2016 Literacy Leadership Award Winners

2016 Literacy Leadership Awards

Today, on the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day, the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Literacy Leadership Awards. Our 2016 Literacy Leadership Awards Event will be held during Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, on Tuesday, September 27 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., here in Washington, DC in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369.

The NCL Literacy Leadership Awards recognize individuals and/or organizations that have made extraordinary national contributions to improving adult literacy and English language learning in the United States. This year, the NCL will recognize the following outstanding individuals and organizations:

  • Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, for his long-standing commitment to advancing adult education at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Senator Jack Reed, who has been a champion for Adult Education funding in the U.S. Senate, and at the forefront of legislative efforts to strengthen Adult Education research and Adult Education’s role in the workforce system and Career and Technical Education.
  • The Division of Consumer & Business Education at the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, for its commitment to serving and guiding adults with limited reading ability, and for its outreach to those working with them, particularly teachers in adult basic education and ESL programs.
  • Margaret Becker Patterson, of Research Allies for Lifelong Learning, and Marty Finsterbusch, of VALUE USA, for ALLIES, a groundbreaking research study on adult learner leadership.
  • John Y. Cole, Library of Congress Historian and founding Director of the Center for the Book, who has been instrumental in shaping numerous literacy and reading-promotion programs during his 50-year tenure at the Library, including the Library of Congress Literacy Awards.

In addition, retiring Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), the Co-chair of the House Adult Literacy Caucus, will receive special recognition for his life-long commitment in support of adult education, and for outstanding leadership in advocating education as a congressional and national priority. Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN), Co-Chair of the House Adult Literacy Caucus, has also been invited.

Registration for the event is now open: http://literacyleadership2016.eventbrite.com

The NCL Literacy Leadership Awards are made possible through the generous support of NCL members, with additional support from ETS HiSET and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Find out more about becoming a sponsor.

National Coalition for Literacy Honors Literacy Leaders (Updated)

Photo of awards

The National Coalition for Literacy gathered on Capitol Hill last Thursday night to present the 2015 Literacy Leadership Awards, an annual tradition that recognizes individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to improving adult literacy in the U.S. and raising public awareness of this critical issue.

This year we were pleased to honor the Honorable Phil Roe, U.S. Representative from Tennessee, for his leadership as the Republican co-chair of the House Adult Literacy Caucus; the Honorable Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, for his efforts in raising awareness of adult literacy and expanding opportunities for adult learners in the city of Philadelphia; Kavitha Cardoza, Special Correspondent at WAMU, for her reporting on the adult literacy crisis facing communities across the country; and the Adult Numeracy Network (ANN), represented by board member Lynda Ginsberg, Senior Research Associate for Mathematics Education at the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education at Rutgers University. A special posthumous recognition award was presented to Mary Jane Schmitt, co-founder of ANN, who passed away earlier this year. (Read our press release.)

“I am honored to be recognized by the National Coalition for Literacy,” said Representative Roe, co-chair of the House Adult Literacy Caucus with Representative Rubén Hinojosa of Texas, who was an honoree in 2008. “Adult education is an important part of our economy, and it’s important to remember the contributions adult learners bring to our workforce and communities. I am proud to be recognized alongside individuals like Mayor Michael Nutter, Kavitha Cardoza and Mary Jane Schmitt, and I am glad our commitment to adult education extends past party lines.”

Photo:
NCL Literacy Leadership Award Honoree Rep. Phil Roe accepting his award | photo: g. martinez cabrera

Mayor Nutter delivered remarks by video. “This Literacy Leadership Award means so much to me personally,” he said, “because I’ve been an advocate for adult learners during all of my time as mayor since 2008. One of my main priorities has been to raise educational attainment for all Philadelphians, which includes adults not in school. There is clearly a direct correlation between our city’s high poverty rate and the low adult literacy rate. Helping adult learners increase their literacy skills ultimately helps them support themselves and their families.” Watch the Mayor’s full remarks below:

Cardoza told the crowd that she felt compelled to begin reporting on adult literacy when she realized that her reporting on education was incomplete without it. “You can’t talk about education in the U.S, without talking about adult education,” she said.

Photo: NCL President Jeff Carter with 2015 Literacy Leadership Award honoree Kavitha Cardoza
NCL President Jeff Carter with 2015 Literacy Leadership Award honoree Kavitha Cardoza | photo: g. martinez cabrera

Mary Jane Schmitt was involved with adult numeracy—the intersection of the adult education and mathematics education fields—for over thirty years. In 1994, she co-founded the Adult Numeracy Network (ANN). She also founded and directed the Adult Numeracy Center at TERC—a constellation of projects contributing to pioneering research and development in adult mathematics education.

linda award5
NCL board member Silja Kallenbach presents 2015 Literacy Leadership Awards to Lynda Ginsburg | photo: g. martinez cabrera

Thanks to everyone who came out to the event and to our colleagues who helped put it together. Special thanks to Gabe Martinez, who took the wonderful pictures above, and to the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Literacy for working with Mayor Nutter on the video.

Finally, a very special thanks to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for their support for the awards.