Rogers Garden 5th graders presenting art for halls at USF Sarasota-Manatee

On Friday, December 2nd at 10am, 5th grade students from Rogers Garden Elementary School will present artwork titled “What I can be with a college degree” to the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM).  The project, initiated by Dr. Marie Byrd-Blake, a professor in the College of Education at USFSM along with student club PRIDE (promoting, recruiting, increasing diverse educators) was designed to encourage the students to begin exploring what college is all about.

“While the fifth grade students were making these drawings of what they could be with a college degree, I suggested that if they could write and draw their idea on paper, why shouldn’t they be able to live the idea in life,” said Roy London, the Art Instructor at Rogers Garden Elementary School working with the 5th graders on this project.  “As was taught to me by my father and my teachers, I try to bestow upon my students the idea that they should try to work hard now (while they are young) with their minds so that they won’t have to work hard later (when they get older) with their backs.”  Dr. Marie Byrd-Blake also sees the benefit for the 5th grade students along with the opportunity it provides for her current students.  “Completing the project allowed many of the students to envision college as a possibility for the first time. Hopefully, we were able to plant a seed that will continue grow with encouragement.”

The public is welcome to attend the unveiling of the art pieces on the 3rd floor at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  More information and an RSVP can be found online at