Literacy Pros of Jacksonville, Inc., a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to eradicating illiteracy in the community, honored local literary champions during a special virtual program.
Founded in 2003, the Pros offer resources to volunteers to become literacy tutors and literacy advocates. Programs include #BLUE4BOOKS, an early learning reading program that promotes early learning literacy skills and builds trust between children and uniformed law enforcement officers; Youth Leadership Council that works closely to support the Literacy Tutor training for volunteers from the community to serve as literacy tutors and the Inmate Tutor Training program that trains inmates to tutor fellow inmates to help inmates improve literacy skills as needed to reduce recidivism, improve life skills and increase rates of successful employment and reentry upon release.
Tutor training courses include the following topics: family health, wellness and financial literacy. Literacy Pros President Susan Kaniut said, “Every year we look forward to honoring local individuals who use their time and talents to promote literacy and help provide access to critical literacy skills. We were especially excited add two new categories this year, recognizing the tremendous efforts of teen literacy leaders as well.”
This year’s 2021 Literacy Pros Champion awardees include: Sherri Porter, CEO and Founder of Hunger Fight and Joseph Gaskin, Mr. Joe’s Story Time and Jacksonville Public Library Associate (Special Recognition Award); Carlene Smith, Principal of Pickett Elementary School (Literacy Pro Award);Taylor Richardson, Philanthropist, STEM Literacy & Social Activist (Youth Advocacy Award); Rodney Wells, Inaugural Chair of the Literacy Pros Youth Leadership Council (Youth President’s Award); Lt. Michell Fletcher, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Literacy Pros Board Member/JSO Liaison (President’s Award), Dr. Jennifer Blalock, Chief Energy Office of InJenuity Consulting and Literacy Pros Board Member (Sarah Van Cleve Award). To volunteer and for more info visit www.literacyprosjacksonville.org.