Step Up Suncoast is proud to partner with Dr. John Hodge, President and Co-Founder of Urban Learning and Leadership Center in our mission to fight poverty on the Suncoast. Dr. Hodge will provide a 40-minute keynote on the topic of education of America’s youth before COVID-19 and the additional burdens faced by impoverished children and their families. Research indicates that poverty does not need to be a barrier to academic excellence. As co-author of the book, Standing in the Gap, Dr. Hodge states, “across the nation, schools are demonstrating that it can be done. That students can reach high standards, all children can succeed, the gap between white and minority students, poor and affluent, can be closed.” More often than not, one caring adult can make all the difference in the world. At the 2020 Step Up to the Plate event we want to encourage all of you to Be The One for a child.