Highlights from the 2013 Florida Literacy Conference

Another great year for the Florida Literacy Conference! We had a fabulous turnout and several motivating speeches and sessions. The Conference started with keynote, Nelson Lauver. Nelson is the host of the American Storyteller Radio Journal and former Adult Learner. He told his story of how he learned that he had a learning disability and his ability to overcome it and work with it. We’re hoping to get a copy of the speech to post on our website in the future.

We had two and a half days filled with great sessions, but the most popular ones were the Adult Learner Experience and the Department of Education updates. In the Adult Learner Experience, members of the Adult Learner Committee spoke about their background and why they stayed in their literacy programs. Nelson was on the panel and a few students who were published in the Adult Learner Essay Book were able to read and share their story. Needless to say, everyone was moved.

On Thursday, FLC hosted it’s annual meeting. Executive Director, Greg Smith, provided an overview of the past year at our organization. He then opened the floor to adult learners who were there to read their essays. If you missed the meeting, you might be brought to tears from watching the video.

Jim Duffy was the closing keynote during the luncheon on Friday. Jim worked in broadcasting for 48 years and initiated a public service campaign on literacy. He incorporated the issue in programs and had television specials focused specifically on adults who could not read. Thousands of people joined literacy programs in their area as part of this campaign. The luncheon closed with the two drawings for a roundtrip ticket on Southwest Airlines. This year’s winners were Claire Valier and Paul Schaub!

What was your favorite part of Conference? Share it with us! Send your story to socialmedia@floridaliteracy.org .

Do you have your ticket to Florida Literacy Awards Banquet yet?

2012 awards winners compressed

The Florida Literacy Awards Banquet is on Thursday, May 9 from 6:30-8:30. The banquet is a time to relax with peers as we highlight the many accomplishments in literacy over the past year. Awards will are given to adult learners, literacy practitioners, literacy programs, volunteers, and business partners. The awards that will be given include: the Mary J. Brogan Leadership Award, Flight for Freedom Award, Outstanding Literacy Volunteer Award, Excellence in Education Award, and Outstanding Business Partner Award. Author Angela Lane will be the keynote speaker for this inspiring night.

It’s not too late to reserve your spot!

For more information or to register for the event, please contact Amanda Terrell (intern@floridaliteracy.org).

Welcome to the South Seas Island Resort!

SSIR Logo_1On behalf of the entire staff of South Seas Island Resort, I want to welcome those of you that will be joining us for the 29th Annual Florida Literacy Conference being held at South Seas on beautiful Captiva Island, Florida, May 7, 2013 to May 10, 2013.

What can you expect from your trip to South Seas?  Relaxation and rejuvenation. 

Aerial Shot LOW RESSouth Seas is a sprawling tropical oasis, 330 acres and 2.5 miles long, framed by the tranquil blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pine Island Sound.  It’s best to think of South Seas as its own little village, consisting of two major areas: South Village and North Pointe.

South Village is where you’ll find your meeting rooms for the event, main reception center for check-in, your accommodations (Beach, Tennis and Bayside Villas), Chadwick’s Square for shopping and spa services (Starbucks in the morning, anyone?), tennis, and one of our staffed beach areas, South Beach.  Each of the villa areas has its own pool and SouthBeach has chairs, towels and umbrellas available during the day.  All of these areas are within easy walking distance to each other.

About 1 mile away is North Pointe, where you’ll find the Resort Pool Complex (featuring H2Whoa! waterslides), the Yacht Harbour, golf course, Harbourside Bar & Grill (serving Fish Market Cuisine nightly), Scoops & Slices (serving pizza, ice cream and a wall of candy), and my favorite spot, Sunset Beach.  Sunset Beach is our main beach area where we have Sunset Beach Bar, Sunny Island Watersports, a volleyball net, chairs, towels and umbrellas.  We have live music from 5pm – 8pm nightly and just as the sun sets each night, we have a special ceremony on the beach.

T DockMoving between SouthVillage and North Pointe is easy.  We have a trolley service that runs continuously for all guests from 7am – 11pm, and bikes and golf carts are available for rent.  There will be a dedicated trolley for the FL Literacy Coalition during peak event times as well.  One of the best deals on the property is at check in when you’ll be asked if you’d like to rent a bike during your stay.  It’s only $5 per bike, per day, and you rent it for the duration of your stay, versus $15 per bike, per day if you elect to rent a la carte.  It’s a great way to travel throughout Captiva and South Seas at your own pace.

If you would like to learn more about South Seas, I encourage you to visit www.southseas.com, www.facebook.com/southseasresortvillage, or follow us on twitter and instagram @SSIslandResort.  We look forward to seeing you in May.


Daniel Smock
Communication Manager, South Seas Island Resort

Registration is open for the 2013 Conference!


Registration is now open for the 2013 Conference!  Until March 8th, you can register for the reduced rate of $235!  If you are an FLC member, you can get a greater discount by paying just $210 for the conference!  If you are not a member yet, you can sign up to be a member right on the conference registration form.


Registration to the conference includes:

  1.  Admission to amazing and inspiring general sessions,
  2. Your choice of informative sessions within 13 tracks,
  3. The opening reception filled with delicious hor dourves,
  4. A yummy continental breakfast on Thursday, a tasty closing luncheon Friday and daily refreshments,
  5. A chance  to meet with fellow literacy advocates though social and networking events,
  6. Admission to the resource filled literacy product exhibition, and
  7. A snazzy conference tote bag, program and resource materials

Registration is easy!  Just follow this link to registration, and it will take right to the registration form.  You can pay online through PayPal (no PayPal account needed!) or you can send us a check or PO.

 Member, Early Bird – March 8, 2012 $210
Non-Member, Early Bird – March 8, 2012 $235
Member – Before April 26, 2012 $235
Non-Member – Before April 26, 2012 $260
On-Site – After April 26th, 2012 $275

Do you have more questions about the conference?  Go to the Conference webpage!

What a great conference it has been!

FLC blog readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed the Florida Literacy Conference as much as I have!  What a great time it’s been at the South Seas Island Resort!  Is there anywhere else (in Florida) that’s more beautiful?  The palm trees, the beaches, the flowers…they were all amazing!

But I think what was even more amazing were the terrific conference participants who were here!  I can only speak for myself, but my sessions were well attended and had energetic, enthusiastic people who were genuinely interested in the topics: technology, writing and math!  Thank you for your participation and kind words.

I hope that no matter what sessions you attended, that they met (or exceeded) your expectations!

So, until we meet again at the next conference (May 4-6, 2011, Lake Mary, Fla.) keep on keepin’ on and doin’ the wonderful things you do!  🙂

~Kimberly Gates~

South Seas Island Resort Awaits You!

Greetings from Captiva!

South Seas Island Resort is excited to be hosting the Florida Literacy Coalition‘s 2010 Florida Literacy Conference!

Captiva’s history and South Seas’ role in that history is a balance of fact and folklore. Legend has it that the barrier island is a haven for infamous pirates. “The Buccaneer Coast” attracted the notorious Jose Gaspar to the region in the early 1800’s where it was rumored that he buried his stolen treasure on Sanibel and used the adjacent island to imprison the many women captured in battle. Thus the name: “Isle de los Captivas” or Captiva Island.

South Seas has a storied hospitality past beginning in the late 1800’s as a key lime plantation. The village we know today was created in the early 1970’s when a development duo bought the plantation. They were devoted to preserving the natural aura of the island while implementing resort-style amenities for buyers and vacationing guests. With the addition of the conference space and the hotel, it wasn’t long before South Seas became one of the world’s most desired retreats and meeting destinations.

While you are here, make sure to visit our world famous beaches covered in beautiful shells. Also make sure to stop by the Main Pool Complex on the North End overlooking beautiful Pine Island Sound! Scoops & Slices is heaven with delicious ice cream, pizza and a wall of candy!

The weather is going to be beautiful and we have some amazing events and meetings planned for your stay.  For a handy map identifying event locations for the Florida Literacy Conference at the resort click here (you’ll also receive this at check-in). 

See you next week!