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October 21, 2016

Passionaries and Possibilitarians Gather for the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Community Breakfast

When the Suncoast Campaign for Grade Level Reading says, “Come on over for breakfast,” we attract a crowd.  On Thursday morning, more than 200 passionaries, possibilitarians, keepers of the library treasure chest, and other friends gathered at the Hyatt, clickers in hand, to show enthusiasm for and dedication to the Campaign. If you want to know what “possibilitarians” and the others mean, come join the Campaign (more about that later).

Beth Duda, director of the Campaign, John Annis, Senior VP at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and Bronwyn Beightol, COO of the United Way of Manatee County, imparted statistics with passion. Some facts that show we are on our way to ensuring that all children read at grade level by the end of third grade are:

  • There have been 17,500 conversations throughout the region about Vroom, and parents are using it and loving it. You have to see the video featuring these active parents who are engaging with their little ones through Vroom.


  • Low-income children have one book per 300 children while middle-class kids have 13 books per child. Our team, including so many wonderful volunteers, is out in the community giving out books. Lots of them. Thousands.

books for kids

  • 38,000 Manatee and Sarasota students from 83 schools created colorful and thought-provoking Attendance Awareness posters last year. More schools are getting on board this year and kids throughout the region are getting the message that attendance matters.


Two things were said that stuck with me throughout the morning. Bronwyn Beightol quoted Maya Angelou who said “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” I think she means do something, anything, and while you are doing it, learn to do it better. Debra Jacobs closed the breakfast reminding us all that we have only just begun and it is never too late to get involved. She was saying that, just because this movement has already started, don’t think it’s too late to bring your ideas — help us know better, so we can to do better. Once you sign on, you’ll learn so much about passionaries, possibilitarians, and keepers of the library treasure chest that you’ll want to become one of these. Or perhaps you’ll bring your own special talent and we’ll have to come up with a word just for you. Oh, and you’ll get a clicker.

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