The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) is a four-county effort in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties to help all children, especially those from asset-limited families, succeed in life by ensuring they read on grade level by the end of third grade.
Using a data-driven approach, SCGLR looks at many data indicators to inform and assess progress in improving school readiness, attendance, and summer learning opportunities for our most vulnerable children and families. One of the most important measures is the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) for English Language Arts (ELA)-GR3. This assessment categorizes student performance into five achievement levels.
Last week, the 2019 results were released. The 2019 FLDOE FSA ELA Grade 3 assessment shows an increase in the number of children reading at the Satisfactory Level for all four counties participating in the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Two Suncoast counties, Charlotte County and Sarasota County, beat the state average for the number of children reading at Level 3.
Both Charlotte County and DeSoto County, the newest additions to SCGLR, showed dramatic improvements in the number of children reading at Level 3 with Charlotte County gaining 6% and DeSoto gaining 5%.
The 2019 Florida Department of Education FSA ELA Grade 3 assessment also shows a decrease in the number of students in the Suncoast region reading at Level 1; another indicator of the progress being made in each district.
Although heartened by this progress, the numbers reported affirm the need for the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with 31% of students in Charlotte County, 66% of students in DeSoto County, 49% of students in Manatee County, and 30% of students in Sarasota County not yet scoring a 3 or higher on the state assessment. Although schools must be accountable for helping all children achieve by providing effective teaching in every classroom every day, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has learned that schools cannot succeed alone. Engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities in the success of their children are needed to assure student success.
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a long-term collaborative effort by individuals, business leaders, nonprofit partners, government, and the media to change the trajectory for our region’s most vulnerable families. No one program, agency, curriculum, or initiative can provide the solution for our children. It will take the entire community working together to reach our common aspirations.