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Grant Spotlight: S.T.E.A.M. and FUNducation!

Manatee Community Foundation is committed to building a better community and a better foundation with our strategic focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and access. We love to see grants submitted that focus on these aspects.

FUNducation is an astonishingly fun 501(c)(3) organization that emboldens children to be inventors of tomorrow, helping them to think critically in ways that go beyond the convenient solutions to problems. FUNducation supports and encourages communities to engage kids in activities that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, or as it is more commonly known, S.T.E.A.M. Through these interactive and complex S.T.E.A.M. related programs, the hope is that the children will endeavor to achieve occupations focused on one or more of these 5 elements.

Neirda Thompson-Pemberton is the Executive Director of FUNducation.

Her passion and her Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering make her a valuable resource and proponent for S.T.E.A.M. learning. She realizes that in order to make these programs accessible and successful, Digital Literacy is a key component. In a world that has become dominated by eLearning, Digital Literacy has become monumental to children’s educational prowess. It is extremely valuable because it allows students to collaborate and flourish through devices, software and the internet in a constantly changing technological society.

FUNducation is partnering with Manatee Community Foundation to launch the Urban S.T.E.A.M. Alliance to serve organizations in Manatee County, specifically, to support programs in five Manatee County community organizations, including RePlay Outreach, Palmetto Youth Center and Kids with Hope.

Program objectives include learning how to access information online, to create digital content, to participate safely and responsibly online, and to learn the ins and outs of using a computer. The goal is to have these participants leave the program with significant gains, such as knowing how to convert a PDF, use Microsoft Word and make educational choices to pursue S.T.E.A.M. careers.

Written by Amy Treis