The Patterson Foundation Marks Decade of National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Partnership With $250,000 Contribution

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The Foundation has invested more than $2.25 million toward strengthening the Campaign’s efforts to promote early school success in more than 350 communities since 2013

The Patterson Foundation is honoring its decade-long partnership with the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with a $250,000 contribution to the movement. The gift will strengthen efforts throughout North America to promote early school success and mobilize communities to stop learning loss and accelerate academic recovery.

As one of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s longtime Anchor Funders, The Patterson Foundation supports the Campaign’s work with a broad base of stakeholders to strengthen school readiness, attendance and summer learning opportunities for children nationwide, including southwest Florida. The Campaign also strengthens parents to help them serve as their children’s first teachers while connecting families with health resources to reduce societal challenges associated with reading on grade level.

Since 2013, The Patterson Foundation has contributed over $2.25 million total to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. During that decade-long span, the Campaign’s network has grown from 140 communities to more than 350 communities across 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two Canadian provinces working to help more children attain third-grade reading proficiency — a key determinant of success in school and life.

“Every child is everyone’s child, and each deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “No single policy or program will achieve that — it takes a holistic, dedicated movement driven by collaboration across multiple sectors. We are fortunate the Campaign has devoted the time, talent and resources to create and sustain this nationwide movement, even as the pandemic intensified the obstacles to our children’s education and reading comprehension. Strengthening children and families in our home region and beyond is a moral imperative, and our decade of support for the Campaign represents our commitment to this crucial goal.”

At the end of third grade, a child’s education shifts from a focus on “learning to read” to “reading to learn” in their other subjects. Children able to read proficiently by the end of third grade are better prepared for college, a career and a lifetime of active citizenship — making it a key factor in ending the cycle of generational poverty.

“The Patterson Foundation’s consistent philanthropic support has played an important role in our growth, development and progress over the past decade,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “Even more importantly, because of its leadership and engagement in Suncoast, TPF has been a mission-critical thought and action partner throughout, and especially as we pivoted to respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic.”

In addition to its national collaboration with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, The Patterson Foundation serves as the lead partner of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which promotes grade-level reading efforts in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties. This regional application of the national Campaign’s learnings and resources has sparked innovations such as Suncoast Remake Learning Days, a 10-day festival providing more than 140 free, hands-on learning events created by organizations throughout the region. More than 10,000 people attended the events in 2022, which highlighted educational opportunities outside school hours to strengthen a child’s learning in the classroom. Suncoast Remake Learning Days will return in 2023 from April 21 to April 30.

The Suncoast Campaign has also worked to create learning opportunities over the summer months through “THIS BOOK IS COOL!” Launched in 2020, “THIS BOOK IS COOL!” is a series of 100 webisodes designed to foster a child’s love of reading and provide families with a source of free books. More than 3,200 children participated in 2022, reading nearly 90,000 books combined.

The Suncoast Campaign has received national recognition for these and other efforts, including multiple Pacesetter Honors, one of the highest awards presented by the GLR Campaign, and the prestigious All-America City Award in 2017 and 2022.To learn more about The Patterson Foundation, visit Visit for more information about the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.

About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading seeks to disrupt generational poverty and ensure more hopeful futures for children of economically challenged, fragile and otherwise marginalized communities. We support community-driven initiatives to improve the likelihood that these children will grasp the first rung of the success sequence ladder – graduation from high school. Since its launch in 2012, the GLR Communities Network has grown to include more than 350 communities, representing 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two Canadian provinces — sponsored by 5,200+ local organizations, institutions and agencies and supported by 500+ state and local funders, including 200+ United Ways.

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Branan Jacobs