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April 4, 2019

Book Circle, Anyone?

After reading Joy Thomas Moore’s THE POWER OF PRESENCE, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading felt that this “love letter” to single mothers would have significant resonance with a wide range of people on Florida’s Suncoast. The book shares Joy’s candid account of her life as a single mother along with the inspirational and informative stories of 22 other parents. There is no more important or powerful role in the life of a child than a parent, and perhaps, no job that is more complex and challenging. This book provides affirmation, guidance, tips, and wisdom in an easily digestible format. It also provides numerous launching points for substantive discussions.

So, how to best share this valuable tool with parents, educators, grandparents, and other individuals playing a significant role in the lives of children?

Though the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, a discussion guide was created, and a book circle initiative was born. Any group of eight people or more who gather at least twice to read and discuss the book is eligible for financial support from The Patterson Foundation.

Elementary schools, church groups, preschools, arts organizations, out-of-school time providers, neighborhood groups, businesses, and other interested individuals have come together forming more than ninety groups. The feedback from the book circles has been overwhelmingly positive, affirming the power of connecting, learning, and sharing with others. Interestingly, many of the book circles have reported tears at their first gatherings. Tears of joy, relief, compassion, empathy, and understanding have been shed as book circle participants shared their parenting challenges and hopes, dreams, and aspirations for their children and all children in our region.

Parenting can be challenging, rewarding, isolating, and joyful, sometimes all at the same time. THE POWER OF PRESENCE book circles are providing knowledge and support while building and strengthening valuable relationships between participants.

The initiative has a proven to be so popular, that the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has received numerous requests to bring Joy Thomas Moore back to the region and has extended the support for THE POWER OF PRESENCE book circles through the summer months. Happily, Joy will be in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties May 15–16.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Charlotte Harbor Conference Center
75 Taylor Street Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Venice William Jervey Public Library
300 Nokomis Ave S, Venice, FL 34285

Sarasota Selby Public Library
1331 1st St, Sarasota, FL 34236

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Manatee Chamber of Commerce Lakewood Ranch
4215 Concept Ct. Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211

Community Foundation of Sarasota County
2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 3423

Braden River Public Library
4915 53rd Ave E Bradenton, FL 34203


The Patterson Foundation will be supporting new book circles in May, June, and July. If you have not yet participated in a book circle or would like to gather a new group, you can register to lead a book circle by clicking here.

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