The Tampa, FL, Grade-Level Reading Campaign is recognized as a 2014 Pacesetter for making measurable progress in summer learning. In 2013, every student in the Tampa Summer Care program was at risk for suffering summer learning loss. By the end of the program, 97% of students maintained or increased their overall reading levels. Every student who received one-on-one tutoring increased their reading skills by seven months and 69% were reading at grade level by the end of the summer.
Sponsored by the United Way Suncoast, the Summer Care program grants scholarships to local non-profits for children to attend their quality summer programs. These programs must emphasize literacy with daily structured reading lessons, as well as reinforcing basic skills in writing, math, science, social studies and fitness. In addition, students who were reading below grade level at the beginning of the summer received intensive tutoring by pre-service teachers through a partnership with St. Petersburg College.
The Tampa GLR Campaign reaches approximately 30,000 low-income children. In partnership with the Hillsborough County School District, the local Campaign regularly tracks the following summer learning indicators as key measures of its overall impact on student outcomes: percent of children from low-income families who participate in a summer reading program; percent of children who received daily academic lessons, and percent of children who maintain or improve their reading skills over the summer.
Reflecting on the community’s progress since it joined the Campaign in 2013, local GLR Lead, Jamie Toennies, commented, “Thanks to the work of the Campaign, our community has mobilized around this issue and collectively work to improve the outcomes for children in the Tampa Bay region.”
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading proudly recognizes the shared ownership for the progress in Tampa among the following members of the local sponsoring coalition:
- United Way Suncoast
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa
- Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay
- Champions for Children
- Children’s Board of Hillsborough County
- City of Tampa
- Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County
- Hillsborough County
- Hillsborough County Public Schools
- Hillsborough Education Foundation
- Read On myOn
- Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA
- University of South Florida