The Women’s Storybook Project of Texas has been selected as the 2018 Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award winner. The nonprofit organization will receive $1,000 to use in its future work. Texas Center for the Book also gave honorable mentions to two additional literacy nonprofits, Readers 2 Leaders and Literacy First. Each honorable mention winner will receive a $500 prize.
The Women’s Storybook Project of Texas connects incarcerated mothers with their children through the power of reading. The organization’s volunteers visit women’s prisons in Texas once a month to record eligible mothers reading books aloud to their children, as well as short, personalized messages. The volunteers then mail a copy of the book with the recording to the children.
Prison officials attribute an improvement in behavior at participating prisons because the incarcerated mothers must earn participation in the program by 90 days of good behavior. The children of the incarcerated mothers can connect with their mothers through their voice and the shared experience of reading the same book. The Storybook Project recorded 1,512 mothers and mailed 3,125 packages to children in 2017.
Readers 2 Leaders and Literacy First are both programs serving children who are behind in their literacy skills. They employ best practices and performance measures to bring children up to grade level as quickly as possible.
Prize money for the 2018 contest was made possible by the generosity of David M. Rubenstein and the Library of Congress. The Texas Center for the Book Literacy Award is an annual contest that selects a nonprofit organization that has made significant contributions toward increasing literacy in Texas.
For more information, contact Rebekah Manley, Texas Center for the Book Coordinator, Texas State Library and Archives Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-936-2505.