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Community Outreach & Involvement
How the Connection Happened!
In a conversation with Tanice Marsh at a Starbucks in August 2018, she explained to Amy F. Weinberger, Founder/Director of The Thinking Center, that Temple Emanu-El has a collaboration with Wilkinson Elementary. It was Amy's intention to originally offer her reading expertise service to the Starfish Program, but once Tanice shared with Amy the gentleman who makes kalidoscopes for Wilkinson kids, she questioned whether or not the S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) program had any microscopes. She was actually curious how a science based program had no microscopes. She contacted her friends, Dennis and Jennifer Brock, the inventors of the Magiscope and immediately order enough for the S.T.E.A.M. program for this school year. The donation is in honor of Amy's mom, Marilyn Friedman, who passed June 6 from Lewy Body's Dementia and Parkinson's Disease. The microscopes are a sustainable gift for each new class.
L-R: Tanice Marsh, Temple Emanu-El's Starfish Coordinator, Dr. Todd Bowden, Dennis & Jennifer Brock, Inventors of the Magiscope, Amy F. Weinberger, MSEd., Founder/Director of The Thinking Center

Steve Weinberger & The Reading House

Meanwhile, Steve Weinberger, The Thinking Center's Business Manager, put his carpentery skills to work to create a reading space in the S.T.E.A.M. kindergarten classroom at Wilkinson Elementary. Amy and Steve originally did not know that they were both working through the Starfish Collaboration for the same classrooms. Steve coordinated with Larry Barnet through Temple Emanu-El.

Everett Couto - Before & After

When you find out at 18 that you are on the Autism Spectrum, it may offer explanations of why your childhood experiences evolved the way they did. This is Everett Couto, a young man Amy F. Weinberger met when he was six years old. The first part of the story is a painful one, but the outcome has given hope and opportunity to the Couto family. Click here to read the Sarasota Herald's Tribune article about how Everett changed his electronic addictions into a health and running winning addiction. 

Everett & Katelyn, his therapist at Aspiro Wilderness, October 2016

Katelyn, Everett, Tony Couto, his dad, at the Austism Symposium -August 2017

Our Olivia Haynes & Her Garden Club

Our Handwriting & Reading Queen, Olivia Haynes, has served as the Sarasota Garden Club President. Their organization awards seniors college scholarship opportunities. She is featured here with 2016 recipients and organization member, Andy Papineau.