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Greetings all!

In another year of challenges at a global, local, and personal level, we at First Literacy are grateful that we can continue to look forward and share the “Great Expectations” that we have for First Literacy and for the adult learners whom we serve.

An expectation is “a belief that someone will or should achieve something”. We believe and expect that our scholarship recipients will achieve their goals if they are given the financial and other resources they need.  We expect the teachers and volunteers to take what they have learned in our free, high quality professional development workshops back to the students in their classrooms across Massachusetts. We expect that the programs that receive small grants from First Literacy will use that money to try out new and innovative ways to teach their adult learners.

Most of us have heard of Charles Dickens’ novel, “Great Expectations”.  Though it was written over 150 years ago, it remains at the top of many lists as one of the best works of fiction of all time. In Dickens’ time, many adults lacked basic literacy. Without television or podcasts for people to listen to, stories often were read aloud to others, as a form of entertainment. Dickens believed in helping his fellow citizens. At First Literacy, we believe that every person deserves to reach their highest potential.

Of course, having basic literacy skills helps people get better jobs, increases their earning potential, and improves the lives of their families and communities. But being able to read also opens up a whole new world of possibilities; it opens up the imagination, and we get to experience people, places and cultures that we never would have otherwise. At First Literacy, our expectation is that every adult learner will have that opportunity.

Enjoy the stories in this annual report of the people who have benefited from our work and from your support. Thank you for all you do for adult learners.

Here’s to 2023 and the great expectations we have for the year to come!

Terry Witherell
Executive Director, First Literacy

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