Sarasota Participates in Grade Level Reading Campaign

A new national program helps kids learn to read before it’s too late.

By Hannah Wallace August 27, 2014 Published in the September 2014 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Sarasota County is one of 10 communities in Florida and nearly 150 in the U.S. in the Grade Level Reading Campaign, an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Why third grade? “Third grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn,” says John Annis of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which is facilitating the program locally. By fourth grade, students use reading to solve math problems and learn about history, science and other topics.

48 Percentage of American children under 5 who are read to daily.

29 Percentage of Sarasota third graders not reading at grade level

43 Percentage of Florida third graders not reading at grade level.

3 Sarasota’s rank out of all Florida counties for third-graders reading at grade level.

13 Florida’s rank out of all states in children entering fourth grade at grade level.

5 Number of Grade Level Reading Campaign pilot programs in Sarasota this summer that addressed school readiness and summer learning loss.

4 Number of local elementary schools (comprising a high percentage of struggling students) targeted by these pilot programs

16 Number of local organizations partnering in the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Boys and Girls Clubs

Children First

Early Learning Coalition

Education Foundation

Every Child Inc.

Family Network on Disabilities

The Florida Center for Early Childhood

Forty Carrots

Girls Inc.

Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

InStride Therapy

Sarasota County Library System

Seed of Academic Resources

Upside Down Foundation

Van Wezel

30 million How many fewer words low-income children hear before reaching kindergarten compared to their middle-income peers.

“More than 80 percent of students who don’t earn a high school diploma were struggling readers in third grade.” –The Gates Foundation

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