Cynthia Jacobsen, Ph.D. – “Rhyming to Reading: Early Literacy Curriculum”
Cynthia Jacobsen, Ph.D. Speech Pathologist and Researcher, Longmont, Colorado for her life-work project, “Rhyming to Reading: Early Literacy Curriculum.” Dr. Jacobsen, co-authored Rhyming to Reading, an early literacy program for children 4-7 whose goal was to create a program to help young children learn skills that are highly predictive of early reading success. Thousands of children participated in the group classes at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics for 20 years prior to the COVID pandemic. Dr. Jacobsen collected evidenced based outcomes and clinical data to develop the program. She says, “Literacy instruction must be evidenced-based, with methods which are known to help children.” For her life-time devotion to helping children and families learn methods to overcome literacy challenges such as dyslexia, Judith’s Reading Room wishes to give Dr. Jacobsen global recognition through an Honorable Mention.
“Literacy involves the entire family. When families know how to model early literacy skills in a fun and multi-sensory manner, children experience success.”
– Cynthia Jacobsen
Joseph Tsongo – “Amani Academy for Peace Literacy”
Goma, North-Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Joseph Tsongo, Coordinator, Amani Academy, Goma, North-Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, for his project, “Amani Academy for Peace Literacy.” Born in the middle of war in 1994 in the province of North Kivu, Joseph challenged himself to inspire young people to rebuild, despite the traumatic ordeals they were facing on a daily basis. Since 2016, he has organized resilience and community building activities to promote a culture of active non-violence. Through the Amani Academy, which he initiated in 2018, he introduces children to the basics of reading. In 2022, Joseph was named a 2022 Mandela Washington Fellow, a program of the U.S. State Department. For his determination to foster literacy and peace in the context of violent conflict, Judith’s Reading Room proudly recognizes Joseph Tsongo as a Freedom Through Literacy Award Honorable Mention.
“We use literacy to teach and communicate the culture of peace and life skills to young people affected by conflict and war.” – Joseph Tsongo