Two Easton Women Among Winners

Judith's Reading Room HeaderJudith’s Reading Room announced that thirty-four applicants from around the world and across the United States had competed in its inaugural Freedom Through Literacy Award. One Grand Prize winner and five runner-ups will share in the $10,000 award. Janice Komisor with ProJeCt of Easton and Janet Brown with TEACH Rwanda, both from Easton, Pa are among the winners. Each will be awarded $1,000.

The Freedom Through Literacy Awards will be presented at the 28th Colonial Association of Reading Educators (C.A.R.E.) annualAward Banquet to be held on May 6th at 5 p.m. at Cedar Crest College in the Canova Commons, 100 College Drive, Allentown, Pa. The competition sought examples of exceptional literacy projects or programs that were innovative, measurably impactful, and that solved an essential literacy problem.

Two Allentown applicants will be honored as Honorable Mentions for their notable work: Dawn Bush with the Women, Infants and Children’s Program at Casa Guadalupe and Janet McIlhenny with the Lehigh Valley Head Trauma Support Group.

Fifteen judges reviewed all 34 applications. The Grand Prize winner, with a $5,000 award, is Ms. Basarat Kazim from Lahore, Pakistan, for her 30 year program that transforms dilapidated buses into enchanting children’s libraries called “Alif Laila Book Bus Society’s Mobile Library.”  In addition to Komisor and Brown, the other three runner-up winners include Melissa Clouser, a resident of Harrisburg, Pa and a Peace Corps volunteer for her work in establishing a library at Magarao Central School in the Philippines, Thinley Choden for creating a public library system in Bhutan and Quintin Jose Pastrana for empowering over 2 million citizens in the Philippines by building libraries across that nation.

Judith’s Reading Room was founded in 2010 in memory of Judith Krug, cousin to the founders. Since its inception the organization has established 89 libraries in 14 countries with over 120,000 books valued at nearly $1.5 million dollars.