Board Option Award – $200
Colin Bloom – “Creating a Library for Literacy“
New York City/Mpumalanga, South Africa
Colin Bloom, 16-year-old New York City high school student and founder of a literacy nonprofit for his project, “Creating a Library for Literacy at the Senianya Primary School in Mpumalanga, South Africa.” Colin is a standout on multiple levels: as a teenager, he established a nonprofit, Libraries for Literacy, has dedicated two libraries in impoverished rural South Africa, has assertively insinuated himself into partnerships with global entities, and has shown tenacity, drive, entrepreneurship, compassion and a desire to learn and improve from each experience. As Colin points out, “Learning to read without books is like learning to play soccer without a ball, impossible but relevant to many South African kids who are expected to become literate without access to books.” For his spirited determination to use his life to work towards the goal in which all children have access to a good education, Judith’s Reading Room awards Colin with a USD$200 Board Option Prize.
“Learning to read without books is like learning to play soccer without a ball.“
– Colin Bloom
Update’s From Colin!
April 28, 2023
A big thank you to you and Judith’s Reading Room for their generous support of Libraries for Literacy. I included pictures of the two library openings, stocked with English, Sepedi and Xitsonga books for the kids.
Board Option Award – $200
Pamela Laskin – “Poetry at the Border”
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Pamela Laskin, a lecturer at City College, established “Poetry at the Border” to encourage children whose families are seeking asylum to write poetry about their experiences. Poetry enables children to understand trauma following horrible events like hurricanes (Puerto Rico), children who are escaping atrocities (Honduras, Nicaragua and Myanmar), and children who are surviving life while housed in camps at the border. For her work to enable children to unload their grief and to empower voices through poetry, we honor Laskin with a 2022 Board Option Award.
“Your silence will not protect you.”; Audre Lorde. “Thank you, Cathy Leiber, on behalf of Judith’s Room, and also thank you to the board for awarding me the Board Option award for my work engaging children, at the border and the Ukraine, in the art and craft of writing poetry. This significant literacy work will help give poetic voice to children in refugee camps and children in the Ukraine (a war-torn country). Poetry Outreach is grateful to expand literacy and also hope-through poetry–to children facing these challenges.”
– Pamela Laskin