The Marion County Literacy Council is a non-profit organization focused on making sure all adult citizens in Marion County have access to the resources available to help them improve their lives by improving their literacy skills.
The organization was founded by philanthropist Barbara Woodson in 1999. Barbara, seeing a gap in programs not available for adults who needed basic help with math and reading, created the organization as a way to improve lives. The Council was founded to teach adults to read, help students pass the GED test, and to teach English to speakers of other languages.
Since its inception, reading and GED preparation have been the main focus of our program. MCLC is responding to our diverse population growth by expanding our ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) program as well as adding basic computer, citizenship, financial literacy and health literacy classes. The Literacy Council provides volunteers to tutor in the Marion County jail and to train inmates at Lowell Correctional Institute for women as well.
Summer Gill, Executive Director
Summer Gill was born and raised in Ocala and a proud graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in psychology. You will hear her say Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” over and over again and that is how she lives her life. Summer is the Executive Director of the Marion County Literacy Council. She serves on the board for Fine Arts for Ocala, Downtown Ocala CRA Committee, 2035 Leadership Committee with the City of Ocala, United Way Health Vision Committee, Secretary of Rotary Club of Ocala-Sunset, Plantation Oaks HOA President, TEDxOcala committee member, and member Grace Episcopal Church. She is currently getting her Masters in Social Work from Florida State University. Besides enjoying all the great things Ocala has to offer, Summer loves the beach, obsessively posting about her puppy Pilot, spending as much time as possible with her friends and family and facilitating the coolest book club in town “I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie.” Summer has been on the FAFO Board since 2012.
Yamila Acosta, Program Coordinator
“I want the students to find it fun, I want them to know that anything is possible.” Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida, Yamila Acosta brings a light to the Literacy Council. Acosta began her work at MCLC in 2014 as an ESOL assistant, eventually becoming a full-time employee due to her passion and commitment to each program. Yamila is naturally bilingual, accommodating perfectly to the ESOL program, but communicates through goals and personal connection with any student that walks through the door.
Our Executive Committee
- President: RJ Jenkins, Columbia University.
- Vice President: Brad Tropello, Blanchard, Merriam, Adel, & Kirkland, PA
- Treasurer: Ken Boggs, First Federal Bank
- Secretary: Sarah L. Bland, Marion County County Commission
- Immediate Past President: Adam Woods, Silver River Community Bank
- Ashley Dowler, Adventhealth Ocala
- Kay Epstein, University of Florida
- Howie Epstein, USA Scientific
- Billy Gilchrist, HDG Hotels
- Sara Johnson, Marion County Department of Parks and Recreation
- Pat Mangan, George Mangan Insurance
- Keith Molinary, Ocala Health
- Ashley Stockel, Marion County Public Schools
- Leena Williams, Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services
Founder: Barbara Woodson