Family Literacy Prize of $10,000 Up for Grabs

There’s a golden apple waiting to be plucked by a worthy literacy teacher, and it’s valued at $10,000 for his or her organization, plus a trip to Louisville, Ky., this spring.

 The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) in Louisville is hosting its annual search for the Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year and is accepting nominations for outstanding educators through Jan. 31. Online applications are available, so although the clock is ticking, it’s not too late to make a bid for the prize.

 The winner and three other finalists – who will be awarded $500 scholarships – will present their best teaching practices at the National Conference on Family Literacy in April. Organizations may nominate up to two candidates, but the educators must not have been finalists in the past three years, 2008-2010. The winner will be determined by a panel of family literacy specialists.

 Please note that the nomination application must be completed by either the director or coordinator of the candidate’s program. The application also requires the prize candidate to write a response to a particular question, and it must include a supportive statement from an adult student who has worked with the nominated educator.

This is the 15th year that the Toyota company has teamed with NCFL to promote literacy. Kay Brown of Louisiana was the 2010 winner. She was instrumental in the success of the Union Parish Family Literacy Center, located in rural Bernice, La. The center was one of three named as outstanding English language/civics programs in the state in 2008.

NCFL was founded in 1989 by Sharon Darling with the help of a grant from the William R. Kenan Charitable Trust. Since that time, more than one million families have benefited educationally and financially from its programs, according to the organization’s website.

BigUniverse.com, a literacy-minded web community of more than 39,000 members, offers thousands of online children’s picture books for teachers, parents and their K-8 students, as well as a kid-friendly Author Tool to encourage a love of language, creativity and writing.

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