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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Library of Congress Literacy Awards 2014

Recognizing organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy.

LegislativeBranch - Library of Congress

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $250,000
Type of Challenge: Nominations
Submission Start: 02/04/2014 03:00 PM ET
Submission End: 03/31/2014 12:00 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program recognizes organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States and abroad. The awards encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for combating illiteracy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices. They are intended to stimulate public awareness of the importance of literacy.


3 winners: Room to Read, SMART, and Mother Child Education Foundation

The recipients were:

David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000): Room to Read
Room to Read, founded in 2001, believes that world change starts with educated children and that the best way to create long-term systemic change in the developing world is through literacy and gender equality in education. It focuses on literacy as the foundation of all other learning by developing reading skills and the habit of reading among primary-school children. To achieve this goal, Room to Read increases access to culturally relevant, age-appropriate reading materials; increases the effectiveness of instructors teaching literacy skills; and improves the existing school environment so that it is more conducive to learning. The organization also aims to equalize the educational experience for girls by supporting them in completing secondary school with the academic and life skills necessary to succeed in school and beyond. Room to Read’s service area is Africa and Southeast Asia.

The American Prize ($50,000): SMART
The third-grade reading level is widely recognized as a key indicator of a child’s future educational success. A student who cannot read on grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently in third grade. In 1992, the Oregon Children’s Foundation created a program to address the growing number of elementary school children who were reading significantly below grade level. Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) now operates at more than 250 program sites throughout the U.S. and serves approximately 9,000 children each year.

The International Prize ($50,000): Mother Child Education Foundation
The Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) was started in 1993 and is the largest literacy organization in Turkey. Its mission is to empower the Turkish people through education and enable them to improve the quality of their lives. It operates a variety of projects designed to address family, adult and early childhood literacy. At the time of AÇEV’s founding, only one in 10 children received any form of preschool education before starting primary school, resulting in large deficits in readiness to learn. AÇEV developed the Mother Child Education Program (MOCEP) for low-income mothers and children without access to preschool education. However, early MOCEP trials revealed that not all participating mothers were literate and therefore many were unable to carry out the collaborative cognitive exercises with their children, pushing AÇEV into a complementary area of need, adult literacy.


2014 Library of Congress Literacy Awards: David M. Rubenstein Prize, The American Prize and the International Prize
Cash Prize Amount: $250000
David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000), The American Prize ($50,000) and The International Prize ($50,000)