President’s Report to the annual Membership Meeting: January 9, 2014
The year 2013 was a productive one for LCUP as our officers, directors and members worked to meet the literacy needs of adult learners in Pinellas County communities north of Ulmerton Road. Our board members (with the support of our partners and colleagues in county, state and national affiliates) have engaged in activities that address our mission including: establishing conversation clubs and ESOL classes; recruiting and training tutors; recruiting, assessing and placing students; selecting and collecting learning materials; holding an appreciation event for tutors; conducting an essay contest for students and tutors; grant writing; continuously improving communications; networking with other agencies that serve our students; attending Florida Literacy Conference; attending and hosting professional development programs; and recruiting board members who are passionate about LCUP’s mission.
LCUP’s grant writer, Ron Gutmann, has continued to seek grants to fund Reading Horizons subscriptions, training and instructional materials, outreach programs, and tutor recognition. Awards from Dollar General, Pinellas Community Foundation, Dunedin Friends of the Library, Volunteers for Adult Literacy in Florida, and ProLiteracy provided financial support for these purposes. LCUP’s endowment from the Estate of Virginia Roggenbaum, which has helped to fund our literacy activities during more prosperous times, is still intact and invested, waiting for higher interest rates. Continued support of LCUP’s mission by national, state and community partners (as well as in-kind support of Dunedin Public Library, Safety Harbor Public Library, and Clearwater Public Library System) has ensured our organization’s sustainability.
Mary Frances Kirkpatrick, board member and recent graduate of University of South Florida School of Information, spent many hours as a summer intern for LCUP creating a webpage that serves our communications needs well. One feature of the webpage www.lcup.net allows us to publish an electronic newsletter that will keep our stakeholders up to date with what our literacy organization is doing for literacy in upper Pinellas and beyond. Through the website ten new tutors were recruited for the Fall 2013 training session. Using Facebook and the LCUP website to push information out to the literacy community has increased our organization’s visibility and viability.
LCUP began 2013 with outreach in only two locations, but through intensive recruitment efforts we added experienced tutors who are professionally qualified to lead ESOL classes. Literacy services offered by LCUP (in addition to Citizenship classes, Health Literacy classes, and individual tutoring) now include Conversation Clubs and ESOL classes at locations in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, North Greenwood, and Safety Harbor. Offering classes to those who traditionally were assigned individual tutors has enabled our coordinators to address a long list of waiting students. These classes offer a perfect setting for new tutors to observe excellent teaching and for tutor coordinators to make matches with waiting students.
We added board members Gladys Garcia, David Muething, and Cintia Gahles, experienced ESOL teachers who are acting as outreach specialists, enabling our organization to teach students in familiar settings in their communities. LCUP has established collaborative relationships with area agencies that serve our students in order to meet the needs of adults with transportation issues and childcare responsibilities. Dunedin Elementary School, Clearwater Baha’i Center, North Greenwood Aquatic and Recreation Center, William E. Hale Senior Center, Dunedin Youth Guild, and St. Pete College were added as important literacy partners.
We finished our year by saying farewell to valued board members, Sondra Kerr and Elizabeth Horton. Sondra will continue to offer citizenship prep to our adult learners, and Elizabeth will stay on the board as an Emeritus member. As President of LCUP, it has been my pleasure to work with these dedicated literacy champions.
PDF Version of Report - LCUPAnnualMeetingPresident’sReport2014