Light of Literacy Awards

The Light of Literacy Awards recognizes those “Luminaries” whose actions demonstrate a deep understanding of the transformational power of literacy in the lives of those in our community. This awards ceremony brings together leaders from around the area to recognize those who are luminaries in our community, lighting the way for lighting the way for others by their example.

2016 Light of Literacy Recap

Please join us in applauding the work of the following individuals who received awards at the 2016 Friends of Wicomico Public Libraries' Light of Literacy Awards breakfast, held April 7th, 2016 at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, MD. These 8 award recipients are shining examples of the best and brightest of our community. Their work to promote the power of literacy to improve and transform lives should not only be recognized, but imitated.

Business Luminary – Salt Water Media - This company has made it their mission to work with local authors, walking them through the publishing process. They reach out to young artists, publishing for the Maryland Summer Center for the Arts Creative Writing Class. While only in their first few years, Salt Water Media already has a reputation for being a supporter to local authors.

Youth Luminary – Samantha Wiersberg - Ms. Wiersberg conducted several projects which benefited the Fruitland Community Center. She organized book drives to build the community center’s library. She also designed a website to highlight the center’s programs and included links to reading, language arts and writing websites.

Non-Profit Organization Luminary – Salisbury Sunrise Rotary Club - This winter, the Salisbury Sunrise Rotary Club kicked off the Reindeer Readers Program promoting literacy, particularly among at-risk youth by challenging students to read for a minimum of 20 minutes per day for 20 days.

Educator Luminary – Tara Elliott - Ms. Elliott has taught well over 1,500 students during her 17-year teaching career at Salisbury Middle School. She inspired each student to read over 40 books in their 6th grade school year. Ms. Elliott makes herself readily available to her students during the summer by meeting at the library to guide them through summer reading.

Adult Luminary – Beverly Horner - Ms. Horner is the coordinator for the Delmarva Pets on Wheels, a program to encourage a love of reading by reading to dogs. Beverly and her canine companions, Toby & Sully, visit elementary schools, nursing homes and the local hospice. She helps children and adults overcome a fear of reading and of dogs with reassurance and support.

Adult Luminary – Kara Dahl Russell - Ms. Kara Dahl Russell has served as the classical music host for the Delmarva Public Radio, WSCL. Kara’s devotion to improving Music Literacy in the community was demonstrated by the time spent researching the lives and fascinating stories of featured composers.

Higher Education Luminary – Salisbury University- Eastern Correctional Institute’s Book Discussion Group - Led by Dr. Timothy Stock, a professor at SU, and June Brittingham, librarian at ECI, book discussion groups are held by 2 or 3 SU Philosophy students. Inmates share that this is the only time they can have intelligent and positive conversations and that this experience has helped them love reading.

Liz Bellavance Legacy Award - Jane Reagan - Ms. Jane Reagan is a retired teacher of Spanish and a guidance counselor who has continued her commitment to community service by working with the Wicomico Partnership for Families and Youth and the Board of Education to facilitate family relationship training and literacy. She meets with prisoners at the Detention Center at Poplar Hill to implement parenting workshops for the incarcerated and their families, drawing upon her skills as a guidance counselor to facilitate the family/emotional literacy training, a great need of individuals in the program.

Wicomico Public Libraries joins Ms. Audrey Orr, Mr. Phil Tilghman, Dr. H. Scott Duncan, Mrs. Lenita Wesson and the Friends of the Libraries and members of the local community in celebrating the positive impact made by all nominees for these awards.