The theme of the 2018-2019 Attendance Awareness Poster Contest was “Strive for Less Than Five Days Absent.” In total, 49,911 students from 82 elementary schools in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties participated in the contest.
Regional winners from the four counties received an Apple iPad and four tickets to a Major League Baseball spring training game as a gift from the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading through support from The Patterson Foundation.
In 2017, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading piloted its first Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge. Twenty-two summer providers from Sarasota and Manatee counties participated. The challenge? For children to read at least six books over the summer months. By 2018, the program jumped to 83 summer providers in the 4-county region. For every book a child read, they received a brightly colored silicone bracelet.
More than three decades ago, two Boston Medical Center pediatricians recognized their unique opportunity to have an impact on the development and health of the children they served. They adopted a simple model of prescribing books and reading aloud as a means of fostering the language-rich interactions between parents and their young children, stimulating early brain development.
In 2017, through a collaboration with Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Manatee Community Foundation, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and United Way Suncoast, Reach out and Read was introduced into Sarasota and Manatee counties to help parents give their young children a foundation for success.
SCGLR created Kindergarten Readiness Bags to provide learning support for incoming kindergarteners in the months before school begins so that children can start school ready to learn. Thanks to the generosity of Sarasota County Rotary Clubs, The Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation, and The Patterson Foundation, 2,850 incoming kindergartners in Sarasota County received a bag. The School District of DeSoto County provided additional bags to students in DeSoto County.
Thirty-four local passionaries convened at the Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute for a 3-day workshop. These community thinkers became facilitators who could model and teach the seven essential life skills. Educators, caregivers, and other community members learned how to teach these skills to the children in their lives, helping them achieve their full potential.
In honor of Attendance Awareness Month, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading launched the inaugural Attendance Awareness Poster Contest to promote good attendance habits and help students and parents understand why going to school every day matters.
The theme was “Every Day Counts,” and the contest was open to every school-aged child in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Prizes included four tickets to Circus Sarasota and regional winners in each grade won an Apple iPad Air.