even though they didn’t have a dedicated location. Creatively, Atomica Arts partnered with Sarasota Art Museum, and a shared aspiration for more Spanish-speaking events emerged. More partners were invited to collaborate, including CreArte Latino Cultural Center, Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center, and local teaching artists. The event was entirely in Spanish, and the collaboration resulted in a wealth of resources shared with Spanish-speaking families.

This is one of my favorite components of Remake Learning Days because when we work with other organizations and share our resources, the endless possibilities of what we can do deepens.

Family and parent engagement proved to be a theme that resonated deeply with participating organizations. Time is the most valuable non-renewable resource, and these organizations took the necessary time because SRLD was important to them. Learning truly can happen everywhere, and it happens best when the entire family engages in learning together. These organizations not only understood this but valued this.

Event hosts connected and dedicated time to developing their internal teams to ensure robust events. As a result, organizations connected with the community. Some events had 500 participants, others had 5,000, some had 60-80, and others had 10. More important than the number of attendees was the outcome of each event. When the quality of the content centered around the family learning together, the fun and the engagement ran deep.

The beauty of Remake Learning Days is that anyone can be involved, and everyone involved aspires to engage families in wonder, curiosity, and joy. The variety of events and the imaginative activities presented seemed magical. I hope organizations will continue to create magic through partnerships and meaningful events beyond Suncoast Remake Learning Days.


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