Our Work

Soar in 4 has played a unique and important role in advancing early childhood and school readiness in Manatee—with demonstrated successes in engaging parents, improving quality of pre-K education, and enhancing the availability of countywide child development data.

Early Learning Task Force

A collaborative partnership was formed to ensure Manatee County’s early learning community works together to provide all children, regardless of what zip code they live in, an equal opportunity at success by implementing a continuum of high-quality early learning services.

Early Learning Community Task Force
Soaring Families

Family engagement through parent leadership

Community Conversations

The purpose is to improve education and opportunities for people of all ages in an impactful way. This grassroots neighbor to neighbor approach identifies the aspirations of the community and involves them in creating and implementing solutions. These neighborhood conversations spark new thinking and inform our community how to collectively deploy resources.

Mind in the Making

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade Level Reading is committed to providing Mind in the Making’s Seven Essential Skills Training to parents, grandparents, child care professionals, early learning educators, and caregivers throughout Manatee County. The modules draw on brain development research to inform practices that lead to better outcomes for children through the promotion of essential skills. Each module provides participants the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and practices, learn what researchers have discovered about how children learn best, and discuss how to apply this research in their role as a parent, caregiver, or educator.  If you are interested in individually participating in Mind in the Making workshops, or would like to have a series of workshops at your place of employment, church, or community organization, please contact


A community outreach for parents, caregivers and educators to download the free Vroom app. Science tells us that our children’s first years are when they develop the foundation for all future learning. Every time we connect with them, it’s not just their eyes that light up – it’s their brains too. Turn shared moments into brain building moments.


TOPP The Teacher Opportunity Progression Program is a Soar in 4 and State College of Florida collaboration. This program is designed to recruit, develop, and retain Title I early learning teachers who are already in the community. This program supports people who are connected to the school or community but may not have considered teaching or who need and want additional support to enter the profession. The Soar in 4 TOPPs program includes financial support, guidance, and the promise of a preferential job interview upon graduation.

UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program

The FNP can provides a virtual and in person nutrition lesson for the parents of Soar in 4. The UF/IFAS Extension garden is located at the Manatee county fairgrounds. Master Gardeners provide tours and answer gardening questions for the families.

Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club Books For Kids

The mission of Books for Kids is to raise the reading levels of Soar in 4 elementary school students by helping with reading comprehension and by providing “Books For Kids.” This program engages parents and guardians in literacy-based activities so that the entire family can become involved. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of life for boys and girls in underserved communities 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 outreaches include book distributions and teacher supply boxes.

Ready Educators

Improving quality in early education and care through collaborative learning opportunities

If You Can Dream It… You Can STEAM It

STEAM experiences involve connecting two or more teaching concepts from science, technology, engineering, art, and math and weaving them together into a lesson, explore station, or challenge. STEAM education creates strong problem solvers and creative thinkers by asking children to question, imagine, plan, and create. When involved in STEAM, children can exercise both sides of their brain at once, using the logical left side and the creative right side. The Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County brings the STEAM Machine to you. This is a traveling opportunity for students at various Soar in 4 classrooms and neighborhood locations to foster connections between art, science and technology. The goal of STEAM is to harness the power of play while promoting curiosity, exploration, planning, and creation!

Read to Learn Family & Community and Educator & Community Learning workshops in collaboration with WEDU & PBS

WEDU and PBS are support multi-generational hands-on family engagements designed to support science and literacy development among children and families. And they provide Soar in 4 teachers with FREE, standards aligned professional development opportunities, interactives and lesson plans.

Screen to Succeed

Empowering families, organizations, and communities through child development data.

Connecting the Numbers

Linking data from various public systems to accurately track outcomes for the Soar in 4 neighborhood children and their families.

Health Express Mobile Dental Van

Providing dental exams, dental cleanings, and dental sealants in Soar in 4 early learning neighborhoods.

Summer Soar in 4

Preparing early learners and their families for school success. Bruce and Kate Langsen, on behalf of the Manatee Community Foundation, has donated funding for the 2017 summer Soar in 4 programs for Ballard, Sea Breeze and Rogers Garden-Bullock locations.