The National Book Foundation has awarded $10,000 to Reach Incorporated for its annual Innovations in Reading Prize. Reach Incorporated is a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. that hires struggling teen readers as reading tutors for elementary students. Through their participation in the program, the younger readers have demonstrated a growth of 1.5 grades a year in reading level.
Among honorable mentions for the award were the African Poetry Book Fund, an organization based in Lincoln, Neb., that plants poetry libraries throughout Africa; Call Me Ishmael, based in New York City, a platform for readers of all ages to leave voicemails about books they love; Lambda Literary in Los Angeles, which through various projects and its annual Lambda Literary Awards promotes LGBTQ readers and writers; and Motionpoems, based in Minneapolis, which brings poetry to new platforms in an effort to broaden the audience for poetry.
The Levenger Foundation offered support for the award. Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, said in a release: “Of those recognized by the award, the results in youth literacy Reach Incorporated have demonstrated differentiated them from other candidates. Reach [Incorporated] stood out among the 159 applications we received this year with its forward-thinking approach to engagement in reading and the social world. We think its initiatives can produce significant results in Washington and in other communities across the country.”