Photo: Ryan Rydzewski and Gregg Behr
Photo: THIS BOOK IS COOL!
Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge Blast Off Event
Photo: Suncoast Remake Learning Days
Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

April 2015 – Present

Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The Purpose

Part of a nationwide movement, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a four-county initiative fostering wide community participation to achieve shared aspirations for the success of families and children. The Suncoast region — Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties in Florida — is focused on addressing the most common issues and obstacles that impact a child's ability to read to learn. A brighter future for all children is at the core of the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. An effort of more than 390 communities across the country — including the Suncoast region in Florida — to increase early-reading proficiency, the Campaign brings better ways to deliver support and resources to children in need by mobilizing a broad base of stakeholders to improve school readiness, attendance, and summer learning opportunities for children from asset-limited families.

Strengthening the Impact

With the assistance of The Patterson Foundation, strategic resources, including funding endeavors, strengthen the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading along with the statewide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in Florida. As an anchor funder of the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, The Patterson Foundation strengthens the movement by connecting and providing technical assistance, support, and thought partnership at the national, state, and local levels.

 

THE SUNCOAST SUMMER READING CHALLENGE

THIS BOOK IS COOL! promotes a love of reading by celebrating high-quality children's books.


 

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is excited to welcome back our 10-week THIS BOOK IS COOL! summer reading program. This FREE summer adventure is designed to engage the minds of incoming students in grades PreK–3 and encourage their continued learning through reading.

THIS BOOK IS COOL! is a series of 100 webisodes to encourage a love of reading. It premiered on June 1, 2020, and since then, thousands of children from across the Suncoast region have qualified to receive free books as a gift from The Patterson Foundation. 

Children who are registered for THIS BOOK IS COOL! receive:
  • 20 free books
  • An activity guide with activities and word puzzles that correspond to the books
  • Reward bracelets and brag tags to celebrate reading
  • Regular contact with a Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Engagement Team member
  • Invitations to family engagement events throughout the summer

Registration is now closed, but if you still want to participate, we encourage you to check out books in the 2024 Book Guide from your local library and follow along in the Webisode Library. Activity guides are located in each grade level and connected to their corresponding webisodes.

FAQ's

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

Why does The Patterson Foundation support this local initiative?

Across the Suncoast region, in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, dozens of nonprofits, schools, community organizations, agencies, and individuals are doing meaningful work related to the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. While there will be unique approaches to tackle the needs and challenges of each county, there is much to learn and share together. There are boundary-spanning activities and approaches that benefit all four counties as each works toward helping children learn how to read by the end of third grade — to succeed in school and life. 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 grade-level reading landscape in Charlotte County?

Each county has unique challenges to address and many opportunities to pursue excellence. Based on 2022 FSA scores, 55 percent of Charlotte County students can read on grade level by the end of third grade. Also, 19 percent of children under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau.

What is the grade-level reading landscape in DeSoto County?

Each county has unique challenges to address and many opportunities to pursue excellence. Based on 2022 FSA scores, 37 percent of DeSoto County students can read on grade level by the end of third grade. Also, 38.3 percent of children under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau.

What is the grade-level reading landscape in Manatee County?

Each county has unique challenges to address and many opportunities to pursue excellence. Based on 2022 FSA scores, 46 percent of Manatee County students can read on grade level by the end of third grade. Also, 19.8 percent of children under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau.

What is the grade-level reading landscape in Sarasota County?

Each county has unique challenges to address and many opportunities to pursue excellence. Based on 2022 FSA scores, 63 percent of Sarasota County students can read on grade level by the end of third grade. Also, 12.8 percent of children under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau.

Who is working on the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading?

Lead partners in each community are at the forefront of county-specific initiatives and projects relating to the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading:

In addition, there are dozens of nonprofits, schools, community organizations, and individuals are doing meaningful work related to the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

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

Rather than funding programs, The Patterson Foundation focuses 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 seek ways to learn and share together
  • Communications resources to amplify the work

Does the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading have a grant cycle?

Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading resources (including intellectual capital, support, and funding) focus on the Suncoast CGLR partnership itself, as opposed to any project, study or program. For this reason, the Suncoast CGLR does not have grant cycles or accept proposals. We are committed to sharing and accelerating evidence-based national strategies to bring sustainable change to our region.

How can I make a donation to the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative?

Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading resources—including intellectual capital, support, and funding—focus on the Suncoast CGLR partnership itself, rather than any project/study or program. For this reason, the Suncoast CGLR does not solicit or accept donations. United Way Suncoast, United Way of Charlotte County, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County stand ready to work with any donors interested in supporting Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, or Sarasota county efforts.

We encourage you to visit The Giving Partner to find an organization doing high-quality work in early learning or literacy. There are dozens of organizations in every county already doing meaningful work that will contribute positively to the solution areas identified by the nationwide campaign. As the campaign progresses, it will continue to harness the passion and enthusiasm of individuals and organizations making a difference through evidence-based work.

How can I volunteer with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative?

To stay informed about volunteer opportunities, we encourage you to sign up for the SCGLR newsletter and visit the website's volunteer section to find out about events scheduled near you.

We also encourage you to visit SCGLR's Facebook and Instagram pages, and follow SCGLR on Twitter to stay informed as the campaign develops.

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

Please visit gradelevelreadingsuncoast.net for resources and to learn more.

Who can I contact about the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative?

For more information, contact Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Director Beth Duda: bduda@thepattersonfoundation.org.

Additional FAQ's

Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative...

Why does The Patterson Foundation support the nationwide campaign?

Launched in May 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states, and communities across the nation 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.

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.

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 and are ready to enter military and civilian service. It means stronger communities prepared to compete in the global economy.
The Campaign brings better ways to deliver support and resources to children in need by mobilizing a broad base of stakeholders to improve school readiness, attendance, and summer learning opportunities for children from asset-limited families.
(total time: 12 minutes 31 seconds)

Social Media


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The moment we've all been waiting for...the Suncoast Remake Learning Days online event calendar is ready to share!!… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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#THISBOOKISCOOL! is back! Similar to last year, TBIC! is open to rising PreK-3rd grade students, with each eligible… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


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