Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

Grade-level reading campaign praises successes, acknowledges long road ahead

October 05, 2017

Both Manatee and Sarasota improved incrementally in the number of third-graders reading proficiently this year, with 3 percent gains over last year; 51 percent of Manatee’s third-graders are on grade level, and 71 percent in Sarasota.

The campaign has targeted school attendance, school readiness, summer learning, child health and parental support as being vital to improving child literacy rates. This has led to several initiatives in the region in the past year, including Reach Out and Read, which provides books for pediatricians to “prescribe” to their young patients, a dental sealant program for children in Sarasota, attendance promotion initiatives, summer reading rooms and partnerships with community organizations focusing on child health and literacy.

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