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Jimmy Santiago Baca is keynote at literacy event

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jimmy Santiago Baca will be the keynote speaker at Reading Works’ Fifth Annual Luncheon for Literacy on June 25.

Reading Works provides free tutoring to adults in reading, writing, math, computer skills and English language acquisition. Luncheon for Literacy raises money to support those programs.

The luncheon begins at 11 a.m. at Hotel Albuquerque. Individual tickets are $70, and a table of ten is $600. They are available at www.reading-works.org through June 15.

According to the organization, more than 100,000 adults in the greater Albuquerque area need literacy services.

Baca was illiterate at the age of 21 when he faced five to ten years behind bars for drug possession. While in prison, he taught himself to read and found his poetic voice.  He has received the American Book Award, Pushcart Prize, International Hispanic Heritage Award, and International Award. His acclaimed memoir, A Place to Stand, has been produced as a documentary film.

“We’re planning something different this year,” Margaret Barker, president and founder of Reading Works, said in a news release. “We’ll start the event with a literacy bazaar where guests will participate in fun, literacy related activities. Every time a guest does an activity, he’ll win a raffle ticket for a prize.”

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