At Recognition Night on May 19th, 2016, over 400 people attended Literacy Nassau’s inaugural graduation ceremony to celebrate our students, our volunteers and our community partners. The graduating class, comprised of 28 adult English Language Learners, is now equipped to enter post-secondary education, pursue meaningful employment, and achieve other personal milestones. They have diligently worked alongside their volunteer tutors and teachers to reach their goals.
During the evening, our Executive Director, Karen Micciche, congratulated the class and spoke about the successes- both big and small- that students experienced. In her words, “I hear stories in the office about students all the time: the student who just got an engineering job with GE, the student who just passed her citizenship test, or the Next Chapter Book Club member who was nervous reading in public, but she was recently able to read scripture to an entire church full of people. You each know who you are, and you may not know me, but I am proud of you.” We are all so proud of our students and you, and our hope is that each of you will join us in wishing these students all the best in the future.
The biggest highlight of the evening was the announcement of a $1 million gift from the John and Janet Kornreich Charitable Foundation in support of adult literacy on Long Island. This funding will continue to support our current group instruction programs, as well as enable us to launch a new program for students with undiagnosed learning disabilities to provide a cornerstone for our Basic Literacy program. Details of this program are being finalized and will be announced in an upcoming newsletter.
Also released during the evening, this year’s published anthology of student writing, Open Door, included 187 personal stories and essays preserved in the authentic voice of each student. Guests had the opportunity to speak with some of the authors and get their copy of Open Door signed by each author. Thanks to your help in working with your student(s) to submit their pieces, this year’s edition exceeded our expectations and was nearly double the size of last year’s! We look forward to next year’s edition and the growth that our students will make.
Thank you all again for the commitment and dedication you have made to the organization and to your student(s). You truly are changing the world…one word at a time!