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Harrisburg, PA Schools Win Recognition for their “Diversity & Inclusion” Library

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

Harrisburg, PA. Schools Win Recognition for their “Diversity & Inclusion” Library
 Books give power to open discussion about topics at any grade level.

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October 14, 2021 — Diversity and inclusion in the classroom starts early in Harrisburg, PA schools, thanks to the leadership and initiative of an exemplary second grade teacher.  Derek Witmer, winner of a 2021 Judith’s Reading Room Freedom Through Literacy Award, developed and curated a “Diversity and Inclusion” library at Paxtonia Elementary School as a tool to share with fellow teachers.

Hailed by his principal, Julia Batdorf, as a “conscientious and exemplary teacher,” Witmer’s important project is now replicated in a second school with a donation of $500 from Judith’s Reading Room.  South Side Elementary School in Harrisburg, PA under the leadership of 2nd grade teacher Stacey Chyr, is the recipient of Judith’s Reading Room’s 102nd library. “The library is up and running,” said Chyr.  She added, “The teachers are really excited about having such a great collection of books.”  Twenty-six books will be available to just over 800 students in grades Kindergarten through Fifth grade.

Curated by Derek Witmer, the library includes books which touch on topics such as general diversity, acceptance, gender identity, familial make ups, disabilities, and SEL; as well as stories about a student who has a parent in prison, or families dealing with immigration or language barriers, and stories that tackle with the loss of a parent.  “The extensive range of books Derek curated sheds light on the complexity and reality of students in classrooms across America today,” said Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.

“The more representation we are able to see in our children’s literature, the more accepting and inclusive a world we can build,” said Witmer.

Resources and discussion cards accompany the library for teachers to familiarize themselves with the topics and feel comfortable leading discussions with their students.

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 establishing 102 libraries in 22 countries with over 128,000 books worth nearly $1.4 million.

Applications for the 2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award will be posted on the website at www.judithsreadingroom.org in January 2022.

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2021 Freedom Through Literacy Awards Announced

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

2021 Freedom Through Literacy Awards Announced

Winning Applications Highlighted Exceptional Creativity and Impact

 

July 22, 2021 — Ms. Angela Chalkiopoulou, Limassol, Cyprus, declared Grand Prize Winner of the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award.   Chalkiopoulou, an educator, dominated the field of applicants with her literacy project, “Alice in Writer’s Land,” winning her the top prize of $2,500.  A colleague described Angela as “a future literacy marvel and an excellent example of how creative teachers can turn inspiration into action, changing the way children perceive themselves towards literacy.” Alice in Writer’s Land collaborates with artists, educators, writers and illustrators—introducing the children of Cyprus to the writer’s way of thinking. “Literature is the absolute source of inspiration, the joy of human intellect, when combined with ingenious art and multimedia toolkits, it can transform a classroom into a small collaborating and learning society, offering the prospect of a hopeful future for all of us,” said Chalkiopoulou.

 

Ms. Joicki Floyd, Newark, New Jersey wins the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy “Judith’s Award.”    Floyd, a high school teacher whose literacy initiative “Y.O.U.T.H.” (You Open Up Then Heal) seeks to transform the lives of inner city children and their families through reading is awarded $1,500.  Joicki’s creative program includes the use of Socratic Seminars and discussion panels with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.  She articulated the essential idea that in books, youth who lack hope and positive influences, can find positive motivation, examples and influences.  “If you build libraries in the hearts of the youth, you will empower them with points of reference that may change the trajectory of their lives,” stated Floyd.  The Judith’s Award is named in the memory of Judith F. Krug, a librarian who dedicated her career at the American Library Association to protecting the freedom of speech.

 

At the discretion of Judith’s Reading Room’s Board Members, each year, $1,000, is set aside for Board Option Awards to recognize high-scoring applicants.  The winners of the 2021 Board Option Award are:

 

Ms. Sue Goatley, nonprofit leader, Children in the Wilderness, “Jabulani Community Literacy Programme,” in the Zambezi Region, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  Goatley, a 2019 Board Option Award winner and recipient of Judith’s Reading Room’s 100th library dedicated July 2021 at Ziga Primary School, has once again captured the judges’ attention with her acute description — and solution — of adult illiteracy.  She writes, “Seeing a young child struggle learning to read can often seem like an uphill battle.  However, a truly heart-breaking scene is watching a young teen, new into high school, staring blankly at a page.”  Goatley’s community literacy program at Jululani Primary School is an evening program available to teenagers and adults with any level of literacy.  It also offers an opportunity for teachers to earn additional income.  For her work to de-stigmatize adult illiteracy in isolated and rural Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe, Goatley wins a 2021 Board Option Award in the amount of $400.

 

Ms. Lisa Gerard, founder, Little Read Wagon, in Norman, Oklahoma.  In 2020, Gerard had a kernel of an idea that grew into an ambitious grassroots outreach effort to supply new and donated books to children living in “book desert communities” in Norman and surrounding areas.  Lisa built a mini “library” at a local laundromat then added a lending library and a volunteer program to collect and distribute culturally relevant books at community events.  In just one year, Gerard has distributed more than 10,000 books to children and adults.  Ms. Breea Clark, Mayor, City of Norman endorsed Gerard adding, “This outreach program engages and inspires a great love for reading with a passionate ambition in bridging the literacy gap in the Oklahoma City Metro area.” For her joyous, passionate and creative approach to getting books into the hands of her fellow citizens, Gerard wins a 2021 Board Option Award in the amount of $300.

 

Mr. Derek Witmer, 2nd Grade Teacher, “Diversity and Inclusion Library,” in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Described by his Principal as “a conscientious and exemplary teacher, a true difference maker and a positive force in modern education,” Witmer initiated a collection of literature — a curated library — that touches on important topics such as general diversity, acceptance, gender identity, familial make ups, and SEL.    This 2nd grade teacher didn’t stop there.   Also included are stories where a student has a parent in prison, families dealing with immigration, language barriers and stories dealing with the loss of a parent.  He enhanced the library by creating resources and discussion cards for teachers.  It is no wonder that other schools in his district have reached out to him for help in adopting his Diversity and Inclusion Library.  Derek believes that “Literature has the power to change the world, and I’m glad to be able to have an impact on the upcoming generations.”  In recognition of his compassion toward students who experience and struggle through things that most of us can never truly understand, Witmer wins a 2021 Board Option Award in the amount of $300.

 

To encourage and propel certain 2021 applicants to continue their efforts and to re-apply for the 2022 Freedom Through Literacy Award, the judges declared the following Honorable Mentions (no cash award):

 

Ms. Lisette Caesar, Educator, “Mirroring our Kids,” in East Harlem, New York.  Caesar’s project is to fill her classroom libraries with books that have protagonists that look like the children she educates.  She emphasizes, “Kids asking us to provide more books about their culture or with characters that look like them —  is a first for us.” In recognition of Caesar’s belief “that it is important that impressionable black and brown kids see themselves in positive ways in the books they read,” Judith’s Reading Room, through the Honorable Mention designation, wishes to give Caesar global recognition and encouragement.

 

Ms. Simon Ke, Executive Director, Anjali House, “Mobile Library Project,” in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Anjali House’s Mobile Library used tuk-tuks (a common mode of transportation in Cambodia) to reach over 850 students in remote villages.  COVID restrictions have prevented its expansion. In recognition of their community outreach, Judith’s Reading Room seeks to bring global attention to the literacy work currently “stopped in its tracks” in this well-known tourist destination near Angkor Wat, where Judith’s Reading Room dedicated a library in May 2013.

 

Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging Freedom Through Literacy.  To date, the organization has fulfilled that mission by establishing 101 libraries (and counting!) in 22 countries with 130,500 books worth over $1.4 million.

 

The Freedom Through Literacy Award was initiated in 2015 as the organization’s signature event.  Including the 2021 winners, the organization will have disbursed $43,500 in cash awards to 40 unique champions of literacy.  Freedom Through Literacy Award winners — 2015-2021 — hail from the United States, the Philippines, Bhutan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, Australia, Zimbabwe, Greece and Cyprus.

 

 

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Ziga Primary School (Finally) Opens – Judith’s Reading Room 100th library!

Very much delayed but with much gratitude and excitement, we have finally been able to call Ziga Primary School’s library the 100th Judith’s Reading Room library!  Due to schools been closed in Zimbabwe as a result of Covid-19 from March 2020 – March 2021, our much anticipated unveiling of Judith’s Reading Room’s 100th library at Ziga had to wait until we were able to visit schools again.

Thanks to the award that Ziga Primary won last year through Judith’s Reading Room, we were able to purchase 113 early reading books to add to the school library. The books were carefully chosen to suit the needs of the school and the students. There are just over 150 students enrolled at Ziga, from ages 5 – 14. Due to the low literacy levels in southern African schools, the Oxford University Press South Africa New Way early reading books provide an ideal platform from which to help students learn to read and gain comprehension skills. They have various levels that students can work through as they improve, and all the books are locally relevant stories full of pictures and bright colours. These were combined with other early reading books that have come highly recommended for southern Africa, creating a wonderful new addition of resources for the school library.

The books made a long journey themselves, all the way from Durban in South Africa, up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. From Victoria Falls we then took them 230 kilometers to Ziga, which is located south of Hwange National Park on the western boundary of Zimbabwe.

Judith’s Reading Room partnered with the African non-profit organization, Children in the Wilderness, winner of its 2019 Freedom Through Literacy Award Board Option Prize.   Thus began our relationship with Children in the Wilderness.  In 2020, Judith’s Reading Room and Children in the Wilderness agreed to dedicate a Judith’s Reading Room library, knowing that it would be the organization’s 100th library in its 22nd country.  Ziga Primary School, described as an outstanding pillar in their community — as its library also doubles as an adult literacy center — was chosen.  The original plan was to dedicate the library in August 2020, but the pandemic got in the way.  Schools in Zimbabwe closed in March 2020; children just returned to school for the first-time in a year.

A donation of US$500 to Children in the Wilderness resulted in the purchase of 113 level-specific books. Due to low literacy levels in southern African schools, books to help students learn to read and gain comprehension skills were of paramount importance.  “The distribution of these books came as such a welcome surprise to the teachers and students at Ziga,” said Sarah Adams, Children in the Wilderness’s Community Sustainability & Evaluation Trainer.  Sue Goatley, the organization’s Program Manager added, “We would like to say a huge thank you to Judith’s Reading Room for this wonderful gift that will continue to inspire children at Ziga for years to come.”

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 establishing 101 libraries in 22 countries with more than 130,000 books donated worth US$1.4 million.

Applications for the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award, the organization’s signature annual event, is posted on its website at www.judithsreadingroom.org. The deadline for applications is fast approaching:  July 1, 2021.  Winners will be announced by the end of July.

 

 

 

Judith’s Reading Room’s 100th Library – Ziga Primary School (Finally) Opens

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

Ziga Primary School (Finally) Opens its Judith’s Reading Room Library

Deadline for 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award Applications is July 1, 2021

 June 1, 2021 — Word came today that the 100th Judith’s Reading Room Library had finally opened.  The books made a long journey from Durban in South Africa where they were purchased, up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.  From Victoria Falls, they traveled 230 kilometers (143 miles) to Ziga, located south of Hwange National Park on the western boundary of Zimbabwe, where 150 boys and girls, ages 5-14 will benefit from early reading books full of locally relevant stories, full of pictures and bright colors.

Judith’s Reading Room partnered with the African non-profit organization, Children in the Wilderness, winner of its 2019 Freedom Through Literacy Award Board Option Prize.   Thus began our relationship with Children in the Wilderness.  In 2020, Judith’s Reading Room and Children in the Wilderness agreed to dedicate a Judith’s Reading Room library, knowing that it would be the organization’s 100th library in its 22nd country.  Ziga Primary School, described as an outstanding pillar in their community — as its library also doubles as an adult literacy center — was chosen.  The original plan was to dedicate the library in August 2020, but the pandemic got in the way.  Schools in Zimbabwe closed in March 2020; children just returned to school for the first-time in a year.

A donation of US$500 to Children in the Wilderness resulted in the purchase of 113 level-specific books. Due to low literacy levels in southern African schools, books to help students learn to read and gain comprehension skills were of paramount importance.  “The distribution of these books came as such a welcome surprise to the teachers and students at Ziga,” said Sarah Adams, Children in the Wilderness’s Community Sustainability & Evaluation Trainer.  Sue Goatley, the organization’s Program Manager added, “We would like to say a huge thank you to Judith’s Reading Room for this wonderful gift that will continue to inspire children at Ziga for years to come.”

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 establishing 101 libraries in 22 countries with more than 130,000 books donated worth US$1.4 million.

Applications for the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award, the organization’s signature annual event, is posted on its website at www.judithsreadingroom.org. The deadline for applications is fast approaching:  July 1, 2021.  Winners will be announced by the end of July.

 

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Three more Camel Libraries in Pakistan!

Three more camel libraries and more to come… read onward…

Well, Judith’s Reading Room got it right when in voting Basarat as our 1st Freedom Through Literacy Award! She continues to thrill and we hope this message touches your heart as it did ours.  Enjoy the new photos as well!


Dear Cathy,

Greetings!!
Thank you to Judith’s Reading Room for starting something so beautiful for Pakistan’s children.

Roshan, and the 1st camel library in Pakistan has warmed the hearts and imagination of people all over the world and been covered by international media with such interest that there has been an opening of so many doors for children in remote areas of Pakistan.

Three more camel libraries are running in Gwadar, Balochistan and Tharparkar, Sindh. We have funds to set up two more, and will start work on them after the Eid holidays.

Roshan now has three more friends,
Aman ( Peace), Raunaq ( Jovial) Chiragh ( Light); Khushi ( Happiness) and Umeed ( Hope) are on their way.

And all this in a short time period; Roshan was launched in October 2020.

My warmest and very best to all at Judith’s Reading Room.

Basarat


Additional information …..

GRAND PRIZE – 2015 Freedom Through Literacy Award

BOARD OPTION PRIZES – 2020 Freedom Through Literacy


Please submit your application for 2021’s Freedom Through Literacy Award – Deadline July 1st!

Judith’s Reading Room Seeks Applicants For Its Annual Literacy Award

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Cathy Leiber
www.JudithsReadingRoom.org

Judith’s Reading Room Seeks Applicants For Its Annual Literacy Award

January 25, 2021 — Judith’s Reading Room, a non-profit literacy organization founded in 2010 announced its signature $5,000 Award that honors domestic and international “champions of literacy.” Apply now for the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award at www.JudithsReadingRoom.org. Deadline for submission is July 1, 202l. Winners will be announced by end-July and will be featured during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

The 7th annual Freedom Through Literacy Award recognizes the achievements of teachers, librarians, authors, booksellers, educators and literacy non-profits. Applicants are judged on five criteria including how their philosophy about literacy guides their work. The 2021 Awards include $2,500 for the Grand Prize winner, $1,500 for the Judith’s Award winner. And, up to four applicants will share a Board Option prize, the total purse of which is $1,000.

The Freedom Through Literacy Award was established in 2015 to pay tribute to those on the front line of literacy. Prior to 2015 the organization focused on shipping books to those around the world without access to books, including active duty troops in Afghanistan. To date, the organization has awarded $38,500 in prize money to 35 winners in the U.S.A., the Philippines, Bhutan, Pakistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, Australia, Zimbabwe and Greece.

The organization’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy. That mission has been fulfilled by establishing 101 libraries in 22 countries with 130,446 books donated worth over $1.4 million.

#Judith’s Freedom Through Literacy Award

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Generous Pennsylvanians Applauded for Donating Books to Children in Need

Generous Pennsylvanians Applauded for Donating Books to Children in Need

December 29, 2020 —  Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization based in eastern Pa, delivered “food for the soul” of children in need across this country thanks to the generous patrons of Wyomissing’s Barnes & Noble located in Broadcasting Square.  Judith’s Reading Room was selected as its 2020 Holiday Book Drive Charity.

During the coronavirus pandemic, which brought many families to the breaking point, book lovers responded to the B&N Holiday Book Drive and donated a total of 1,918 books with a cover price value of $19,434.  “It is impossible to state how emotional it is for families and children, who have suffered greatly this year, to receive brand new books thanks to Barnes & Noble and its book-loving patrons,” said Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.  She continued, “we are grateful for the confidence Barnes & Noble has placed on our organization to get the perfect books to the perfect children.”

As the books were collected weekly, Judith’s Reading Room allocated the donated books to its proven, award-winning organizations serving children at Casa Guadalupe in Allentown, PA, to children in rural Texas, to Navajo Nation children in Chinle, Arizona, to children educated by an AME pastor in South Haven, Mississippi, and to children who get their books delivered by a camel named Bright in Kech Balochistan, Pakistan.

Judith’s Reading Room was founded in 2010.  Its mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.  To date, the organization has fulfilled that mission by establishing 101 libraries in 22 countries with over 130,000 books valued at over $1.4 million dollars.  Its signature event is the annual Freedom Through Literacy Award competition which has awarded $38,500 in cash prizes to 35 champions of literacy.

Applications for the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award will be posted on the organization’s website at www.judithsreadingroom.org in late January 2021.

Judith’s Reading Room’s 101th Library – Camel Named ‘Bright’ Delivers Books

NEWS RELEASE  
CONTACT:  Cathy Leiber
484-661-6151
 
Camel Named ‘Bright’ Delivers Books to Children in Hard to Reach Villages
 
October 29, 2020 — Today, Judith’s Reading Room announces its 101st library — the first-ever Judith’s Reading Room mobile library to utilize a camel to deliver books to children.  The camel driver, Murad, and his camel named ‘Bright,’  carried 500  children’s books to the nearly impossible to reach community of Kech Balochistan in southwest Pakistan.
 
The Camel Library for Kech Balochistan was awarded a 2020 Judith’s Reading Room ‘Freedom Through Literacy’ Board Option Prize.  The annual ‘Freedom Through Literacy Award’ honors champions of literacy from all disciplines from around the world.  To date, 36 individuals have been awarded prizes totaling $38,500.
 
In partnership with Ms. Basarat Kazim, President of Alif Laila Book Bus Society, who is credited with the creative and innovative camel library, Murad and Bright will visit three communities on a rotating basis delivering picture books, bi-lingual English & Urdu books, and English language very easy readers.
 
The Camel Library will circulate books via a monitoring system supervised by local volunteers.  Their goal is to develop a reading culture in these isolated communities.  Photos and videos of ‘Bright,’ the camel can be seen at 
 
“Upon seeing ‘Bright,’ one little girl exclaimed, “I never thought camels could carry books.  I only thought they could carry sticks or grass!”  “Parents report that now their children are the ones telling them stories.  Before, it was the other way around,” said Ms. Kazim.  She continued, “another girl exclaimed, ‘please let me keep more than one book — if I finish the book in one day what will I do for the rest of the week?’”
 
Judith’s Reading Room invites members of the community to donate brand new, very easy readers and picture books to add to the Camel Library.  Name tags will be inserted into the gift books with the donors name, if desired.  Donations should be mailed before November 10th to Judith’s Reading Room, P.O. Box 164, Blandon, PA  19510.
 
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 establishing 101* libraries in 22* countries with over 128,000 books worth nearly US$1.4 million.  
 
Applications for the 2021 Freedom Through Literacy Award will be posted on our website at www.judithsreadingroom.org in January 2021.  
 

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.