The Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) recently announced four winners of the organisation’s inaugural Literacy Hero Award.
The Literacy Hero awardees were selected from over 100 nominations that were submitted by individuals and organisations representing 10 parishes. They include a sustainable community library project, a social media reading campaign led by a mother and son duo, a mobile bookstore and bibliotheraphy project, and a foundation established to honour the memory of a beloved “bookworm” sister.
The awardees are, Simone Sobers of The Winsome Wishes For Kids Foundation, Rachael McDonald of ‘Di Cawna Library’, Kirk Scarlett of I-Nation Books and Necessities, and Marion Carter & Luca Phillips of This Boy is Booked.
Each awardee will receive a medal plus a cash grant of $75,000. They will also receive a special youth award of $25,000 at an awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday (March 8).
Latoya West-Blackwood, director of special projects at BIAJ, said that the launch of the Literacy Heroes Award is a milestone moment in the history of the organisation. She also said that it is the organisation’s way of marking the start of a new era during Jamaica’s 60th year of independence.
“At the core of reimagining and reigniting a nation for greatness, must be a vision for literacy. Without this vision we leave our youth in an extremely vulnerable position to face a present and future driven by knowledge,” said West-Blackwood.
West-Blackwood further also said that “the award is only the beginning, we see a world of opportunities to highlight and help to scale impactful projects while pairing our membership with external innovators to create meaningful social impact partnerships and new economic opportunities.” “We are also making a special appeal to corporate partners to come onboard and help us to grow this initiative from strength to strength,” she added.
Funding support for the Literacy Hero Award is provided by the GrassROOTS Community Foundation and the National Education Association of America via their Read Across America Ambassador, Marley Dias.
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