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October 18, 2017

The Tough Get Going | October 2017 SCGLR Newsletter


“What we have done is not enough … adults will have to behave differently; they have to speak out and break down the barriers that separate people.” — Yolie Flores, national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Herald-Tribune by Kathy Silverberg, a former publisher of the Herald-Tribune’s southern editions.

Few Americans would disagree with the belief that all children deserve a chance at a reasonable life, to grow up able to take care of themselves and their families and to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

But the reality is that too many children in this nation begin life with a handicap – and I don’t mean a physical anomaly. They are born into a family that is either incapable or unwilling to adequately provide the resources that will allow them to prosper.

Some parents are ill-equipped to give their children the attention or the care that will give them a good start in life. Some simply do not know what steps to take to make that happen, and so their children do not have the opportunity for the kind of development that will equip them for future learning.

Recent research indicates that crucial brain development occurs between birth and age 3, and yet too few children receive the kind of attention that will maximize this opportunity.

Children from low-income families frequently do not get quality early-childhood education and they will start school behind their peers from more prosperous families. Too often, they will miss school on a regular basis. When summer comes, they will lack the kind of enrichment programs available to the children from better-resourced families and will continue to fall behind in school, a pattern that will continue throughout their childhood.

Children who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are 14 times more likely than middle-class children to drop out before high school graduation. And that means they will be unqualified for 90 percent of the available jobs…



“We are living in times that challenge the soul … How can we do good?” — Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation


Editor’s Note: The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) had its 2nd Annual SCGLR Community Update Breakfast on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, shared this speech. 

Time is the non-renewable resource … we will work hard to make this morning worth your investment.

Now we are living in times that challenge the soul. Whether the fury of Mother Nature’s wrath, global conflicts, and massacres that defy reason, it makes us wonder how can we do good?

Sometimes it feels overwhelming. Indeed that is the very reason we are here today. We not only care but also act. Each of us is one of Mr. Rogers’ helpers. Look for the helpers, and we will always find people who are helping. So I ask each of you to turn to someone else at your table and say, “thank you for being a helper.”

Everyone in this room has something in common — we were each babies, toddlers, then kids, then teens. We are who we are because of parents and family who love us, neighbors who care, and teachers who inspire(d) us. There are children being born today, there are toddlers, kids, and teens, who need us. It is our turn; our society is counting on us!

Just a reminder of why we are here. A child learns to read through 3rd grade, and they read to learn beginning in 4th grade. When the child can’t read proficiently in 4th grade, they are looking around realizing everyone is moving on ahead of them; they are on the pipeline to prison.




Developing brain architecture that provides the framework for all future learning.

Everyday Hero3

  • Reading Goodnight MoonPat the Bunny, or Are You My Mother? for the 26th time this week with a smile
  • Counting fingers, toes, plates, spoons, bottles, and other objects aloud with great enthusiasm
  • Describing in detail your actions as you are taking food items out of the refrigerator
  • Getting a library card for your infant, and making sure you have frequent opportunities to use it
  • Pointing out numbers on signs in the grocery store
  • Answering the question “Why?” thoughtfully and patiently for the 100th time today

These are the actions of Everyday Heroes. These activities, and many more like them, help children to learn and develop language and math skills. From the time they are born, children’s brains are active making a million new neural connections every second. During the first three years of life, the brain will grow more than at any other time. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and caregivers are the teachers and young children are the eager students soaking up knowledge and experiences and building the brain architecture that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Everyday interactions can spark curiosity, energy, and enthusiasm for learning. The patience parents, grandparents, siblings, and caregivers put forth while reading the same book over and over, singing the same song, or even making the same rhyme, provides the practice that children need to master new skills. Repetition helps to improve speed, increases confidence, and strengthens the connections in the brain that help children learn.

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading would like to help parents, grandparents, siblings, and caregivers in their roles as Everyday Heroes.  Text EverydayHero to 77453 to receive weekly tips on how you can create and enhance learning experiences for your children … Every Day.


Admission to the festival is FREE — #ForAllAges!

The Age-Friendly Festival is an opportunity to embrace life in all its stages and the first community celebration in the nation to focus on lifelong well-being while aspiring to connect people of all ages. The Festival is a gift to the community funded by  The Patterson Foundation and inspired by the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative. It will take place Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Admission to the Festival is FREE – #ForAllAges!   No tickets required!

Enhance family fun with more than 125 interactive displays and exhibits happening all day for FREE!

  • Aerial Yoga
  • Live Performances
  • Sign up for a Library Card
  • Try the Round-About Merge
  • Exercise Classes
  • Brain Games
  • Zumba!
  • Llamas
  • Imagination Playground
  • Guide Dogs in Training
  • Art Opportunities & More!

Visit and immerse yourself in the AGE-FRIENDLY FESTIVAL!

Click here for a fun two-page handout for kids – contains a coloring page, maze game, and word search puzzle about the festival.

Newsletter Signup

Do you have friends, family, colleagues or neighbors who you think would be interested in signing up for the monthly SCGLR Newsletter? If so, please share by using the sharing icons at the top of the newsletter.

Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn and to master the more complex subject matter they encounter in the fourth-grade curriculum.

We look forward to sharing engaging news and updates with you. The Patterson Foundation respects your privacy and will not share or sell your contact information.

To be added into the SCGLR or 0-5 Express newsletter distribution list, please click HERE. To be added into the Spanish 0-5 Express newsletter distribution list, please click HERE. Provide your first and last name in addition to your preferred email address.

Get Connected

Visit the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading “Library” Archive

A BIG THANK YOU! Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Facebook just passed 1,000 likes! @SuncoastCGLR’s Twitter account is close behind with 936. Help us reach 1,000 by December 😀

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