The board of the National Book Foundation has awarded its first Innovations in Reading Prizes. The board selected the winners—one individual and four organizations—because of their innovative efforts to share their love of books and reading at a grassroots level, both in their communities and online. Each winner will receive $2,500 and a certificate.
Leslie Shipman, director of programs for the NBF, said, "The enthusiasm and creativity shown by these five is remarkable. We hope other organizations across the country will be able to take these ideas and put them into practice in their own communities.” The individual winner is Robert Wilder, an elementary and high-school teacher in Santa Fe, N.M. The winning organizations are James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead, an online resource that helps parents, teachers, librarians and other adults find books for kids; Fathers Bridging the Miles, a program of Read to Me International which provides children of incarcerated fathers in the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz., with recorded books read by inmates; Maricopa County Library District in Gilbert, Ariz., which doubled its circulation by dropping the Dewey system in favor of a bookstore-like system; and readergirlz, an online book community for teen girls that aims to make reading hip, compelling and fun.
Innovations in Reading is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.