A main pillar of The Patterson Foundation is “Partners with a Purpose,” which is all about encouraging purposeful collaboration. If you have ever been to the circus, think about all of the examples of purposeful collaboration you see there. The horse and rider, the clowns working as a team, and certainly the trapeze artists who depend on their collaborators to make the magic happen and make it look effortless.
A purposeful partnership has been built among a large number of key players—so many that sometimes it feels like a circus—to ensure that students throughout the Suncoast region understand the importance of attending school and showing up on time every day to be successful both in school and in life.
What would a trapeze artist do if her partner didn’t show up? Who would catch her? What would happen to one clown if all of the other clowns arrived too late and he had to climb out of the clown car alone? Not much humor and not much impact.
Working with the Circus Arts Conservatory, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, with generous support from The Patterson Foundation, is providing four complimentary tickets to each of the 388 school-level winners of the Attendance Awareness Poster Contest that took place in 83 schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties in 2015-2016.
These winners and their guests will attend Circus Sarasota performances from February 12-14. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade Level Reading will have a poster display, a video loop of all winning posters, and information about the Campaign at each performance. A photographer will capture this special moment with photos of the winners with their families and principals and each winner will receive a keepsake program book. Winners will be acknowledged from the center ring and some will appear as Guest Ringmasters at the performances.
Other purposeful partners who are making sure that these students and families have a memorable and magical time are United Way of Manatee County, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the School District of Manatee County, and The Sarasota County Schools. Working together, all of these partners have shown the traits required of all great circus performers—focus and dedication, flexibility, strength, creativity, and special skills—that are also needed to ensure that all children in the Suncoast region read at grade level by the end of third grade as a key component of success.