Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, and Dennis DeRossett, Executive Director of the Illinois Press Association, honored the winners of the 2013 Spotlight on Literacy Awards recognizing outstanding students and volunteer tutors in Illinois literacy programs. The ten award-winning students received the Spotlight on Achievement Award while ten volunteer tutors received the Spotlight on Service award.
“I am honored to congratulate these outstanding students for seeking to enhance their reading, writing, math and language skills,” said White. “Many of them have overcome tremendous personal difficulties and obstacles, and they are now on the path to lifelong learning. I am also proud to recognize our outstanding volunteer tutors for helping students achieve their utmost potential. I believe each of us should give something back to our neighbors and our communities, and these tutors are a wonderful example of the positive impact that comes from volunteerism.”
“This is a special achievement that will reshape the lives of these adult learners,” said DeRossett. “The Illinois Press Association and Foundation is pleased to co-sponsor the Spotlight awards with Secretary White each year. We congratulate the students for breaking through the barriers of illiteracy, and we give thanks to the tutors for their time and commitment to helping others.”
Participants were recognized at a ceremony at the Illinois State Library (ISL) in Springfield. Spotlight on Achievement winners received $200 from the Illinois Press Association Foundation, a plaque and personalized Illinois Blue Book. Spotlight on Service winners received $200 from the Illinois Press Association Foundation, which will be awarded to the literacy program for which they volunteer, a plaque, and personalized Illinois Blue Book.
The ISL Literacy Office spends approximately $6,000,000 each year to support Adult, Family, and Workplace literacy programs throughout the state. This year, 164 programs are in operation serving every region of the state.
During fiscal year 2012, literacy programs that received grants from the ISL Literacy Office served 19,930 adult students. Approximately, 7,976 tutors volunteered to instruct students.
Those nominated are involved in programs that receive grants from the ISL Literacy Office. The ten winners of the 2013 Spotlight on Achievement awards were Sadia Bachir, Albany Park Community Center in Chicago; Emmitt Cole, Richland Community College in Decatur; Angelica Cortes, Corazon a Corazon at St. Michael’s Parish in Chicago; Gloria Crosby, De La Salle/Tolton Center in Chicago; Tennie Fitts, South Suburban College in South Holland; Anna Moran, Albany Park Community Center in Chicago; Jim Niehoff, Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Arlington Heights; Vonda Ottwell, John Wood Community College in Quincy; Nathan Watson, Frontier Community College in Fairfield; and Xiao Ying Zhang, Regional Office of Education for Monroe/Randolph Counties in Chester. The ten winners of the 2013 Spotlight on Service awards were Linda Berry, Kaskaskia College in Centralia; Robert S. Boone, Oakton Community College in Skokie; Audrey Colby, Albany Park Community Center in Chicago; Stuart Harris, Township High School District 214 Community Education in Arlington Heights; Alice Mora, Corazon a Corazon, St. Michael’s Parish in Chicago; Cheryl Stolz, CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation in Effingham; Eugene Swedo, Township High School District 214 Community Education in Arlington Heights; Laurie Tyler, Black Hawk College in Moline; Norman Weinberg, De La Salle Institute in Chicago; and Barbara Worner, YWCA in Pekin.