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FAQs for Families

What is the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading?

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a four-county initiative fostering wide community participation to achieve shared aspirations for the success of families and children.

Part of a nationwide movement of more than 390 communities, the Suncoast region focuses on addressing the most common issues and obstacles that impact a child’s ability to read:
— School Readiness
— Attendance
— Summer Learning
— Family Engagement
— Health Determinants

In each county, dozens of nonprofits, schools, community organizations, agencies, and individuals are doing meaningful work related to the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. While there are unique approaches to tackle each county’s needs and challenges, there is much to learn and share together. There are boundary-spanning activities and approaches that benefit all four counties as each works toward helping children succeed in school and in life.

What makes this community movement different from other literacy programs?

Realizing there is no single policy, program, or practice that will change the trajectory of children from asset-limited families, each sector brings its assets to this community movement by working with people, businesses, nonprofits, government (including schools and libraries), and the media. Building relationships around shared values and aspirations require a common language and shared data. Building this movement will take time, patience, focus, and resources to create opportunities for all.

How can I assess if my child is on track to meet this goal?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress or comprehension, it would be best to voice your questions to their teacher or pediatrician, who can further evaluate their abilities and explain the various developmental growth stages. We encourage you to remember that each child learns and grows at their own pace, and just like adults, they each have unique preferences, skills, and habits that will most likely continue to change over time. It may take some creative brainstorming to find a good routine that works for your family and a set of books that your children can enjoy and read.

My child doesn’t qualify for THIS BOOK IS COOL! but struggles with reading. Do you have any suggestions?

If your child does not qualify for THIS BOOK IS COOL! because they are not in the grade range (rising PreK through third grade), don’t worry—they can still enjoy SCGLR’s complete library of webisodes and activity guides available on the website. These resources feature books suitable for a variety of ages and stages.

If you think your child doesn’t qualify because you aren’t an asset limited family, you can still participate by making a donation of $80 to Season of Sharing.

What is family engagement, and why is it important to reading success?

Family engagement is a collective responsibility in which schools and other community groups and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage families in meaningful ways, and in which families are committed to actively supporting their children’s learning and development. Statistics show that family engagement in reading – including reading aloud to children – has a major impact on reading success. SCGLR offers programs that are free to help families engage with their children and promote reading and learning success. (See programs tab for current offerings)

Why is it important for the community to be involved in grade-level reading?

Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Many students who do not reach this important milestone falter in the later grades. Although schools must be accountable for helping children achieve, schools cannot succeed alone. Engaged communities come together to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist families in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities in assuring student success.

Reading was hard for me as a child. How can I help my child not struggle?

Many parents and caregivers are unsure how to help their children learn. In our 4-county region, people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media are working together to provide resources and programs so families can acquire the support they need to help their children learn. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading provides opportunities for families to discover how to encourage their children to achieve the success they deserve. (See programs tab for current offerings)

My children are of multiple ages, can they all benefit from SCGLR workshops and programs?

While there is an emphasis on early childhood learning, SCGLR provides opportunities for learners of all ages.  For example, Suncoast Remake Learning Days, our 15-day learning festival, provides hundreds of events for learners of all ages. We also have book circles, including When You Wonder You’re Learning, that bring ideas that can be applied to all ages and stages. 

How do I make time for these activities with my children if I work?

Parents and caregivers may often feel they do not have the time to engage with their children due to work and life responsibilities. SCGLR provides programs and workshops that do not require a large time commitment; often, these events are held in the evenings and/or weekends to accommodate parents. Many programs are also offered in the summer when parents may feel they have more time to include engagement activities into their regular schedule. Research shows that children thrive from high-quality time with parents and caregivers. In other words, it isn’t about endless hours of time—it’s about how you choose to spend that time that truly matters.

What can I do to make a difference?

Every interaction with a child can be a brain-building moment. Providing a word-rich environment to our youngest children creates connections with words and sounds and things! Sharing a book with a child (letting them set the pace of the book, asking questions, pointing out funny pictures) can foster a lifelong love of reading. Talking about what you see and think also helps children become more observant and curious. The more you engage with a child, the greater difference you will make!

How can I volunteer with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative?

When the dangers surrounding the pandemic have subsided, there will be many opportunities to get involved. To stay informed about volunteer opportunities, we encourage you to sign up for the SCGLR newsletter and visit the website’s volunteer section to find out about events scheduled near you.

We also encourage you to visit SCGLR’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and follow SCGLR on Twitter to stay informed as the campaign develops.