May 27, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

‘Teach This Poem’ Wins Innovations in Reading Prize

Teach This Poem, a free resource that helps educators and students infuse poetry into learning, has won the 2018 Innovations in Reading Prize from the National Book Foundation (NBF).

The Academy of American Poets, which launched Teach this Poem in 2015, will receive $10,000 along with the prize, with support from the Levenger Foundation.

“The Academy of American Poets is deeply honored to have the National Book Foundation’s endorsement of Teach This Poem, a free weekly series which assists teachers of all subjects in encouraging their students, and the next generation, to become regular readers of poems,” said Jennifer Benka, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets, in a May 10 release announcing the award. “We know that engaging with poetry helps young people hone creative thinking, take imaginative leaps, and learn to ask questions not just of a text, but of their world.”

In addition to the winner, five projects were named as honorable mentions in Innovations in Reading 2018. They are: The Appalachian Prison Book Project; Friends of the Homer Library; Jewish Women International’s National Library Initiative; and Words Without Borders Campus.

The Friends of the Homer Library provides services to remote villages outside Homer, AK, where schools do not have school libraries.

Barbershop Books received the 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize for creating child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops. Based in Harlem, NY, Barbershop Books partners with 100 local shops across the United States, according to the site.


Kathy Ishizuka About Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka ( on Twitter) is the Executive Editor of  School Library Journal.

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