Children's Literature (all forms)

Bridge to Understanding Award

Doris Gebel shares the following information about an award which recognizes a program that promotes reading children’s literature as a way to expand a child’s world:

The Bridge to Understanding Award formally acknowledges the work of adults who create programs that use children´s books to explore cultures around the world in order to promote international understanding among children. Programs that win the award are based in a broad understanding of culture as ways of living and being in the world, and go beyond the surface features of a culture, such as food, fashion, folklore, famous people, and festivals.

This prestigious award was established in memory of Arlene Pillar, an educator who served USBBY as newsletter editor from 1984 until her untimely death in 1990. Organizations eligible for the award include schools, libraries, scout troops, clubs, and bookstores. The program may be a one-time event, or an ongoing series of events, that serves children ranging in age from kindergarten through tenth grade. The award carries a monetary prize of $1000 and a certificate.

Applying for the Bridge to Understanding Award

USBBY is seeking applicants for the 2014 Bridge to Understanding Award. The selection committee will consider such criteria as the care with which books are selected and presented to children in the program, the depth of cultural understanding that the program supports, the number of children reached by the program and the impact on the community as demonstrated by publicity coverage or anecdotal evidence. To be considered, the program must have occurred within 2013. A powerpoint explaining the criteria is available online.

An application and guidelines are available online, or from the USBBY Secretariat, 5202 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300, Skokie, IL 60077. Email: Phone: (224) 233-2030. Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2014. The award will be presented at the annual IRA, ALA, or NCTE Convention, or at a mutually agreeable place and time.

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