SOAR Reopens!

Monday, August 31, in accordance with Florida's school reopening plan, SOAR Learning Center opened its doors to

in-school learning for the first time since March.  To prepare for this, we put in place our Covid protocols based on CDC and school district guidelines, stocked all the required protective equipment, cleaning products and signs, and trained all our staff and teachers in how to keep the learning environment safe. We are prepared for students coming to the school, and for those learning at home. Our goal is a sickness-free learning environment, and a truly productive term for the children.  Learn more: 

Ms. Lauren Chapman, 2nd grade teacher, hard at work with the returning students

A School Devoted to Excellence

Empowering students to develop the skills they need to succeed at school and beyond, SOAR Learning Center at the Jacquelyn Paulk Campus

is making history.

Aliyah Cunningham, SOAR

graduate now in her second

year at YALE  Read more

Students with Mrs. Paulk, Mrs. Campbell, and

Board Chair David Rubin during pre-Covid days

 (Photo by Alan Cresto).

Board member Dr. Harriet

Moore, Principal, McIntosh

Middle School.


The SOAR Legacy

Meet SOAR founder Mrs. Jacquelyn Paulk

From its inception, the SOAR program was made possible by the vision, the care, and the commitment of Mrs. Jacquelyn Paulk.

Mrs. Paulk has dedicated her entire career to lifting children out 
of failure and hopelessness— and into reaching their unlimited potential.  For 38 years, she taught in the Sarasota school district in several local schools. She both organized and implemented after-school programs in the Boys and Girls club, The Sarasota Housing Authority, and Greater Hurst Chapel AME Church. After retirement, she began working on after-school education programs for community youth.

The SOAR program embodies her approach to individualized learning.  It focuses on evaluating each child's individual needs, 
and only then customizing a course of learning for them— utilizing both small teacher-led groups and individual learning.

Several years ago, in an interview, Mrs. Paulk shared her thoughts, simple and touching:  “Now that I have a little time, I can reach back and help. Maybe they can get a little better education and move on.”


Please join us! 

There are so many ways to participate:

your time, experience

and skills

by check or credit card— it's simple!


Studies show that students who can't read by

the fourth grade  have an 85% probability of dropping out before they graduate high school. 


Enter SOAR Learning Center, a community-

based after-school program through which

at-risk K - 3 students can achieve grade level reading and math skills while nurturing a love

of learning—  in partnership with parents,

schools and the community itself.  More than

just a tutoring or homework-assist program, 

SOAR is a highly-specialized process through

which student deficiencies are uncovered, analyzed, and remedied through customized learning plans. 

Located in Sarasota's Newtown community,

SOAR Learning Center is a model program—

a learning laboratory not only for students, but

for teachers and educators from all over the community.  


We are so honored to have as our Program Director Mrs. Celestine Campbell—a woman of commitment and dedication, greatly loved by all her students.  Mrs. Campbell creates a safe and welcoming learning environment for her students, and a professional, spiritual work environment for the program's teachers and mentors. 


It is her philosophy that every child can reach academic and personal success if they are taught effectively, encouraged, and engaged. She believes the parents are a child’s first teacher and therefore communication between the home and school are critical to a child's success.   Read more.



A Treasured Gift to the School

On October 26, at the school's Opening Celebration,

this beautiful handmade runner was presented to

SOAR Learning Center by its creators Sharon Stephens

and Van Withey.  Mrs. Paulk gratefully accepted it on

behalf of all the children and teachers, and it now  

occupies a special place at the school's reception area.

Thank you Sharon and Van!


We are grateful to our special partners and donors who have generously provided funding, resources, services and guidance. 

Thanks to our major partners!

The David, Adrianne and 

     Jordan Rubin Fund

Scott & Christine Key

Education Foundation

Sarasota Southside

Rotary Club

Dr. Rob and Joyce

      Fish, DDS

The Hurlburt

Foundation, Inc.

Greater Hurst Chapel

African Methodist

Episcopal Church

Larry Greenspon Foundation

New Project.jpg

Gene and Roxanne Weborg

Hilda and Ben Flink Charitable Fund

sweet sparkman logo.png

   Dr. Louis

Robison EdD


And thank you to all our other donors for your

generous gifts and contributions!  

Bruce Abramowitz

Dedra Anderson

Mr. & Mrs. Roberto ArguedasD

Daniel Avolio

The Baird Foundation,  Audrey Warner, Dir.  

Lisa and Dan Barzel Charitable Fund

Tracey Beeker

Robert and Willa Bernhard

Sandra Block

Roger Brewer

Robert Brown

John & Anja Buetergerds

John Buzilow

Carol and Alexander Carlson

Linda Commito​

Lindsay Csogi

Michael E. Dahl

Debbie Darius Grant

Cindy Cavallaro Day

Jon Davies

The Democratic Club of Sarasota County,

    Deanie Bergbreiter

Janice DeNure

Dan DeRoner

Christin Ditchfield

Nathaniel Ditchfield

Bob and Bennie Dods

Shelly Dorfman

Ellyn S. Drummond​

Ernest DuBose ll

Curt and Kim Eskew

Hilda and Ben Flink Charitable Fund

Anne Fordham

Steven Frank

Dr. Wilmer T. Frazier Jr. and Juanita P. Frazier  

Patricia A. Gardner,  Sarasota Classified                 Teachers Association

Maureen Gebhardt

Leonard Goldberg

Patricia Goldwater

Alfred and Evelyn Gollomp

Thomas Gregory

Douglas Griffin

Rita Major-Hallerdin

Lovette Harper

Radiah Harper

Marilyn Harwell

Rhonda Hawkins

Fayanne Hayes​

Sue & Bill Herring

Marilyn Highland

Angel Hill

Floyd Hill

Rosalind Hill

Elliott Himelfarb

Mikel and Francina Hollaway

Cynthia Howard

Nancee Hwa

Mike and Roxie Jerde

J Kay Giles

Randy and Beverly Johnson

Roger Johnson

Herb and Ruth Jones

Tina Kaplan

Victoria and Ira Kasdan

Rita Katz

Kerissa Rena Kow

Lynne LaBombard​

Claude and Janice Labrie

Lane Ladue

Mr. & Mrs. Abdiel Lorente


Gerald and Sheri Lublin

Rene Luptak

Jennifer Mainey

R & R Matson

Kathy Fisher McKown

Patricia and Michael McNamee

CI and BJ McNeill

Jennifer Mainert

Gene and Sabit Mercer

Debra Meredith

Ramin Mesghali

Lois Meyers

Cynthia Mick

Marc Miller

Sherri Mills

Robert Monroe

Dr. Harriet Moore

Daniel Morgan

Christina Moya

Larry and Peggy Mulkey

Jeff Murphy

Karin Murphy

Vickie Oldham

William Penn Foundation

Foster and Jacquelyn Paulk

Mike and Gerri Pepe

Charlotte and Charles Perret

Jesse Perry

Reverend Keturah Pittman

Tracy Prince

Gretchen Ponts

Mary Pritchard

Agnieszka Gruszecka & Ilona Ratajczak

Carilyn Reiter

Anita Rogers, PhD

Carrie Rosenthal

Mark Rubin

Lisa L. Russo

Judith Samuel

J. Michael Sanderson

Daisy Saunders

Rick and Cheryl Scheid

Sandra Schelzi

Ms. Felice Schulaner and Mr. Dennis Rees

Dr. Cheryl Smith

Ranie Smith

Roland and Cheryl Snead

Jerry Sparkman

Anita D. Stephens

Russell and Sharon Stephens

Susan Stockham

Velvet Sumpter

Todd Sweet

Fern Tavalin

John and Barbara Teller

Marilyn Thompson

Megan Thornton

Gary and Sharron Turner

Dale and Mary Ann Vollrath

Alice and Rudy Veraguth

Cynthia Viola

Melissa Wandall

Bernard and Lois Watson

Jean Weiller

Gary Welter

Andrew Werner

Dr. James W. Wiggin

Christopher Wilson

Mr & Mrs. Daniel Woodhall

Kay Yoder

Kay Zahn