From Team Sobrato

Help our team raise funds for "passes" to stay in the game and support more Reading Partners students!

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About The Team

The Sobrato Organization and the Sobrato Family Foundation are long-time Reading Partners supporters who have invested generously in the growth and sustainability of the program. The Sobrato Organization is deeply committed to fostering community development and ensuring all students have the supprot they need to succeed. The Sobrato organization is a proud sponsor of the 2013 Reading Partners Celebrity Spelling Bee. 

Please donate now to support the Sobrato Team and help bring Reading Partners to even more students throughout the region!

Team Sobrato Celebrity Spellers

The Sobrato Organization is delighted to be represnted on stage this year by the following celebrity spellers:

Lisa Sobrato Sonsini, Board President & Trustee, Sobrato Family Foundation. Lisa established the Sobrato Family Foundation in 1996 as a vehicle for multiple generations of the Sobrato family to unify their philanthropic giving for maximum impact. Under her leadership as Board President, SFF has grown tenfold in both assets and annual giving. For over 20 years, Lisa has been a strong advocate for the rights of abused an neglected children and youth from communities in need throughout the Bay Area. She also works passionately as a catalyst for civic engagement among many of the rising leaders in Silicon Valley.

Sam Liccardo, San Jose City Councilmember. Sam Liccardo represents the Downtown district, which includes some of San José’s most diverse and historic neighborhoods, and housed three generations of his family. Prior to his 2006 election to the City Council, Sam spent seven years as a criminal prosecutor, protecting victims of sexual assault and child exploitation at the DA’s Office.  He also advised affordable housing organizations, tutored homeless kids, and worked for passage of the 2000 BART-to-San José measure.

Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy trade association that represents more than 375 of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies. In February 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Guardino to a four-year term on the California Transportation Commission. He was reappointed by Governor Jerry Brown. He also serves on numerous other boards and is actively involved in a wide range of community organizations and projects. In 2000, the San Jose Mercury News named Guardino one of the “Five Most Powerful” people in Silicon Valley in a once-per-decade study. Guardino has been the chief executive of the Leadership Group since 1997. He previously served as a vice president with the organization between 1991 and 1995. He also held an executive position in governmental affairs with Hewlett-Packard and he spent six years on the staff of Central Valley Assemblyman Rusty Areias, the last three as his chief assistant.

More Info

Our Teams need your help!

Four brave teams have come together to support Reading Partners' students by competing in a celebrity Spelling Bee! The Teams will be up on stage trying to spell words like: ichthyophthirius and if they make a mistake, they will be eliminated from the game.... 

So, they need your help to purchase a "pass" to skip the worst of the words and stay in the game to become our students' spelling bee champions! Click on the team pages above to support one of your favorite celebrities and donate to a good cause. 


About the Spelling Bee

Date: June 3, 2013

Time: 6:30-8:30pm   

Location: Draper University, 44 E. 3rd Avenue, San Mateo CA, 94401


Presented By: Kilroy Realty

Team Sponsors:

  • Kilroy Realty
  • City National Bank
  • The Sobrato Organization
  • Katherine Morris 

Celebrity Spellers:

  • Harris Barton, San Francisco 49er
  • Tim Draper, Founder, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  • Dave Goldberg, CEO, Survey Monkey
  • Carl Guardino, CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Lisa Kim, former NBC anchor
  • Sam Liccardo, San Jose City Council Member
  • Lisa Sobrato Sonsini, Sobrato Family Foundation Board President
  • Steve Sordello, CFO, LinkedIn
  • Mark Stevens, Managing Partner, S-Cubed Capital

Event Concept: The Reading Partners “Celebrity Spelling Bee” annual event is designed to be a fun, lighthearted engagement that brings together local luminaries and Team Sponsors to publicly celebrate Reading Partners’ students, volunteers, and community partners. Organized in a “game-show” fashion, the event pits teams against each other to compete on stage to be named the Reading Partners Spelling Bee Champion. 

Support our Students

I became familiar with Reading Partners 8 years ago when I became a tutor with the program. I was so impressed with how the program is run and the results they achieve that I joined their Silicon Valley regional board 4 years ago.  

The literacy challenge:  According to the U.S. Department of Education, 87% of 4th graders from low-income communities are reading below grade level. And yet, reading proficiency is the most critical skill for success later in life. Research has found that 3rd grade reading skills can predict high school graduation rates with 70% accuracy.  

Reading Partners:  Reading Partners recruits community members to tutor students one-on-one using an individualized reading plan and a structured curriculum. The program has amazing results: On average, students gain 1.6 months of reading skills for every month enrolled. Prior to enrollment, they were gaining skills at .6 months per month - meaning students more than double their rate of learning in the program. We are serving over 5,000 students across the US this year, and there is no other similar program that is achieving these results.  

Please make a gift and help me support our students!

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