The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy today announced the winners of the first Pearl Literacy Awards at its inaugural National Summit on Adult Literacy in Washington, D.C. The awards, which recognize community-based organizations and programs for their work on adult and family literacy, were given to Oklahoma-based Ardmore Family Literacy; Florida-based Grace Place for Children and Families; and the Goodwill Excel Center Adult Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
The Pearl Literacy Awards honored the organizations for strong and successful community collaboration; successful and/or scalable programs in family, adult, and/or child literacy gains; and modeling best practices in adult literacy.
“We share Mrs. Bush’s belief that ‘The home is the child’s first school’ and ‘the parent is the child’s first teacher,’ and these organizations exemplify the critical and complementary role of communities in stewarding a lifelong dedication for learning and growing,” said Barbara Bush Foundation President and CEO British A. Robinson. “We are honored to recognize them today and look forward to watching them continue to change lives through literacy for many years to come.”
Grace Place, located in Naples, Florida, embodies the concept of reaching families where they live, work, play and pray. Its mission is to provide pathways out of poverty by educating children and families. Grace Place pioneered and trademarked its Family Literacy Model and has successfully replicated this model in order to promote a collaborative approach to implementing best practices.
Ardmore Family Literacy was born out of a partnership between the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and the Barbara Bush Foundation to create a family literacy program in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Over the last seven years, the program has flourished, recently receiving a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Career Tech to provide adult basic education and GED services to Ardmore and surrounding communities. The program has served more than 300 families, with 80 adults earning GEDs, and solidified its role as an integral part of the educational infrastructure of Ardmore.
The Goodwill Excel Center, the first of its kind in Washington, D.C., responds to the fact that life commitments and circumstances can often stop people from continuing their high school education. It strives to support returning students and address the very real barriers that they may face by offering transportation, providing free childcare through a partnership with the YMCA, and providing flexible classes that work with the real-life schedules of adult learners. These resources help ensure that Excel Center meets people where they are and supports students with services to bolster their academic and future success.
The inaugural National Summit on Adult Literacy, held Nov. 13, 2019, convened around 250 adult and family literacy experts and industry partners to examine best practices and findings in the adult literacy field and engage in a collaborative action planning session on America’s adult literacy crisis.