Manatee Community Foundation Gives $4,995 for Teacher Education Initiative

(Bradenton, Fla., July 23, 2019) — The Eugene F. and Elizabeth Hull Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation has awarded State College of Florida Foundation a $4,995 grant to support the Teaching Opportunity Progression Program (TOPP). TOPP is an initiative to assist education paraprofessionals with earning a bachelor’s degree and becoming licensed teachers.

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) will accept 12 Manatee County paraprofessionals to the TOPP this fall. The grant will provide scholarships to help deserving students as they complete coursework and field experience to earn Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degrees. TOPP will increase the number of children in Manatee County receiving care and instruction from licensed teachers during pivotal years of early childhood development.

“SCF has been working diligently to help early childhood educators to increase their level of education,” said Cassandra Holmes, SCF Foundation executive director. “Having skilled Manatee County teachers with bachelor’s degrees leads to children with a strong educational foundation and increased chances for lifelong success.”

For more information, contact Darlene Wedler-Johnson at or 941-752-5390.