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Wisconsin Literacy Announces Celebration of Literacy Winners

Tutors and learners from around Wisconsin will be honored April 11th during a Celebration of Literacy in Madison. The nine award winners were chosen by Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., a Madison-based nonprofit coalition that links 77 agencies throughout the state that teach people how to read or speak English.

“The Celebration of Literacy is a moving and inspiring event that allows Wisconsin Literacy to showcase the amazing work of our local members across the state,” said Michele Erikson, executive director of Wisconsin Literacy. “They are working diligently and skillfully to uplift people through literacy, by increasing their job potential, improving their health understanding, and helping them engage in their children’s schools."

Those honored will be:

Tanisha Schmoeckel, nominated by Central Wisconsin Literacy Council, has been named Outstanding Adult Literacy Learner of the Year. This award goes to an adult learner who is a native English speaker in recognition of significant achievements as a result of increased literacy.

The Outstanding English Language Learner of Year is Esteban Cruz, nominated by Racine Literacy Council. This award recognizes the achievements of an adult learner who is a non-native speaker of English.

Marisa Santiago, nominated by Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services, was chosen as the Outstanding Learner on a Career Pathway. She began improving her literacy skills at a Wisconsin Literacy member agency and then transitioned to Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Martez Green earned the Courage Award for Achievement in a Correctional Setting. He was nominated by Racine Correctional Institution for the award that acknowledges the successes of a learner in prison who is using literacy to reach goals and make positive changes.

Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services and Milwaukee Public Schools received the Jessica Doyle Award for Family Literacy, which recognizes an outstanding family literacy program and its students or a high-achieving learner within a family literacy program. This is a joint partnership in helping to reach parents and guardians of Head Start students, K-12 students and community members at North Division and South Division high schools.

Dickten Masch Plastics and Greater Waukesha Literacy earned the award for Outstanding Achievement in a Workplace Literacy Program. This award acknowledges an employer whose leadership in implementing a workplace literacy program has greatly improved the lives of employees and the productivity and profit of the business. It also honors the literacy provider who has partnered with the business or standout learner in a workplace program.

Winnebago County Literacy Council and Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation won the Outstanding Achievement in Health Literacy Award. They have shown significant leadership in health literacy.

The Tutor of the Year Award goes to a volunteer tutor who has demonstrated a commitment to learners and has made a significant contribution to fulfilling the mission of a literacy agency through tutoring. This award goes to John Mathis, who was nominated by Children’s Dyslexia Center - Madison, where he volunteers.

Janice Lee, nominated by the Coulee Region Literacy Council, earned the Literacy Advocate of the Year award, which recognizes an elected official, agency professional or member of the public who has advocated on behalf of adult learners, families and the programs that serve them. Janice is a literacy pioneer in Wisconsin.

The speaker at the Celebration of Literacy at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center will be Andrew Maraniss, author of “Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South.” Greg Gard, UW-Madison Men's Basketball Head Coach, will join the Celebration as emcee.

Interested in attending? Go to our Events Calendar for more details and registration.