South Texas Literacy Coalition Receives 2021 Award

The Texas Center for the Book has announced that the South Texas Literacy Coalition is the recipient of the sixth annual Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award. This $2,000 award, which honors a qualified 501(c)(3) organization that has made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in Texas, is modeled on the Library of Congress’ annual literacy awards. View a video about this year’s winner.

Funded by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation, Inc., the 2021 Literacy Awards also include two honorable mentions, awarded to Inside Books Project and Temple Literacy Council.

“We were delighted to receive nominations from across the state in the sixth year of this Texas award. The purpose of this award is to highlight a winning organization, while promoting a greater appreciation and awareness of literacy efforts statewide,” said Texas Center for the Book Coordinator Rebekah Manley.

The South Texas Literacy Coalition (STLC) is a small but mighty organization recognized throughout the Rio Grande Valley as a literacy champion. Their community literacy events improve the quality of life of families throughout South Texas by focusing on early literacy experiences in a fun and engaging environment. The events consist of several components such as a StoryWalk®, in which they display titles by local children’s authors, games, activities, prizes, a photobooth and the distribution of thousands of new, free books. Along with this, South Texas Literacy Coalition invites local authors and nonprofit organizations to host booths and activities to engage with youth and educate families on the services they provide.

“On behalf of the STLC staff, board of directors and countless volunteers who support literacy efforts in our community, we thank you for this award along with the opportunity to continuing creating literacy environments and spreading resources throughout South Texas,” said Jonathon Vasquez, Executive Director of Operations.

Honorable mention award recipients Inside Books Project, based in Austin, and Temple Literacy Council in Temple will each receive an award of $500 in recognition of their efforts to promote reading and combat illiteracy.

Inside Books Project is an Austin-based community service volunteer organization that sends free books and educational materials to prisoners statewide. Inside Books is the only books-to-prisoners program in Texas, where more than 140,000 people are incarcerated. Inside Books Project works to promote reading, literacy and education among incarcerated individuals and to educate the general public on issues of incarceration.

“We are thrilled and honored to have been selected as an honorable mention by Texas Center for the Book,” said Lucy Blevins, Collective Member, Inside Books Project. “This award will allow us to continue to send books to our writers behind bars during this impossibly difficult year.”

The mission of the Temple Literacy Council is to empower adults needing assistance with basic reading and writing and/or help with English as a Second Language. This award will allow the organization to purchase additional materials for its students and tutors and support its Books for Lunch program, which provides local authors an opportunity to present books they have written to the general public.

“This award will allow us to better serve our students, instructors and community,” said Temple Literacy Council Executive Director Don Stiles.

The nomination period for the annual Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award is June 1 – September 1. This award is made possible by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation, Inc. and was inspired by the Library of Congress Literacy Awards. The winner will receive the Texas Center for the Book’s nomination for the 2021 Library of Congress State Literacy Award.

Established in 1987, the Texas Center for the Book seeks to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy and libraries. The Center builds partnerships with library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers who provide support to our shared mission of promoting a love of literature throughout the Lone Star State. The Texas Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at the Lorenzo De Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin, Texas.

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The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit tsl.texas.gov.

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