Embracing Our Differences celebrated the 114th birthday of Dr. Seuss on Friday, March 2, 2018, with the 5th annual "Embracing Dr. Seuss' Differences Day.” With the help of 325 volunteers, this year’s initiative reached 6,600 students from 47 elementary schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties and provided more 7,000 books for students and classrooms. This massive outreach reflected a collaboration between EOD and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a joint effort supported by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, The Patterson Foundation, United Way Suncoast and an anonymous family foundation.
The 2017 Embracing Our Differences Annual Luncheon was held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at Michael's On East ballroom. The luncheon helped kick off the 15th-anniverary outdoor art exhibit, which will be on display in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park, April 4 to June 1, 2018. The luncheon speaker was Dr. Rachel Shelley, principal of Booker High School and Florida's 2017 Principal of the Year.
Forty-five area-based teachers participated in Embracing Our Differences’ sixth annual Art Teacher Retreat at The Ringling. The retreat is presented in partnership with Ringling College of Art and Design and the curriculum and instruction department of the Sarasota County school district. It's designed to reinvigorate educators’ teaching practices while inspiring their art and art integration skills. Teachers create art as they learn new skills and strategies for inspiring their students.