(WTNH)-The mission of The Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, Inc. is to promote a love of education by honoring Vicki’s passion for life and her commitment to teaching. In carrying on with Vicki’s legacy, all donations and money raised goes to the fund and is used to support many important and vital educational initiatives and fulfill literacy needs of teachers in the Stratford, CT community.
The Vicki Soto Memorial Fund is a positive example of what the Soto family has created from such a tremendous tragedy. While this memorial does not dissolve the pain of their loss, it has given them a bright and inspiring reason to get up every day and know that they are carrying on Vicki’s legacy. The growth of this memorial fund itself is astounding! From scholarship awards, literacy projects, positive messages, community murals, supporting local educational funding for literacy, book drives, and much more, the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund has made a tremendous impact on students and teachers. The work and efforts of the Soto family has been accomplished in the name of a teacher who lived her life dedicated to sharing her passion for reading and making sure that her students grew up to be successful life long learners.
The Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to 4 graduating seniors pursuing a college degree in the field of education. This scholarship has now been awarded to 11 students total thus far. The scholarship is given to two local students, one Connecticut and one National. All recipients of the scholarship must demonstrate excellence in academic, extra curricular activities and leadership skills. All recipients must also exhibit the spirit to Live, Laugh, Love both life and education the way that Vicki did.
Miss Soto’s Literacy Legacy Project provides over 2,50 classrooms and teachers across the Stratford K-6 school district with 5 selected books over the course of each academic school year. These books are a reflection of the creative and innovative learning that Miss Soto would encourage in her classroom and promote love, kindness, acceptance and self worth. Teachers also receive mentor text that correspond with the given books and spread a message of compassion and support.
This school year, Miss Soto’s Literacy Legacy Project also introduced a One Town/One Book project. This project provided a copy of the book Sylvie to each Stratford family with children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade.
The memorial fund also provided substantial financial support to the Stratford Board of Education to bridge the gap in literacy funding and provide resources to support programming that impacts students directly. In addition to the above projects, there are many more initiatives that the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund has supported.
Funding for this memorial fund is through fundraising and donations. One of the Vicki Soto Memorial fund’s largest fundraising events is the Vicki Soto 5K race held every November. The race registers over 2,000 runners each year. This 5K race is held the first weekend in November in celebration of Vicki’s birthday on November 4th. This year the race is being held right on what would have been Vicki’s 32nd birthday. Runners from all over the country come to run and participate in this benefit. The community togetherness and fun had by all on this day definitely promotes Vicki’s spirit to Live, Laugh, Love!