LCUP’s 2018 Appreciation Picnic

Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas volunteers and their adult learners with their children from diverse countries such as Egypt, Bulgaria, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Mexico celebrated during the annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on October 20, 2018.? Nine students read their original essays for the annual Express Yourself event.

Tutor, teacher, and citizenship teacher John Troesser was selected as LCUP’s Volunteer of the Year


Stefani Cordoba read “My First Vacation in the U.S.”


Dorotea Chavez read “Never Say Never”










Gladys Lago read “Life”?

Juana Lopez read “Finding My Voice”

Marcos Martinez read “Emiliano Zapata”


Marsil Masoud read “A Story of a Girl”












Ana Rosa Gomez read “An Old Parrot Learns to Talk”










Nadia Sawers and Akram Tadrous read “The Best Thing About America is Respect”








The food was provided by Home Plate in Dunedin, and was SO good!? And Gaye Staskiel organized the games and activities for the kids.? It was a great day!


Volunteers from the Literacy Council of Upper Pinellas attended a training seminar for adult educators, directors, volunteers, and representatives from immigrant-serving organizations.? The seminar was offered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on September 13, 2018, in Tampa.

Instruction was designed to enhance the skills needed to teach U.S. history, civics, and the naturalization process to immigrant students and to administer a comprehensive adult citizenship education program.

Standing, from left: Sandra Reyes, Daise Castillo, Claudia Gonzalez, Vicky Obando, Gaye Staskiel, Pat Bauer; Seated: Eileen Smith, John Troesser

Visitors from Brazil

Several of our Conversation Classes were graced by the presence of three visitors from Brazil. Aline, Lucas and Fernando attended classes often during their vacation here, and John Troesser acted as their unofficial escort for some of their activities. They were impressed by our efforts to teach English to those who need it and said they enjoyed being included in the classes. The tutors and students were happy to have them join us, and it was difficult to say goodbye. We hope they will return next year.