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Sumter Schools Enhancement Foundation Receives AT&T Full STEAM Ahead for Florida’s Future

For immediate release 12/06/21:


For more information contact:

Eileen Goodson 352-793-2315 or

Mary Chance 352-338-0250 or



Sumter Schools Enhancement Foundation Receives AT&T Full STEAM Ahead for Florida’s Future

Grant to Fund Learning Innovation


Students at South Sumter Middle School, Wildwood Middle High School, and Sumter Prep Academy will benefit from a statewide investment by AT&T this year, one that seeks to engage students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic as well as those in underserved communities, families needing support with distance learning and high school students seeking to jump start their STEM careers through industry certifications.


For the 12th consecutive year, AT&T is working with the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (Consortium) to support hands-on learning opportunities. 19 separate projects organized and funded through Consortium member local education foundations will re-engage students who have gotten behind in academics and/or are in underserved communities through hands-on STEAM enrichment activities, student-led digital divide support or increasing CTE certification completion.


This project, titled Rise to the Challenge will focus on providing a hands-on STEAM enrichment activity for all of our eighth grade students through collaboration with the Orlando Science Center. In the Spring of 2022, the Orlando Science Center STEM 2 Go Workshop will travel to each of our middle schools during the school day to work with students on an aerospace engineering activity. This highly engaging activity will focus on data collection and analyzing opposing forces as students collaborate as a team and create a balanced attachment that will successfully suspend from a model weather balloon. This project directly supports The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for science, as well as alignment with the Florida B.E.S.T. English Language Arts and Math Standards. Participation in this activity will support student preparation for their upcoming Statewide Science Assessment in May 2022.


The expected costs associated with this project are budgeted at $3510. These expenses include the materials and workshop provided by the Orlando Science Center STEM 2 Go Workshop program and the expenses for the Orlando Science Center to travel to each of our three schools.


“We’re eager to re-engage students who may have fallen behind over the past year by providing opportunities for them to experience the relevance of STEM curriculum in the world of work, through hands-on learning and career certification programs,” said Joe York, President, AT&T Florida. “We’ve all learned how important it is to make sure families in underserved communities have support for digital learning at home so their children have the opportunity to accelerate their education, and we’re interested in supporting local efforts in that area as well.”


            This year’s statewide grant brings the total investment by AT&T over eleven years to more than $1 million. More than 79,000 students have been directly impacted through 469 projects involving 954 local workplace partners throughout Florida.


About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $500 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.

About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations:


The Consortium is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the Consortium connects individuals, organizations, and financial resources to build the capacity and effectiveness of Florida’s local education foundations. Together, Consortium members raise more than $83 million annually for a variety of locally driven initiatives and are led by 1,200 board members, 80% of whom are local business and community leaders working in partnership with school district leaders. The Consortium manages the nation’s only 1:1 legislative match for education foundation initiatives and a variety of privately funded grant programs. To learn more about the Consortium or connect with any member local education foundation, visit