The Library Foundation of Martin County Names Bridget Baratta 2013 Kiplinger Literacy Volunteer

Priscilla Baldwin, President of the Library Foundation of Martin County has announced that Bridget Baratta will receive the Kiplinger Literacy Award as the 2013 Literacy Volunteer of the Year.
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Dec. 18, 2012 - PRLog -- Priscilla Baldwin, President of the Library Foundation of Martin County has announced that Bridget Baratta will receive the Kiplinger Literacy Award as the 2013 Literacy Volunteer of the Year. The award will be presented at the 5th annual Kiplinger Literacy Award luncheon on Monday, February 4, 2013, from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart.  Knight Kiplnger, Editor in Chief of Kiplinger Publications will present the keynote address, “What’s Ahead for the US Economy?”

         Tickets for the luncheon are $75 per person and sponsorship opportunities are also available.  

The first Kiplinger Literacy Award was presented in 2009. The award is named in honor of the Kiplinger family to recognize their legacy of support of the Library’s educational programs and other significant cultural and civic organizations such as The Woman’s Club of Stuart and The Elliott Museum. In 1957, the Kiplinger family donated an entire city block on East Ocean Boulevard in Stuart for the site of the original Martin County Library and the Woman’s Club of Stuart.

This year’s honoree, Bridget Baratta, has had a lifelong love of the library from early childhood. In her adult life, her early passion for reading and discovery bloomed into a desire to share the gift of literacy with others. While attending George Washington University, she volunteered in Washington D.C. public schools. After graduating, she worked as a management consultant but found time to volunteer as a Laubach literacy tutor. Laubach carried the slogan of “Each One Teach One” into more than 100 nations.

In Philadelphia Bridget’s work continued as a literacy specialist for the William Penn Foundation’s “Books Aloud” program. In 1997-1999, she was a board member of Educational First Steps in Dallas and created a nine-month emerging literacy program for 800 preschool age children and teachers.

Bridget moved to Stuart in 2005 and created and implemented a successful kindergarten remediation program at JD Parker Elementary.  In 2008, she assisted with the creation of the Library Foundation’s Literacy Committee and provided leadership and coordination of Martin County literacy resources.

Bridget Baratta is the Executive Director of the Martin County Community Foundation and serves on the board of The Pine School and the Berkshire Hills Music Academy, Ma.  and the advisory boards of The Lyric Theatre and the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida. She is a past-president of the Junior League of Martin County, winner of the Martin County Soroptimist Women of Distinction Award (2007) and the National Philanthropy Day Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year in 2008.

Bridget holds a B.B.A. from George Washington University and a Master’s of Education with a major in Policy and Administration from the University of Pennsylvania through collaboration with the Wharton School.

The Foundation established the Kiplinger Literacy Award in 2009 to increase the awareness and importance of literacy for all Martin County residents. Sandra Kimmelman was the first recipient followed by Betty Mulligan in 2010, Charlie Belmont (posthumously) in 2011 and Patty Stewart in 2012.          

Knight Kiplinger, Editor in Chief, Kiplinger Publications

The Library Foundation of Martin County is honored to have Knight Kiplinger return as the keynote speaker at this prestigious luncheon. As one of America’s most respected economic journalists and business forecasters, Mr. Kiplinger’s prescient comments post-election will be keenly anticipated. Mr. Kiplinger is editor in chief of The Kiplinger Letter; begun in 1923, it is the most widely read and longest-published business forecasting publication in the world. Mr. Kiplinger also oversees Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and

Knight’s grandfather, Willard M. Kiplinger came to Stuart in 1952 while on vacation and bought the Bay Tree Lodge in Sewall’s Point. The family rebuilt the lodge after a devastating fire in 1990 and continues to vacation there along with Kiplinger employees.

Literacy Program a Success

The Library Foundation organized the Literacy Network to determine how the Foundation could most effectively provide classes for adults. As a result, last year the Literacy Network received a grant from the Florida Department of Education to establish four workplace learning sites.

Literacy teaching specialist Donna Musso  achieved excellent results in teaching adult students by using customized lesson plans so that each student could advance at their own speed. Over half of the students increased one grade level in English skills, including some who were not literate even in their native language. Of the 96 students in class sessions conducted at the Martin County Correctional Institution, 10 students passed the GED exam to earn their high school diploma. One of them is now enrolled in college.

         The Martin County Library System will continue to offer adult literacy training in the coming year in selected community sites, the jail and in library branches. For more information on the services available and how you donate to support this effort, contact the Library Foundation: or 772-221-1409.
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Tags:Bridget Baratta, Kiplinger, Library Foundation, Stuart, Priscilla Baldwin
Industry:Books, Non-profit
Location:Stuart - Florida - United States
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