State Literacy Award Spotlight: Christian Lundy

Christian Lundy was the 2013 recipient of the Flight for Freedom Award. This award honors an adult student who has demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in improvement of literacy or leadership skills. Christian began his education knowing around 10 words and having little reading skills. He worked with a tutor to improve his vocabulary, reading skills, and boost his confidence. Christian is proud to say that by working hard to improve his education he is more confident, makes better decisions, and thinks better. He can see that he will be able to meet some of the goals he has set for himself and he knows that he will become a better person. Christian’s goal was to become more independent and in furthering his education he can that he is in fact becoming more independent.

Do you know someone doing great things in literacy? Recognize the noteworthy accomplishments of individuals and organizations supporting adult and family literacy by nominating them for the 2014 Florida Literacy Awards. Nominations are now being accepted. The deadline to submit a nomination is FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14th, 2014. To submit a nomination click here.

Zelda Rogers (Florida Department of Education), Christian Lundy (Marion County Literacy Council), and Alison Hoefler (Southwest Airlines)

Zelda Rogers (Florida Department of Education), Christian Lundy (Marion County Literacy Council), and Alison Hoefler (Southwest Airlines)

Financial Literacy at Marion County Literacy Council

We’ve taken a varied approach to deliver financial literacy information to our students at the Marion County Literacy Council.

Dmitriy Usher

The biggest component of our Financial Literacy plans is the wonderful curriculum and great volunteers provided by United Way of Marion County. The volunteers from UWMC all come from the financial sector. These individuals, having years of experience in all aspects of banking, are poised to help our students from the most basic issues, such as personal finance and budgeting, up to the more complex issues like managing ones credit or home loans.

These volunteers will conduct classes, open to everyone, at our office. We spread the word throughout the community using flyers, free print space in local papers, mass-emailing of contacts, word of mouth, and travel to various locations in the community to spread the word in-person.

In addition to stand-alone classes, we also integrate the financial literacy sessions into existing classes here at the Literacy Council. We allot a small portion of class time from our college & career coaching program for financial literacy instruction. After all, when someone lands a job, they will need to be able to manage their income, right?

We’ve also asked our financial literacy instructors to speak to our various ESOL classes. When time allows, the ESOL tutor will dedicate a portion of their class time.

Along the way, we’ve formed some fantastic partnerships with like-minded non-profits who also occupy our building. We do our best to make sure financial literacy tutors will be available to meet with their students whenever they have a class here.

Submit Your Nominations for the 2011 State Literacy Awards

It’s the holiday season and while in the giving spirit, make sure you give credit where credit is due!  Submit nominations today for the 2011 State Literacy Awards – recognize those who have excelled and greatly impacted the literacy community this year.  This is the perfect opportunity to show appreciation for those who have truly shown passion and exemplary efforts in support of literacy.

2010 State Literacy Award Winners (L-R): Kristin Bash, Gainesville Sun; Margaret Anne Wheeler; Cherie Byrnes; Marisol Sepulveda and Karen Hill, Marion County Literacy Council; Carla Brosy and Barbara Travis, Bank of America-Sanibel; Julia Clark, on behalf of Nancy Tamayo de Galdez

The annual awards banquet is one of the most exciting events at the annual Florida Literacy Conference, honoring those special individuals and organizations that stand out and make a difference. So what are you waiting for?! Make others feel great about their contributions and in return you’ll feel great, too, for acknowledging them.

Check out the 5 different award categories:

  1. Do you know of a leader who supports literacy with the highest efforts and exemplifies strong leadership? Nominate them for the Mary J. Brogan award!
  2. The Flight for Freedom award is designated for an adult student who’s really worked hard and shown vast amounts of improvement in literacy and leadership skills! This award is for the student who really tries their best, is eager to learn and consistently improve their abilities.
  3. A truly motivated and committed tutor is vital to the deliverance of literacy skills and these hard workers deserve some recognition! The Outstanding Literacy Volunteer award stands to recognize that volunteer who invests their time in others and have really stood out in the community!
  4. The Excellence in Education Award recognizes that organization that really puts in their best efforts into supporting adult and family literacy! This award goes out to the organization that demonstrates innovation and exceptional organizational structure in their labors to improve literacy.
  5. Lastly, nominate the business organization that has made contributions in support of your literacy program. This organization may have served as a sponsor, made donations, provided volunteer tutors and more!   Outstanding Business Partners are essential to the success of literacy progression.

The nomination form is easy to complete and there is no limit on the number of nominations any one organization can submit!  The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, March 1, 2011!


Congrats to the 2010 Florida Literacy Award Winners

The Florida Literacy Coalition recently recognized three organizations and three individuals for their commitment and dedication to increasing adult and family literacy in the state of Florida.  The awards were presented at a special banquet held during the Florida Literacy Conference in Captiva, Fla.

In all, six awards were presented during the banquet.

  1. Bank of America (Central Florida) was recognized as an Outstanding Business Partner for their leadership and significant contributions to support Orlando’s Adult Literacy League.  Through grants and program training, the organization has raised the profile of adult education and literacy in Central Florida.
  2. The Gainesville Sun was honored as an Outstanding Media Partner for their outstanding, innovative and effective coverage of literacy issues.  The company has been a driving force behind the area’s Annual Family Literacy Festival, and provides the Alachua County Literacy Network with a regular meeting space, administrative support and free advertising for volunteer recruitment.
  3. Marion County’s Literacy Council received the Excellence in Education award as an organization demonstrating outstanding achievement in adult and family literacy education.  The council has doubled the number of adult students it services in the past two years and has a dedicated volunteer base of more than 80 tutors.  The organization has come a long way from its beginnings in the founder’s garage in 1999.
  4. Cherie Byrnes of Citrus County was recognized with the Outstanding Literacy Volunteer award for her efforts with the Citrus County Library System.  Byrnes has demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to tutoring and program operations, and was instrumental in launching the library’s first English language classes.
  5. Nancy Tamayo de Galdez, an adult student from Palm Beach County, was honored with the Flight for Freedom Award for her extraordinary accomplishments in improving her literacy skills.  A single, working mother, Tamayo de Galdez started learning English as a second language in 2007.  Over than past three years she has volunteered hundreds of hours with the local literacy academy and other community organizations.  She also is currently attending Kaiser College to become a medical assistant.
  6. Margaret Anne Wheeler of Polk County was recognized with the Mary J. Brogan Leadership Award for upholding the highest standards of excellence, dedication, leadership and creativity for her literacy work in Polk County for more than two decades.  Wheeler is revered as a role model for others, an ambassador for excellence in education and an advocate for the adult learner.

2010 Florida Literacy Award Winners (L-R): Kristin Bash, Gainesville Sun; Margaret Anne Wheeler; Cherie Byrnes; Marisol Sepulveda and Karen Hill, Marion County Literacy Council; Carla Brosy and Barbara Travis, Bank of America-Sanibel; Julia Clark, on behalf of Nancy Tamayo de Galdez

Congratulations to all of the 2010 Florida Literacy Award winners.  Keep up the great work!