Editor’s Note: A message from the Director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Beth Duda:
The final 2023 Suncoast Remake Learning Days attendance numbers have been reported and are worthy of pride and celebration….
Number of Events: 206
Number of Days: 10
Number of Attendees: 25,116
That’s right, Twenty-five thousand, one hundred and sixteen individuals experienced wonder, curiosity, and joy due to the collaborative efforts put forth by you and hundreds of partners in our region.
Suncoast Remake Learning Days, presented by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with the support of The Patterson Foundation engaged more than 270 partner organizations to create and deliver hands-on, relevant, and enjoyable experiences, focused on learning.
All of the planning sessions, webversations, labinars, conversations, ideation, personal connections, social media posts, advertising, colorful collateral, event support, and caring paid off in a spectacular way, with more than 25,000 individuals experiencing the joy of learning.
With immense appreciation for your contribution to this incredible achievement,
When we started talking about over 200 events in ten days over a four-county region, my logistics brain kicked in with all the reasons this could be a disaster: too many people, too many variables, and too many moving parts. And then, the eternal optimist took control and considered how much joy could be had in that time frame — connections, laughter, creativity, play, learning, and so much more. Turns out, the optimist was on the right track! Anecdotes and pictures of radiant joy validated that Suncoast Remake Learning Days (SRLD) was an opportunity for the more than 24,000 people who attended to feel connection, engagement, encouragement, and fun!
Yu-Ling Cheng, co-producer of the now international Remake Learning Days Across America, reminds us, “There is no one way to do Remake Learning Days, but every community makes it special. Everyone wants to grow, engage and return! And have fun while doing it!” And that’s exactly what the Suncoast team did; created something spectacular and had a blast in making it happen!
Yu-Ling visited the Suncoast during SRLD to experience some of the great events herself and could see the beauty of our community. Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) team members and TPF Fellows sat down with Yu-Ling and shared favorite moments and insights. Comments included the sheer number of people required to make this happen and the willingness to commit wholeheartedly, the number of families seen at multiple events, and the intergenerational learning that took place, not just with grandparents and grandchildren but with great-grandparents as well. The forged connections were another favorite, as team members reflected on the current and (hopefully) future partnerships being crafted between businesses and community organizations. Everyone reflected on the beauty of the multicultural events and how all the events were cross-functional while filling a definitive community need. And the power of getting out into the community to see, smile, and share!
Subsequent to Yu-Ling’s visit was a discussion with other SCGLR team members who were asked the question, “What are some things you would want Yu-Ling and the national organization to know about our region and our programs?” The answers spoke of the pride around our team and how supportive team members are internally and externally. Reflections also spoke to the beauty of working in an environment where there isn’t a need or desire to take credit but rather to deflect credit to allow others to shine. Team members focused on how our community comes together to meet people where they are by actually showing up and listening and hearing. And how while we always focus on quality over quantity, the quantity happens simply because our services and programs are well set up, considered, and thought through.
TPF Fellow Kellie Alexander summed it up beautifully. “Suncoast Remake Learning Days was a powerful example of striving for excellence and living ‘what’s possible.’ Everyone was receiving as well as providing. Listening, connecting, with both trust and action.”