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Library Announces Winners of 2021 Literacy Awards

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Images of Dolly Parton, a man and a child, and a masked teacher and students reading

On this International Literacy Day, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced that three organizations working to expand literacy and promote reading are the 2021 recipients of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards. The awards honor organizations doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work and recognize the need for the international community to unite in achieving universal literacy.

“Literacy develops the mind and the heart, engages the intellect and imagination, and builds wide-ranging knowledge of the world,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress is proud to honor and celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary organizations in their efforts to advance literacy and enable people to survive and thrive in the world.” This year’s recipients:

  • 2021 David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000): Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
    The Imagination Library, also known as Dolly’s Library, is an initiative of the Dollywood Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Dolly Parton in 1988. Dedicated to improving the lives of children by inspiring a love of reading, the Imagination Library provides books free of charge to families through local community partnerships.
  • American Prize ($50,000): The Parents as Teachers National Center, St. Louis, Missouri
    Parents as Teachers builds strong communities, thriving families, and children who are healthy, safe and ready to learn by matching parents and caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits during a child’s earliest years in life, from prenatal through kindergarten. Parents as Teachers (PAT) began in the 1980s and is now the most replicated home visiting model in the United States.
  • International Prize ($50,000): The Luminos Fund, Boston, Massachusetts
    The Luminos Fund provides transformative education programs to thousands of out-of-school children, helping them to catch up to grade level, reintegrate into local schools and prepare for lifelong learning. It delivers a joyful-learning approach in classrooms in Ethiopia, Liberia and Lebanon to help children cover three school grades of learning in 10 months.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program also honored an 14 additional organizations for their implementation of highly successful practices in literacy promotion. For more details, see the complete announcement or visit the Literacy Awards website.

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