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August 21, 2023

Summer Maths

Laurie Miller, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading


Whether you staycationed or traveled this past summer, I hope your family was one of the many who participated in 2023’s THIS BOOK IS COOL! or the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge. How many participated? I’m glad you asked. Let’s get into the maths (btw – an English friend recently insisted that I use the term maths vs math as it’s an abbreviation of mathematics. Fun, huh?). Before I digress too much on that added ‘s’…here are some summer maths for you to digest. 


  • Number of participants: 4,012
  • Number of children completing the challenge by reading six books 2,607
  • 65% of the children successfully completed the challenge

2023 Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge

  • Number of Participating Summer Programs: 80
  • Number of participants: 7,489
  • Number of children completing the challenge by reading six books 6,643
  • 89% of the children successfully completed the challenge

So how many total participated? A whopping 11,501 kids. If you’re not thinking, wow – I can’t believe so many kids were encouraged and inspired to read and learn all summer long. Let me add some context. 

Eleven thousand five hundred one kids are more than the entire population of McMullen, Alabama; and Point Arena, California; and Bonanza, Colorado; and Lost Springs, Wyoming; and Hibberts Gore, Maine combined. Combined! That’s more people than the entire population of the Cook Islands (an island country in the South Pacific Ocean)! Yes, more kids participated in this summer reading challenge than people who actually live in that whole country. And the vast majority successfully completed the challenge. That’s some maths I can get behind. 

Thank you to the Patterson Foundation for generously supporting these meaningful programs and to all the awesome families, summer providers, and kids that participated. Though it’s said that “no man is an island” (which is certainly true, it took an entire community of caring people to pull off such an achievement), I’d like to suggest a new phrase for this summer “more Suncoast kids read than people live on Cook Island.” I think it’s pretty catchy. 

I hope you have a beautiful school year. See you next summer!

Your friend,

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