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Celebrating Unity: The RI-IRA-Pearson Foundation Literacy Project Awards

by Chelsea Miller
 | Oct 21, 2013

“Every School a Star” is just one successful projects formed through the union of Rotary International and the International Reading Association. Another is the Rotary International (RI)-International Reading Association (IRA)-Pearson Foundation Literacy Project Award given to two projects that successfully improved literacy in a specific community, including a $2,500 award. The only other stipulations (besides submitting the application by June 15, 2014) are that both an IRA council or affiliate and a Rotary Club are involved in the project.

“I don’t think many of our council members know that they can contact their local Rotarians and invite them out for coffee, or for a tour of a school,” says IRA Education Relations Specialist Margie Bell. “Rotary is generally very responsive to community needs and would like to be a part of the education community.”

Guatemala Bookmaking Project in Oregon

The Guatemala Bookmaking project
was a 2012 award recipient 

Grant recipients will be notified on the first of July, 2014, and will be invited to obtain their award at IRA’s International Literacy Day in Washington, DC, in September 2014. It is worth noting the Pearson Foundation will kindly pay for the first night of lodgings for the winners in the contest.

Last year’s winners of this award were the Reading Rocks in Rockford and Guatemala Bookmaking. Reading Rocks sought to create a “Storybook Character Sidewalk Parade” by including a book fair and musicians. Guatemala Bookmaking, on the other hand, served 130 preschool through sixth grade Mayan children who spoke Cozal Ixil as their first language.

The Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on working with other businesses and institutions to find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. The Pearson Foundation seeks to increase literacy through programs such as “We Give Books” and the “New Learning Institute.” See for more information.

Rotary International

Rotary International is an organization interested in improving education and literacy and focused on promoting peace, preventing diseases, providing clean water and sanitation, enhancing maternal and child health, and helping communities develop. Rotary boasts over 1.2 million members and has been working to help education and communities for over 100 years. For more information, go to Rotary’s main page at


The IRA / Rotary International Partnership Special Interest Group (IRARI SIG) facilitates many Rotary-IRA partnerships and collaborative projects. The IRARI goals include creating ideas and projects to increase awareness of their joint projects in local and global communities. They also agree to lead sessions between the IRA and RI at their conferences. Learn more about IRARI at /irari.

Organizations Working Together

So by reaching out to other organizations and working alongside them, new friendships can be made and literacy can be enriched. The RI-IRA-Pearson Foundation Literacy Project Awards is a prime example of organizations and people working together for the sake of national and international literacy. 

For further information about the award and access to the application page, please consult the RI-IRA-Pearson Foundation Literacy Project Awards page.

Chelsea Miller is the strategic communications intern at the International Reading Association.


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