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Game Changers for Literacy

David Gow, Melanie Fisk, John BourkeJohn Bourke and Comcast are recognized for outstanding commitment to literacy in the community.

Houston, October 12, 2011 - There is no doubt Houston has a literacy problem. This problem cannot be solved with a single magic pill; it must be solved one person at a time. It is a slow but amazingly rewarding process. Just ask the tutors and students at Literacy Advance of Houston.

"It's a huge honor to be just a small part of these amazing people's lives... as a volunteer, I'm so unbelievably fulfilled; I'm renewed, buoyed; richer after every class" says Kristina, a volunteer tutor. Volunteer literacy tutors and students were among the many in attendance at Wednesday's Champions of Literacy luncheon at CityCentre.

Literacy Advance of Houston believes in a 100% literate community and eachMelanie Fisk, Doug Guthrie year the local organization takes the time to identify and honor individuals or organizations that are true Champions of Literacy, making a positive impact on the literacy issues facing our community. John Bourke and Comcast were both recognized at the Champions of Literacy event.

John Bourke, Founder and President of Bourke and Associates, author, consultant, and Master Trainer, experienced volunteer tutoring first-hand years ago and has seen the impact improved literacy can have in someone's life. "I believe that a community's commitment to the literacy of its citizens is foundational to local and global prosperity, vitality, wellness, civility and sustainability," said Bourke. "Literacy is a complex challenge requiring an influence campaign capable of overwhelming status quo behaviors that keep the cause of literacy from surfacing as a priority."

After receiving his Champion of Literacy award, John gave a thought-provoking presentation about how each of us can utilize influence strategies to make a positive change on anything, including literacy in our communities.

Next, Literacy Advance recognized Comcast as their first ever corporate recipient of the Champion of Literacy award. Comcast was recognized for their efforts here in Houston where they make a significant impact on digital literacy through various community initiatives and by investing in literacy programs across all ages. Douglas Guthrie, SVP Comcast Houston Region, accepted the award on Comcast's behalf. Guthrie stated, "Comcast helps power dreams in the Houston community by providing access to innovative technology, volunteering our time, giving financial support and partnering with great organizations like Literacy Advance that match our dedication to expanding digital literacy, diversity and volunteerism."

The annual Champions of Literacy event benefits the programs at Literacy Advance and this most recent event was a great success. Melanie Fisk, Executive Director of Literacy Advance, said "Literacy Advance could not be more proud of its donors, volunteers, students, and staff who came out to support the 2011 Champions of Literacy event. I want to especially thank our Champions of Literacy and Mr. David Gow who was a fabulous emcee." Fisk added, "This is a great organization to be a part of; we are looking to add to our volunteer leadership at Literacy Advance and invite anyone with a passion for education to join us as we grow and carry out our mission to transform lives and communities through the doorway of literacy."

Anna Zubkova, Comcast filming crewComcast Newsmakers was onsite for this special event. Interviews and footage from the event will be aired in November. Pictures and other event footage will soon be available.

Founded in 1964, Literacy Advance is Houston's oldest and largest volunteer-based literacy provider. The 501(c)(3) organization depends upon sponsorships, donations and fundraising events such as the Champions of Literacy Series to provide free literacy education throughout Houston.


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