On June 11 the Literacy Council of Frederick County celebrated the life skills achievements of its adult learners, volunteers, and heard testimonials about the impact of the Council’s new workplace literacy and parent outreach initiatives.

Catherine Cox, board president, announced that the Literacy Council has been selected by the Catalogue for Philanthropy Greater Washington for its 2019/2020 class as “one of the best community-based nonprofits in the region.”

The highlight of the evening was witnessing students being applauded for achieving multiple milestones this past year — becoming U.S. citizens, passing the test for a Maryland driver’s license, moving to better housing, helping to support their children’s education needs, volunteering in a school or other community organization, improving English language skills in order to obtain a better job, completing a writing or conversation class, advancing in a curriculum series or gaining a higher reading level. Literacy Council volunteers were recognized for their many hours and years of service contributed over the year.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner addressed the audience about the value of cooperation between nonprofit organizations, local businesses, schools and government. She presented several special commendations, including recognizing student Karina for becoming a U.S. citizen.

Rupali Luthra, general manager for Econo Lodge Frederick, was recognized for her leadership in hosting the Council’s first workplace class for hospitality workers. She addressed the audience describing the positive impact the class has had on her employees and guests. Econo Lodge was awarded the Council’s Business & Industry Partners in Literacy Award.

Shockley Honda, represented by Marisa Shockley and Kara Murray, was also presented with the Council’s Business & Industry Partners in Literacy Award for supporting adult literacy programs through its annual sponsorship of the Literacy Council.

Kathy Allen, program administrator for the Judy Center with Frederick County Public Schools, shared about the importance of supporting parents of young children — and the benefits of the Literacy Council’s new tutoring initiative to reach parents.

Elizabeth Brady was honored with the Elizabeth H. Seligmann Award, given to volunteers for sustained and significant contributions furthering the goals and objectives of the Literacy Council. For 35 years, Brady’s contributions are extensive — tutoring multiple students for many years, serving as a tutor trainer, on the board of directors and conducting information sessions to recruit new volunteers. Her student Renu helped present the award. “Elizabeth Brady is not only a great teacher but also has become a very good friend. Before she started teaching me, I was not able to understand, speak or express my feelings in English. Her teaching and personal care really boosted my confidence and changed my life. Last year she helped me to get volunteer work at a daycare, which was really a great experience that eventually helped me to get a full-time job in a preschool a few months ago.”

To learn more about the Literacy Council or to find out how to become a volunteer, visit www.frederickliteracy.org.

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