SPRINGFIELD — Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and Dennis DeRossett, executive director of the Illinois Press Association, honored the winners of the 2015 Spotlight on Literacy Awards, which recognizes participants in Illinois literacy programs. Ten students received the Spotlight on Achievement award and 10 volunteer tutors received the Spotlight on Service award.
“Every year I look forward to congratulating these outstanding students for their hard work and determination to attain lifelong reading and learning skills,” said White. “Many of them have had to overcome great difficulties and personal obstacles to reach this level of achievement. I am also proud to recognize our 10 outstanding volunteer tutors for their generosity and encouragement in helping literacy students achieve their utmost potential.”
“The Illinois Press Association and Foundation is honored to be a part of this very special effort to promote literacy in Illinois,” said DeRossett. “The people honored today have achieved great things in the face of adversity to improve their reading skills which will significantly improve their lives. Representing nearly 500 Illinois newspapers, we are proud to join Secretary White in co-sponsoring this event that provides well-deserved recognition to outstanding literacy students and volunteer tutors.”
Participants were recognized at a ceremony at the Illinois State Library 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 Secretary of State/Illinois State Library Literacy office spends approximately $6 million each year to support adult, family and workplace literacy programs throughout the state. This year, 154 programs are in operation serving all regions of Illinois. During fiscal year 2015, literacy programs served 18,675 adult students and 7,982 tutors volunteered to instruct students.
Below is a list of award winners:
2015 Spotlight on Achievement
- Bobby L. Archie, Jr., Common Place Family Learning Center in Peoria.
- Ronald Cluck, Lester and Rosalie Anixter Center in Chicago.
- William Grant, Literacy Dupage in Naperville.
- Venetta Hunt, Tolton Center in Chicago.
- Lisette Lopez, Frontier Community College in Fairfield.
- Carina Reyes-Carranza, De La Salle/Tolton Center in Chicago.
- Maria Reyna, Oakton Community College in Skokie.
- Norma Sanchez, Peoria County ROE Adult Literacy/UPWARD in Peoria.
- David Tolen, Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago.
- Nube Vidal, Albany Park Community Center in Chicago.
2015 Spotlight on Service
- Olga Delgado-Cano, University of IL at Chicago Center for Literacy in Chicago.
- Barbara Denny, School and Tutors on Wheels in Chicago.
- Steve Friedman, Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago.
- Ira Goodkin, Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County in Oak Park.
- Nancy Hahs, Rend Lake College in Ina.
- Phyllis Harmening, Kaskaskia College in Centralia.
- Jan Herman, Frontier Community College in Faifield.
- Greg Mucci, Anixter Center in Chicago.
- Bill Slusser, Common Place Adult Learning Center in Peoria.
- RoseMary Sullivan, De La Salle/Tolton Adult Education Center in Chicago.