Thursday, October 6, 2011

David Mazor Honored as Literacy Champion

Boston -- The Massachusetts Literacy Foundation, in partnership with Verizon’s Check Into Literacy Program, has named David Mazor, the founder of Amherst-based literacy organization Reader to Reader, as one of the 10 recipients of the 2011 Massachusetts Literacy Champion Awards program.

The awards were created in 2003 to identify, publicly recognize and support Massachusetts literacy providers who have shown exceptional commitment and results through their work in literacy education.

“I am honored to accept this award and believe it is an honor that is shared by everyone in our organization,” Mazor said. “”I am so pleased that our work as literacy advocates that create innovative and effective programs has been recognized by the The Massachusetts Literacy Foundation. We look forward to working harder than ever to raise literacy rates in Massachusetts and across the globe.”

Unlike many singular awards programs, the Literacy Champions Awards recognize multiple individuals, practices and programs. Each year, up to ten Literacy Champions are chosen from a competitive nomination pool to represent the diverse fields of literacy education in Massachusetts. They are classroom teachers, administrators and volunteers who work in urban and rural areas throughout Massachusetts. Literacy Champions collaborate throughout the year, serve as ambassadors for The Massachusetts Literacy Foundation and share their work in literacy with peers across the commonwealth.

“The new Literacy Champions will join a network of more than 50 literacy professionals who are among the best practitioners in their field,” said Carol Anne Conroy, president of the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation. “This program enables us not only to recognize the important work of these wonderful people who are dedicated to helping others, but gives us a vehicle to work together to share best practices.”

Award Winners Receive:
- A $2500 grant for program development.
- A $1000 grant for professional development.
- Statewide recognition as a Massachusetts Literacy Champion.
- An opportunity to collaborate as a group and share ideas.

Through its Check Into Literacy program, Verizon gives wireline phone customers the opportunity to donate $1 a month to literacy programs when they pay their Verizon bill. In Massachusetts, proceeds raised through the program are donated to the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation to promote the Literacy Champions’ efforts in local communities. Literacy Champions each receive $3500 in grants to support their work. This year, more than $74,000 was donated to the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation.

“We are proud to partner with the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation to recognize the efforts of literacy professionals across the state,” said Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon New England. “People in this field work tirelessly to ensure people have the literacy skills they need to meet their education, career and life goals. Thanks to their efforts, we are building stronger communities here in Massachusetts.”

In addition, Massachusetts Literacy Foundation also will use funds for, a new website that will showcase the Literacy Champions winning practices, including strategies for effective literacy programs. In addition, the work of Literacy Champions will be featured in the Boston Herald’s literacy inserts, Massachusetts Reads and Succeeds.

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