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National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

July 2012 - PRESENT

National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The Purpose

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states, and more than 390 communities in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada to ensure that more children from asset-limited families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. The Campaign focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation — grade-level reading by the end of third grade.

Strengthening the Impact

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading nationally as an anchor funder, providing strategy and consulting expertise to the community network. Beyond the national Campaign, The Patterson Foundation strengthens the communitywide Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign with strategic resources, including funding endeavors.


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why does The Patterson Foundation support the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading?

Addressing one of the most critical issues of our time, The Patterson Foundation supports strengthening the efforts of people, organizations, and communities as they come together to increase early literacy and improve the future for all children.

What is The Patterson Foundation’s role in the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading?

The Patterson Foundation is an anchor funder for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Since 2013, The Patterson Foundation has contributed more than $2 million to support the Campaign’s early literacy efforts, providing strategy and capacity-building support.

Why is early childhood literacy very important?

The statistics are troubling: 67 percent of children nationwide and more than 80 percent of those from asset-limited families are not proficient readers by the end of third grade.

Research shows that when children — especially those from asset-limited families — fail to read on grade level by the end of third grade they are more likely to drop out of high school and face an array of long-term negative consequences.

This problem will undermine efforts to end intergenerational poverty, close the achievement gap and reduce high school dropout rates.

How are communities across the country working on this issue?

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading was launched to reverse this potentially catastrophic trend by supporting common-sense solutions at the federal, state and local levels. Communities employ strategies that address the following solutions:
  • School Readiness/Early Learning
  • Attendance
  • Summer Learning
  • Family Engagement
  • Health Determinants

How does the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading benefit communities?

Communities that support the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading understand that an educated community means a stronger future for everyone. It means communities where more people are prepared for higher education or to enter military and civilian service. It means stronger communities prepared to compete in the global economy.

How is this nationwide movement working in The Patterson Foundation’s home region?

Part of a nationwide movement, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a communitywide effort to help all children, especially those from asset-limited families, succeed in school by ensuring they read on grade level. The initiative is focused on addressing the most common issues and obstacles that impact a child’s ability to read. Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties are members of the Suncoast Campaign.

What is The Patterson Foundation’s role in the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading?

Rather than funding programs, The Patterson Foundation is focused on investing in a regional approach that supports the community-wide vision of success in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

The Patterson Foundation's resources support the local coalitions through:

  • Planning assistance
  • Sharing national research and best practices with local coalitions
  • State and national funding
  • Expert knowledge sharing by bringing in speakers
  • Fostering community connectivity as Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties in Florida seek ways to learn and share together
  • Communications resources to amplify the work

Where can I learn more about the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading?

Please visit for resources and more information.
The Patterson Foundation has been a stalwart supporter of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for much of the past decade and currently is the only national funder investing in both a regional and a local campaign.
(total time: 12 minutes 31 seconds)

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