Florida Campaign

An alarming number of children – about 67 percent nationwide and more than 80 percent of those from low-income families – are not proficient readers by the end of third grade. This has significant and long-term consequences not only for each of those children, but for their communities and our nation as a whole. If left unchecked, this problem will undermine efforts to end intergenerational poverty, close the achievement gap and reduce high school dropout rates. Far fewer of the next generation will be prepared to succeed in a global economy, participate in higher education or enter military and civilian service.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading was launched to reverse this potentially catastrophic trend by supporting common-sense solutions at the federal, state and local levels. In communities nationwide, the Campaign works within three solution areas proven to move the needle on third grade reading proficiency:

The Campaign also recognizes the influence of health and parents on the success of these solution areas.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and a life of active citizenship. The Campaign focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation: grade-level reading by the end of third grade.

Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn and to master the more complex subject matter they encounter in the fourth grade curriculum. Most students who fail to reach this critical milestone falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma. Yet two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders are not proficient readers, according to national reading assessment data. This disturbing statistic is made even worse by the fact that more than four out of every five low-income students miss this critical milestone.

Although schools must be accountable for helping all children achieve, providing effective teaching for all children in every classroom every day, the Campaign is based on the belief that schools cannot succeed alone. Engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities and assist parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to serve as full partners in the success of their children are needed to assure student success. View this infographic to learn more about the Campaign’s approach to building a movement around early-childhood literacy.

Alachua County United Way Mona Gil de Gibaja

(352) 333-0845


Brevard County United Way Kevin James

(321) 615-3384


Broward County Children’s Services Council of Broward County Sandra Bernard-Bastien

(954) 377-1666


Charlotte County United Way of Charlotte County Angie Matthiessen

(941) 627-3539


DeSoto County United Way Suncoast Sue Wetzel

(941) 328-6972


Indian River County The Learning Alliance Marie O’Brien

(772) 532-1968


City of Delray Beach City of Delray Beach Janet Meeks

(561) 243-7231


Hillsborough United Way Suncoast Ellen Zinzeleta

(813) 274-0938


Indian River County The Learning Alliance Jennifer Croom

(772) 321-8987


Duval County Kids Hope Alliance Dr. Jennifer Blalock

(904) 255-4404


Manatee County United Way Suncoast Bronwyn Beightol

(941) 932-8257


Martin County Children’s Services Council of Martin County Laura Haase

772-288-5758, Ext. 101


Miami-Dade County The Children’s Trust Danielle Barreras

(786) 693-0784


Orange County/Orange County Early Learning Coalition of Orange County Cindy Jurie

(407) 841-6607


Palm Beach County Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County Christy Potter

(561) 374-7608


Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County Danielle Hintz

(727) 453- 5696


Sarasota County Community Foundation of Sarasota County Kirsten Russell

(941) 556-7158


St. Lucie County Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County John Cesar

(772) 444-6224


Suncoast Region (Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte & Desoto) The Patterson Foundation Beth Duda

(941) 952-1413


Florida Statewide Campaign, Florida Children’s Council Tallahassee Grade-Level Reading Campaign Jenn Faber

(239) 432-0051


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