Teach This Poem Project Wins 2018 Innovations in Reading Prize

The National Book Foundation has named the Academy of American Poets and its Teach This Poem project as the winner of the 2018 Innovations in Reading Prize, a $10,000 prize annually awarded to an individual or organization that has developed an innovative project which creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading in the community they serve. In addition to the winner, the Innovations in Reading Prize also identifies four honorable mentions each year. For the first year, these organizations will be awarded with $1,000 to recognize their meaningful work. The 2018 honorable mentions are the Appalachian Prison Book Project, Friends of the Homer Library, Jewish Women International’s National Library Initiative, and Words Without Borders Campus.

The Academy of American Poets launched Teach This Poem in 2015 as a free resource to help teachers and students actively integrate poetry into their educational lives, and the program was chosen as the Innovations in Reading Prize winner from a pool of 138 applications. In support of Teach This Poem, the Academy of American Poets will receive $10,000 from the National Book Foundation, which is sponsored by the Levenger Foundation.

With over 27,000 teachers subscribed, Teach This Poem digitally distributes a weekly poem accompanied by unique curriculum and related teaching materials such as artwork, maps, and photographs curated by the Academy staff and their Educator in Residence, Dr. Mady Holzer. Poems are selected to address timely topics, and classroom activities are designed to provide cross-disciplinary strategies for incorporating poetry into daily school work and encourage not only the appreciation of poetry, but also the development of creative and critical thinking skills.

Past winners of the Innovations in Reading Prize include Little Free Library, Next Chapter Book Club, and, most recently, Barbershop Books. For more information about the Innovations in Reading Prize, visit the National Book Foundation website.

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