The Spring for Literacy luncheon at Governors Club on Thursday, April 20 was a huge success. 180 people were on hand to support Chatham Literacy and enjoy the delicious lunch and the entertaining program of speakers.
After a social mixer, Doug Emmons, Chatham Literacy’s Board Vice-President, welcomed the gathering, and spoke briefly about the organization’s work in adult literacy. Nancy Jacobs, a volunteer tutor, gave a moving talk about her service and its rewards to both her and her student. Vitalino Vaquez, her student, spoke about his quest for citizenship, and his future goals. Then Nancy asked the audience a few questions found on the US Citizenship Civics Test, many of which stumped everyone, proving how hard Chatham Literacy’s Citizenship students must study to pass. After lunch, Doug Emmons introduced our keynote speaker, best-selling author Lee Smith.
Lee Smith was a delightful speaker. She read an essay from her latest book, a personal memoir titled Dimestore, about her own work in adult literacy in Kentucky at the Hindman Settlement School. By relating several stories about her students, she spoke with authority and poignancy about the difficulties adults face without solid reading and writing skills. Each story was both humorous and touching, and included short essays and poems written by her students.
Ms. Smith then read two other passages from her book about growing up in Grundy, Virginia and how she was educated at an early age to be an observer of people and a storyteller. After answering a few questions, she thanked all present for their support of adult literacy. After the program, a long line of people waited to share a personal word and have Lee Smith sign books.
Thank you to everyone who attended and to our sponsors for making this a great event.
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We thank the sponsors who have contributed to make this event a success.
R. B Fitch
Michael and Caroline Hornblow