January 10, 2019 Attendance Awareness Poster Contest Winners Illustrate Why Every Day Counts
Students across the Suncoast region started the 2018-2019 school year reminding themselves — and their peers that every day counts through participating in the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s annual Attendance Awareness Poster Contest.
The Campaign has selected students from Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties as regional winners of its 2018 Attendance Awareness Poster Contest. Through the contest, students created posters illustrating the message “Every Day Counts” to raise awareness on the importance of going to school every day.
In total, 49,911 students from 82 elementary schools in the four counties participated in the annual contest, which was held by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in September in recognition of Attendance Awareness Month. The theme for the 2018 contest was “Strive for Less Than Five Days Absent” to encourage students and their parents to set goals for the school year. Beginning in Pre-K and kindergarten, chronic absenteeism — missing at least 10 percent of the school year — increases the risk of being unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade, a key predictor of continued success in school and life.
“Creating an original piece of artwork for the Attendance Awareness Poster Contest gives students an engaging way to internalize the importance of attending school every day,” said Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for The Patterson Foundation. “The messages the students incorporate into their posters serve as a reminder for parents and families that outstanding attendance is an important component in realizing their hopes and dreams for their children.”
In addition to an Apple iPad, each regional winner will receive four tickets to a Major League Baseball spring training game in their region as a gift from the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading through support from The Patterson Foundation. The following regional winners will receive their awards at upcoming school board meetings in their respective counties:
● Rylee McDougall, Sallie Jones Elementary
● Alexis Cruz, Sallie Jones Elementary
● Emma Drake, Deep Creek Elementary
● Lily Harrison, Sallie Jones Elementary
● Jillian Kulman, Neil Armstrong Elementary
● Ridhi Patel, Myakka River Elementary
● Darsh Patel, West Elementary School
● Joselyn De Santiago, Nocatee Elementary
● Davinius Wolford, Nocatee Elementary School
● Yoselyn Santiago, Memorial Elementary
● Cristian Dominguez, Nocatee Elementary
● Kimberly Galindo, Nocatee Elementary
● Jaxon W. Cline, Myakka City Elementary
● Sophia Cryer, Anna Maria Elementary
● Sarai Castillo, Samoset Elementary School
● Lily Wojtkowski, Gilbert McNeal Elementary
● Abigail Vera, Virgil Mills Elementary School
● Isabelle Flores, Tara Elementary School
● Greta Jones, Ashton Elementary School
● Abby Lee, Tatum Ridge Elementary School
● Adrian Chavarria, Cranberry Elementary
● Anna (Xinyu) Zhang, Pine View School
● Sydney Coxe, Lakeview Elementary School
● Jazmin Smith, Taylor Ranch Elementary
Since the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s inaugural poster contest in 2015, nearly 200,000 posters have been created by students from Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.
Attendance is one of the key solution areas for the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which guides early childhood literacy efforts in more than 390 communities in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada. Beyond attendance, helping children prepare for kindergarten and ensuring their access to quality learning activities over the summer can help them achieve third-grade reading proficiency.