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October 10, 2018

Grade-Level Reading Director Selected for Leadership Florida Course

Beth Duda, director of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, has been selected to participate in Leadership Florida’s Education Class IV. The eight-month class brings together the state’s education leaders to exchange ideas on improving Florida’s education system.

“Duda will work with educational leaders throughout the state to address challenges and increase opportunities with the goal of making Florida the number one state in the country for public education,” a press release from the Suncoast Campaign stated.

The class includes superintendents, school board members, principals, teachers, state education department professionals, education foundation representatives, association leaders, business partners, and other public officials.

Amanda Horne, owner of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar and an early literacy advocate, was selected to the class as well. The Oyster Bar hosted a ‘Dive into Reading’ program this summer that partnered 366 children with adult mentors who read with the children over breakfast at the restaurant. Horne has been an active leader in supporting literacy initiatives in Manatee.

Duda has been the leader of the Suncoast Campaign since 2015. The campaign has received national recognition for its work in improving third-grade literacy rates in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to connect with leaders in our state’s education system as we explore innovations creating tangible impact throughout Florida,” Duda said. “My experience with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, in particular, has illustrated how much can be accomplished when multiple sectors join together in working toward a common solution. This emphasis on cross-sector collaboration is one of the Leadership Florida Education Program’s hallmarks, and I look forward to the new possibilities this experience will open up for our children.”

This story comes from a partnership between the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Herald-Tribune, funded by The Patterson Foundation, to cover school readiness, attendance, summer learning, healthy readers and parent engagement. Read more stories at

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