The energy was high at the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) Community Breakfast where more than 300 community members gathered to celebrate progress while being reminded that the work for grade-level reading and youth success still continues. Bronwyn Beightol, our Manatee Area President, shared inspiring remarks with the crowd about the importance of playing a role in a child’s experience in learning to read and imparting a love of reading that will remain with them and help them thrive. “Reading isn’t just about the reading. It’s about time, being present and inspiring hope and imagination. It’s about creating the future.”
Bronwyn also spoke about United Way Suncoast’s important work in leading the SCGLR movement in Manatee County. “We believe that complex opportunities require thoughtful partnerships. We work closely with an Advisory Council and we engage what we call a Community Front Line of organizations and individuals with experience, expertise, leadership and a shared commitment to our children’s grade-level reading success.” United Way Suncoast programs such as ReadingPals, Learning Pals and the La Mirada Reading Room that provide literacy and learning resources to children and families illustrate the impact of work targeting early literacy. Because of SCGLR, pressing issues that affect a child’s later success, including school readiness and attendance, are addressed through the work of community organizations.
She closed with a call-to-action: to continue to make real change happen. “When systems, policies and practices align to ensure that ALL children are reading on grade-level by the time they leave third grade… We will know, then, that real change has occurred.” Everybody can do something. The real question is, what can we do together?