Sarasota Students Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with Virtual Environmental Partnership

Cadets and staff at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) planned to celebrate Earth Day with an in-person event, following the Academy’s annual “Project Earth Celebration” program featuring guest speakers and international environmental representatives. For the 2020 Project Earth Celebration, the Academy has received a unique opportunity to participate in a virtual “Earth Day” celebration through a partnership with Encounter Edu and Kate Brooks’ Last Animal Foundation.

“As we are practicing safe, social distancing and empowering our cadets and staff through virtual, online schooling, we know that members of our SMA family are missing out on big, important moments. Our Academy always looks forward to our Earth Day celebrations, and we knew we needed to find a way to make it a bit extra special this year, as we celebrate from our homes around the region,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director. “When Dr. Todd Brown approached us with the incredible opportunity to become involved with Encounter Edu; to offer our cadets the chance of a lifetime and to participate in the Earth Day live lessons, we knew this was the perfect way to celebrate throughout an unprecedented time.”

Through the partnership, the cadets at SMA will have an opportunity to watch “The Last Animals,” a film by Kate Brooks, followed by two live-streamed Q&A panels with experts from around the world. The panel conversations, hosted by Bella Lack, a renowned youth activist, will be held on April 22, 2020 beginning at 10 am, and cadets will have access to the film for a two-week period. 

“Throughout our Academy, the SMA Earth Day Celebration is part of our unique curriculum that seems to inspire and ignite passion for each cadet and staff member. While we are supporting our staff and cadets through this time of virtual schooling, we did not want to lose the opportunity to engage and participate in Earth Day, especially with the 50th year anniversary happening this year,” said Dr. Todd Brown, Sarasota Military Academy Outreach Director. “We decided to look for creative, educational opportunities that would align with our previous celebrations, our current curriculum and our goals for the future, and this is an ideal way to observe, recognize and celebrate Earth Day.”

The virtual Earth Day “live lessons” aim to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with live panel sessions focusing on topics including environmental impacts of the illegal wildlife trade industry, inspiring work of individuals and organizations working to protect endangered species, and more. 

According to the Encounter Edu website, Encounter Edu pioneers learning experiences and “designs and delivers sponsored STEM and global learning programs, transforming education inside and outside the classroom.” The Earth Day events planned by Encounter Edu assist schools in celebrating, recognizing and understanding important topics surrounding the environment, endangered animals and positive and negative impacts humans have on the Earth. Currently, the lessons are recommended for students and viewers eleven years of age and older, due to the nature of the content and the topics discussed.

Earth Day Live, by Encounter Edu, is sponsored and hosted by The Last Animals Foundation. To view a list of events and details, or to learn more about Encounter Edu, visit

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit


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