About Manatee Literacy Council



Giving Challenge 2016

September 20-21, 2016, Noon-Noon

The Giving Challenge is an exciting 24-hour giving event. It's a simple way to support your favorite local nonprofits. Beginning at noon on September 20, simply log on to the Giving Challenge Website and search for "Manatee Reads!" or "Literacy Council of Manatee County".

All donations must be made online during that time frame in order to be eligible for the matching funds. The Patterson Foundation will provide a 2:1 match for all new donors' contributions up to $100. That means that if you did not support Manatee Reads! during the 2015 Giving Challenge, a $100 donation on your part would result in a $300 total donation. If you did donate to Manatee Reads! during the 2015 Giving Challenge, your donation will still be doubled up to $100. A $100 contribution would become $200 after the match. The Giving Challenge is an amazing way for you to make your charitable contributions go further.

The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.



Alifonso Casiques

Alifonso Casiques

Alifonso came to the Unites States from Mexico. He struggled to read and speak English, relying on his wife to translate for him. After working with a tutor, Alifonso can speak with his boss, he can read the newspaper, and he gets better money for his work. Best of all, he can speak English with his children. In his words, "Manatee Reads! helped me a lot because they helped to improve my English, and they helped me to be a better person."

Hear Alifono's Story: Watch Video


Lisbeth Oscuvilca Rodriguez

Lisbeth Oscuvilca Rodriguez

Lisbeth came to the United States four years ago from Peru, where she was a math teacher. She was frustrated by her inability to read and write in English, but waited more than a year to seek help. She found Manatee Reads! and was paired with a volunteer English tutor. After three months, she started feeling more confident in her English skills, and her world opened up dramatically. She set her sights on finding a job. Armed with her new English skills, she obtained a job at not-for-profit organization UnidosNow. Now she is "trying to live my American dream." She expresses her gratitude for Manatee Reads! volunteers: "It's important for these mentors to feel and to think that what they are doing is a life change."

Hear Lisbeth's Story: Watch Video


The Partnership with Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill's mission is changing lives through the power of work. English is not the native language for about 12 percent of the employees at Goodwill Manasota. These are people who may have strong skills from their country of origin, but they cannot use them in the United States without being able to speak English. Their lack of English skills is a barrier to self sufficiency, and it prohibits them from doing their preferred jobs. Goodwill Manasota partnered with Manatee Reads! to help these employees improve their English so they can move up and move on. Manatee Reads! provides English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes for Goodwill Employees. This partnership has spaned more than 15 years and is a great example of how Manatee Reads! empowers Manatee County residents to independence through literacy.

Hear Goodwill Manasota's Story: Watch Video



Literacy Council Conducts Summer Photo Contest

Bradenton, FL – June 7, 2011 – The Literacy Council of Manatee County announces a Summer Photo Contest that anyone age 18 or older can enter and compete for prizes of $250 (1st place), $150 (2nd place) and $100 (3rd place). Entries must be submitted online at www.mulabula.com/lcmc by July 17, 2011 with an entry fee of $15 per photo. Complete contest rules and regulations are available at the same website.

Proceeds will benefit the Literacy Council’s Adult Literacy Program, which helps Manatee County adults gain the critical literacy skills they need to function in daily life, make a better life for themselves and their families, and become more productive members of the community.

The Council provides tutoring for both native English speakers who want to read and write better and English learners who want to speak English as a second language. Free training also is provided for volunteers who wish to tutor. To join the Literacy Council or to volunteer as a tutor, please call 941-746-8197.



Literacy Council Receives Grant From Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Bradenton, FL – March 25, 2011 – The Literacy Council of Manatee County has received a $5,192 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. The grant funds 12 (six-week) “Basic English for Spanish Speakers” classes being conducted during 2011.

“The primary purpose of this grant is to decrease the drop-out rate of very low-level English learners waiting for placement with a one-on-one tutor,” explains Executive Director Lori Johnson. “That wait is often two to three months, which illustrates our need for more volunteer tutors.”

According to Johnson, class instructors utilize an online language learning program called “Mango,” which is accessed through the Manatee County library website. Instruction includes communication and grammar skills on the Mango program, as well as other activities such as vocabulary building.

Volunteer tutors are needed for these classes as well as one-on-one tutoring. A free Tutor Training Workshop will be conducted on Saturday, April 9, 9 am to 3 pm, at the United Way Community Building, 1701 Tamiami Trail. To register for the Training, call Lori Johnson at 941-746-8197.

The Literacy Council of Manatee County is a nonprofit United Way Partner Agency whose primary goal is to help Manatee County adults gain the literacy skills they need to read, write and communicate in English well enough to be self-sufficient in today's complex economy and to make a meaningful contribution to our community.

Basic English for Spanish Speakers

Literacy Council’s “Basic English for Spanish Speakers” at Bradenton Central Library.


Manatee Community Foundation Awards Grant To Literacy Council

Bradenton, FL – April 29, 2011 – The Manatee Community Foundation recently presented a grant to the Literacy Council of Manatee County, a local nonprofit United Way Partner Agency. The $2900 grant is funded by the Wachovia Fund & Lawrence Ruf Charitable Fund. Grant funds are dedicated to support the Council’s College and Career Coaching Project.

“This grant is designed to establish a program that will help our English language learners identify and explore higher education options and prepare for careers that offer a gateway to economic independence,” says Lori Johnson, executive director. The program expects to assist 25 of their higher-level learners during the first year, according to Johnson.

The Literacy Council’s primary goal is to help Manatee County adults improve their literacy and gain the critical skills they need to function in daily life, earn higher wages, make a better life for themselves and their families, and become more productive members of the community.

The Council provides free tutoring for both native English speakers and English language learners. Free training also is provided for volunteers who wish to tutor. To join the Literacy Council or to volunteer as a tutor, please call 941-746-8197.



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1701 Tamiami Trail, Suite 5, Bradenton, Florida 34205 | PH: 941.746.8197 | FX: 941.746.9773