Goodwill celebrates National Family Literacy Month with book signing events

Goodwill Manasota partners with local children’s book author Lela Hartsaw; proceeds to benefit Patten House restoration

Published Thursday, October 27, 2016

Author Lela HartsawSARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota will celebrate National Family Literacy Month in November with a series of book signing events at its bookstores. While Family Literacy Day, which focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs, is officially celebrated on November 1, many literacy-themed events are traditionally held throughout the month of November. Goodwill has partnered with local historical author, Lela Hartsaw, who will appear at three Goodwill bookstores on two successive Saturdays in November to discuss and autograph copies of her popular new children’s novel.

The Adventures of Abigail Rose - Ida Patten's Antebellum Doll, researched and written by Hartsaw as historical fiction, entertains readers while candidly detailing just a brief moment in nineteenth century Florida. This book, intended for “children” ages 8-108, is a delightful read for the whole family. Proceeds from sales of this book will go toward upkeep and restoration of the historic Patten House (built in 1895), on the Gamble Mansion property in Ellenton, Florida.

“The state of Florida is relatively young by historical standards. Our friends from the Northeast, who are accustomed to tales from pre-Revolutionary War days, may be surprised to learn the exciting stories from brave settlers who, in the mid-1800s, chose to make their homes here on Florida’s Gulf Coast—in a time before highways and bug spray,” said Hartsaw. “I love telling these stories, especially to children, because I find it incredibly satisfying to share our past with our future.”

During the book signings, the author will dress in Civil War-era attire while she reads passages from The Adventures of Abigail Rose. Children’s toys from that era will be on display, and there will be crafting projects for children and a raffle.  Hartsaw will discuss the inspiration for her novel and autograph copies of the book, which will be available for sale.

The events take place on Saturday, November 12, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Goodwill Clark Road Bookstore (5831 Derek Avenue, Sarasota) as part of its annual BOOKAPALOOZA sale day activities, and the following Saturday, November 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Goodwill’s Venice Bookstore (1752 S. Tamiami Tr., Venice) and again from 2:00-4:00 p.m., at Goodwill’s Tara Bookstore (7200 55th Ave. E., Bradenton).

“Among the most challenging barriers to employment and, ultimately, to self-sufficiency include a lack of education and poor literacy skills,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “When parents come together with their children to read and to learn, relationships within families, neighborhoods and communities are all strengthened. That is why Goodwill celebrates Family Literacy Month with a focus on engaging the family unit and inspiring them to read together. We believe that fun and engaging activities such as book signing events create real-world connections that make a love of learning last a lifetime.”


PHOTO ID: Local children’s book author Lela Hartsaw will hold three book signings at Goodwill’s bookstores on two Saturdays in November

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit