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March 1, 2022

What’s the point of The POINT?

Stacy Sternberg, communications coordinator for The Patterson Foundation

Assembled by a team of possibilitarians, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) launched its newest endeavor — The POINT, a community space inside the Crossings at Siesta Key that serves as a single location to receive, organize, label, and store the resources for SCGLR’s many programs, including the Attendance Awareness Poster ContestKindergarten Readiness BagsMind in the MakingPop-Up Neighbor Through LaundryReach Out and ReadSuncoast Remake Learning Days, the Suncoast Summer Reading Challenge, and THIS BOOK IS COOL!

Post-COVID, The POINT, an acronym for Passion, Organization, Information, Nurturing, and Teaching, will transform into a community center for meetings and classes under the Stronger Me, Stronger We umbrella.

So….what exactly is the point? 

SCGLR began to utilize a storage space in early 2016. Initially, the initiative used the space to store supplies needed for community events and the Attendance Awareness Poster Contest. The books needed for Reach Out and Read and Kindergarten Readiness Bag supplies necessitated even more units, and with the launch of THIS BOOK IS COOL! in 2020, a total of five storage spaces were in use at the height of book distribution.

Although very willing Engagement Team members and volunteers didn’t complain (well, there were periodic sighs) about the challenges in staging all of the work from the storage units, it was obvious the space was less than ideal. There were delivery and parking challenges, insufficient trash removal and limited bathroom access, and although the units were air-conditioned, it was not a comfortable work environment. 

SCGLR was growing exponentially, and for this reason, The Patterson Foundation was willing to invest in a more suitable space. As ideas were percolating, President and CEO Debra Jacobs and the Director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Beth Duda saw an article in the newspaper about The Players Centre for Performing Arts renting at space at Crossings at Siesta Key. Nancy Henry reached out to the Mall Management Company, and The Patterson Foundation began to explore the possibilities in late May 2021. By June, Andy Garcia began working on the space, and in July, the Suncoast Campaign officially moved in. 

Before the launch in late December, the team worked energetically to transform the empty, worn-out shell into an inviting space for the community to learn and share together.

Moving forward into 2022, The POINT is already a volunteer hub for assembling Kindergarten Readiness Bags, a meeting space for the Engagement Team, and a front-facing location for families to learn more about the movement.

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