The statistics are troubling: 67 percent of children nationwide and more than 80 percent of those from asset-limited families are not proficient readers by the end of third grade. Research shows that when children fail to read on grade level by the end of third grade, they are more likely to drop out of high school and face an array of long-term negative consequences. This trajectory undermines efforts to end intergenerational poverty, close the achievement gap, and reduce high school dropout rates.
Launched in May 2010, the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states, and communities to ensure that more children succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. The Campaign focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation — the ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade.
Across the Suncoast region—in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties—nonprofits, school districts, community organizations, agencies, and individuals are doing meaningful work at the local level. While there will be unique approaches to tackle the needs and challenges of each county, there is much to learn and share together.
The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading strengthens the movement through a collaborative approach between all four counties, with each area contributing in its own strategic and creative ways.