Times of uncertainty demand the very best from all of us. Over the past several months, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) has been virtually interacting with parents, grandparents, educators, and members of the community as we all learn to cope, adapt, and innovate in light of the COVID-19 virus. During the onset of the pandemic, SCGLR conducted webinars and invited parents and their children to ask experts from The Florida Center for Early Childhood questions about the virus and mitigation efforts. The campaign also offered movie screenings about early childhood learning, held workshops centered on building parenting skills and developing executive function skills, and brought summer learning opportunities to thousands of families on the Suncoast through THIS BOOK IS COOL!!
As part of every gathering, SCGLR asked participants about their greatest challenges and joys. We discovered that many of our neighbors are longing for a greater sense of connectedness, and that parents, grandparents, caregivers, and educators are hungry for high-quality information to assist them with helping children to learn. SCGLR also discovered that holding virtual meetings is often more convenient for families than in-person meetings. We put all of these learnings into creating Stronger Me, Stronger We.
The Patterson Foundation wants to invest in people to provide increased knowledge and personal development, which, in turn, will make our community stronger. Stronger Me, Stronger We provides opportunities for personal growth and connection at no cost as a gift from The Patterson Foundation. In the coming months, SCGLR will offer Stronger Me Stronger We workshops throughout our 4-county region to interested individuals through its website. SCGLR will also partner with organizations to provide workshops to their existing groups.
Stronger Me, Stronger We will give community members the opportunity to virtually come together in small groups, connect, and build their knowledge and skills. Each Stronger Me, Stronger We offering is comprised of five one-hour Zoom sessions. Participants can choose from the following workshops:
Stronger Me, Stronger We – Mind in the Making
Based on the groundbreaking book by Ellen Galinsky, entitled Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs, successful children can focus on their work and control their behavior, figure out what others think and feel, explain what they are thinking, use what they learn creatively, search for reliable information, take on challenges, and engage in learning. During five 1-hour, facilitated workshops, parents, grandparents, and caregivers will learn how to strengthen these essential skills and teach them to the children they love.
Stronger Me, Stronger We – The Power of Presence
Explore the seven presences — Mind, Heart, Faith, Courage, Financial Freedom, Values, and Connectedness — in author Joy Thomas Moore’s book, The Power of Presence. Through five 1-hour guided conversations, you will take a journey that will give insight into improving your ability to be present with your family and community. By sharing your thoughts and experiences, you will help each other discover new ways to strengthen connections.
Stronger Me, Stronger We – Vrooming to Literacy
During five 1-hour guided conversations centered on child development, SCGLR will introduce Vroom, a set of tools and resources from the Bezos Family Foundation designed to inspire families to turn everyday moments into “Brain Building Moments.” Using proven research, we will practice fun and entertaining methods of encouraging literacy to help children establish a love of learning and reading.
Stronger Me, Stronger We – THIS BOOK IS COOL!
THIS BOOK IS COOL!, a series of 100 webisodes designed to encourage a love of reading, premiered on June 1, 2020. More than 5,300 hundred children and their families across the Suncoast region learned about new books, increased their vocabularies, and created works of art aligned to the book’s themes.
- Track One: For the Classroom
Aligned to State of Florida standards, educators and students will use three books from THIS BOOK IS COOL! to further their English Language Arts skills. As a gift from The Patterson Foundation, each participating child will receive books to add to their home libraries.
- Track Two: Family Book Circles
During five 1-hour guided conversations, families will explore three themes highlighted in books from THIS BOOK IS COOL! while participating in fun and interactive activities designed to nurture a love of reading and learning. As a gift from The Patterson Foundation, each participating child will receive books to add to their home libraries.