WORD honors educators, authors, and others involved in reading and literacy efforts awards and grants. An overview of each award—with lists of past recipients, guidelines, and application forms—can be found here.

Recent Award Winners

Outstanding Administrator Award Recipient:

Dan Coles, K-12 Literacy Manager, Seattle Public Schools
Dan Coles enables teachers to implement a balanced literacy program in all classrooms K-12. He provides resources and professional development that reinforce Seattle’s belief that the reader’s prior experience and knowledge are critical to the process. He has provided teachers support, motivation and inspiration to put into place the balanced literacy philosophy that is guided by educational research in the field of literacy. He is an outstanding leader, and has been effective in not only demonstrating the promotion of literacy in Seattle Public Schools, but has given teachers, parents and community members the tools and training to promote literacy in Seattle. Dan Coles was nominated by the Spokane Area Council along with literacy teachers from Seattle Public Schools.

Sebesta Award Recipient:

Dr. Nancy J. Johnson, Western Washington University
Dr. Johnson has a distinguished record of service as a teacher educator at Seattle Pacific University and Western Washington University, developing and implementing reading/language arts courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. She was honored by the International Reading Association in 2003 with the Arbuthnot Award, selected to serve on the Newbery Award Committee in 2003, and recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English for her service on the Elementary Steering Committee for many years. Dr. Johnson is widely recognized as a leader in the state of Washington and has been called on for consultation in schools districts in Washington, the region, the nation, and internationally. Dr. Johnson was nominated by the North Sound Reading Council.

Bonnie Campbell Hill Washington State Literacy Teacher Leader Award

Through the Bonnie Campbell Hill Washington State Literacy Teacher Leader Award, the Washington Organization for Reading Development (WORD) will honor two outstanding teacher leaders each year. These may include classroom teachers, literacy coaches, or teacher educators dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of reading and writing in real world contexts in grades K – 8. The US $2,500 grant for each teacher leader is intended to be used for professional development (not for materials, except professional books for a book study). The award is supported by Bonnie Campbell Hill and her family and colleagues.

Application for Bonnie Campbell Hill Award: Download here

Administrator Award This award recognizes an administrator who has effectively motivated, inspired, and supported others in the promotion of literacy. The award will be presented at the time of the State Leadership Workshop. Administrator
Advocacy Award The Washington Organization for Reading Development recognizes a local council for advocating for literacy at the local, state or national level. Council
Author/Illustrator/Storyteller Award This award recognizes a Washington author, illustrator or storyteller for outstanding contributions to children’s literature. The award will be presented during the State Leadership Workshop. Author, Illustrator or Storyteller
Bernadette Lewis Award for Membership This award recognizes a local council which has shown the greatest percentage of membership growth. The award is presented at the time of the State Leadership Workshop. Council
Celebrate Literacy Award The Celebrate Literacy Award recognizes organizations, institutions, and individuals who have made significant literacy contributions at the state level. The recipient must be a past or present recipient of a local council’s Celebrate Literacy Award. The award will be presented during the State Leadership Workshop. Organizations, Institutions, and Individuals
Florence Sperling Easy Grants A $50.00 grant to buy literacy materials for classrooms. Ten easy grants are awarded during the course of the year. Members
Honor Council IRA awards a Honor Council award to outstanding local councils. Council
Media Award This award recognizes a newspaper or radio/TV station which has recently demonstrated support or promotion of literacy. The award will be presented at the Annual Awards Luncheon/Banquet during the State Leadership Conference. newspaper or radio/TV station
Partnership Award This award recognizes a group, business, or agency for joining with a local or state council and providing, to the community and to literacy, an outstanding service, project or event. The award will be presented during the State Leadership Workshop Conference. group, business, or agency
Sebesta Award Recognizing a clearly outstanding classroom teacher or teacher educator of reading/language arts/literature honors Sam Sebesta. The recipient of the award must be a classroom teacher or university educator who works directly with students in a school or college/university setting. In addition, the applicant/nominee must have taught for five (5) full years in Washington and be nominated by at least four persons through letters of support. Applicants/ nominees must have been WORD members for a minimum of 5 years and have current WORD and IRA memberships. teacher or teacher educator