Skip to main content
March 17, 2016

Creating a Culture of Excitement and Hope for Grade-Level Reading

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series sharing the values of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

The phrase I CAN READ represents the values of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The first “A” stands for ardent in that we create a culture of fun, excitement and hope when it comes to rallying our community around grade-level reading success.

This was especially evident on March 4 when we partnered with Embracing Our Differences to celebrate Embracing Dr. Seuss’ Differences Day. This event honored Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which is celebrated each year in conjunction with Read Across America.  

Ardent volunteers—more than 300 of them and many wearing “Cat in the Hat” hats—visited schools in Manatee and Sarasota counties to read to children and to give more than 1,660 students their very own Dr. Seuss books.

More fun and excitement filled the beautifully scented air at Selby Gardens when we celebrated the Vroom pioneers in February—parents from Manatee and Sarasota counties who helped us pilot a major initiative by adopting and using the Vroom app.

In December, we had a lot of fun participating in Community Youth Development’s Gingerbread House event at Westfield Sarasota Square and fulfilled our hope of walking away a winner when Beth Duda’s amazing love-of-reading creation won the big prize.

The culture of hope that we embrace was evident during November’s Remote Area Medical clinic weekend in Manatee County. Thousands of people who have inadequate healthcare lined up to receive free medical services from more than 800 volunteers. Why is healthcare important to the Campaign? Because children who have good medical and dental care are far more likely to read at grade level than their less fortunate friends and neighbors.

All of these events and the many others we feature in our newsletter and blog, help us celebrate success in genuine ways and champion a shared vision for the future. We want you to become as ardent as we are and help champion this cause together. Many volunteer opportunities are available. Please email Alicia Chalmers ( for the events, dates, and times when you can join in the fun and excitement that is such an important part of what we do to encourage children to become successful readers and citizens.

Share this post