Manatee-Sarasota was a recipient of the 2017 All-America City Award during a ceremony Friday. The award comes from the three years of work by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading movement in Manatee and Sarasota, headed by United Way of Manatee County and Community Foundation of Sarasota County with regional support from The Patterson Foundation.
Parent Academy of St. Lucie County of Fort Pierce has been awarded a one-year, $5,000 grant for the implementation of a health literacy program to benefit its Adult Education, ESOL, and family literacy students.
Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Furthermore, there is a striking disparity in access to books at home between children of middle- and low-income households; the average middle-income home has 54 age-appropriate books for children, while a low-income home has 0-2.
Fourteen programs across the state of Florida have been awarded a one-year grant, up to $5,000, for the implementation of a health literacy program to benefit their Adult Education, ESOL, and family literacy students.
These mini-grants, awarded by Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Literacy Coalition, will integrate health and nutrition information into the programs’ curriculum. The focus is to help students acquire the knowledge, literacy skills and resources that will help them navigate the medical system and make informed health decisions. More than 15,000 students from programs throughout Florida have benefited from this Initiative since 2009.
For us at Lake Worth West Community Center, we are addressing school absenteeism. While it’s too soon to tell how effective these measures will be, we recognize that school absenteeism is a critical issue and we’ll keep working with our partners, including the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, to look for new and creative approaches to keeping families informed.
Thanks to a very generous community, and several well-funded foundations and nonprofit organizations committed to improving the plight of those less fortunate, children throughout Sarasota County have much brighter prospects this summer.
Additionally, together under the banner of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, The Patterson Foundation, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, local philanthropists such as Joe and Mary Kay Henson, incredible school administrators like Dr. Shirley, armies of volunteer mentors and tutors, well-established nonprofit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, Girls Inc. and others, we are ramping up our efforts in addressing summer learning loss with a unified goal of success in early education for at-risk students.
Funding from the Manatee Community Foundation - Jay K. Turner Fund will support the adoption of Palm View Elementary School to receive an Art Works for Schooltime - Grade Level Reading Partnership. Working in conjunction with the Manatee County School District, Palm View's second grade has been selected to access the Van Wezel's Schooltime performances and connected arts-based activities of the Art Works for Schooltime Initiative.
One of our most recent pioneering collaborations is with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has been recognized as a leader in the nation for its efforts at literacy education in Manatee and Sarasota.
The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading designated the Suncoast Campaign as a “pacesetter,” one of the highest honors given by the national organization, according to Ralph Smith, the managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.