The Patterson Foundation Contributes $250,000 to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

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This gift marks more than $500,000 invested by the foundation since 2013, will support innovative connections for childhood literacy nationwide

The Patterson Foundation has provided a $250,000 gift to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading benefiting childhood literacy efforts in communities nationwide. The gift will support continued work to foster connections among the Campaign’s network of more than 200 communities and provide thought leadership on outreach and communications strategies.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a national effort to help children read on grade level by the end of the third grade – a key predictor of high school graduation. Campaign communities mobilize a broad base of stakeholders to improve school readiness, kindergarten through third-grade attendance and summer learning opportunities for children from low-income families. The Campaign also emphasizes strategies to help parents serve as their children’s first teachers and primary brain developers while connecting families to a range of health resources. The Patterson Foundation has dedicated more than $500,000 to date to these efforts, helping the Campaign’s communities stay connected to each other through online platforms that allow real-time learning and sharing of best practices.

“The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is an ever-deepening movement engaging business, government, nonprofits, media and citizens to ensure that children are not only ready for kindergarten, but also to accelerate achievement with time on task throughout the year,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “This gift furthers our commitment to build connective tissue among communities across our nation so every child will achieve their full potential in school and life.”

In addition to providing thought leadership and strategic communications support to the Campaign since partnering with the effort in 2013, The Patterson Foundation was instrumental to the development of the Campaign’s online community, The Huddle, which launched in 2014 and has grown to include more than 1,300 members.

This interactive platform provides opportunities for leaders from across the country to share lessons learned and innovative approaches that are moving the needle on grade-level reading in their communities. Members throughout the country share content, such as interviews with Campaign community leaders on early childhood literacy solutions they’ve implemented locally. Interactive content like this fosters conversations between the featured leader and commenters interested in applying these solutions in their own communities, building deep connections between Campaign communities nationwide.

Campaign communities in Florida and other states have also joined together to form statewide groups on The Huddle, opening new channels to share findings and progress with neighboring coalitions. All Campaign communities have access to The Huddle’s resources upon joining the movement.

Beyond this gift, The Patterson Foundation is engaged in ongoing Campaign efforts in its home state of Florida – including work with the Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign, which guides the work of 16 communities statewide committed to the Campaign’s goals, and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which encompasses Manatee and Sarasota counties. Through a coalition comprising The Patterson Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Manatee Community Foundation, United Way of Manatee County, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and the school districts of both counties, the Suncoast Campaign is working to provide childhood literacy programs and resources in a region where 40 percent of children are reading below grade level by the end of the third grade.

National data shows that two-thirds of fourth graders are not proficient readers – a shortfall even more pronounced in low-income students, with four out of every five lacking proficiency. According to research, the fourth grade marks the point where reading becomes vital to learning and succeeding within an increasingly complex curriculum.

About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation works with partners to accelerate positive change by sharing fresh perspectives on strategy, contributing new ideas and providing resources. We believe the act of creative collaboration produces results and knowledge that can be applied more broadly to transcend any single act of philanthropy. For more information, please visit


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