Library Announces Literacy Award Winners

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the winners of the 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Awards tonight at the Library of Congress National Book Festival gala. The awards honor organizations working to promote literacy and reading in the United States and worldwide. The awards recognize groups doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work, and they spotlight the need for the global community to unite in striving for universal literacy.

The awards are sponsored by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who originated the awards program in January 2013. The winners were selected from among applicants in both the United States and abroad. They are:

David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000): WETA Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets was developed by WETA, a PBS member station, to provide resources and services for literacy providers, educators and parents. Reading Rockets disseminates all of its information and resources via its free website. Most of the material is aimed at teachers, parents and caregivers, but Reading Rockets also works with more than 50 national partner organizations to promote literacy and reading. Some of the resources include book and activity suggestions, articles and research briefs, and original series. A set of literacy blogs written by nationally-acclaimed authors, literacy specialists and teachers offers new perspectives on reading and literacy.  

The American Prize ($50,000): Parent-Child Home Program

The Parent-Child Home Program develops school readiness in children with disadvantages by combining intensive home visits with weekly gifts of books and educational materials. Early-literacy specialists model good practices to educate parents about the importance of parent-child interaction, give them the tools needed to inculcate early literacy skills in their children, and encourage them to see themselves as active participants in their children’s educations. In this program, community-based early literacy specialists visit participating families twice a week for two years. When families complete the program, the staff helps parents enroll their children in quality preschools or kindergartens.

The International Prize ($50,000): Libraries Without Borders

Libraries Without Borders (LWB) supports community development in 20 countries around the world through the promotion of literacy. Each community’s needs are assessed and context-specific programs are developed to meet them. One of LWB’s signature programs is the Ideas Box, a portable classroom, media center and library that can be installed in 20 minutes. The box expands to create a pop-up space covering over 330 square feet and includes a satellite internet connection, laptops and tablets, a library with both paper books and e-readers, and a built-in cinema.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is also honoring 14 organizations for their implementation of best practices in literacy promotion. These organizations are Afghanistan Center at Kabul University, Kabul; Cell-Ed, Los Angeles; Chicago Literacy Alliance, Chicago; Collaborative Cooperative Summer Library Program, United States Washington, D.C.; Ethiopia Reads, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; GIZPCP, Kabul; Library for All, New York; National Center on Adult Literacy – International Literacy Institute, Philadelphia; National Centre of Literacy & Numeracy for Adults NCLANA, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand; New York City Department of Homeless Services, New York; Rumie Initiative, Toronto; Sipar, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Student and Parents in Cooperative Education, Thorndike, Maine and Ze Peao School Programme, João Pessoa, Brazil.

The video below talks about the award, the award winners and the importance of literacy.

5 Comments

  1. Meg Schroeder
    September 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Congratulations to WETA Reading Rockets! I have used the site for many years and have always found interesting, relevant and needed information. They certainly do deserve this wonderful honor!

  2. Judith Rehfeld
    September 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    As a retired teacher, I commend you for your choice of award winners. I taught reading in elementary schools and English in middle and high school. One is always searching for new ideas and strategies to reach students.

    The parent-child home program I have personally seen in action and it works wonders for families with young preschoolers who need literacy programs and a gentle hand that helps guide them through a school readiness program.

    The international program is desperately needed. I have visited my young nieces several times in Davoa, Philippines and became aware of the lack of libraries and the development of personal reading. Very few book stores in a city of 1 1/2 million people, and those that are there are small with few titles. Books are very expensive and most families do not read books for pleasure.

  3. Pamela Wooten
    September 23, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Congratulations to all literacy advocates. Great job#

  4. Pamela Wooten
    September 23, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Readers are leaders.Congratulations to the Barbara Bush Foundation- Houston, Texas. Love it!

  5. Carol Settgast
    September 27, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Congratulations Ethiopia Reads! You are developing a stellar program for school librarians to improve their craft in promoting literacy!

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