Attendance Works leader brings expertise to Suncoast

Attendance Works leader brings expertise to Suncoast

Posted on October 26, 2015 by Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Imagining a brighter future for children is at the core of creating new realities. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is working in Manatee and Sarasota counties to give the support and resources our children need to achieve reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Our work is focused around three key areas: improving school readiness and attendance, and increasing quality summer learning opportunities.

The Suncoast Campaign is affiliated with over 200 other Campaign for Grade-Level Reading communities nationwide that share research, best practices, and technical assistance. Through this network, we have access to the foremost experts in the campaign’s solution areas.

This week, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to host one of the real “rock-stars” of the campaign. Funded by The Patterson Foundation, Hedy Chang, the founder and director of Attendance Works, the attendance partner of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, will present to key education personnel in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Last month, Ms. Chang participated in a White House briefing on chronic absence for funders sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. The meeting reflected the growing recognition that poor attendance is a key early warning sign that students are headed for academic trouble.

Ms. Chang spoke to the group about solutions that work. She emphasized a three-tiered approach to intervening on absenteeism – starting with universal strategies for all students before moving into more focused efforts with at-risk students with support from community partners for the most vulnerable children.

The White House briefing informed the Education Department and other federal agencies as they prepare to announce a national initiative to reduce chronic absence. The Suncoast Campaign is delighted to have the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by Hedy Chang and the resources available through Attendance Works.

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