Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a series sharing the values of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s vision is based on the idea that, with our work and extensive partnerships, every child will able to say, “I CAN READ!” Each letter in this statement stands for a different value that speaks to the heart of the campaign, which touches Manatee and Sarasota counties.
I stands for integrity. Integrity is interesting because it has two meanings, both of which are important to the Campaign. The first is this: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. The second is this: the state of being whole and undivided.
The first definition of integrity is vital to the Campaign’s success. When we look at grade-level reading, we have to be honest with ourselves and the community. Children who cannot read at grade level are set up to fail in life. It is our moral imperative that all children, especially those from low-income homes, have the opportunities to become successful readers.
The second definition is equally important. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is not a one-organization initiative. Founding Network Weavers are united in our goal: to ensure all of our community’s children are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. The major partners are the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Manatee Community Foundation, Sarasota County Schools, School District of Manatee County, United Way of Manatee County, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, and The Patterson Foundation.
These partners work with honesty and a sense of duty to reach shared goals for school readiness, summer learning, attendance and all are undivided in their vision of hearing young voices call out from every neighborhood in our region, saying “I CAN READ!”