Freedom Through Literacy Award

Freedom Through Literacy Award.

The Freedom Through Literacy Award

The Freedom Through Literacy Award was established by Judith’s Reading Room in 2015 to identify and honor individual champions of literacy from all disciplines around the world — teachers, librarians, authors, researchers, educators — anyone who has done exemplary work to instill in others a love of reading.

It takes many voices to champion literacy and create a love of reading and learning. Judith’s Reading Rooms Award Winners are individuals taking charge in the fight against illiteracy, whether it is an English teacher abroad implementing innovative reading programs to encourage more students to pick up a book, or an author who has incorporated new techniques into his children’s books to make a child want to read just one more story before bed.

Since 2015, The Freedom Through Literacy Award has disbursed (including 2018 winners) $29,000 and has honored 25 individual champions of literacy in the United States, the Philippines, Bhutan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Cambodia and Mexico. 

2018 Freedom Through Literacy Award Winners Announced!
Local Champions of Literacy Dominate This Year’s Awards

Top Prize Winner of $3000

Matthew Weinmann, Ibiyinka Alao and Julia Dweck

Matthew Weinmann, Ibiyinka Alao and Julia Dweck

Judith’s Reading Room proudly announces this year’s Top Prize winner of its Freedom Through Literacy Award is the Macungie, Pa Willow Lane Elementary teaching duo Julia Dweck and Matthew Weimann.  The goal of their project, “Release Your Fireflies,” is to creatively equip children to navigate a complex world through storytelling, paving the way for an appreciation of and lifetime membership in the universal library of human literature.   Learn More

Judith’s Award: $500 available to the winning teacher, librarian or author

 Carin Mileshosky

Carin Mileshosky

Carin Mileshosky, Library Director, Fleetwood Area Public Library, Fleetwood, Pa (a Pa Library Association Gold Star Library) is awarded the organization’s Judith’s Award in the amount of $500. The Judith’s Award, a new prize category this year, is designed exclusively for teachers, librarians or authors. Carin’s integrated and fun-filled program, “FleetwoodSUMMER 2018,” attracted 180 individuals to attend creative programs; 150 of whom committed to reading over the summer, thereby reducing the negative impact of so-called “summer slide.”   Learn More

Board Option Awards: A pool of $1000 to be awarded in different amounts to deserving champions of literacy with or without an Application based on Board of Directors nominations

The Board Option Award with a total prize of $1,000 is shared amongst four visionary individuals. 

Christopher Dew for his boy scout Eagle Project, “Mini-Library for Lehigh Valley H.O.P.E.” is awarded $300;

Ana Luhrs, Lafayette College’s Skillman Librarian for “The Leadership Center Library in Zambrano, Honduras” is awarded $300;

Cheryl Stoner-Gutshall, Dover Area School District, for her project, “Outdoor Education Book Creator” is awarded $200; and,

Marsha Townsend for her nonprofit, “Bringing Up a Bookworm” is awarded $200.

Learn More about our Board Option winners

L to R: Marsha Townsend, Cheryl Stoner-Gutshall, Christopher Dew, Carin Mileshosky, Matthew Weimann, Julia Dweck and Anna Luhrs.


Thanks to all who applied to the 2018 Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through Literacy Award.

A celebratory award dinner was held in their honor on Wednesday, September 12 at 6 p.m. at MELT, located at The Promenade Mall, 2880 Center Valley Parkway, Center Valley, Pa.

L to R: Scot Leiber, President, Co-Founder, Marsha Townsend, Cheryl Stoner-Gutshall, Christopher Dew, Carin Mileshosky, Matthew Weimann, Julia Dweck, Anna Luhrs, and Cathy Leiber, Co-Founder

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2017 Freedom Through Literacy Awards

2016 Freedom Through Literacy Awards

2015 Freedom Through Literacy Awards