As the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s journey unfolds, our region continues to display overwhelming passion and support to ensure all of our children proficiently read on grade-level by third grade.
Research shows one of the obstacles in achieving that community vision includes students who are chronically absent – missing 18 or more days each school year. In Manatee and Sarasota counties, Florida Department of Education statistics show that more than 10,000 students are chronically absent during the year. But this September, 12 municipalities in our region have joined together to voice their support for Attendance Awareness month.
As part of an attendance awareness movement led by national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading partner Attendance Works, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) reached out to both school districts and all eight cities within Manatee and Sarasota counties for their support. Understanding the importance of school attendance, all agreed, without hesitation, to officially proclaim September as Attendance Awareness Month.
While each proclamation was distinct, there were common threads throughout all of them including:
WHEREAS recognizing attendance is essential to student achievement and graduation, and our community is committed to dedicating our resources and attention to reducing chronic absenteeism rates with a focus starting as early as prekindergarten and kindergarten.
WHEREAS attendance gaps among groups of students often turn into achievement gaps that undermine student success. Chronic absence particularly exacerbates the achievement gap that separates low-income students from their peers, since students from low-income families are both more likely to be chronically absent and more likely to be affected academically by missing school.
WHEREAS chronic absence can be significantly reduced when schools, families and communities work together to monitor and promote good attendance and address hurdles that keep children from getting to school.
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is proud to be a part of this region that not only embraces the goal of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading but also actively takes the necessary steps to accelerate the changes needed to obtain that goal.
We thank the following municipalities for their continued support:
City of Anna Maria
City of Holmes Beach
City of North Port
City of Palmetto
City of Sarasota
School Board of Manatee County
School Board of Sarasota County
City of Venice