Board Option Award-Colin Bloom – 2023 Freedom Through Literacy

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.

Adult Community Literacy Program-Judith’s Reading Room Library #103


CONTACT: Cathy Leiber

Adult Community Literacy Program awarded a custom Judith’s Reading Room Library

November 21, 2021 — Judith’s Reading Room dedicated its 103rd library today at Jabulani Community Center in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  This custom library contains books designed for teenagers and adults who, for whatever reason, find themselves grown but not fully literate.

The difficulty was to find appropriate adult-level reading materials with locally relevant stories.  Books were out of print but soft copies were provided on the website of a South Africa publisher.  The library contains very simple entry-level reading books to more complex and detailed stories. Primary and secondary teachers facilitate the program in the evening, earning them additional income.

“Giving teenagers and adults in any country, in any community, the opportunity to come to a community center and learn to read without judgement helps empower parents and raise literate children,” said Cathy Leiber, President, Judith’s Reading Room.

This is the second library Judith’s Reading Room has dedicated in Zimbabwe with its nonprofit literacy partner, Children in the Wilderness.  “Watching someone work their way through a sentence that they weren’t able to do before is truly heart-warming,” states Sarah Adams,  CHE.

Judith’s Reading Room’s mission is to enrich lives and societies by proactively encouraging freedom through literacy.   In 11 years, that mission has been fulfilled by establishing 103 libraries in 22 countries.




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