Lehigh Valley Women Among Winners

Literacy awardJudith’s Reading Room announces that two of its 2016 Freedom Through Literacy Award winners hail from the Lehigh Valley. Grand Prize winner, Kelly Ann Stoops, will be awarded posthumously. Kelly Ann, brainchild of the innovative family literacy project “Book Blast,” in the Allentown School District, died in 2015. Allentown’s Ms. Dawn Bush, coordinator of Casa Guadalupe’s Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) “Birth-2-Five” infant and family reading program will receive a $1,000 cash prize as Runner-Up. Ms. Bush is widely credited with fostering a love of reading among the thousands of families who receive services at Casa’s WIC.

Runner-up winners include John Farrell, Hillsdale, NY, author/ founder of “Bridges of Peace and Hope;” Sue Guiney, London, England, founder of “Writing Through” a literacy program that serves impoverished populations within South East Asia; Maria Teresa Bautista, currently Humphrey Fellow at Penn State University for “Read and Learn: Big Brother, Big Sister Reading Buddy,” the Philippines; and, Betsy Dickey, Dorset, VT, for her work in Rwanda through “Ready for Reading.”

Four PA women are recognized as Honorable Mentions: Julia Dweck, teacher of gifted children at Willow Lane Elementary School, Macungie for her project, “Musical Mythology;” Heidi AbiNader, principal, Sharpsville Middle School; author Sydelle Pearl of Pittsburgh; and, Helen Ferguson, Hummelstown for her project, “We Care We Share, Books for Foose.”

The winners will be honored at an awards dinner co-hosted with Colonial Association of Reading Educators (C.A.R.E.) to be held on May 4th at Cedar Crest College. Tickets cost $35 per person and are available to the public by contacting