Hello! I would like to take a moment to tell you about a cause I have become very passionate about. I am honored to have teamed up with NFL legend, Jason Taylor, and StevenDouglas to help our community's children in need through the "Read to Succeed" Initiative. Specifically, this is about literacy – helping these young people to become better readers, writers, more effective students and ultimately empower them to grow into positive, productive citizens.
Ten years ago, Jason established the Jason Taylor Reading Room in Miramar, Fla. This comprehensive after-school program is designed to address academic challenges among inner-city youth, particularly in the areas of literacy. Currently, more than 100 middle school students participate in the program for two hours per day throughout the school year, and are navigated through a rotating academic focus calendar with assistance from a full-time Educational Director, certified teachers and teachers' aides. The program's curriculum addresses vocabulary development, reading comprehension, language arts, creative writing skills, oral reading fluency and novel study, as well as ninety minutes of weekly math instruction per grade level. The Reading Room also provides individualized computer assisted learning opportunities and homework support. And thanks to the support of generous donors through the "Read to Succeed" Initiative, we have opened a second Reading Room location, expanding the reach of this amazing effort. Additionally, a ground-breaking Spoken Word Poetry program was born in the Reading Room and has grown into a full-blown network reaching more than 60 schools across South Florida. The bluapple Poetry Network has become such a success that the Foundation now annually hosts the “Super Bowl” of poetry, entitled Louder Than A Bomb Florida, a 13-day poetry festival that features a friendly, school-based, team poetry competition.
I am hoping that you will join us this year as we continue to "give kids a fighting chance" through this initiative. I am looking for generous community members like yourself that are willing to contribute $1,000, the cost for one child to participate in the program throughout an entire school year. Any money we raise above what it costs to operate the Reading Room will once again be allocated towards college scholarships and to support our growing bluapple Poetry Network. To date, the "Read to Succeed" Initiative has contributed more than $160,000 towards scholarships!
In appreciation for your support, each donor who contributes $1,000 or more will be invited to two exclusive events hosted by Jason Taylor and his friends. The first event will be a VIP reception on Wednesday, April 12 at the home of Steve Sadaka, Chairman & CEO of StevenDouglas and founder of the Read to Succeed Initiative.
The second event will be held in early June at Smoke on the Water, a cigar bar and lounge where, in addition to an open bar, food and cigars, a photographer will take pictures of all donors with Jason and print them out on-site so that Jason can personalize them that evening.
On behalf of Jason Taylor, StevenDouglas and the deserving youth at the Jason Taylor Reading Room, I thank you for your consideration.
StevenDouglas, one of the nation’s leading boutique search and interim resource firms, is proud to once again partner with legendary NFL defender, Jason Taylor, on the “Read to Succeed Initiative” benefiting the Jason Taylor Reading Room. The initiative was originally launched by StevenDouglas Chairman and CEO, Steve Sadaka, who continues to assemble a dedicated team of committee members determined to serve as ambassadors for the after-school program, which is provided at no cost to under-served middle school students. The committee is seeking generous community members willing to contribute $1,000 each, the cost for one child to participate in the program throughout an entire school year. Any money raised above what it costs to operate the Reading Room will once again be allocated towards college scholarships.
The 2016 Read to Succeed campaign resulted in another extremely successful year, as the committee raised nearly $240,000 to benefit deserving children in the areas of literacy, empowerment and continued education. Since its launch in 2010, “Read to Succeed” has raised more than $1,000,000 for Taylor’s literacy based programs, including $160,000 towards college scholarships, student advocacy and mentorship. And thanks to the generosity of this campaign’s donor base, the program continues to thrive and grow! Currently, the Foundation operates a second location, The Jason Taylor Learning Center, housed within New Renaissance Middle School. More than 100 students attend the centers four days per week, receiving expert instruction from a full time educational director and case manager, as well as a team of certified teachers and teachers’ aids. A math component has also been integrated into the curriculum, as has a homework assistance platform.
On Fridays, students have the opportunity to utilize the critical literacy skills they have learned as a vehicle for self-expression, both written and through performance, in the Foundation’s Spoken Word Poetry program.
The success of the spoken word program incubated within the Reading Room, coupled with the results of the Read to Succeed committee’s fundraising efforts, has afforded the Jason Taylor Foundation the opportunity to expand the depth of our programming beyond the walls of the Youth Enrichment Center. Five years ago, the Foundation expanded its efforts to launch a full-blown “bluapple Poetry Network” in partnership with actor & poet, Omari Hardwick, star of the hit Starz Network TV series Power. To learn more about bluapple, please watch this video.
Currently, more than 60 public schools, spanning from as far south as Homestead to as far north as Port St. Lucie, actively participate and connect through bluapple on a weekly basis. In fact, this April will mark the Foundation’s third year of producing the “Super Bowl” of poetry, Louder Than A Bomb Florida, a 13-day spoken word poetry festival that features a friendly, school-based, team poetry competition. To see NBC-6’s 30-minute special on LTABFLA, please CLICK HERE.
Each donor who contributes $1,000 or more will be invited to two exclusive events hosted by Jason Taylor, Steve Sadaka, and friends. The first event will be a VIP reception on Wednesday, April 12 at Sadaka’s home.
The second event will be held in early June (exact date TBD) at Smoke on the Water, Weston’s popular cigar bar and lounge where, in addition to an open bar, food and cigars, a photographer will take pictures of all donors with Jason and print them out on-site so that Jason can personalize them that evening.