Stories by the Sea – a success for Literacy Services

news release

To celebrate its 50th anniversary and raise funds to support its mission, Literacy Services recently hosted a memorable evening at the Sea Oaks Beach Club, which was highlighted by a captivating storytelling program featuring powerful personal stories from a student, tutor, board member and alumna of the organization.

During the evening’s presentation, led by Bonnie Levison, a senior storytelling coach from The Moth, each speaker shared an inspiring story that emphasized the importance of English language literacy.

“Education and your story are two things no one can take away from you,” said Literacy Services Executive Director, Jessica Schmitt.

Following the program, the 140 guests headed outside for an oceanside cocktail hour, where they were greeted by the Vero Beach Mermaid and enjoyed the sounds of the Collins & Company Band. Guests feasted poolside on a bountiful buffet dinner from Sea Oaks. A silent auction and raffle were held before the band led everyone in singing Happy Birthday to Literacy Services.

Nancy and Byron Sugahara with Jessica Schmitt

The year-long series of 50th anniversary events was presented by Don and Sandy Mann, along with Byron and Nancy Sugahara.  Among the more than 40 other generous sponsors were Communications International Inc., FPL, Wanda Lincoln, Tom and Doreen Mead, Art Ryan, Sebastian River Farms, Bob and Carmen Stork and SouthState Bank.

Funds raised will support Literacy Services mission to deliver comprehensive and innovative learning opportunities to  local adults seeking to learn English, improve their literacy skills and achieve personal goals such as a GED or U.S. citizenship.

A United Way supported agency, Literacy Services relies on more than 100 volunteer tutors who provide free, confidential and one-to-one tutoring to individuals 16 and older or within group settings at the request of local employers. Tutors, who do not need any prior teaching experience, receive all necessary training, ongoing support and resources. Additional tutors are needed to provide services to a waiting list of more than 60 students.

For more information, please visit www.literacyservicesirc.org or call 772-778-2223.

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