The power of words: Words & Friends for Literacy raises over $12,000
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT — Wordsmiths and proponents of the literary arts played Scrabble for a cause at the Portage County Literacy Council’s annual Words & Friends for Literacy event on April 25. The program, now running for 15 years, pits teams of up to four players against each other in an evening of competitive Scrabble, as a means to foster funding for the organization.
“The purpose of the event is to raise funds for adult literacy while having fun together playing Scrabble,” said Portage County Literacy Council Director Kristy SeBlonka. “We had 29 teams play and over 130 attendees. We have already raised over $12,000 and are still expecting a few more donations.”
Proceeds from the event allow the council to continue their mission to help educate adult learners in their literary endeavors — the group aids in the education process of refugees and immigrants who are learning English. Volunteers also help tutor locals in the area on subjects such as reading, writing and math.
“Literacy impacts everything our learners try to do, and we believe everyone has a right to literacy,” SeBlonka said. “Helping an adult improve their literacy skills impacts the whole family.”
Engaging community events like Words & Friends for Literacy offer the public a platform to support those who seek academic aid. SeBlonka sees the group’s services as vital to the region.
“A key part of our work is the personal relationships we have with our learners,” she said. “We care about them as neighbors and community members and know from experience that they are capable of achieving wonderful things for themselves and their families.”
This year the top team at the event was S.K.A.M. — but all who participated helped support the literary future of the Portage County area. SeBlonka and her peers are grateful for the community’s participation.
Donate to the Portage County Literacy Council at https://pocolit.org/donate/. Or send a check to PCLC at 1209 Fremont Street, 209 Nelson Hall, Stevens Point, WI 54481.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.