Image: Author, Joy Thomas Moore

Fight for Grade-Level Reading Podcast Episode 8: Joy Thomas Moore and 'The Power of Presence'

Posted on February 01, 2019 by Brian Ries, Herald-Tribune Media Group

Here in Sarasota, Florida, we’re lucky to have some powerful philanthropy at work on early-childhood outcomes. The Patterson Foundation, which supports this podcast and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s reporting on grade-level reading issues, is one of the primary supporters of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is one of the leads on the campaign, and other funders in the area also work early childhood issues.

Besides the great work they do, this gathering of philanthropy also provides us here at the podcast with opportunities to speak in person with some very interesting people the foundations bring to town, like author Michelle Borba a few episodes back.

This week, The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading brought Joy Thomas Moore to town as part of an initiative to get parents and caregivers to read her book, “The Power of Presence: Be A Voice in Your Child’s Ear Even When You’re Not With Them.” The campaign has signed up hundreds of people in our area to participate in book circles, most of whom heard Moore speak on Thursday night.

I talk to her about the wisdom single-parents have to offer everyone, the need for connectivity and the value of choice. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Omny, Google Podcasts or by searching in your favorite podcast app.

If you want to know why we’re doing this podcast, here’s some background. Herald-Tribune also wants to hear from you. Share your experiences in the fight for grade-level reading by connecting at, or by leaving a message at 941-361-4820. You can also record a voice memo on your phone and email it to them -- they may include some of those messages in future episodes of the podcast.

This story comes from a partnership between the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Herald-Tribune, funded by The Patterson Foundation, to cover school readiness, attendance, summer learning, healthy readers and parent engagement. Read more stories at

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