Solutions Journalism Partnership Launches SPIRE CoLab

Solutions Journalism Partnership Launches SPIRE CoLab

Posted on April 08, 2016 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group are working together to launch the SPIRE CoLab, a new partnership between journalism and philanthropy to create compelling media that inspire, inform and empower communities to take action on relevant social issues. Initially, the content will focus on the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a movement to ensure all children read on grade-level by the end of third grade.

The Patterson Foundation is funding the SPIRE CoLab because we believe in the power of people, organizations, media, nonprofits and others coming together to shape their own futures. Led by the journalists at the Herald-Tribune Media Group, the SPIRE CoLab will first focus on media that inform actions leading to better outcomes for children and families related to reading on grade-level by the end of third grade.

As an enterprise funder of the national campaign and a network weaver and lead partner in the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, we understand how grade-level reading is a national predictor of school success but we also know depth of knowledge, creative vehicles and resources are the keys to engaging more people around this issue and others.

According to the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, children who fail to read on grade level at an early age also fail to graduate from high school. In the Manatee-Sarasota region, 40 percent of children are unable to read on grade-level by the end of third grade.

In its pilot endeavor, the SPIRE CoLab, which stands for syndicate, partner, innovate, resolve and engage, aims to create content and resources that inspire communities to engage and drive change -- both locally and beyond.

“The Herald-Tribune is pleased to lead the journalism effort behind SPIRE CoLab,” said Bill Church, executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the southeast regional editor for GateHouse Media, the parent company of the Herald-Tribune. “The SPIRE team will operate as an independent news initiative aimed at providing media organizations with content and engagement tools that could benefit their respective communities.”

The SPIRE CoLab will develop multimedia reporting packages and engagement practices that will be shared with other media organizations. The content can be customized by local editors and news directors.

This is an exciting first step -- next week, Bill Church will share his perspective on what this partnership between philanthropy and journalism means for the communities that will benefit from this work.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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