Deb Scola is co-chair of the Reading Works Alliance Board of Directors and helped design the Reading Works collaborative approach to boosting adult literacy in metro Detroit.
She has been with the Detroit Free Press and Detroit Media Partnership in various capacities since 1982, including handling the office functions of publishers Heath Meriwether, Carole Leigh Hutton and Dave Hunke. In 2007, she was appointed Community Affairs Director as well as Vice President of Detroit Free Press Charities.
Scola has long been involved in community service projects that have raised millions of dollars and helped improve tens of thousands of lives in metro Detroit. Since 2006, she has directed the Detroit Free Press Summer Dreams program, a successful project in partnership with the Skillman Foundation to help fund summer camp programs for underprivileged and sick children. During its 19-year history, Summer Dreams has raised $17.4 million, benefitting more than 300,000 children.
She is also responsible for the Detroit Free Press Gift of Reading program, which raises money and collects books for needy children. Since the 1980s, the program has distributed more than 600,000 books. In 2010, its most successful year, Gift of Reading provided 37,000 new books to children — including every Detroit Public Schools student from pre-kindergarten through third grade.
Scola also oversees many other efforts on behalf of the Detroit Media Partnership, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News – including the Gannett Foundation Community Fund, the Newspapers in Education program and the Detroit News Helping Hands program. She also helps manage the Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards, presented annually by the Detroit Free Press and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition.
Scola lives in Trenton with her husband, Jack Scola, and son, Louis, and volunteers with several organizations across metro Detroit — including the Detroit Public Schools Reading Corps, Boy Scouts of America and Trenton Band Boosters. She is also a Stephen Minister at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Trenton.