Patterson Foundations donates $250,000 to Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Coordinators and partners with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading accept the All America City Award in Denver in June. [Courtesy photo/Bill Wagy].

Coordinators and partners with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading accept the All America City Award in Denver in June. [Courtesy photo/Bill Wagy].

The Patterson Foundation recently contributed $250,000 to the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which seeks to increase reading proficiency among children in low-income families. Since 2013, The Patterson Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to support the campaign’s early literacy efforts.

The foundation’s latest contribution helps fund an “enterprise hub” that will provide case studies and best practices for the more than 300 communities in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada that participate in the campaign.

“The Patterson Foundation values the strength of being part of the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading movement, where proven practices are shared with more than 300 communities to prepare children for kindergarten, reduce chronic absenteeism and boost summer learning,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “By supporting the enterprise hub, communities throughout the nation can learn and share from the best and from each other.”

Currently, 80 percent of children from low-income homes are unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade. The campaign’s goal is to cut that number in half in a dozen or more states by 2020.

“Over the past several years, The Patterson Foundation has been a highly valued partner to the GLR Campaign and exemplified the ‘more than money’ approach to grant making,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “The GLR Campaign is deeply appreciative of the multifaceted and valuable role of The Patterson Foundation as an Enterprise Investor, thought partner and leader in the effort to ensure many more children are on a path to success.”

The Patterson Foundation is also the lead contributor to the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which encompasses Manatee and Sarasota counties, and works with the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign, which helps guide the work of the 16 communities statewide that are committed to the GLR Campaign’s goals. The Sarasota-Manatee area recently received an All-America City Award from the National Civic League based on the efforts of the Suncoast Campaign.