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By Chevon T. Baccus APR
Executive Editor 

Family Literacy Academy Recognized as Community Service Organization of the Year


Last updated 5/14/2019 at 3:14pm

Williamson Photos of Lake Wales

Family Literacy Academy founders Gail Crum and Deming Cowles accept award from active volunteer Howard Kay

The Lake Wales Family Literacy Academy was recognized as the Community Service Organization of the Year at the May 9 Annual Awards Gala of the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council.

Academy Board Member, longtime tutor and volunteer Howard Kay presented the award to founders Deming Cowles and Gail Crum and also praised the volunteers and staff: "They're so selfless, they truly deserve this award.

Kay announced that just this week two more adults obtained their General Equivalency Diplomas (GEDs), raising the total to date 97.

"Many of these people have to overcome significant obstacles and barriers," Kay said. "We help them to build greater self esteem . . ."

The Family Literacy Academy was founded in 2005 with a grant from the Barbara Bush Family Literacy Foundation. In 14 years the Academy has served more than 1,500 adults and children through day and evening programs that help families with reading and math so they can better support their children in school. The whole family comes together for a meal, tutoring and educational activities for children.

"The motto is where families build their future through education," Kay said, noting many have been able to further their education thanks to a partnership with Polk State College.

Cowles also thanked the volunteers and the community for its support.

"The main goal of our program is to provide a better educated workforce and a more productive family unit to enhance the development of Lake Wales," Cowles said. "We have shown and you have recognized and acknowledged that it takes a community to work together to make it so."

Author Bio

Chevon T. Baccus APR, Contributing Writer

After working as a newspaper reporter and editor for eight years, Chevon moved on to a long career in public relations, marketing and business development. After 2 1/2 years as founding publisher of she's happy to still be an occasional contributor.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 8636511065


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