Many Orange residents have never heard of the local nonprofit organization known as GOALS—the Greater Orange Area Literacy Service—but they may have benefitted indirectly from its work without realizing it. GOALS was established 30 years ago to address the literacy needs in our area. We offer classes and free one-on-one face-to-face and online tutoring in reading, writing, GED preparation, and English as a second language.

The GOALS organization depends solely on donations and grants; for well over twenty years our most important annual fundraising event has been an adult spelling bee. In 2022, GOALS will hold its first bee since the pandemic shut down the country in early 2020. The event will be held at the Lamar State College-Orange Student Center gym on Friday, April 29, 2022, from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. A spelling team is made up of three people, and the entry fee is a $350 donation. Individuals or groups may also sponsor a letter of the alphabet and will be recognized in the program. Donations are tax-deductible, and sponsorship at any level for any amount is deeply appreciated.

 Each team receives five tickets, three for the team members and two for cheerleaders to attend, to support and encourage the spellers. We encourage innovative dress and make-up art (as long as it is in good taste). The event offers participants an opportunity to indulge themselves in guilt-free wholesome fun. Those who wish to participate but do not wish to compete can watch others squirm for the paltry price of a $20 ticket, which includes a light lunch. The team with the best cheerleaders receives a Spirit Stick, and door prizes are also awarded. For $10, audience members may participate in an Audience Spell event, with the winner receiving a prize and the accolades of the other assembled guests.

 GOALS has worked with many individual and organizational partners, including corporate, industry, and business sponsors, churches, civic and service groups, and schools, all working together with the GOALS staff and Board of Directors to promote literacy in Orange County, helping people to build better lives. The gift of literacy is the gift of dignity, community, and freedom to fully participate in a rich, rewarding life. Our sponsors and partners, our staff, our Board of Directors, and our clients all share that belief, and we continue to work to make literacy for all Orange County residents a reality.

 During the pandemic, our dedicated staff adapted, learned new technologies, and embraced every opportunity to serve our clients in what for some of them has been the time of their greatest need. Teaching adults to read and helping them to advance their various literacies in other ways changes their lives in countless positive permutations, and strengthens the communities in which they are members.

 The GOALS staff and Board of Directors are very proud of the work our little home-grown program has done to make our special corner of Texas a better place, one new reader, English language speaker, and/or GED-holder at a time.

 Our bees are always fun, and all the money they raise stays in Orange County, spent solely for the benefit of its citizens. Local dignitaries are recruited to serve as judges, timekeepers, and a Master of Ceremonies. The winning team receives recognition in the press and a traveling trophy, and of course bragging rights around town and across the county.

 Anyone interested in attending the Bee or in learning more about GOALS and how to join us in our mission, or anyone interested in receiving services or in serving as a volunteer tutor, may contact Rhonda Powell, the Executive Director, at the GOALS office, 409-886-4311, or may contact us by email at [email protected].

 The Greater Orange Area Literacy Services is a registered 503(c)(3) nonprofit organization #76-0413594.

No goods or services are provided by the Greater Orange Area Literacy Services in exchange for contributions. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.