Letha H. Brown 2012 Literacy Award Entries

District Five Hall of Fame

Letha H. Brown Literacy Award


The Letha H. Brown Literacy Award was established by the International Board of Directors in July, 1993, to honor Past International President of Altrusa Letha H. Brown, who, in 1977, introduced literacy as a major emphasis of the organization.


Picture Me Reading (Branch County, MI)

 The “Picture Me Reading” project followed the lines of the national campaign, “Get Caught Reading”.  The goals of promoting literacy, the importance of reading, and to spread the joys of reading were met in a contest.  Children K-12 in Branch County were invited to submit an essay sharing what reading means to them, or a photo that showed the child “getting caught reading.”  Prizes for each category were a $25 gift certificate to a local bookstore, with all entries entered for an Amazon Kindle drawing.


LINCOLN LITERACY CONNECTIONS “Summer Reading Program” & “Read to Succeed” (Findlay, OH)

Findlay has an ongoing relationship with Lincoln Elementary School.  This year had two parts, assisting with the “Summer Reading Program” and tutoring with “Read to Succeed.”  Altrusans provided mentoring with one on one reading, facilitating various learning stations, and snack preparation.  The pride that children displayed when they checked out a book at the library reflected their improved confidence, advanced reading abilities and a happier attitude towards reading.


“Fun With Words”- Second Annual Adult Spelling Bee (Hamilton, OH)

“Fun With Words”, Hamilton’s Adult Spelling Bee, provides an interesting and fun way to improve awareness of literacy in Butler County.  Proceeds also provide funding for at least three of the club’s literacy projects, helping at risk students or a YMCA project with science, math and reading through cooking.  The Spelling Bee was supported by individuals, businesses and organizations throughout the county through teams, sponsorships, donations, judges and publicity.


Children’s Book Project (Highland County, OH)

Highland County has been providing books to their children for their enjoyment and academic improvement.  A fire in their book storage unit lost 300-400 books, but they met their goals and added the Mother Goose Project. (A member as Mother Goose sang songs and read to children at various locations where books were given.)  Books are distributed to Kindergartners, third graders, and newborns.  A Foundation Grant added books for sixth graders.


Enhancing Literacy with Tools for Schools (Mansfield, OH)

Tools for Schools has been providing to all ages in public/private schools and community programs for years.  Basic school supplies have enriched the learning experiences and positively impacted the literacy and educational success for students whose parents are financially unable to provide them.  All schools in Richland County have been informed of the project and provided the Request Forms.  Tough economic times have increased the requests, therefore affecting all parts of the project from fund raising to purchasing, storing and delivering the tools.


Book Treat (Sidney, OH)

The annual Shelby County Fall Festival in downtown Sidney has provided an opportunity to partner with the Amos Memorial Library to promote Altrusa and literacy throughout our community.  This event comes just in time for Halloween, with trick or treating downtown merchants and more.  One treat is a book from collection, donation or purchase by Sidney members and community.  They then distribute the books to the children attending the event.


“SCRABBLE ® Scramble for Literacy” (Springfield, OH)

Playing the game of SCRABBLE® creatively is Springfield’s way of raising funds for their local Literacy Center.  To play the game on a larger platform, a member visited a community SCRABBLE® competition in action, and the National SCRABBLE® Association offered helpful advice.  An extra challenge was added with an oversized game board and oversized wooden letters.  The seven letter draw cost $5, and the highest point word received a prize.  Altrusans were assisted by family, community members and outside resources for manpower, publicity, donations, food service, silent auction and players to play the game at the Literacy Center.


Altrusa and Librarians Make a Difference (Tiffin, OH)

Librarians, or their representatives, of thirteen public or school libraries in Seneca County were invited to a reception held at the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library for Make a Difference Day.  Each librarian was asked to share their biggest successes of the year, and what was on the library’s wish list.  All agreed their greatest wish was to instill a love of reading within their communities.  Each library received a $200 check, funded by Altrusa’s bus trip to Chicago.  A communication network was created for the participants, and Altrusa’s focus on literacy was definitely established.


Developing a Children’s Reading Area in our Local Hospital’s ER Waiting Rooms (Washington C.H., OH)

The hospital administrator and several department heads met Altrusans as they made their initial delivery of children’s books to be displayed on tables in each emergency room waiting area.  Now children and their families would have a positive diversion which would also promote literacy while they wait.  A public announcement and press release brought added community awareness and support.  This provided an additional way to partner with the Carnegie Library.  A subscription to Highlights magazine was purchased.  Book stamps and signs for the tables indicate they had been donated by Altrusa of Washington Court House.

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