2017 Freedom Through Literacy Award Winners Announced
July 24, 2017 — Lehigh Valley, Pa. — Judith’s Reading Room proudly announces this year’s Top Prize winner of its 3rd annual Freedom Through Literacy Award is Lisa Lucas, National Book Foundation, New York, for their 10 year old literacy project titled, “BookUp.” BookUp is a reading program that serves more than 500 middle school aged children, older teens and young adults, led by published writers in four states. Students discuss quality literature in a book club format, go on field trips to cultural institutions and receive free books to build their home libraries. The Top Prize award is valued at $3,000.
William Whipple, Easton, Pa, will receive $1,000 for his passionate work with TEACH Rwanda and its project called, “Stories in Kinyarwanda.” Children’s literature in Rwanda is an emerging endeavor and TEACH Rwanda is determined to improve the quality and accessibility of culturally genuine, captivating Rwandan literature for young children. TEACH Rwanda was also a Runner-Up in 2016.
This year’s Honorable Mention is awarded to The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, Mexico. Founded in 2003, this grassroots nonprofit promotes the “love of reading” and bringing literacy to communities without the means or access to books given their high cost and limited availability in Mexico. To support their children’s library, Judith’s Reading Room will purchase $500 worth of new books.
Judith’s Reading Room, a literacy nonprofit based in the Lehigh Valley, Pa, was founded in 2010 in memory of Judith Krug, first cousin to the founders. Judy, a librarian, dedicated her 40 year career at the American Library Association to protect the freedom to read. The mission of Judith’s Reading Room is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy. To date, the organization has fulfilled that mission by shipping more than 127,000 books to deployed troops and dedicating 95 libraries in 18 countries with books valued at nearly $1.4 million dollars.