As I tweeted from Aspen Ascend’s Forum on Children and Families, it was clear that the rooms were filled with passionaries for change via practices, programs, and policies.
The real “Aha” affirmation moments came as speakers shared the voice and perspectives of actual people. My heart went to the reality of navigating the processes and paperwork to secure healthcare or childcare for one’s child. My head swirled with gratitude to how the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) engages with parents and early childhood educators to listen and learn about what is most helpful. One example is bringing the brain-building Daily Vroom to the region, first by working with 300 pioneers who tested the app and provided feedback that informed the wide-rollout in the region. The words of parents and siblings remind us of the value of our efforts. SCGLR community connectors went to farmers markets, sports events, fairs, churches and anywhere invited, resulting in our region now being ranked 8th in the nation for @JoinVroom usage.
Another example of going directly to the people we hope to strengthen is the EveryDayCounts poster contest to educate students and their families of the importance attendance plays in being successful in school. Studies show that missing two days or more each month is detrimental for student success. In its second year, nearly 44,000 students from Manatee and Sarasota schools taught their classmates and families with their imaginative messaging. The joy of the students and families affirmed the effort: https://youtu.be/psqLxEz2O28
As The Patterson Foundation continues to work in the community, going to where those we hope to strengthen are, listening and learning from them as we bring proven practices energizes us….people to people for positive impact.