An alarming number of children — about 64 percent nationwide — with more than 79 percent of those from low-income families, are not proficient readers by the end of third grade. This has significant and long-term consequences not only for each of those children but also for their communities and our nation as a whole. If left unchecked, this issue will undermine efforts to end intergenerational poverty, close the achievement gap, and reduce high school dropout rates. Far fewer of the next generation will be prepared to succeed in a global economy, participate in higher education, or enter military and civilian service.
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) was launched in 2010, at the national level, to reverse this potentially catastrophic trend. The Campaign focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation — grade-level reading by the end of third grade.
Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn; most students who fail to reach this critical milestone struggle in the later grades.
CGLR works within five solution areas proven to ensure early school success:
- School Readiness
- Summer Learning
- Family Engagement
- Health Determinants
Although schools must be accountable for helping all children achieve by providing effective teaching for all children in every classroom every day, the Campaign is based on the belief 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.
As CGLR moves forward in their momentum and towards bigger outcomes, there will be an increased focus on the health determinants for early school success.
The Campaign is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states, and communities nationwide. For more information on the Campaign and the solution areas, please visit gradelevelreading.net.
Local Efforts: The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) is a communitywide effort in Manatee and Sarasota counties to help all children, especially those from low-income families, succeed in school by ensuring they read on grade level by the end of third grade.
Sarasota County, led by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, submitted a Community Solutions Action Plan and became an official CGLR community in 2014. Sarasota County was named as a Pacesetter Community in 2015 and 2016, and once again in 2017, as part of the Suncoast region.
Manatee County, led by United Way Manatee (which recently merged to become United Way Suncoast), submitted a Community Solutions Action Plan and became an official CGLR community in early 2015.
In April of 2015, Manatee County’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Sarasota County’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading came together with The Patterson Foundation to form a shared regional vision of success, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR). The participating SCGLR communities approach the work of the campaign through a regional lens, led by The Patterson Foundation and through a community lens with each lead partner working on solutions specific to their own communities.
Charlotte County and Desoto County are currently working on Community Solutions Action Plans and will officially join the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in the coming months.
Community Foundation of Sarasota County
Through the generosity of its donors, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has invested millions of dollars in education in Sarasota County for many years. A proud SCGLR supporter in Sarasota County, with the belief that working together with community partners can create a huge impact on the lives of local children.
United Way Suncoast
United Way Suncoast (UWS) develops resources and partnerships that make a measurable difference in people’s lives. UWS supports the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with the belief that the entire community must be invested in our children’s education.
The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation works with partners to accelerate positive change by sharing fresh perspectives on strategy, contributing new ideas and providing resources. The act of creative collaboration produces results and knowledge that can be applied more broadly to transcend any single act of philanthropy. Using this philosophy, The Patterson Foundation is partnering with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading nationally as an Enterprise Funder, providing strategy and consulting expertise to build an online community connecting the more than 285 areas across the country committed to the campaign. Locally, The Patterson Foundation is providing strategic resources to support the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to encourage our community to become part of a movement to ensure every child has the ability to read to learn.