Congratulations to the nominees of the 2023 Light of Literacy Awards!

Organization Luminary Award:

Coastal Hospice
Providing end of life services and education to the four lower counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland since 1980.

Delmarva Mediterranean Market
Meet Somia, a role model who patiently answers questions about Mediterranean cuisine.

Eastern Shore Literacy Association
Serving to promote literacy on the lower Eastern Shore for 30 years.

Needle Eye Academy
Providing literacy and arts opportunities for students of color in rural districts since 2020.

Higher Education Luminary:

Dr. Kamil Alzayady
An Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Dr. Charles Grattan Baldwin
An award winning author, President of the Eastern Shore Literacy Association, and Director of the UMES Masters in Literacy program.

Adam Tavel
A published poet, Wor-Wic Community College Professor, and co-founder of “Echoes & Visions”, Wor-Wic’s literary journal.

Student Luminary:

Dailyn Ballard
A student volunteer who supports the success of the Paws to Read program at Wicomico Public Library.

Adult Luminary:

Chris Eccelston & Jenny Schroen
Authors of the book Grit Leads to Greatness, whose mission is to promote the importance of education for skilled trades people.

Edward Lee
Founder of “Teach Them To Fish” a free financial literacy program that offers personalized instruction, classes taught by industry and financial professionals, and guided literature.

Anne Matey
A former adult learning coach for the Wicomico County Public Schools system, and current volunteer coach for the Wicomico Public Library’s Project Read program.

Nancy Mitchell
Inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Salisbury.

Dr. Sameer Tajuddin Shaik Abdul
Part of TidalHealth’s COVID Response Team, and provider of relevant medical information to the community through effective online communication.

Educator Luminary:

Katie Byrne
Librarian at Pinehurst Elementary School.

Dr. Rebecca Maldonado
9th grade English Language Arts, and English Language Learners at Parkside High School.

Digital Literacy:

Ebonee Barkley
Media Specialist at Beaver Run Elementary School.

Chris Cuppett
The first technology coach in Wicomico County Public Schools.

Jess Ferrara Emhoff
An advocate for local English as a second language families, who seeks partnerships to provide internet services for their children.

Larry Johnson
A volunteer dedicated to providing digital assistance and instruction for the MAC Center.

Chelsye Phillips-Hutton
A community leader dedicated to assisting budding entrepreneurs from underserved communities.

Rebirth Community School & Support Center
A local non-profit organization that operates a Virtual Technology Learning and Support Center for vulnerable populations, along with radio station WRBY 100.5 to provide programming in Creole, English, and Spanish.