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SCOPE's work has generated numerous community reports, data products and documentary films. Please visit our Publications page for a complete listing.


The Catalytic Impact of SCOPE

Institute for the Ages (IA) is in its formative stages, the initial vision emerged from the Aging: The Possibilities initiative.  The goal of the Institute is to create bold initiatives that will promote inquiry, reflection, and research about ways to optimize a community’s responses to a population that is shifting in age.  Areas of likely focus include the physical environment, market research, the development of new products and services, public policy changes, and evolution of our workforce.  This institute has the potential to be a significant economic driver in Sarasota County and the wider region.  It will position Sarasota County as a national leader in policy and actions that help our communities make the most of an increasingly older population.

Local Environmental Action stems from the Summit for Environmental Action (2008).  Four citizen committees are tackling: wise water usage, increasing solar hot water heater usage, developing green jobs and expanding transit-oriented development.  The SEE Water committee is collecting water usage data from a pilot project in Pelican Cove, and is developing policy recommendations for local governments.  The Solar Hot Water group presented their report to the Board of County Commissioners in April, and is working with local government.  The Green Businesses group is developing a home energy retrofit program that will help low-income homeowners and provide training and new jobs in an emerging industry.  This includes accessing of federal stimulus dollars.  The Transit-Oriented Development committee is presenting their report to the Board of County Commissioners in July 2009, outlining the themes and recommendations from their community study of Bee Ridge Road.

An Independent Transportation Network (ITN) is becoming a reality in Sarasota.  SCOPE was the catalyst that brought the community together to secure funding and file the application to create an ITN affiliate. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has provided start-up funding and Jewish Family and Children’s Service is the incubator.  This service provides local rides to older adults who no longer drive and is sustained by a broad base of income including fees for service, contributions from businesses, individuals and philanthropic organizations.  (Aging: The Possibilities)

The annual Winter Forum on Aging continues to bring together local residents and nationally-known experts in thinking about, discussing and getting active in issues of aging and community.  The forum includes prominent guest speakers and participant discussions.  Forum topics have included groundbreaking research on the power and creativity of the mature mind; the transitions and opportunities of retirement through the lens of the highly successful North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR); and the connections between tapping the creative power of the mature brain, community harnessing of this creative force in both paid and unpaid capacities, and the individual action needed to make the most of life experiences past the traditional retirement age.  The fourth annual forum will be held in February 2010.  As creator of the Winter Forum and catalyst, SCOPE has invited other organizations to develop additional learning opportunities for that week.  Past forums have been insightful and thought-provoking for residents, organizations and local government.  (Aging: The Possibilities)

Beginning in 2007-2008, high school students helped create Unity Day programs in area high schools and one student is working with other students to form a diversity club. Additional schools created Unity Days for the 2008-2009 school year. (Coalition for Inclusion & Diversity)

Emerging leaders develop their personal leadership capacity and connections to decision makers in the community through the Grassroots Leadership Initiative (GLI). These leadership Fellows represent untapped community resources whose voices are being heard. (Three classes have completed the year-long GLI created by SCOPE, the Herald-Tribune, the United Way, USF Sarasota-Manatee, and The Community Foundation of Sarasota County)

The Community Housing Trust formed in 2005 to create a supply of permanently affordable housing for low and moderate income residents. There are now eleven homes in the land trust maintaining permanent affordability.  New housing is in development in areas close to downtown on Hatton Street and Blvd. of the Arts.  (Affordable Housing 2002)

Public officials increased the efficiency of existing roadways by funding the Advanced Traffic Management System, a comprehensive real-time approach to managing traffic intersections and traffic flow.  (Traffic Flow & Congestion 2002)

“Seed Programs”:  SCOPE has helped to seed new programs and coalitions that build community capacities, such as the Nonprofit Resource Center, the Hispanic Latino Coalition, and Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse.   

The Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP), an initiative of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, completed its two-year experiment in community-based health impact.  This project was managed by SCOPE and is based upon the SCOPE model of citizen engagement and ownership, and fact-based considerations.  Through CHIP, over 200 volunteers have developed increased ownership and a higher level of understanding of health issues facing each of these three communities.  Their work included a Health Profile of Sarasota County, a household survey of over 700 households, and a health systems assessment of existing health resources.  CHIP continues its work and has transitioned to management by the County Health Department.  All of the above programs were initially created and managed by SCOPE and spun off into either independent 501c3 organizations or permanent programs of another agency.


Communities for a Lifetime Award (August 2008)
Sarasota County was among five outstanding communities awarded the Communities for a Lifetime Award by the Florida Dept. of Elder Affairs. The communities were rated on how they assessed local needs, established partnerships and included residents in advisory capacities.  Criteria included developing action plans to enhance aging-in-place strategies.  

SCOPE played a fundamental role during its Aging: The Possibilities initiative by engaging the community in exploring opportunities to make the most of our older demographic.   Read more about Communities for a Lifetime

All-America City Award Finalist (May 2008)
Sarasota County was one of the 17 finalist communities for the 2008 All-America City Award program by the National Civic League in May 2008. The All-America City Award program is the nation’s oldest community recognition effort.

Two SCOPE initiatives were part of the award application.  The Grassroots Leadership Initiative (GLI) and the Youth Initiative of the Coalition for Inclusion & Diversity (CID) along with the Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) formed the basis for the Sarasota County application.   These initiatives all reflect grassroots efforts to make our community a better place.  Read more about the awards at the National Civic League.   

SCOPE ~ 1226 North Tamiami Trail, Suite 202 ~ Sarasota, FL 34236 ~ (941) 365-8751~ Fax: (941) 365-8592

Photos courtesy of Kazuaki Nagata & PolaBran Summers