2020 FREEDOM THROUGH LITERACY AWARD CELEBRATION

2020 FREEDOM THROUGH LITERACY AWARD
Virtual Award Celebration – Sept. 26, 2020

GRAND PRIZE – 2020 Freedom Through Literacy

Grand Prize Award – $2,500

Christopher McGilvery, “Teachers and Student Ambassadors Project”
Canyon, Texas

Supporting one another with the power of literacy. For Chris McGilvery, this is the story he wants to tell in his community. Through his work with The Leaders Readers Network, Chris engages teachers across the United States and Dominica to grow leadership and literacy skills for students. The project partners with teachers to facilitate “buddy” teams in which older students read aloud to younger students while also learning about the
effects of illiteracy.

To date, Chris and his team have trained 205 students, partnered with 215 teachers, and impacted over 55,000 students’ lives.

It is with great enthusiasm that we honor Chris McGilvery as the Grand Prize winner of the 2020 Freedom Through Literacy Award for his innovative, child-centered approach to foster a love of reading – and leadership! – for children across the United States.

“This award inspires me to continue to build and grow the important work we are doing to support education equity and literacy for all.”
                                                                                                   -Chris McGilvery

Videos

Slide Show

 

 

JUDITH’S AWARD – 2020 Freedom Through Literacy

Judith’s Award – $1,500

Ty Allan Jackson, “Big Head Books”
Bronx, New York

Too often, children’s books represent non-white protagonists within a narrow range of topics.  Award-winning author Ty Allan Jackson writes highly engaging books that buck this tradition, offering children who don’t always see themselves in the stories they read the opportunity for a  different portrayal of their lives.

His books, including Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire and The Supadupa Kid superhero series, have garnered the attention of several awards and features on local and national news. More importantly, they have reached countless young Black and other minoritzed children with a powerful message:
your story is limitless.

We recognize Ty as winner of the 2020 Judith’s Award for his commitment to expanding narratives with his books.

“As an Indie author winning this award is a surreal experience. Awards usually go to the more established authors. The ones with the big followings and who dominate the bookshelves in bookstores and libraries across the county. Not the authors fighting to be noticed or begging bookstore to carry our works. So this award means that the little guy can make it. Get the accolade and gain the respect of the world of literature. But most importantly receive the love for those we write and draw for…our children. 

Thank you for proving that our work matters!
                                                                                                  -Ty Allan Jackson”

Video

Slide Show

 

 

BOARD OPTION PRIZES – 2020 Freedom Through Literacy

Board Option Prize – $500

Charmaine Tsosie, “Chinle Planting Hope”
Navajo Nation, Chinle, Arizona

 

Through her organization, Chinle Planting Hope, Charmaine Tsosie works tirelessly for her Diné (Navajo) community to
create educational opportunities for whole families. She and her team will establish a mobile library vibrant with adult and
children’s’ books to inspire inter-generational reading habits among families who currently do not have access to a brickand-mortar library in Chinle. We warmly honor Charmaine with a Board Option Award to accelerate her work on the
mobile library.
“Winning the award is such an honor to my community and me. It feels like the Navajo Nation is seen and heard.”
                                                                                                           -Charmaine Tsosie

Board Option Prize – $500

Basarat Kazim, “Camel Library for Kech Balochistan”
Lahore, Pakistan

Bringing libraries to sparsely populated communities in Pakistan requires creativity. For Basarat Kazim, the solution wasn’t on four wheels, but four legs. Camels, outfitted with custom-made book pouches, will carry hundreds of books to the district of Kech Balochistan. This effort specifically focuses on young girls, who often don’t have opportunities to attend school in the district. We proudly award Basarat a Board Option Award to help establish the first-ever camel library.
“Your support provides opportunities to thousands of girls to access treasures untold!! May they find the keys to the locked doors that hold them back.”
                                                                     -BasaratKazim

UPDATES!

 
 
 

Books Purchased for Board Option Prize Winner, Charmaine Tsosie

Hello Erin, Charmaine and Amber,

Thank you so very much, Charmaine, for providing me with your “wish list” of book titles and some favorite authors to help you launch the Mobile Library for Chinle.  As you can imagine it was not easy to find all of them, but I did my very best thanks to the help of the Barnes & Noble manager who also made some fabulous recommendations.
 
Attached is the curated list of 63 books Judith’s Reading Room purchased yesterday based on your recommendations and input.  You will see that many of the books are Newbery Honor Books and John Newbery Medal winners.  I tried to get several books in series; I tried to get a good distribution of books:  boys/girls; younger kids/high school kids; graphic novels, too.  The total cost of the books was $640.  With our nonprofit discounts, the cost to Judith’s Reading Room was $504.  
 
Each book has a name plate identifying the book as having been donated by Judith’s Reading Room.  We have also enclosed 70 bookmarks.

 
On behalf of all of us with Judith’s Reading Room, once again please accept our sincere congratulations for winning one of the 2020 Board Option Prizes.  We look forward to working with you long into the future.
 
Best,
 
Cathy

News, News and more news from 2020 Grand Prize Winner

Congratulations to Chris McGilvery for meriting this coverage!!

Email from 2020 Grand Prize Winner Chris McGilvery!
Hi Cathy,

Hope you are having a good week. I am so honored to be the grand prize winner and represent Judith Krug’s legacy. What an honor. Please let the board know how appreciative I am and look forward to living out her legacy for my lifetime. 🙂 Have a great day!

***** see below for news links *****

Kindly, Chris McGilvery
Founder and Executive Director
www.leadersreadersnetwork.org

The news, news and more news….

From West Texas A&M University – Literacy Nonprofit Founded by WT Staffer Wins National Award

From myhighplains.com: Literacy Nonprofit Founded by WT Staffer Wins National Award

From News Channel 10: Nationally recognized Canyon-based literacy program taking application

Judith’s Reading Room Celebrates Harkins House

NEWS RELEASE 
CONTACT:  Cathy Leiber

Judith’s Reading Room Celebrates Harkins House
Delivers Books Hand-Picked by At-Risk Youth
 

March 18, 2020 — . To celebrate its 10th Anniversary, Judith’s Reading Room, a global literacy non-profit organization founded in 2010 kept good on its promise to bolster libraries it has donated over its 10 year history. 

 To celebrate the milestone, the board of directors allocated $5,000 to be invested in 10 of its 99 literacy initiatives.   Portland, Oregon’s Harkins House is named one of the ten “stand out” libraries.  Led by board member David Leiber, 39 books worth $637 – all picked by the kids themselves — were delivered to Harkins House on March 13.
 
Since 2012, Judith’s Reading Room has collaborated with educators  and counselors at Harkins House, a nationally recognized shelter for delinquent youth near Portland, Oregon, and has delivered nearly 600 books for leisure reading and book clubs.

The idea is to instill in this unique population a love of reading.  Why? Literacy is a significant protective factor for at-risk youth and is strongly correlated with reducing recidivism, according to Mindy Chipps, Juvenile Counselor.   Harkins House serves over 100 youth per year.  Last year the number totaled 122 with 80% returning to their community.  She added, “Literacy is supported by everyone at Harkins House because books help kids returning to school by dropping barriers, heightening interest, and fostering the love of favorite topics.”

Chipps added that youth residing at Harkins House have the opportunity to actually read a book, unencumbered by stresses and strains from their often untenable home environments.  Most stay 60 days and in that time, many come to see reading a book as a way to escape painful environments.  

Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  In the ten years since its founding, Judith’s Reading Room has established 99 libraries in 21 countries filled with 128,000 books valued at nearly $1.4 million.  The Freedom Through Literacy Award, initiated in 2015, has disbursed $33,500 in prize money, honoring 31 individual champions of literacy in the United States, the Philippines, Bhutan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, Australia, Zimbabwe and Greece.

Applications for the 2020 Freedom Through Literacy Award may be found at Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through LiteracyThe deadline for receipt of completed applications is July 1st.  Winners will be announced by the end of July.

99TH LIBRARY – Judith’s Reading Room Opens 2nd Library in Mississippi

NEWS RELEASE 
CONTACT:  Cathy Leiber

Judith’s Reading Room Opens 2nd Library in Mississippi 
Organization Champions Literacy in Communities That Lack Books
 
February 24, 2020 — In celebration of Black History Month and the organization’s 10th Anniversary, Judith’s Reading Room dedicated its 99th library today — its 2nd in Mississippi — in collaboration with Rev. Dr. Leoda Topps, Ph.D, Education and Pastor at the Avery Chapel Church in Southaven, MS.
 
Judith’s Reading Room, a literacy nonprofit organization founded in 2010 in the memory of Judith F. Krug, a librarian who dedicated her life to freedom of speech and access to books for all, has established libraries in 21 countries filled with over 128,000 books.
 
To celebrate the organization’s 10th Anniversary, the Board of Directors allocated $5,000 to be divided amongst 10 of its “stand out” libraries.  Rev. Dr. Topps is one of the 10 to receive the organization’s special commemorative award.    Specifically, Judith’s Reading Room purchased 73 books for its 99th library.
 
In 2014, Judith’s Reading Room teamed with Rev. Dr. Topps to deliver more than 700 hand-picked children’s books to St. Peter’s AME Church in Tunica, MS, where Dr. Topps vowed to assist children after school with their homework and to help improve their reading skills.  That donation became our 86th Judith’s Reading Room Library.  
 
Rev. Dr. Topps said, “I’ve reached out to a preacher at one of my sister churches to help pull in community children to visit the new library at Avery Chapel Church.” She added, “As a newcomer to Southaven, I have found that many of the children come from single-parent homes with multiple children and the mothers’ work schedules don’t allow them to spend much time reading to their children.  This is where the church can step in to help.”  
 
Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  In the ten years since its founding, Judith’s Reading Room has established 99 libraries in 21 countries filled with 128,000 books valued at nearly $1.4 million.  The Freedom Through Literacy Award, initiated in 2015, has disbursed $33,500 in prize money, honoring 31 individual champions of literacy in the United States, the Philippines, Bhutan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, Australia, Zimbabwe and Greece.

Applications for the 2020 Freedom Through Literacy Award may be found at Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through LiteracyThe deadline for receipt of completed applications is July 1st.  Winners will be announced by the end of July.

98TH LIBRARY – Judith’s Reading Room Opens Library in Greece

NEWS RELEASE 
CONTACT:  Cathy Leiber

Judith’s Reading Room Opens Library in Greece

A village declares its first community library

January 20, 2020  — 

Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization founded in 2010 in the memory of Judith Krug, a librarian, announced today the dedication of its 98th library in its 21st country in collaboration with a visionary and unstoppable elementary school teacher from a village on an island in north Greece.

The village of Potamia, on Thassos Island, did not have a community library, making it difficult for children to celebrate the joy of reading and to develop literacy skills.  That was until Vicky Xanathopoulou reached out across oceans to apply online for the 2019 Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through Literacy Award.  Xanathopoulou won the coveted 2019 “Judith’s Award,” for which only teachers, librarians or authors are eligible.  To augment her $500 cash prize, for which she flew to New York City to accept, the organization decided to help her establish a community library in her seaside village. 

The 98th Judith’s Reading Room library is housed inside the historic Cultural Union of Polignotos Vagis stone building, originally used as a fishing sanctuary for monks.  A museum, it hosts cultural events and will now house the community library.  Judith’s Reading Room provided 75 children’s books in English. Villagers are augmenting the library by donating books from their home collections.  All books will be available for loan and families will enjoy organized reading activities and book presentations.  In all, 150 children will be served by the library.

“I’m so happy and grateful for the opportunity given by Judith’s Reading Room to the children of my village to have more reading and cultural experiences,” said Xanathopoulou.  

Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  In the ten years since its founding, Judith’s Reading Room has established 98 libraries in 21 countries filled with 128,000 books valued at nearly $1.4 million.  The Freedom Through Literacy Award, initiated in 2015, has disbursed $33,500 in prize money, honoring 31 individual champions of literacy in the United States, the Philippines, Bhutan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, Australia, Zimbabwe and Greece.

Visit Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through Literacy Award for current award information!

BOARD OPTIONS – 2019 Freedom Through Literacy

2019 Board Option Award – $300

Karen Brown
“Cat Tales – Kids Reading to Cats”— St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Two Sundays a month, Karen Brown opens up her no-kill cat shelter, Caring for Cats, to young children volunteers to practice reading aloud to a very willing audience — dozens of cats! Testimonies from families reveal that children have improved their confidence in reading thanks to the calming and low-pressure atmosphere. For creating a unique and rewarding experience for cats and children alike, we award Karen Brown a 2019 Board Option Award.

 

 

 

CFC Quote from Karen on how she feels about winning a 2019 Freedom Through Literacy Board Option Prize Award:

Thank you to Judith’s Reading Room for recognizing and encouraging the Caring for Cat’s reading program: Cat Tales – Kids Reading to Cats. A cat shelter may seem an unlikely advocate for literacy, but we knew our kitties would help kids fall in love with reading. Not only do the kids get to read stories to a supportive and nonjudgmental audience, they get to see how their words and actions help shy or traumatized kitties connect with people. We see cats showing appreciation to their reader friends with a paw on the shoulder or a nose-to-nose touch. By sharing a story, cats learn that people are okay, and kids learn that reading can be a force for good in all kinds of places and situations. This award reaffirms our commitment to being partners with our community and with organizations like Judith’s Reading Room and our fellow awardees to support literacy.  I am personally honored to have Cat Tales receive a 2019 Freedom Through Literacy Board Option Prize Award.

2019 Board Option – $300

Kathleen Kapila
“LGBT Children’s Literacy: Drag Queen Story Hour”— Allentown, Pennsylvania

As librarian of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Kathleen Kapila is showing off her creativity with the creation of Drag Queen Story Hour, a new program in which drag performers read books to young children to encourage both a love of reading and freedom of gender expression. We proudly award Kathleen Kapila a Board Option Award for her efforts.

 

 

 

2019 Board Option –  $200

Sue Goatley
“Outdoor Education Book” — Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

 

 

Sue Goatley has spent the past few years ensuring that St. Mary’s School in the
Hwange Region provides its 845 students with books. For her work to open up their
world through literature, we proudly award Sue a Board Option Award.

 

 

2019 Board Option -$200

Chanith Wijeratne
“Promoting Conservation Through Inspired Reading”— Essendon,  Victoria, Australia

ChanithWijeratneChanith has been writing about the wildlife of Sri
Lanka, Australia and Africa since the age of six.
With 10 titles under his belt, he has inspired
many children around him to pursue writing and
conservation. For this, we happily award Chanith
a Board Option Award.