The Patterson Foundation’s work is rooted in the belief that good comes from people creating their own change. From individuals to entire communities — it’s this sense of ownership that drives action targeting the greatest issues of our time. We’re seeing this first hand in the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an effort to ensure all children in our region read on grade level by the end of third grade.

As an extension of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a network of more than 240 communities working toward data-driven progress around this issue, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is focused on engaging the entire community –especially parents and families who comprise the Opportunity Quartile.

The Opportunity Quartile represents children and families who are living at or near poverty levels. These families and children are often minorities who speak English or Spanish. They are beneficiaries of social-sector programs and services — but the many organizations who serve them –from foundations to nonprofits– tend to focus on the issues (think affordable housing, education, access to quality healthcare) rather than the people the programs and policies help.

This is where strong, thoughtful communications makes a difference​.

As an enterprise funder of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and a network weaver in the two-county Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, The Patterson Foundation is investing in communications to pave the way to reach families who have so much to gain.

As the communications partner to The Patterson Foundation, we’ll be diving deeper into how we’re approaching outreach to families in our region by:

​– Understanding how to talk to parents

– Understanding the families we’re trying to reach — Who are they? What are their media habits? How do they access information?

– Taking a closer look at the Hispanic community — including those who speak English as a second language

– From public transportation shelters to places of worship — meeting families where they are

– Going beyond traditional media: the rise of mobile and non-traditional tactics to reach families

What have been some of your greatest challenges and successes reaching Opportunity Quartile families?

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Roxanne Joffe, president of MagnifyGood, is The Patterson Foundation's initiative consultant for the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

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