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Barbara Brownell to Receive Charles Clapsaddle Community Spotlight Award

At the Manatee Community Foundation’s Spirit of Manatee Awards, parenting educator Barbara Brownell will receive the Charles Clapsaddle Community Spotlight Award.

Quality parenting education has become a focus for local foundations and donors who want to achieve lasting and meaningful gains for children. Barbara Brownell has been a trailblazer in this field in Manatee County and our region.

For decades, Barbara has put a spotlight on the need for prevention services and fought to make parenting education available to all families. Her wisdom, determination, and belief in others have transformed our community by elevating the importance of parenting and building strong futures for our children.

As a founding board member of Parenting Matters and more than 20 years dedicated to the organization, Barbara has impacted more than 16,000 families. She started the organization when a group of educators and child welfare advocates grew concerned over the lack of child abuse prevention programs focused on parenting in Manatee County. Barbara trained and led her team of Parenting Educators to provide the highest quality of service, while freely sharing her knowledge and expertise with the community to make everyone stronger. She developed and authored programs, curricula, and trainings implemented locally by Parenting Matters, Manatee Junior College (State College of Florida), Forty Carrots, Manatee County School District, and local foundations.

Barbara co-chaired the Manatee Community Council for Children’s Task Force on Funding in 1990-1992 that resulted in the tax referendum for Manatee County’s Children’s Services Advisory Committee which now provides approximately $13 million annually supporting programs that benefit tens of thousands of children. To Barbara, the work is never about credit. She would give all the credit to the parents who sought support and made changes to give their children a better life.

The idea for the Charles Clapsaddle Community Spotlight Award originated with local leaders Amanda Horne, Paul Sharff, Laurel Lynch, Judge Durand Adams, and Ashley Brown to recognize Clapsaddle and nonprofit leaders who have inspired and nurtured others through their example. The Award became part of the Spirit of Manatee Awards luncheon in 2019 when Luz Corcuera, executive director of UnidosNow, was the first recipient.

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