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Expanding Literacy in Pinellas County

Author: Helios Education Foundation

August 16, 2021

The Pinellas Education Foundation, joined by Pinellas County Public Schools and Helios Education Foundation, formally kicked off the Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative, which intends to improve literacy instruction for PreK-2 students and teachers in 16 Title I schools and selected private PreK providers.

Funded by a $1 million grant from Helios, a commitment of $500,000 from the Pinellas Education Foundation, and support from Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, and the Riley Education Foundation, the Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative invests in teacher professional development in order to address kindergarten readiness and literacy gaps. “An investment in early literacy is not just an investment in a child, it’s an investment in education equity,” said Charles Hokanson, Senior Vice President, Florida Student Success.

Partnership and collaboration are at the center of the Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative. The initiative complements Pinellas County Public School’s commitment to early literacy, the dedication of teachers, and cooperation from private providers, to ensure Pinellas’ youngest learners have a solid foundation for reading readiness. Addressing teachers, administrators, and community leaders, Mr. Charley Harris, Chairman of the Board for the Pinellas Education Foundation acknowledged “Our success is built on the foundation of partnership and collaboration – which involves all of you in this room. We know that what we want to accomplish for students won’t and can’t be done alone.”

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