May 24, 2011
Florida BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) received a double-dose of congratulations this past month! Named Medium Business Partner of the Year for Catalina Elementary, the honor (which recognizes outstanding service to the school) brings well-deserved attention to a literacy effort which can also boast among its talented volunteers Dan Fitzgerald, the recent recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Howard Keel Award.
Longtime BookPAL Fitzgerald, who is recognized for his significant contributions to the Guild along with co-honoree Will Lyman of Boston, is a veteran actor as well as a tireless volunteer who has been instrumental in bringing BookPALS to Florida and continues to read to children on a regular basis.
Natalie Rogers, Florida Program Director for SAG Foundation Children’s Literacy Initiatives, attended ceremonies for both distinctions.
“One of my teachers must have nominated us,” said Rogers of Catalina Elementary, which benefits from her services as a BookPALS reader as well as a strong PencilPALS program, which encourages literacy through written correspondence. The goodwill of the Friday, May 20 Catalina Elementary School Recognition event continued well throughout the following evening’s Howard Keel Award Ceremony, where Rogers enjoyed seeing Fitzgerald and Lyman receive their honors.
“These actors we work with, they are magnificent folks,” added Rogers, herself a driving force in the promotion of children’s literacy. “When people ask me what I do for a living, I simply tell them I get to work with some of the best people on the planet. I mean that quite sincerely.”.
SAG Foundation Children’s Literacy Initiatives Florida Program Director Natalie Rogers with Howard Keel Award recipient Dan Fitzgerald
For more information about BookPALS, the SAG Foundation Children’s Literacy Initiative and your opportunities to make a contribution to these important efforts, please visit www.bookpals.net