I’m not sure which were brighter, the flashy-blinky snowflake hats adorning the heads of more than 400 people walking with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) float or the ear to ear smiles on their faces. SCGLR made a mighty showing in the 2018 Sarasota Holiday Parade. The parade, with the theme, “For All Ages,” wound its way down Main Street on the evening of December 1st.
The impressive SCGLR group, the largest in parade history, was made up of families: families with Attendance Awareness Poster Contest Winners, families who attended one of the Sarasota Summer Learning Academies, families of children who learned the choreography to the “Strive for Less than Five Days Absent” jingle, and families of the volunteers who selflessly give their time to SCGLR.
The Patterson Foundation generously provided an “Every Day Counts” float, T-shirts, and flashy-blinky headpieces and necklaces for the walkers. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, SCGLR’s lead agency in Sarasota County, helped to recruit the parade participants and assisted in making sure everyone had all their parade supplies ready to go.
The SCGLR Team decorated the float and warmly welcomed all of the participants. There was a keen sense of camaraderie, and you could feel the energy of the SCGLR movement as more than 400 people took their places in the parade line-up. It’s important to note that not all of the action was visible on the parade route, as it took a team of dedicated volunteers to roll all of the shirts and unpackage all the headpieces and necklaces to prepare them for easy distribution.
The large number of SCGLR parade participants and high level of excitement and joy shared by each of them made this a memorable and heartwarming experience.