Archive for October, 2010

photo source

Found this article from the Pelican Press on Dan Giguere, who we mentioned in the last post, and the future of the Payne Park Skate Park. We at Laurel Park Management think that Payne Park as a whole and the Skate Park in particular have been extraordinary additions to downtown Sarasota. Skateboarding cuts across traditional boundaries of race and income and, if accepted and given a place, encourages our kids to do what we all hope they’ll do: play together, have fun, gain confidence. Times are tough all the way around, but wouldn’t sacrificing the Payne Park Skate Park be like stealing from our kids?

Here’s the article—

With future city funding of the skateboard facility in Payne Park up in the air, two local residents appeared at the city commission meeting on Sept. 7 to present a plan that could keep the park open.

Dan Giguere and Mike Walling told the commission they would operate the park as Sk8skool and save the city more than $16,000 a year.

A middle school teacher at Sarasota School of the Arts and Sciences, Giguere said he has seen hundreds of middle schoolers go through his program, so he knows how popular skateboarding is in Sarasota.

He added that he also knows what a positive impact skateboarding can have on a child’s life. “I’ve seen such a great improvement in the kids,” Giguere said. “We want what’s best for the youth.”

Having an after-school skateboarding program, Giguere said, can help keep students out of trouble. The park can be a safe place for them to go, he added.

Part of Sk8skool’s plan is to make membership affordable for interested skaters. Giguere suggested a sliding scale in costs for children to use the facility.

Further, the men talked of providing scholarships to low-income families out of proceeds from fundraising efforts along with allowing a child free membership at the skate park in return for 10 hours of community service.

They added that the park perhaps even could make money if were to host official skateboarding competitions.

“We can actually turn a profit if we turn it into a competitive recreational facility,” Giguere said. “[We can] also have concerts, professional demonstrations, lock-ins. … This also increases revenue and can make more kids want to skate.”

keep reading at pelicanpressonline.com



Read Full Post »

photo source

Dan Giguere, a physical education teacher at Sarasota School of Arts & Sciences, has an innovative method of helping middle school students learn—he gives them a skateboard.

I started teaching in 2003 and had the idea of starting a school sponsored skateboard team to utilize as a motivational tool in helping those athletes that don’t play the traditional sports at the school. We started with approx. 15 students the first year and each year we have grown, now we average around 45-50 students that must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and can’t be a discipline problem in the classroom. Three years ago I started sk8skool to expand the concept into the local school system. (source)

Dan has applied for funding through Pepsi’s Refresh Project, and if sk8skool receives enough votes he intends to pack up his students and hit the road, visiting middle schools all over Florida and helping them organize their own skateboard team. Voting ends October 31.

Sarasota School of Arts & Sciences, located at 645 Central Avenue in downtown Sarasota, has received an “A” on its annual report card from the State of Florida for the past five years. According to their mission statement, “SSA+S is a middle school that presents a ‘way of life,’ regarding educational achievement, by instilling in its students the ability to develop learning skills by instructing via many neural pathways. This teaching technique, coupled with our ‘Holistic Approach of the Total Child,’ philosophy, focused on the Development Domain Paradigm, promotes a high level of mastery of relevant concepts and Sunshine State Standards of each content area.

“Moreover, by teaching via this method, the student develops learning procedures and adopts learning acquisition tools that in turn perpetuate even more significant learning gains in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains, not only for middle school, but subsequently for high school and post secondary institutions.”

Interesting that a school known for academic rigor has inspired a skateboarding team, and that a sport once associated with juvenile delinquents is now being used to promote scholastic achievement. If you’d like to help Coach Dan’s team realize their dream, vote for sk8skool here. For more information on SSA+S, check out their website.

Read Full Post »

Looking for a place to live near downtown Sarasota? Afraid your budget will force you to choose between the charm of a historic building and being able to walk to Main Street? Why not have it all? Laurel Park Management rents a variety of unique affordable apartments—many in historic homes and buildings—all within walking distance of Main Street, the Bayfront, Whole Foods, and everything downtown Sarasota has to offer.

Today, we’re featuring one of a handful of Laurel Park’s “Grand” historic structures that dates back to the early 1920s. Seven Gables is the beautiful yellow home at 405 South Osprey Avenue. Originally constructed for a wealthy doctor, the house has since been divided into five apartments with ten off street parking spaces. Its name name is derived from the seven gable roof dormers built within the roof line and accessible from the second floor apartments. see property page for more pictures

Read Full Post »