LYNN — With the new school year just around the corner, the Lynn community came together to celebrate literacy and education while sharing a rooftop view of the city.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy gave the welcoming speech for the Fifth Annual Celebrate Literacy Award Reception and Fundraiser Wednesday evening. “The common goal here is to promote literacy amongst all the children in the city of Lynn,” she said.
Each year the reception fundraiser selects a local organization to receive all of the proceeds. This year, the recipient of those proceeds was the No Ceilings Movement, founded in 2011 by Anthony Seaforth.
The No Ceilings Movement is a non-profit organization that provides academic services and social support to student athletes currently in high school. Seaforth, who was born and raised in Lynn, said, “It’s an honor being here at the VNA rooftop with all of these established people helping to benefit our organization.”
Matt Williams, a member of the Celebrate Literacy Day planning committee, explained how the committee chooses a beneficiary by researching and interviewing local organizations that are involved in literacy or education and then voting on them. “No Ceilings Movement had a unanimous vote by the committee,” he said.
Also being honored was Maria Carrasco of the Lynn School Committee, Jan Plourde, the founder and CEO of The REAL Program, and Robert Hildreth, co-founder of La Vida Scholars. They were the three recipients of the 2017 Excellence in Literacy Awards.
“When I was told I was being awarded tonight I was surprised because we have many people in Lynn that are doing so much for our students,” said Carrasco. “To me this is an honor and a privilege to be chosen.”
Also in attendance was Jay Ash, the Massachusetts secretary of Housing and Economic Development, as he was presenting his longtime friend Hildreth with his award.liter
“Literacy is something that we should all be addressing in our communities and I’m glad to see that Lynn is taking on the challenge and doing something about it,” said Ash.