The Library of Congress on Wednesday honored the recipients of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards – three groups working to alleviate the scourge of illiteracy in this country and around the world. Recipients were First Book ($150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize), United Through Reading ($50,000 American Prize) and Beanstalk ($50,000 International Prize).The Literacy Awards, first announced in January 2013, help support organizations working to alleviate the problems of illiteracy and aliteracy in the United States and worldwide. The awards highlight and reward organizations that do exemplary, innovative and easily replicable work.
“There’s something incredibly powerful about a child holding the same book in his hands that his mom had held, reading it to him from halfway around the world,” said Sally Ann Zoll, CEO of United Through Reading. The organization unites military families facing physical separation by helping them read together, no matter where they are in the world.
“It’s important to … join the cause, do something and make sure we can change the lives, change the story for thousands and thousands of children and parents,” said Beanstalk CEO Ginny Lunn. London-based Beanstalk uses a corps of volunteers to provide one-on-one reading assistance to children who struggle with their ability and confidence.
Concluding the program was a one-on-one interview with Rubenstein and First Book’s founder and CEO, Kyle Zimmer.
“We know every day that we have to grow faster, that we have to do more,” Zimmer said.
Sources: The Gazette, the Library of Congress staff newsletter