Students who need assistance with reading and reading comprehension can get help through PCAT. Seen here are the kindergarten graduates at Ruskin Elementary School.

Parents and Children Advance Together (PCAT) Literacy Ministries Inc. was founded in 2003. Its mission is to provide literacy programs to address the educational needs of children and families residing in underserved communities.

PCAT is an after-school literacy program that is designed to assist with reading and reading comprehension instruction for low-performing primary grade students (kindergarten to second grade) who are at risk of school failure. Parents are encouraged to be involved in their children’s education by attending various learning initiatives, including reading at home. Services are provided at no cost to the families.

PCAT serves 90 students (30 per grade level) at Ruskin Elementary School. They also serve 30 kindergarten students at Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School.

GiGi Moise, executive director of PCAT, said, “Students are recommended to our program by their Hillsborough County Public Schools district teacher. Any student in the grade levels that we serve who are reading below level are eligible for our program services.”

Once students are officially enrolled by their parents/caregivers, PCAT completes a Developmental Reading Assessment for each student and creates an individualized learning plan to ensure that their learning needs are met.

Moise said, “PCAT has been serving students in Hillsborough County for over 20 years. We are focused on helping students to become proficient readers. We also work with parents and caregivers to provide resources which aid them to help learn how to support and empower their students. We use a proven curriculum system in conjunction with other … educational tools to teach students. We also have incorporated character, life skills and resiliency through reading in our program, which helps students and their families grow in other areas, all while improving their educational performance.”

PCAT students are required to read at home aloud with their parents/caregivers at least four times a week. The parents/caregivers are trained on the techniques to properly read with their child. Research has shown that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, behavior and social skills as well as reduces absenteeism.

Reading together fosters a love of reading at an early age. As children grow up, they find reading to be a pleasurable habit.

For more information on PCAT, please visit

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