Kent District Library is pleased to award Glasmiri Jaglowski and the Literacy Center of West Michigan with the first Literacy Champion Awards. Jaglowski, a nurse technician at Mary Free Bed Hospital, received the individual award, and The Literacy Center of West Michigan received the organization award. They both received $1,000, a crystal trophy and two tickets to KDL’s Literary Libations Gala.
This year, KDL introduced the Literacy Champion Award for outstanding leadership and advocacy of literacy. The award goes to one individual and one organization who does or has done something exceptional to promote literacy. Winners were selected by a panel from KDL and its Board of Trustees from public nomination.
Eleven people nominated Jaglowski, and though she doesn’t work in a library or education setting, she shares her love for books and learning with everyone around her, including her children, patients and co-workers. She spends her free time at the library. She is described as a literary genius, lifelong learner and avid reader.
“Being recognized by other reading enthusiasts is an honor and privilege,” Jaglowski said. “KDL has given me the opportunity to be a continuous learner and share my passion with others.”
Since its founding in 1986, the Literacy Center of West Michigan has been working alongside community members as they improve their reading and language skills. Their work is deeply grounded in the belief that West Michigan will thrive only when we can access the assets of all our community members.
“Literacy changes not only how we communicate but how we live,” said Wendy Falb, executive director of Literacy Center of West Michigan. “It aids our ability to find work, navigate health care and help our children with their education. We so appreciate KDL’s partnership and recognition of the importance of providing adult literacy support for our community.”
Finalists in the individual category included Rachel DeKuiper (Rockford Public Schools), Rachelle McKissick-Harris (Education Beyond the Classroom, LLC), Henry Stallings (Grandville East Elementary) and Carrie Davies (Northview Public Schools). Organization finalists included Men of Color Read, Family Futures - Healthy Families Kent County Program, GV NextEd Co-Lab and Grandville Public Schools.
The Literacy Champion Awards were given out at KDL’s Literary Libations Gala.