2023 Annual Celebration Honors Learners, Tutors & Community Partners

The Midcoast Literacy Annual Meeting & Celebration was held on May 21st after a one-day delay for the weather, giving out awards and celebrating 53 years of providing free literacy services to families and individuals in midcoast Maine.

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Under bright sunshine, more than 60 board members, staff, tutors, learners, supporters, and their families gathered in Bath or a festive picnic to mark the organization’s accomplishments in the past year.

“2022 was a year of recovery and growth for our organization,” said Midcoast Literacy Executive Director Daniel Burson. “We are grateful for the incredible investments volunteers and donors have made this year, helping us to fully bring back long-time programs and adapt to meet the needs of even more learners. In 2022 we served a record of 142 children and adults with one-on-one tutoring, and expect to be challenged to serve even more learners in the year ahead.”

In her remarks, Board Chair Julie Hendrickson thanked the staff and board of directors for their renewed focus on fundraising events in the past year (after the pandemic had required a break from large, in-person gatherings), and introduced three new board members: Julie Criscitiello of Brunswick, James Hughes of Bath, and Spinoza Lebouandzoka of Brunswick.

The annual celebration included awards recognizing exceptional tutors and learners for their accomplishments over the past year. The Outstanding Learner award was given to ELL learner Lazare Sonda of Brunswick, who participates through Midcoast Literacy’s Workplace Literacy partnership with Wild Oats Bakery & Café. Outstanding Read Together Learner awards (for students in Midcoast Literacy’s program for children ages 6-14) were given to Samira Manta, Suzanne Nzeba, and Monique Palaba, all of Brunswick. And the fourth annual Newton Blakesley and Cyndy Lewis Outstanding Tutor award (named in honor of the dedicated work of former Midcoast Literacy board members) was given to Jen Litchfield of Topsham.

At the event, Midcoast Literacy also recognized The Brunswick Welcome Center as their Community Partner of the Year. The Welcome Center, a joint venture of the town of Brunswick and the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, partners with Midcoast Literacy to provide space for tutoring sessions and to host a monthly Conversation Café for English language learners.

For more information about Midcoast Literacy’s programs, or to learn how you can become a volunteer tutor or volunteer board member, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..