Miss Soto Literacy Legacy, Announcement Reveal!

School is almost out for the summer but before the last bells rings on the 2016-2017 school year, Miss Soto’s Literacy Legacy has one more book to share! “Miss Soto Literacy Legacy Project” is proud to announce the final book selection for this year, “Sylvie” by Jennifer Sattler. We wanted to do something special for our community. This special addition of “Sylvie” has been printed for every family in Stratford’s public schools, grades K through 6.

Over 3,000 copies will be distributed at each school this week! This project has been a year in the making and we would not have been able to accomplish this without the help of the author and Penguin Random House Publishing.

“Sylvie” the pink flamingo, goes through a journey of self-discovery after learning the reason why she is the color pink. She tries different ways to change herself and the way she looks, but ultimately finds out that it’s simply better to just be yourself. We hope this book will “tickle you pink” as much as it did us and Miss Soto! She not only loved flamingos but kept this book in her classroom where she often read it aloud to her students. It was one of her favorites, so we hope you enjoy this book as much as she did.

“Sylvie” is the ninth book in the legacy project series and the fifth book selection for this year. Since 2015, “Miss Soto Literacy Legacy Project” has been collaborating with the Stratford Board of Education to distribute over 1,800 books to over 250 classrooms and teachers across the Stratford K-6 school district.

We also invite you to join us on June 29, 2017 at 4:00pm in the Lovell Room of the Stratford Public Library located at 2203 Main Street for a meet and greet with the author/illustrator of “Sylvie”, Ms. Jennifer Sattler. She will be reading the book out loud and will be hosting a creative art activity as well. We hope you will join us for this very special event!

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Miss Soto Literacy Legacy, Stratford Announcement Coming Soon!

Our past and present scholarship winners, as well as our Team Vicki volunteers, were very busy getting ready for a big Stratford announcement! We have something very special planned for “Miss Soto’s Literacy Legacy”! Stay tuned students in the Stratford School System. Thank you to our volunteers and scholarship recipients who were a tremendous help and who are all part of the Team Vicki Soto Family.

Congratulations VSMF 2017 Scholarship Recipients

The winners of the 2017 Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship are Jessica Taliercio of Bunnell High School in Stratford, CT, Kaitlyn Keegan of Stratford High School in Stratford, CT, Connecticut State winner Michael Rosati of St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, CT and National winner Katie Harvey from Lehigh Senior High School in Lehigh Acres, Florida. All four of our 2017 scholarship recipients are pursuing degrees in the field of education and exemplify Vicki’s passion for education.

Each of the above 2017 recipients each received a $5,026 scholarship. In addition, the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, Inc. has also retroactively renewed the scholarships for the winners from 2014, 2015 and 2016 so they may continue their academic excellence and work within their communities, carrying on Vicki’s Legacy.

The Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, Inc. is run by the Soto family and friends who are all strictly volunteers. There is no paid staff. We would not be able to carry on Vicki’s legacy if it weren’t for all of the love and support we get from the community and the country in Vicki’s name. Your generosity has allowed the foundation to provide scholarships to these deserving young men and woman who are all going into the field of education and will carry on where Vicki left off.

To date, The Vicki Soto Memorial Fund Inc., has given over $85,000 dollars in scholarships and other educational and literacy program projects. Thank you for your support as it has allowed us to give back to so many bright students and future leaders. We wish all the best for the scholarship winners as they continue their journeys as future educators. Thank you for your continued support and love!

2017 VSMF CT State Scholarship Winner, Michael Rosati!

Congratulations to our CT State scholarship recipient of 2017, Michael Rosati! Michael is from Shelton, CT and is a senior at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, CT. In the fall, he will be attending Salve Regina University, double majoring in both Elementary and Special Education.

Michael told us, “I am very excited about receiving the Victoria Soto Memorial Scholarship. I am so honored and humbled that the Soto family chose me to help make sure Vicki’s legacy lives on forever. I cannot wait to get into the classroom and begin my career with Vicki on my mind and in my heart each and every day!”

We are so excited to watch Michael as he takes on a double major in education and cannot wait for the day he is teaching in a classroom of his own. We know he will continue on with Vicki’s legacy and we are thrilled to have Michael as our first state scholarship recipient.

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2017 VSMF Stratford High School Scholarship Winner, Kaitlyn Keegan!

Congratulations to our Stratford High School scholarship recipient of 2017, Kaitlyn Keegan! Kaitlyn is a Stratford senior and will be attending the College of Charleston this fall where she is majoring in Elementary Education.

Kaitlyn said, “My heart is so full. Since I was a little girl I have always known that my heart was made to teach; that my purpose in this life was to inspire and love and teach as many children as I possibly could and to have them come out of my classroom doors knowing that they are endlessly loved and capable of anything. Vicki was everything that I aspire to be in this world. To the Soto family, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for trusting me to spread Vicki’s legacy and for seeing and believing in my passion and in my dreams. I am so humbled and extremely blessed to have received this. I do what I do everyday for the 26 dollars on the end of this extremely generous scholarship. Not a day will go by that I will not live, laugh and love.”

Kaitlyn is well on her way to becoming an outstanding teacher! We cannot wait to watch her excel at college this fall and one day be in a classroom of her own!

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2017 VSMF Bunnell High School Scholarship Winner, Jessica Taliercio!

Congratulations to our Bunnell High School scholarship recipient of 2017, Jessica Taliercio! Jessica is a Stratford senior and will be attending Quinnipiac University this fall. She is majoring in Mathematics in the 5 year Secondary Education program.

Jessica told us, “I am truly honored and so blessed to say that I was awarded with the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund Scholarship! Words cannot express how grateful I am. I want to thank the Soto family and all who are involved in the foundation for giving me such an amazing opportunity. I cannot wait to be a part of all you do. This award means more to me than you know. I promise that I will work hard in school and one day be the best teacher I can be. Vicki is such an inspiration to me. She is a true hero and I hope I can be just like her and follow in her footsteps. I promise I will carry on her legacy and I will continue to follow her mantra “Live. Laugh. Love.” every day. I am so excited to become a teacher and inspire the youth, as Vicki inspires me.”

Jessica’s scholarship application and essay stood out from the rest. When we first met her for an interview, we knew she was the right person for this scholarship. We are already so proud and honored to have Jessica as part of our Team Vicki family. We know she will be an exceptional teacher and carry on Vicki’s legacy. We wish Jessica all the best in college this fall!

2017 VSMF National Scholarship Winner, Katie Harvey!

Congratulations to our first national scholarship recipient of 2017, Katie Harvey! Katie is a senior at Lehigh Senior High School in Florida and will be attending Flagler College in the fall. She will major in Elementary Education and will minor in Theater. Katie wrote about her admiration for her teachers and her childhood dream of being a teacher in her essay application, “Holidays and birthdays, of course, will not be taken lightly.” Her love of teaching and compassion for children reminds us so much of Vicki.

Katie said, “I am beyond grateful for this wonderful award. To even have been considered for this scholarship has been an honor. I have looked forward to becoming a teacher for the longest time, thinking of all of the small things I can do to make kids smile. I can guarantee that, whether it be through flamingo decorations or a “live, laugh, love” poster on the wall, Vicki’s legacy will live on through my classroom.”

Thank you to our good friend Jay Gorzelany who drove to Katie’s high school and surprised her in front of her principle, assistant principle, teacher and her entire class!! Katie was “floored” as Jay said and was so excited to get this prestigious award. Great things are in store for Katie and we wish her all the best at college this fall!

Book Drive Benefitting Stratford Reading Specialist

Look at all those books!! We are so happy to have the reading specialist from Stratford public schools come to our office for their bi-monthly meeting and leave with bags of books for their schools. All these books were donated to our book drive last weekend! When you donate books they go directly back into the community! Thank you always for your support!

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Book Drive THANK YOU!

The book drive was a success!! Thank you to everyone who came down today! Miss Soto’s Library is stocked and ready for Stratford reading teachers to come and take books for their classrooms! Thank you to our awesome group of volunteers who sorted through over a 1,000 books and to everyone who dropped books off today!