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Dear Read Fort Worth CAN Leaders, Committee Members, and Community Partners,

I write to share that Anel Mercado has announced she will be leaving her position as Executive Director of Read Fort Worth. First and foremost, I, Mayor Price, Superintendent Scribner and the rest of the Read Fort Worth Executive Council extend our appreciation to Anel for her dedication over the last year to achieving our collective mission of 3rd grade literacy within Fort Worth ISD.

Under Anel’s leadership, Read Fort Worth successfully completed the campus library campaign while increasing its impact, recruited a staff with deep expertise and competency in this work, and expanded the summer reading initiative to serve many more students across more summer sites this year. Anel also rounded out the Executive Council and created executive committees to better oversee the work. We wish Anel the best in her future endeavors and look forward to building upon the strong momentum she has helped to establish

Specifically, as we look ahead, the Read Fort Worth Executive Council is committed to:

  • Clearly articulating Read Fort Worth’s value-add to your work to ensure each Collaborative Action Network (CAN) is supported with specific, tangible value each month from the Read Fort Worth backbone organization.
  • Establishing a process for sharing actionable data with CAN leaders and members to help drive decision-making and reflect progress against stated goals.
  • Co-developing action plans for each CAN that articulate the goal of each CAN with measurable outcomes, indicators, data necessary to track success, and action items, including those that Read Fort Worth can be additive in providing to the collective work.

To this end, the Executive Council has asked Elizabeth Brands to lead Read Fort Worth as Executive Director, effective immediately. Elizabeth brings to this role a wealth of education experience including occupying key roles in collective impact efforts, as well as serving as a classroom teacher, school administrator, and most recently as Executive Director of Reading Partners where she worked alongside Tulsa Public Schools to scale some of the organization’s highest third grade reading scores. She holds a doctoral degree in Education Administration, Curriculum and Supervision. Elizabeth will maintain her responsibilities as Head of Education Giving at The Morris Foundation with the Executive Director role as a key priority of The Morris Foundation.

We are confident in the unique skillset and expertise Elizabeth brings to this role – and we are further emboldened by the collaborative relationships and cross-sector solutions that have been built by each of you, our Read Fort Worth partners, over the last three years. As we embark on a new school year together, I want to thank you for contributing your unique gifts and talents to helping build a brighter future for our youngest children and next generation of Fort Worth leaders. We have the opportunity to amplify our impact this year through renewed focus, intentional collaboration, and shared accountability. Thank you for your continued partnership. We could not do this work without you.

Matt Rose
Chairman, Executive Council Read Fort Worth

Dear Read Fort Worth CAN Leaders, Committee Members, and Community Partners,

Read Fort Worth’s goal is bold, and its success critically important to the success of our city. I step into this role with a deep sense of responsibility to help realize our community’s collective promise to ensure every child has the foundational knowledge of reading – so they have the opportunity to excel in school and in life.

I am committed to supporting existing CANs and their work. Read Fort Worth – most importantly the children in our elementary school classrooms who struggle to read – succeed because of the work happening in each CAN. I am excited and energized about Read Fort Worth’s opportunity to:

  • Support the planning and execution of your collaborative efforts
  • Provide resources, capacity support, data, and alignment amongst cross-sector partners that makes your work better and stronger,
  • Use data to shine a spotlight on where you are excelling to help replicate more of your strengths toward our collective success, and
  • Listen to you as the experts you are in your respective fields to find out what’s working and where we can problem-solve together so that we can do more of what works.

We are communicating with each of you – our key community stakeholders – because you are most invested in accomplishing this work alongside us. A broader, community-based message will go out in the coming months to share more information about the leadership transition, the work we’ve accomplished, and our strategic action plans for this academic year.

I echo the gratitude for Anel’s leadership shared in Matt’s email and share with you my deep appreciation for the exceptional work already underway. I look forward to working alongside you in this work. This is the next phase of community-wide engagement, partnership, and positive change. This is hard and important work. I look forward to undertaking it with you.

Elizabeth Brands
Executive Director, Read Fort Worth
Head of Education Giving, The Morris Foundation

Sep, 18, 2019