Inside the Literacy Partners gala with Katie Couric and Alina Cho

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Alina Cho
Alina Cho

Last week at the Cipriani 42nd Street, Literacy Partners hosted their annual Evening of Readings and Gala Dinner Dance, which raised $1 million to further its mission to promote family literacy. Among the attendees were  Katie Couric (presenter), Maurice DuBois (emcee), Jill Kargman (reader), gala co-chairs Mike Steib, Alina Cho, Katharine Raymond Hinton, Courtney L. Corleto and  Liz Smith,  Arie and Coco Kopelman, Will Kopelman, Peter Brown (presenter)  and Jackie Weld Drake. 

Joanne Lipman, Katie Couric
Joanne Lipman, Katie Couric

For their outstanding work in literacy and philanthropy the gala honored Joanne Lipman, Chief Content Officer of Gannett and Editor-in-Chief of USA Today & USA Today Network, and CNN host Fareed Zakaria. Longtime Literacy Partners board member John Josephson was honored with the Champion of Literacy Award. Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, was also honored at the event with The Lizzie Award, which is given to an individual who exemplifies Liz Smith’s commitment to improving the lives of those who cannot read or write. Nevins read a passage from her new book, You Don’t Look Your Age…and other Fairy Tales. Literacy Partners student Marchette Hellams shared her story of overcoming adversity and how Literacy Partners changed her life. Later, Hellams brought the crowd to their feet with her moving rendition of Patti LaBelle’s “Winner in You”.

Maurice DuBois
Maurice DuBois

Literacy Partners has aided more than 25,000 New York City adults and their families since its inception 44 years ago. The organization now takes a dual-generation approach to education, focusing on parents of young children.  With free classes throughout the city, parents can improve their reading, writing, and English skills while learning more about child development to boost  early learning and school readiness. With more than two million adult New Yorkers struggling to read and write English at an 8th-grade level, Literacy Partners is raising money to expand its high-quality, community-based literacy programs that help adults reach their full potential as individuals, parents and citizens.

Sheila Nevins, Fareed Zakaria
Sheila Nevins, Fareed Zakaria
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