December is National Read a New Book Month, so we partnered with the Ocala Marion County Literacy Council to bring you some stories about those who support, teach for, and learn through their programs. In our themed department, A Focus on Literacy (starting on page 11), we talked with former student Manuel Cortes Roldan, tutor Mary Beth Mutarelli, and Director of Programs and Services Yamila Acosta.
Nothing breaks social norms like stepping out of retirement to create a non-profit focused on education. That’s why we caught up with Marion County Literacy Council founder Barbara Woodson (page 8).
We also wanted to take the opportunity to take a look at music literacy, and we reached out to the Reilly Arts Center’s Director of Education and Community Outreach, Margaret Dixon (page 28). She joined us in the podcast studio for her interview, which means you can watch or listen to the full interview after reading her story.
Speaking of the podcast, R.J. Jenkins, also a member of the Marion Literacy Council Board, took over as host of the Locala podcast to interview his former student Manuel Cortes Roldan. Check out both interviews for extended content!
We have some more incredible stories in our other departments—Access, The Chews Letter, and From the Paddock. This month, we spoke with Tony DeLisle (page 23) about his experience with gradually losing his sight. We were completely impressed with trainer and showjumper Justine Dutton (page 19), and we tasted some mouthwatering cookies when speaking to Jessica Crouch (page 33).
Don’t forget to stop by the Artist Corner to get a look into the lives and inspiration of some incredibly talented artists, and be sure to stop by our blog at www.localamag.com to catch up on Dr. Manal Fakhoury’s take on leadership (From the Experts).
We would also like to invite you to join us at the Juniper General Store on Saturday, December 10, 2022 for the Holiday Reading Party, a fun-filled day of readings, hot or cold beverages, and fundraising for the Marion County Literacy Council.
We wish you a very merry holiday season!
Lisa Anderson, Publisher