Record $500K-plus donation received by READ USA


READ USA, is a Jacksonville-based nonprofit dedicated to eradicating illiteracy, recently announced the single largest one-time gift in the organization’s history, with a legacy gift of $565,000 from philanthropist Roseann Duran, who passed away earlier this year.

As a result, READ USA is honoring Duran’s enduring legacy and generosity with multiple dedications to demonstrate the everlasting impact of her transformational gift.

“Roseann’s extraordinary generosity will have a far-reaching impact on literacy and community empowerment in Duval County and beyond for years to come,” said, Robert Kelly, Ph.D., chief executive officer of READ USA. “Roseann was a passionate supporter of literacy and READ USA for many years, and we remain emboldened by her steadfast belief in our mission. We are eternally grateful for her investment in the students we serve who ultimately benefit from her extraordinary gift.”

Duran leaves behind an indelible legacy on Northeast Florida through her philanthropy, volunteerism, and professional accomplishments that have inspired and supported thousands of people across all walks of life.

Her highly successful career traversed the finance and marketing industries, throughout all of which Duran remained grounded in supporting the people within her organizations and across Northeast Florida’s many communities.

A natural leader, she was tenacious about community involvement, both professionally and personally, and gave extensively of her time, talent, and treasure to numerous organizations in Jacksonville, which she called home since 1973.

“Roseann was an active community builder and philanthropist and her enthusiasm for life extended into a tapestry of passions and connections across her remarkable career and charitable endeavors,” said Judith Beaubouef, Duran’s longtime friend. “We miss Roseann immensely. We are inspired by the enduring legacy she leaves on our Northeast Florida community and beyond.”

Duran’s transformational gift to READ USA significantly bolsters the organization’s efforts to provide high-interest book and high-quality teaching resources to children, teens, teachers, and families across Duval County and beyond.

To honor Duran’s exceptional gift, READ USA has created multiple acknowledgments in her name, including the Duran Data Portal, which is recognized in perpetuity.

The READ USA Duran Data Portal is a critical resource in measuring and demonstrating the impact and results of READ USA’s programming for Duval County Public Schools, third-party evaluators, grantmaking organizations, and others.

The Duran Data Portal specifically supports the literacy tutoring program that trains and pays teens to provide daily, intensive, one-to-one literacy tutoring to DCPS elementary students.

The 2024 Peace in the Pages will also honor Duran. READ USA’s annual Peace in the Pages event, taking place on Oct. 2, is a celebration of literacy and recognizes seven local leaders for their commitment to literacy for all and closing the literacy gap in Duval County.

Duran will be recognized as the presenting sponsor of this year’s event, which will include a tribute segment dedicated to celebrating her life and generosity.

“Roseann radiated kindness, empathy, peace, freedom, leadership, and success – the very values that underscore the meaning and purpose behind our Peace in the Pages event and all that we do at READ USA,” said Ellen Wiss, co-founder and board chair of READ USA. “To know Roseann and feel her zest for life was an immense blessing, and she will be remembered as someone who has had a transformational impact on countless lives in Northeast Florida for years to come.”