The Southport School gets $500,000 gift
SOUTHPORT - The Southport School is the recipient of a $500,000 gift from The Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust specifically allocated to the school’s current capital campaign “Share the Vision.”
“This gift will give to generations upon generations of creative, young learners and thinkers, and our community is deeply moved by the generosity of The Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust,” says Headmaster Benjamin N. Powers. “Mr. Offutt’s optimistic and positive life philosophy aligns with our vision and plans for the school, and we are honored and grateful for this transformational gift.”
“In May 2017, The Southport School took an important step in creating additional learning space while also expanding its campus within Southport Village,” said Powers. “Within the 150-year old brick walls of the former bank, we restructured and modernized the interior design adding two large classrooms that increased our teaching space by 25%. These classrooms are dedicated to art, music, movement, and co-curricular activities, and it is also where we can train educators, professionals, and parents through
With the guidance of Trustee Richard Orenstein, the dynamic 649-square foot Creative Arts Classroom on the second floor will be dedicated in Offutt’s name to recognize the impact of his significant contribution to The Southport School. Framed within a permanent plaque are the words of recognition and appreciation of Mr. Offutt’s generosity.
In grateful recognition of The Daniel Edward Offutt III Charitable Trust, whose generosity in fulfilling Offutt's vision to provide opportunities for people to engage their imagination made The Daniel E. Offutt III Creative Arts Classroom possible. Mr. Offutt was a traveler, sailor, metal sculptor, wood worker, fixer of anything, collector of everything, lover of projects, stock market investor, a good friend, and a local Weston, Connecticut resident. His positive nature and passion for the arts and all such creative endeavors reflect his philanthropic generosity and love of life.
“The Daniel E. Offutt III Creative Arts Classroom is an open and flexible environment which allows for active, multisensory learning that engages visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways. Art knowledge and appreciation are woven into the curriculum through highly-recognizable and regarded art pieces as well as renown artists, including those with dyslexia. The scope includes eras, movement, styles, and techniques,” describes Art Teacher Sarah Kelly. “Students engage in both 2-D and 3-D pieces as well as hands-on, multi-modal instruction using all art forms -- watercolors and pastels to wire sculptures and ceramics. Our program encourages students to approach new projects and tasks in their own individual way and to take risks - aspects from Mr. Offutt’s life that resonated so well with how we teach our program. The goal is for students to become more confident as they learn and recognize their abilities and strengths through an art medium.”
Offutt resided in Weston, CT for more than 30 years and passed away in 2016. Orenstein emphasized that Offutt wanted his legacy and philanthropy to bring future benefits to those engaged in the arts and such similar endeavors. Born in Oakland, Maryland, Mr. Offutt was educated at the University of Maryland and received an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
The Southport School is for children in kindergarten through 8th grade with language-based learning differences and attention issues. The Southport School student struggles with core deficits in language including dyslexia, auditory processing, and comprehension issues as well as ADHD. Every Southport School teacher is trained in the same foundational evidence- and research-based approaches that are used across the curriculum, including the Orton-Gillingham Approach, Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing®, Executive Function Coaching, Assistive Technology, Responsive Classroom, and a holistic approach through proactive social and emotional learning and co-curricular opportunities.
Since its inception in 1984, The Southport School is dedicated to creating transformative educational experiences for students that recognizes individual strengths, promotes independent thinking, develops self-esteem and self-advocacy, and supports a successful transition for continued academic achievement. In our coeducational elementary, middle, and summer school programs, students can safely take risks and are championed by an expert faculty that is student-focused and uses research and evidence-based approaches. In the last 35 years, The Southport School has grown from serving 20 students to 110 from more than 30 communities in Connecticut and New York. The school’s two buildings - home to the original Pequot School and Southport Savings Bank - are located at 214 Main Street in the historic harbor of Southport, Connecticut. To learn more about The Southport School, visit www.SouthportSchool.org.