Freeport-based Literacy Nassau celebrates 50th anniversary


No doubt, Literacy Nassau’s annual gala is different than most such dinners. There’s plenty of food and drink, but no DJ blasting music and no dancing. For much (though not all) of the night, attendees don’t converse and network. Rather, they’re lost in play.

Each year, participants join in a board game that the Freeport-based nonprofit organization calls (un)Scrabble, with a set of rules unlike the traditional game. Attendees work in teams and are given piles of wooden titles with which to make as many words as possible within set timeframes. There are three rounds, each with diminishing play time, and each with a different subset of rules.

Participants clearly take the competition seriously, with some teams even donning their own T-shirts.

Literacy Nassau’s 50th anniversary gala took place last Thursday at Chateau Briand in Carle Place, with some 200 participants in attendance, according to Karen Micciche, the group’s executive director.

“The event was hugely successful,” Micciche, of Wantagh, said. “We were really happy to see so many people come out for such an event.”

The gala netted $40,000, with all proceeds going to Literacy Nassau.

For five decades, the group has supported literacy programs, including hosting English as a Second Language classes and citizenship assistance for recent immigrants. There are also programs for those with dyslexia, a general term for a range of conditions that cause people with the disorder to misinterpret letters, so they struggle to read.

Micciche noted that 10 percent of Long Island adults cannot read past the sixth-grade level. Literacy Nassau is there to help, she said.

The Herald is partnering with Literacy Nassau to assist the organization raise funds for its work. To join the effort, go to and enter the promotional code LITNASS to subscribe to the Herald of your choice. Eighteen dollars of your $30 subscription price — or 60 percent — will go directly to Literacy Nassau.

For more on this organization or to volunteer for it, go to To inquire about services, call (516) 867-3580.