Sunday, December 24, 2017

"GIFT’s vision is to provide seniors with opportunities to make our community better, one GIFT at a time."

Dear Readers, 

You know that I enjoy finding stories and ideas that inspire me, and then passing those ideas to you, along with my personal viewpoint.  In this season of Christmas, I have found a GIFT that is quite inspiring.

On Sunday, December 17, I was both humbled and honored to be one of the female educator "RoleMODELS" in an event called "Empowering Beautiful Minds" who were honored by a charitable group in Pittsburgh called GIFT (Giving It Forward Together ) I was nominated my friend Alice Beckett-Rumberger.  We served together on the North Allegheny Foundation for Excellence for several years, and her children were my students, which made this nomination especially sweet.  Each educator RoleModel chose an outfit to wear at the Thriftique, a shop of designer clothes owned by Goodwill, which helped to widen the scope of that Goodwill store, as many of us did not know they had such an exclusive store in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood. With great partners like UPMC Living at Home and Steel Tree, I am so impressed with this group and the good work they do, even though I have only been introduced the group for only a few short weeks.  Founder Rochel Tombosky has a varied background - from teacher to make-up artist to businesswoman - and she has set out to achieve a mission to empower seniors, focusing on what they CAN do, rather than what they can't do.  The group's mission includes all seniors, regardless of race or religion.  Rochel is the head of the charity, and she is all about learning, volunteering, and giving back to the community.

In this season of giving and celebrating, I am so happy to find a great example of the difference the GIFT charity group has made by doing for others.  Please take a moment to peruse their  website and look at all the good works and community involvement. 

Thank you, Rochel, for your hard work! I am so pleased that we connected! I admire your mission statement,  "GIFT’s vision is to provide seniors with opportunities to make our community better, one GIFT at a time."

Indeed, you and your vision are a true GIFT to so many.  Best wishes for your continuing success! 

I modeled a gorgeous black sparkly sweater, slacks, and this teal faux fur coat for the show. Each RoleMODEL was on a panel, answering questions about personal inspiration.  The program was so uplifting! A great fundraiser for GIFT! 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit  

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

Connect with Dede!

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