FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 7, 2014) – What does a “selfie” video have to do with literacy in Southwest Florida? A lot when it comes to communication. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation will lead a conversation on literacy and its overall effects on our community using “selfie” videos during the 2014 Southwest Florida Reading Festival on Saturday, March 15 from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room C2 at the Harborside Event Center located at 1375 Monroe Street in downtown Fort Myers.

The SWFLCF, along with its partners in a regional literacy initiative, will open the conversation using formal and informal research methods along with “selfie” videos produced by those facing the challenges of literacy to demonstrate how literacy and the local programs to promote literacy have changed lives.

“Imagine a world without words,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the SWFLCF. “Thousands in our community can’t read and are isolated as a result.”

According to Owen, the community discussion enters the lives of people involved in regional literacy programs. Attendees will get an intimate look as the stories are told through first-person “selfie” videos and reflection with program coordinators. Participants will see the impact of literacy training on families and engage in dialogue on improving literacy in the Southwest Florida community.

Partners in the literacy initiative are the Literacy Council Gulf Coast, Edison State College, Lee County Public Library, PACE Center for Girls, Scott Fischer Enterprises and the Southwest Florida Reading Festival.

The Lee County Library System organizes this free annual Reading Festival to inform the community about the resources and services available at their local libraries and to remind them these resources and services are free with a library card.

During its 2013 fiscal year, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation granted more than $4 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services. Founded in 1976, the SWFLCF supports the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties and also acts as the regional convener and leader with firsthand knowledge of community needs. With assets of more than $75 million, the SWFLCF has provided more than $57 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves.

For more information about the SWFLCF, call 239-274-5900 or visit