Project Light Celebrates 25 Years of Service to the Community at Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Thirty-five Project Light of Manatee County volunteers were honored for their commitment to increasing overall community and financial stability through English-language-learning on December 7th at Landside Anna Maria Oyster Bar. John and Amanda Horne, tremendous education advocates, donated the dinner for volunteer teachers, staff, and board members in attendance. The nonprofit Adult English Learning Center will be celebrating its 25th anniversary of service to the Bradenton community in March. The organization was established by Sister Nora Brick and Ann and Ed Griffin in 1994 with inaugural classes taught in 1995. The name “Project Light” is derived from the first computer program Sister Nora purchased to teach basic English to migrant workers. The Center's mission is teaching English (speak, read, write) to speakers of other languages. In the past 25 years, Project Light has provided more than 2,000 multicultural and economically disadvantaged adults with the opportunity to achieve English language skills necessary to thrive at home, on the job, and in the community.

Unchanged from its humble beginnings, Project Light’s vision is still to empower adult learners to participate more meaningfully in our community through English proficiency - - but on a much larger scale. One hundred seventy adult learners are presently enrolled in the program, which is supported by thirty highly dedicated teachers. Teachers and board members (all volunteer) work daily to ensure students are welcomed and feel supported as they undertake the difficult task to learn English. As student enrollment continues to increase, so does the demand for additional services. In addition to the standard 5-level English curriculum, the Center now offers courses in Citizenship preparation, basic computer training, basic writing, and conversational English. In 2020, Project Light will seek additional funds to expand its operations even further to address the backlog of students seeking entry into the basic English program. If you would like to learn more about Project Light’s mission or how to support the organization, please visit our website at or email

Photo includes from left: Michael Wolsh (Board President), Elena Farkas (Program Director), Ann Griffin (Founder and Board Member), Richard Gerald Monteleone (Board Member), Greg Guevara (Manager AMOB), Charles Cunningham (Board Vice President) Not pictured : Randy Cooper (Board Treasurer)