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Philanthropy and Journalism Partner to Ignite Community Action

Posted on April 01, 2019 by The Patterson Foundation

While traditional news media often examines and reports on social issues, it may not give communities opportunities to be part of the solution to them. By sharing a more complete story, journalism has the ability to engage communities to take action on relevant issues by providing depth of information and opportunities that empower people to take action.

In an innovative collaboration between philanthropy and journalism, The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group have partnered to launch Aspirations Journalism, an initiative to build movements around sustainable community networks. Harnessing the power of storytelling, innovation, and collaboration, Aspirations Journalism will work to increase positive outcomes and share strategies, techniques, and technologies at a local and national level.

“With Aspirations Journalism, The Patterson Foundation is strengthening journalism in both its home region and newsrooms around the country,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “Partnering with the top-notch staff of the Herald-Tribune Media Group will create opportunities to closely examine issues that are relevant to all members of the community, while sharing tangible ways to achieve our shared aspirations.”

Aspirations Journalism follows the learnings and success of SPIRE CoLab, an initiative between The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group covering the importance of third-grade reading proficiency for success in the classroom and beyond. With this latest initiative, The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group are bringing their respective assets and talents together to inform, educate, and engage communities locally and beyond on a broader range of issues.

“Aspirations Journalism is about what local newspapers do best: inform, educate, and build a foundation for positive change in our community,” said Matthew Sauer, executive editor and general manager of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “This partnership with The Patterson Foundation is a unique opportunity to dive deeper into issues that are important to our readers and vital to the future of our region.”

Aspirations Journalism will focus on examining relevant social issues through the lenses of The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives supporting:
  • Age-Friendly Sarasota: A countywide effort in Florida to promote active, engaged and healthy living for people of all ages. Sarasota was the first community in Florida to join the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities & Communities, a growing movement made up of 40 countries and more than 800 communities benefiting more than 228 million people.

  • Campaign for Grade-Level Reading: A national movement working to move the needle on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation: reading at grade level by the end of third grade to create a more promising future for children. These efforts are taking place at the community level in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties through the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

  • Suncoast Nursing Coalition (SNAC): A regional coalition made up of representatives from major hospitals and higher education institutions offering degree-granting to schools, colleges, and community members in Florida’s Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. SNAC’s regional efforts are part of the national Campaign for Action, a movement to mobilize nurses, health providers, consumers, educators, and businesses to transform health and health care through a highly educated nursing workforce.

  • National Council on Aging (NCOA): The national voice for every person’s right to age well with dignity, purpose, and economic security. NCOA works with a nationwide network of partners and directly with individuals to achieve the goal of improving the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020.
Visit to learn more about Aspirations Journalism.

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