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$100,000 Grant from Manatee Community Foundation Awarded to Support Family Learning in Manatee County

A grant in the amount of $100,000 was awarded from the Success Through Literacy Fund of Manatee Community Foundation to support the Soar in 4 program, an award-winning program helping families to become their child’s first teacher.

With leadership by the School District of Manatee County and more than 30 local partner organizations, Soar in 4 gives families the tools and support to help their children make learning gains while connecting them to community resources that remove barriers to participation in education.

The grant from Manatee Community Foundation will be used for literacy kids for homes and stipends to School District staff to provide literacy outreach events.

“It’s inspiring to witness the incredible literacy support for our families most in need.  Soar in 4 has the momentum to make a difference and it’s time for our community to get involved,” said Mary Glass, President of Manatee Education Foundation. For the last two years, Manatee Education Foundation has supported a full-time position dedicated to Soar in 4.

Each month over 250 children and their families will receive in home literacy materials and instruction on how to use those materials.  In addition, Soar in 4 will provide 2,000 literacy bags for pre k students and their families. Families will be able to access a video link explaining how to use those materials at home.

Manatee Community Foundation donors Steve and Carolyn Roskamp have provided essential funding to Soar in 4 since its beginning.  “We recognize that the health of our community depends on whether families can access learning opportunities that prepare their children for success in school,” said Roskamp.

“We invest in Soar in 4 because we have personally seen the way it impacts students and the partnership they have with their parents in learning together. The program has been creative and flexible during COVID19, allowing families to safely receive information and learning tools—even basic needs.”

To volunteer for Soar in 4 or learn more about the program, contact Dr. Sheila Halpin, Campaign for Grade Level Reading & Volunteer Coordinator, School District of Manatee County, at

To recommend a grant to the Soar in 4 Fund of MCF from your donor advised fund, email, or make a contribution online.

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