Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

  • The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading helps children from birth through 3rd grade, especially those from asset-limited families, succeed in life by ensuring that they read on grade level. The focus is on key solutions that impact a child’s ability to read, while strengthening support for children and families.

    Reading Volunteers meet for one hour a week during the school year (outside of school hours) to read with children one-to-one, promoting literacy skills and encouraging a love of reading. They may also be asked to play educational games with students based on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and/or comprehension.

Volunteer for Literacy Programs

  • Partner with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. If you love reading, enjoy working with children, and can commit to one hour of volunteering per week, please contact these community agencies and become a volunteer.

    Literacy Volunteers, click here for important information.
    The volunteer programs below are not affiliated with the School District of Manatee County. All volunteers are recruited and trained by the respective community agencies. Please do not contact schools directly.

    Books for Kids
    Books For Kids is a project of the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch. Their mission is to raise the reading levels of elementary school students by helping with reading comprehension and by providing “Books For Kids.” They also engage parents and guardians in literacy-based activities so that the entire family can become involved. The goal is to improve the quality of life for boys and girls in underserved communities throughout Florida by increasing the number of books in home libraries. Volunteers dedicate one hour a week during the school year to meet with students and support their reading comprehension. Other volunteer opportunities are available such as book distributions.

    To register as a volunteer, please contact: 
    Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch
    Ted Lindenberg
    (845) 304-5793

    Printable Flyer - English
    Flyer imprimible - Español

    Books for Kids & 13th Avenue Dream Center Mentorship
    This virtual 1-1 opportunity is focused on third grade students enrolled at Manatee Elementary School. Volunteers seek to change the lives of children facing adversity by coaching them to achieve success in school, to avoid risky behaviors and to improve their self-confidence. Volunteers meet weekly with their mentee using the Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES) program.

    For more information, please contact: 
    Children’s Home Society of Florida
    Renita Houston | Community Partnership
    (813) 618-1422

    13th Avenue Dream Center
    Derrick Randall | Director

    To register as a volunteer, please contact: 
    Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch
    Ted Lindenberg
    (845) 304-5793

    United Way Suncoast Reading All-Stars
    Reading All-Stars is a virtual volunteer opportunity focused on working with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students at Palm View Elementary and Samoset Elementary. Volunteers dedicate one hour a week, for the length of the school year, to meet with a small group of students and encourage them in their academic journey. They work on phonics and vocabulary activities found in the Mentoring Toolkit provided by the District. If you are interested in volunteering, please register at

    United Way Suncoast
    Kayla Shugart | Manager, Community Partnerships
    (941) 256-3073

    Dive into Reading
    The Dive into Reading summer reading program, provided by Anna Maria Oyster Bar, aims to improve children’s reading levels and mitigate summer learning loss.

    Anna Maria Oyster Bar

    Soar in 4
    Soar in 4 is a collaborative effort to ensure all children are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. Soar in 4 focuses on 15 economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Due to COVID-19, the program has transitioned to a monthly drive-thru with 14 demonstration tables that are facilitated by teachers from the School District of Manatee County, non-profit organizations and volunteers. Every month a spotlight book is featured. Families drive by each table and receive materials to support the book so they can continue to play, create, learn and explore at home together. All activities are aligned to classroom learning.

    School District of Manatee County
    Sheila Halpin | Coordinator Campaign Reading
    (941) 753-0958 x2008

    Soar in 4

    YMCA Reads

    YMCA Reads is an afterschool literacy intervention program for K-4th grade at-risk students attending Bayshore Elementary and Moody Elementary schools. This literacy program uses a structured curriculum focusing on systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, and sight words. Volunteers may choose between two options: Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Volunteers are asked to teach twice a week for consistent instruction with the children, but there is flexibility if you can only commit to one afternoon a week. For additional information, please visit

    Manatee YMCA
    Nancy Sena | Coordinator YMCA Reads

    (941) 782-0220

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County

    The Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County provide the children of Manatee County with a safe place to learn and grow, life-enhancing programs, character-building experiences, and hope and opportunity. Club members are offered daily access to a range of programs in 3 core areas: academic success, good character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Whether you are an individual interested in volunteering your time and talent, or a group looking to give back to the community, there are a variety of ways to get involved. Please visit for more information.
    • DeSoto Boys & Girls Club  |  5236 30th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34207
    • Palmetto Boys & Girls Club  |  1600 10th Street W., Palmetto, FL 34221
    • Daughtrey Elementary  |  515 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton, FL 34203
    • Oneco Elementary  |  5214 22nd Street Ct. E., Bradenton, FL 34203
    • Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary  |  513 13th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
    Xavier Oliver | Volunteer Coordinator
    941-761-2582 x109


    UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program (FNP)

    The UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program (FNP) has provided free nutrition education to SNAP-eligible people in Florida since 1996. FNP has joined the Campaign for Grade Level Reading and is collaborating with the Manatee County Library to offer nutrition lessons and a storytime experience at eligible schools in Manatee county. FNP also offers free resources for local organizations to support and promote healthy eating and physical activity in their communities. For additional information, please visit

    UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program
    Tara Gage

    (941) 722-4524 x1856



    Hope4Communities ensures that children are prepared for school. The Day4Hope initiative provides homeless and in need children in Manatee County with a back-to-school event on local church campuses. Participating schools recommend students to attend the summer event.  Each child receives a medical exam, eye screening, child and family portrait, personal care bag, gift cards for clothes and shoes, dental exam/cleaning instruction, haircut, backpack, school supplies and much more. Hope4Communities partners with local churches to mentor the student and their family year-round. Aligned with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, the partner church supports parent success by focusing on a holistic approach of support to improve student academic outcomes. To learn more, please visit

  • Volunteer reading mentors are crucial to early literacy efforts.

Welcome Message from Superintendent Saunders

Virtual Volunteer

Becoming a Reading Mentor

English Language Learners

Exceptional Student Education

Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES)

Volunteer Demonstration: Three-Read Fluency

Volunteer Demonstration: Interactive Read Aloud

Volunteer Demonstration: Word Sort