Suncoast Remake Learning Days 2023 was a joyful success with 206 hands-on events for children and families across four counties in 10 days. Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Engagement Team members recently gathered for an all-team meeting to review and report on their experiences with this, the second year of Suncoast Remake Learning Days, and to prepare for two summer initiatives, THIS BOOK IS COOL! and the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge.
The SCGLR Engagement Team split into five breakout groups and each group was asked to identify ten sources of pride from Suncoast Remake Learning Days and to list areas where they’d like to see if improvements can be made for next year’s festival. The discussions at the breakout tables were lively with ideas and suggestions coming in quickly punctuated by laughter and joy.
Sources of Pride, complied from all five groups
- The number of events (206!)
- The variety and quality of events
- The extensive preparation and training for event hosts
- The overall festival felt very organized
- The level of excitement displayed by attendees
- Outstanding family interactions, events were very engaging for numerous age groups
- Many families experienced things for the first time
- The “new” Suncoast Remake Learning Days App (with a Spanish version as well!)
- All the events were free
- The Suncoast Remake Learning Days festival experienced tremendous growth between year one and year two
- The printed event guide was beautiful and allowed families to map out their week
- Many families expressed gratitude for the festival
- Suncoast Remake Learning Days felt very inclusive
- Several multi-lingual events
- A great way to introduce children and families to a variety of careers
- All four counties – Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota – were well-represented
- Outstanding community connections were encouraged and made
- Numerous collaborations between organizations
- The number of attendees! (25,000+)
- Libraries were utilized as locations for some events
- Strong effort to promote all events
- The enthusiasm of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s team while attending events
- The event hosts were valued and appreciated
Suggested areas of improvement, compiled from all five groups
- Have the event guide and the App available sooner so there is more time to promote the festival
- Push due-dates back so there is more time to promote the overall festival
- Create a “what to expect” video to help families understand the scope of Suncoast Remake Learning Days
- Encourage event hosts to develop strong, clear event descriptions – some events didn’t match their descriptions and others were hyperbolic in what people could expect – don’t oversell
- Encourage event hosts to stick to their description, time, place, activities, duration – some changed things at the last minute, causing confusion and in some cases, disappointment.
- Put a disclaimer on the event guide and App that events are subject to change
- Create a deadline for event submission, and stick to it. Too many submissions came in after the deadline causing delays in producing the event guide and App
- More suggestions for event hosts on how to actively engage parents – at some events, the parents were observers rather than participants
- Some of the larger events could use more support from staff and/or volunteers
- Encourage event hosts to offer events at times that are most convenient for families
- Put a system in place so any changes made after the publication of the event guide, App, and national website are noted on all platforms
- The size and scope of the festival can seem overwhelming. What can we do to simplify the message for families?
- Perhaps the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading could provide flier templates to make it easier for event hosts to promote their events.
- Make it easier for participating families to know about and sign up for THIS BOOK IS COOL!
- The after-action event surveys seem cumbersome, is there an easier way to get feedback?
- Engage schools to share the full schedule of Suncoast Remake Learning Days events
- Encourage each outdoor event to have a “Plan-B” in case of bad weather
- Can there be a map with all the events listed?
This feedback will be added to feedback received from event hosts and Suncoast Remake Learning Days attendees to ensure Suncoast Remake Learning Days 2024 builds upon the success of Suncoast Remake Learning Days 2023.