The University of Florida Literacy Initiative has partnered with the James Patterson Foundation to address Florida’s literacy crisis through the James Patterson Literacy Challenge. Two of the biggest problems facing low-performing schools are (a) many children arrive at school each year unprepared for the literacy expectations of their grade level and (b) many teachers are unprepared to address the needs of struggling readers. Past attempts to address these problems have tended to rely on one-size-fits-all curricula, superficial professional development efforts, and supposed quick fixes, none of which have led to sustained changes. We propose a wholly different approach.
The James Patterson Literacy Challenge will address these persistent problems by working with schools to change their literacy culture, from one where failure is routine and often accepted as inevitable to one where failure is simply not an option. We will accomplish this through transformative professional learning experiences for teachers and school leaders.
Here are the highlights of the James Patterson Literacy Challenge: