Sarasota County Schools News

Gulf Coast’s Brady among national Literacy Leadership awardees

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Veronica Brady-award surprise

AWARD-WINNING DISTRICT PARTNER: Veronica Brady, vice president of philanthropy at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, was surprised by Sarasota County teachers and administrators with news about this award in November 2017.

NOTE: This is an abbreviated version of a news release from the Reading Recovery Council of North America. Click here for the complete release about all three of the Council's 2018 award honorees.

Click here for the November 2017 news release from Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 18, 2018 – Three individuals will be recognized with the 2018 Excellence in Literacy Leadership Award presented by the Reading Recovery teacher leaders. They are Dr. Amanda Alexander, chief of elementary schools at District of Columbia Public Schools; Dr. Dean Baker, superintendent of Maine School Administrative District 49 in central Maine; and Veronica Brady, senior vice president of philanthropy at Gulf Coast Community Foundation in Venice, Fla.

Each year, Reading Recovery teacher leaders from across the country nominate individuals to receive this prestigious award. Recipients, who are not trained in Reading Recovery, have displayed a strong commitment to expand and maintain its high standards and made significant contributions to implementation beyond the local level. The nominating teacher leaders will present the awards on Sunday, February 18, during the 2018 National Reading Recovery & K-6 Literacy Conference opening session at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Veronica Brady, senior vice president of philanthropy at Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Veronica Brady first learned about Reading Recovery from philanthropists Keith and Linda Monda, who supported Reading Recovery through The Ohio State University and envisioned replicating it in Sarasota County. Brady spearheaded a partnership with Sarasota County Schools and secured funding commitments from the Mondas and the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

She shares district data to educate the community, media outlets, and other potential donors, and led the charge to expand from 3 to all 10 Title I elementary schools in the district in just one year. Recognizing that many students in non-Title I schools also would benefit from Reading Recovery, she advocated for further expansion to all 23 Sarasota County elementary schools.

With additional funding, Reading Recovery was implemented district-wide this school year.

“From the inception, Veronica has worked diligently to reach numerous stakeholders and to spread the word about the powerful effects of Reading Recovery,” said Teacher Leader Lisa Fisher. “The benefits reach not only the students, but also impact the Reading Recovery teachers, the collaborating

homeroom teachers, the school as a whole, and the families of the children themselves. Her significant contributions to Reading Recovery’s expansion and implementation in Florida impacts lifetime trajectories.”

Sarasota County Schools serves about 43,000 students in Grades K-12, at 53 schools that include 11 charter schools, 1 virtual school, and 1 technical college. About 53% of the students are economically needy. The district offers a wide variety of school choice and magnet programs and is one of only two districts in Florida that has earned an ‘A’ every year since district grading started in 2004.

About Reading Recovery

More than 2.3 million struggling first graders in the United States have benefitted from the one-to-one teaching expertise of Reading Recovery professionals. The intervention, introduced to North America in 1984 by educators at The Ohio State University, has more research proving its effectiveness than any other beginning reading program.

 About the Reading Recovery Council of North America

The Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA) is a not-for-profit association of Reading Recovery professionals and partners. The Council provides a network of professional development opportunities, including the National Reading Recovery & K-6 Literacy Conference, where literacy leaders share their expertise with more than 2,000 attendees from around the world.

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