Ardmore Literacy Leadership celebrates graduates from partner organizations

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

During a graduation season full of high school and college commencement ceremonies, one ceremony this week stood out with a collection of graduates from area literacy groups. The Ardmore Literacy Leadership on Thursday recognized learners for completing their high school diploma, GED, English as a Second Language, Spanish language or U.S. citizenship test. 

A 2021 tassel hangs from the mortarboard of a recent Ardmore Literacy Leadership organization graduate Thursday, May 20, 2021. A dozen learners were on hand to receive diplomas or certificates during a commencement ceremony at the Colvert Center.

Over 100 guests were on hand at the Colvert Ministry Center to celebrate the graduates including families, tutors and other supporters. Oklahoma Rep. Mauree Turner, an Ardmore native, provided a recorded message and Ardmore City Commissioner John Credle addressed those in attendance.  

Virgina Peery walks across the stage moments after receiving her computer literacy certificate Thursday, May 20, 2021.

ALL organizations represented on Thursday included Ardmore Family Literacy, Ardmore Public Library, New Dimension Literacy Council, Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley, and St. Mary Catholic Church. 

While over two dozen people were recognized, some of whom completed their studies last year but received delayed recognition due to the pandemic, 12 graduating learners were on hand in blue hats and robes to receive certificates or diplomas. 

Graduates from Ardmore Literacy Leadership organizations watch a video presentation during a commencement ceremony Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Among those who spoke was Sofia Hernandez, an ALL learner who recently completed ESL classes. She thanked her family and tutors for helping her learn skills many native English speakers take for granted. 

“I started studying English in Marietta library. Today, a year of study is over and I learned to do various things. Make my appointments, make my payments in the bank, little things,” Hernandez told attendees. 

Sofia Hernandez speaks to fellow Ardmore Literacy Leadership organization graduates Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Credle, who is also the senior pastor for Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, spoke to graduating learners about his youth in Brooklyn. During his remarks, Credle mentioned the biblical story from the Book of John when an apostle cynically asked Jesus if anything good could come from Nazareth. 

“If they ask you can anything good come out of Ardmore, Dickson, Madill – wherever you are from – you are the walking, living testament that something good can come out of these neighborhoods,” he said.