Photo: Pacesetter Honors

Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Celebrated as National Pacesetter for Sixth Consecutive Year

Posted on July 23, 2020 by The Patterson Foundation
As a driving force of innovation, impact, and improvement in its work to support early school success, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has received multiple Pacesetter Honors from the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

Each year, the national Campaign uses its Pacesetter Honors to highlight communities that make measurable progress on key indicators of early school success: early literacy and school readiness; addressing chronic absence and its effects on reading progress; and mitigating summer learning loss by connecting children with quality educational opportunities and programs. The Suncoast Campaign, which represents aligned efforts in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, has received Pacesetter Honors every year since 2014.

"The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is honored to once again receive recognition as a Pacesetter within the vast network of communities working to enhance early learning efforts and improve third-grade reading proficiency," said Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for The Patterson Foundation. "The regional approach we take to this work allows us to accelerate progress and impact. We are grateful to our community partners and salute all of the active and engaged members of our four-county region who strengthen the work taking place in our communities. These Honors are a testament to our work's collaborative nature and everyone who puts their hearts and heads behind it."

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading asked its vast network of more than 300 communities in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two provinces in Canada to submit stories that highlight the work being done to improve third-grade reading proficiency — a key indicator of continued success in school and life. Pacesetter Honorees were selected through a robust community-based peer review process.

The Suncoast Campaign was one of only 21 communities recognized for its work in the areas of "Mobilizing Success" and "Deploying Innovative Strategies and Tools" to eliminate barriers faced by children from asset-limited families on the path to becoming proficient readers. Beyond these Pacesetter Honors, the Suncoast Campaign was named a finalist for additional Pacesetter Honors in the "Moving the Needle in Impact Areas" category, specifically for its summer and after school engagements and its efforts to improve parent success. Honorees in this category will be announced in September after a second round of reviews.

"We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy, and imagination have fueled progress in these Pacesetter Communities," says Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. "Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetters — support our big bet on the problem-solving potential of proximity."

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading's lead partners includes the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, United Way Suncoast, and United Way of Charlotte County. Additionally, The Patterson Foundation strengthens the impact of the efforts across all four counties.

For more information on the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, visit and follow the movement on social media using #GLReading.

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