August 3, 2022

Kicking Off a New School Year

Carly Miers, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

It’s no secret that summer is one of the best times of the year, especially here at SCGLR. We round up our students in the region and host one of my favorite programs, THIS BOOK IS COOL!

Originally piloted as a response to COVID-19, where we saw many of our local summer camps canceled, leaving a gap in summer learning, our brilliant team came together to offer 20 free books, webisodes, and activities to work against the summer slide for eligible students. Three summers and more than 8,000 participants later, we continue to improve our programs and adapt them within the region.

Don’t get me wrong – I love summer, but I’ve always been pretty keen on heading back to school. My favorite part of the summer was gearing up to go back to school shopping, get new school supplies, and prepare for the new school year. And then, as school started, I always looked forward to getting new books – the fresh crack of the spine, the new stories; I was entranced by it all.

Two years ago, we started THIS BOOK IS COOL! IN SCHOOL as a way to continue a love for reading in our region and come alongside educators to provide resources and add books to students’ home libraries. Through THIS BOOK IS COOL! IN SCHOOL, the Suncoast Campaign provides a completely free three-book unit with standards-based lesson plans for educators by educators. While educators get lesson plans and activities to use in the classroom, participating students will receive three new books to add to their home library. It’s a win-win!

As we gear up for the start of a new school year in just a few short days, we have over 150 classrooms and 3,000 students registered to participate during the fall semester. More than 9,000 books will be distributed at the beginning of the school year, thanks to the generosity of The Patterson Foundation. Our school partnerships are crucial to the work of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and we are so excited to kick off the 2022-2023 school year strong!

There’s still room for classrooms to participate! Interested in being a part of THIS BOOK IS COOL! IN SCHOOL? Reach out to initiative consultant Carly Miers at cmierstpf@gmail.com.


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