Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization established in 2010, donated more than 1,000 new books valued at $5,000 to honor its 2016 Grand Prize “Freedom Through Literacy” Award winner, Kelly Stoops. Kelly, a beloved Allentown teacher, passed away in July, 2015. In her memory, teachers at Roosevelt Elementary School celebrated Kelly’s award winning literacy program at a “Book Blast.” Every child in the school received a book in Kelly’s memory.
At the end of the school term, 81 children, 77 parents and 33 volunteers brought books to life through costumed story characters and read to lead groups where parents observed a trained facilitator modeling literacy strategies for them to practice at home with their children. A major goal of this community-driven literacy program is to prevent ‘summer slide,’ during which students regress due to lack of books and no reading.
The 3rd annual $10,000 Judith’s Reading Room “Freedom Through Literacy” Award will honor individual champions of literacy from all disciplines around the world — teachers, librarians, authors, booksellers and educators — anyone who has done exemplary work to instill in others a love of reading. Applications for the 2017 Award will be available on line in the fall at www.judithsreadingroom.org.
Since its inception, Judith’s Reading Room has opened 94 libraries in 17 countries with 127,000 books worth nearly $1.4 million. The organization has awarded $20,000 to 10 global champions of literacy.