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Education Is Key

To Benefit the Social Responsibility Initiative at the Glazer Children’s Museum

The 6th Annual Education is Key Breakfast was held on April 6, highlighting the Museum’s commitment to accessibility and recognizing an Outstanding Student and Educator in our community. The event featured a Keynote Address on Empathy by Dr. Michele Borba, Internationally Recognized Educator, Speaker, and Best Selling Author of UnSelfie.

Congratulations to the 2018 Award Winners!

Outstanding Student Award
Alex Quinn Gardner
Lennard High School, Grade 11

Congratulations to Alex Quinn Gardner, who was honored at the Glazer Children’s Museum’s Education is Key Breakfast. Alex is a Lennard High School student in grade 11 who exemplifies empathy and compassion. When she heard about her school’s new drama class for students with disabilities, she approached the teacher to see how she could help. She now dedicates her lunch hour to coaching students in speaking, singing, and choreography, while sacrificing her social time to help others. Alex’s generosity has expanded beyond her school as she volunteers at another school developing its drama program.

Outstanding Educator Award
Lauren D’Aloia
MacFarlane Park Elementary, Teaches Grade 2

Congratulations to Lauren D’Aloia, who was honored at the Glazer Children’s Museum’s Education is Key Breakfast. She is a second-grade educator at MacFarlane Park Elementary School and was recognized as this year’s outstanding educator. Lauren not only models empathy in her own life but also teaches and cultivates it in her students. She set up an Immigration Station where students could meet immigrants and learn about their experiences. When a student was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer this year, she stepped up to ensure the student had a wonderful positive year, while teaching her other students inclusion and compassion for their classmate.

Meet our Keynote
Michele Borba, Ed. D. is a globally-recognized educational psychologist and parenting, bullying, and character expert whose aim is to strengthen children’s empathy and resilience to break the cycle of youth violence. She is an award-winning author of 24 books, some of which have been translated into 14 languages. As one of the foremost authorities on childhood development, Dr. Borba is an NBC contributor appearing regularly on Today as well as Dateline, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, The View, NBC Nightly News, The Early Show, and CNN. Dr. Borba has spoken as an educator to over 1 million participants on 5 continents and as a spokesperson to top corporations such as Harvard, U.S. Air Force Academy, General Mills, and Johnson & Johnson. Notably, her 2016 TEDx Talks entitled Empathy is a Verb has garnered over 25k views to date.

Together, we’re raising Empathetic Kids!

Playing at the Glazer Children’s Museum builds empathy, understanding, and inclusion as kids from different backgrounds, genders, races, and abilities play together. Kids learn about other cultures and perspectives in our Global Cafe, West African Drum Hut, and Japanese Pagoda.  Empathy, collaboration, and compromise are crucial for social and emotional wellness. Imaginative play is a key part of GCM’s experience so we encourage kids to try on identities and role-play in our exhibits. In the Hospital and Vet Clinic, kids care for patients who need their help. In the Firehouse, they become first responders, sliding down the firepole and racing to the rescue. In Publix, kids take on the role of manager, baker, cashier, florist, bagger, shelf stocker, or shopper. When a child is done shopping, they are asked to help restock the shelves and assist other shoppers.

Taking turns teaches patience, which leads to empathy. At the Museum, kids climb around each other in Water’s Journey, take turns driving and coding robots in Gadget Garage, and share tools and workspace in Engineers’ Workshop. In Twinkle Stars Theater, little learners take turns with costumes and collaborate to create the story. GCM’s Forts exhibit is an inclusive environment designed for children of all physical and developmental abilities. Fort-building encourages collaboration, which teaches kids to consider perspectives outside their own. They work together to make their structures stable, and compromise to create a fort they all enjoy.


Social Responsibility Partners

Children’s Board of Hillsborough County

New York Yankees Foundation, Inc.


Gold Sponsor

Swim Digital Group


Silver Sponsors

Caspers Company McDonald’s Restaurants

GTE Financial

Rivero, Gordimer & Company

Tampa Bay Times

Tech Data Corporation

Trenam Law


In-Kind Sponsors

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Kahwa Coffee

Kendra Scott

Kirby Rentals, LLC

Nothing Bundt Cakes

SaltBlock Hospitality

The Production Crew

Visit Tampa Bay


Thank you to our Sponsors and Hosts!