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Teacher smiling with students with wording: Literacy Research Center & Clinic Awards & Grants

Carol Mead Leaders in Literacy Award

Carol Mead Leaders in Literacy Award

Carol Mead

2020 Recipient

John Jorgensen
Founder, Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation & Wyoming Reads

John Jorgensen has demonstrated a passion for promoting literacy not only in Natrona County, but also across Wyoming and outside the state. He first established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation in 1996, in honor of his late wife, to commemorate her commitment to literacy and books. His work expanded statewide in 2006 with Wyoming Reads. Each year, the program gives the state’s first graders the opportunity to choose one of six hardcover books free to take home. Nearly 7,500 Wyoming first graders received a book in 2019, and the program has grown to include other states, including Oregon and Minnesota. Jorgensen will receive a plaque and $4,000 to continue his efforts to improve literacy across the state. Learn more.


Friends of Washakie County Library were selected as the runner-up for the award and will receive a certificate and $3,000 to support the construction of a new library in the county. The award will be presented to the Friends of Washakie County Library Board later this spring. Board secretary Laura McDonald nominated the group. Friends of Washakie County Library has supported literacy by sponsoring the annual Read Across America celebration in its libraries, by providing free reading materials at locations, such as community centers and Little Free Libraries installed in local parks, and also by providing nearly $20,000 the last decade to support literacy projects and scholarships in small communities.

Interested in Nominating a Leader in Literacy? 

Who to Nominate

Any Wyoming citizen, organization, business or community may be nominated for the Carol Mead Leaders in Literacy Award. Accomplishments that are noted should reflect contributions made in Wyoming that exemplify a commitment to the literacy development of Wyoming citizens.

Previous Leaders in Literacy recipients will not eligible for nomination in the following year, but nomination of previously unselected nominees will be encouraged. Award recipients will be eligible to re-apply after a five-year period has passed.

Award winners will be announced at the Wyoming Business Alliance meeting in November in Cheyenne. Recipients will receive a $4000 award and a plaque recognizing the honor.

How to Nominate

Nominations are not currently being accepted. If you are interested in making a nomination once we are accepting submissions, please follow the below guidelines when preparing your packet.

Provide the following information in the nomination form:

1. Select one of the following categories for your nominee:

  • Individual (e.g., teacher, librarian, business person, legislator)
  • Organization (business, non-profit, school, after school program)
  • Community (e.g., city, town, district)

2. Provide information for the nominee:

  • Name 
  • Literacy involvement, organization and/or professional affiliation
  • Address

  • Telephone (day and evening)

  • E-Mail address, if available

3. Provide information for the nominator:

  • Name
  • Relationship to the nominee
  • Address

  • Telephone (day and evening)

  • E-Mail address, if available


NOTE: The members of the UW Literacy Research Center and Clinic Outreach Advisory Board will determine the winner of the Leaders in Literacy award. The award determination is based primarily on the award criteria and evaluation criteria listed below. Nominators should address all applicable criteria in their nomination letters, and should encourage individuals preparing letters of recommendation to do the same.  

  • What contribution(s) has the nominee made to literacy development in Wyoming? Define the nature of the nominee’s involvement.

  • Describe the impact or emerging impact of the nominee’s support of literacy in the community and/or the state. Provide evidence of impact.


  • One nomination letter: no more than 2 pages, single-spaced, #12 font and addressing the criteria outlined in this document.

  • If you include the Support Materials combine all materials into a single document, as the submission process only accepts a single file.


  • A minimum of two additional letters of recommendation, 1-2 pages each, single-spaced, #12 font, supporting the nomination, and addressing the criteria in this document. 
It is recommended that these be from people who are familiar with differing aspects of the nominee’s literacy involvement. Letters should focus on contributions of the individual’s or group’s efforts to promote literacy development in Wyoming, and not other aspects of the nominee’s service to the community.

  • Reports or impact statements that clearly demonstrate literacy-related contributions.

  • Samples of the individual’s or organization’s work, including news articles, programs, etc., may be provided.


Nomination packets will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Impact – Organization or individual has demonstrated impact on children, families, the community(ies), and state.

  • Innovation – Organization or individual has utilized/developed an innovative approach(es) to preferred practices in promoting literacy.

  • Preferred Practices – Organization or individual is promoting literacy practices that are based in research and/or evidence of effectiveness.

  • Sustainability - Organization or individual has provided evidence of sustainable practices among children, families, and the community(ies).

Contact Us

UW Literacy Research Center and Clinic

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3156


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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