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December 18, 2018

Suncoast Campaign Launches Book Circles to Strengthen Parents & Families

To harness the inherent power of Suncoast families and strengthen the parents who shape them, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, with support from The Patterson Foundation, is facilitating a series of Book Circles open to the community to explore The Power of Presence, written by Peabody Award-winning author Joy Thomas Moore. Moore will visit the region to kick-off the Book Circle opportunity in an event open to participants held Thursday, Jan. 31 at Pine View School at 7 p.m.

Each book circle will comprise a small group of people reading and meeting regularly to discuss The Power of Presence, in which author Joy Thomas Moore reflects on her journey as a single mother and explores the seven pillars of presence. Moore says these pillars are key to being a lingering voice of positive influence on children — even when their parents can’t be with them.

“Families are facing new, unfamiliar challenges today compared to previous generations,” said Moore, who also serves as a senior communications consultant for the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “Parents are working longer hours or multiple jobs, and more children are being raised in single-parent households. Families are changing, but the need to have an indelible presence in the lives and futures of our children has not. I hope The Power of Presence sends a message of love and support to any parent facing these challenges while trying to raise great children.”

Family and parent engagement plays a vital role in the movement to help children read on grade-level by the end of third grade, a key predictor of continued success in school and life. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading works in the region to connect with parents, caretakers, and other influencers to promote three important solution areas proven to move the needle on early childhood literacy: school readiness by kindergarten, consistent attendance, and access to quality learning activities over the summer.

In addition to an invitation to attend Moore’s author event, The Patterson Foundation will provide Book Circle participants with copies of the book, discussion guides, and funds to assist with covering costs. The Patterson Foundation is a long-time supporter of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which guides early childhood literacy efforts in more than 390 communities in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.

“Parents and caregivers are faced with daily decisions as they strive to raise thoughtful, caring, emotionally-healthy children,” said Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for The Patterson Foundation. “Through sharing experiences and hard-earned wisdom with each other, our journey can be made easier. Joy Thomas Moore is bringing to our region tools that all parents can use to positively influence their children. Through Book Circles centered on Moore’s The Power of Presence, The Patterson Foundation is investing in parents, caregivers, and our community’s capacity to ensure our children’s success.”

People interested in participating in a Book Circle can click HERE to join one or HERE to volunteer as a Book Circle leader. To learn more about the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, visit

For more information on Joy Thomas Moore and The Power of Presence, visit


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