Sunday: Project Read-MP celebrates 30 years with a party


Friends and staff of Project Read-Menlo Park are throwing a party on Sunday, Sept. 20, to mark the 30th birthday of the program, which offers free tutoring to adults needing to improve their English reading, writing and speaking skills.

The celebration, dubbed "Pearls of Wisdom," will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will include brunch provided by Cafe Zoe of Menlo Park and Project Read students, who will offer breads that reflect their cultures.

The party will be in the Arrillaga Family RecreationCenter at 700 Alma St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center.

Alisa Clancy, program director of KCSM jazz radio station, will emcee the event, and former state senator Joe Simitian, a long-time Project Read supporter who is now a Santa Clara County supervisor, is expected to offer remarks.

The guest speaker will be Gerardo Pacheco Matus, a former ESL student who went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in creative writing and is now a poet and Project Read teacher.

Other highlights will be the unveiling of an anthology of life stories written by Project Read students, and presentation of the Lee Romashko Tutor Legacy Award to Menlo Park resident Paula Berka, a volunteer Project Read tutor since 1989.

There will also be live music provided by the Bennett Roth-Newell Trio.

The reservation deadline to attend is Sept. 14. To reserve a seat at the party, call 330-2525 or email

Go to the Project Read website to learn more about the literacy program. You can also sign up there to volunteer to help at the Sept. 20 event or make a donation to support it.

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