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October 16, 2018

Patterson Foundation Contributes $250,000 to Grade-Level Reading Efforts

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading received a hefty donation from the Sarasota-based philanthropic foundation.

The Patterson Foundation has donated $250,000 to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national organization focused on boosting literacy rates in 390 communities in 44 states, according to a press release from the foundation.

Patterson Foundation President and CEO Debra Jacobs said seeing the campaign’s growth was inspiring, as more communities across the country develop coordinated plans to get kids reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

“From 124 communities in 2012 to more than 390 communities and counting today, all are committed to addressing one of the most critical issues of our time: childhood success,” Jacobs said. “The Patterson Foundation values being part of this nationwide movement and strengthening the efforts of the Campaign so that communities can continue to connect, share best practices and learn from each other.”

The movement focuses on boosting reading scores by the end of third grade, because at that point students transition from “learning to read to reading to learn,” the release stated. Research has shown that students not reading on grade level by the end of third grade are more likely to end up dropping out of high school and struggle financially. Currently, 80 percent of children from low-income families are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, the release stated.

The foundation has now given more than $1.25 million to the campaign since 2013. The foundation also supports the state’s Grade Level Reading initiative and is a lead funder of the national campaign’s local arm, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

This story comes from a partnership between the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Herald-Tribune, funded by The Patterson Foundation, to cover school readiness, attendance, summer learning, healthy readers and parent engagement. Read more stories at

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