Recently, we kicked off the When You Wonder, You're Learning Book Circle Project with a visit from co-author Ryan Rydzewski. In a series of six events in our four-county area, Ryan, in a conversation with Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) Director Beth Duda, explored the rationale behind writing the book, the connection with Remake Learning Days, and how Fred Rogers' "blueprints" for learning can be applicable everywhere.

We started our exploration with an event at Art Center Sarasota, where we began our kick-off events surrounded by inspiring art. Next, we headed to the Shannon Staub Public Library for an event with our south Sarasota County friends. To wrap up the first day, we made our way to the Turner Agri-Civic Center in Arcadia for a night full of wonder.

Bright and early on September 14th, we kicked off our second day with an event full of learning at Charlotte Technical College with the support of volunteers from the United Way of Charlotte County. We then worked our way up to the Manatee Performing Arts Center for an afternoon event at their beautiful facility. Finally, we wrapped up our kick-off events with a final event at the Selby Public Library with a packed evening crowd.

These events brought community members together for a meaningful conversation, highlighted by Ryan leading us in One Silent Moment, where audience members were invited to reflect on everyone who influenced their lives and allowed them to be where they were at that moment. With more than two hundred people in attendance, these events truly set a tone of connection and wonder going into the start of book circle meetings.

In total, more than six hundred copies of When You Wonder, You're Learning: Mister Rogers' Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids were handed out to book circle hosts and participants. Book circles have started to meet, and we look forward to hearing about the conversations and connections made throughout this project. It's not too late for you to sign up to host or participate in a book circle. You can learn more about this project and how to sign up on the SCGLR Website.

If you missed the kick-off events but still want to hear Ryan and Beth's conversation, you can view the full-length footage from the event on September 14th at the Manatee Performing Arts Center at this link: Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading | Conversation with Ryan Rydzewski MPAC.

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