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The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) announced that it will recognize the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with Pacesetter Honors for its work in 2018. Pacesetter Honors highlight communities that report making measurable progress on key indicators of early school success. These communities represent innovation, impact and improvement within the Grade Level Reading Network, representing 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Alberta, Canada.

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which includes Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties, is one of only five Pacesetter communities to be recognized for its achievement across all three of CGLR’s Pacesetter criteria: "Achieving Bigger, Better Outcomes"; "Making Game-Changing Impacts and Fixing the Brakes on Progress"; and "Building CGLR’s Community Learning for Impact & Improvement Platform" (CLIP). The local chapter is supported by a coalition of nonprofits in each of its four counties: United Way of Charlotte County, United Way Suncoast, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County in Sarasota. Additionally, The Patterson Foundation works to strengthen the impact of the efforts in all four counties. 

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward high school graduation and career success because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” National tests show that two-thirds of U.S. fourth-graders (four-fifths of whom are from low-income families) are not reading proficiently. Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of high school and struggle throughout their lives.

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