UNITED WAY SUNCOAST READING ROOMS
United Way Suncoast aims to expand “place-based” neighborhood initiatives to eliminate the barriers to quality education in early literacy and youth success while providing a platform to execute financial stability coaching for families. Our Reading Rooms are designed to bring educational resources and programs to where our most vulnerable children and families live, community housing neighborhoods.
United Way Suncoast has identified and renovated existing underutilized community and technology rooms in selectively identified apartment complexes located in the attendance zones of two Big Plan schools. Program services for children and families are designed to support the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (SCGLR) Initiative.
La Mirada Garden Apartments Reading Room
In 2017, a community neighborhood housing partnership was established between United Way Suncoast and La Mirada Garden Apartments. Site renovation of the community room and neighborhood place-based site was established with funds provided by the Selby Foundation. Since it’s inception, free high-quality summer programming has been provided at the site to children ages 5-to-12-years-old.
Over the summer of 2020, United Way Suncoast hosted a six week Virtual Summer Learning Program and provided kits for families with children ages 3-10. The kits contained books, school, and crafting supplies. Students participated in small group sessions and one-on-one tutoring. Each day they read a book, reviewed key vocabulary, and did a creative activity guided by a bilingual teacher. On the last day of camp, students received certificates, prizes, and a to-go pizza party. Over the course of the summer, we served nearly 600 lunches and 700 weekend meal bags for families living near and in the complex.
Later in 2020, United Way Suncoast will be expanding programming to three days a week, focused on families with children ages 0-to-5-years-old. Lessons will provide opportunities to play, explore, and experiment using a variety of learning, sensory, and motor experiences in a language and literacy-rich environment to build early literacy skills. Afterschool tutoring will also be provided to children ages 5-to-9-years-old three days a week.
Bradenton Village Reading Room
Bradenton Village Reading Room is a newly designed site located in the downtown Bradenton area. Programming at this location will begin with a focus on families with children ages 0-to-5-years-old. Lessons will provide opportunities to play, explore, and experiment using a variety of learning, sensory, and motor experiences in a language and literacy-rich environment to build early literacy skills.
Both locations will connect families to resources and provide the opportunity for families to participate in a Financial Coaching program.