We are excited to announce the first recipient of the Literacy and Service Recognition Award, a team of students in an advanced literacy class at the Columbus School for Girls, nominated by literacy specialist and IRA member Debbie Charna. We commend the work of Ahlam Jallaq, Aubrey Lanham, Ailis Rees, Leslie Robins and Evelyn Stuntz for developing and expanding Project S.O.A.R. (Save Our Albatross Research).
This project began when the students were in first grade (now in third), after meeting environmentalist and children’s author Ron Hirschi. These five young girls engaged in inquiry about the endangerment of the albatross and then developed innovative and fun activities that would invite others to learn about and act on issues of natural resources. Mrs. Charna describes how “The project has grown from within our Lower School division community into a global initiative, designed to build understanding, communication, collaboration and partnerships between elementary-aged students and scientists around the world.” Read the detailed essay of submission for this award to learn the specific activities of Project S.O.A.R. as these inspiring students put research to action and exemplify the kind of leadership the L-SR SIG wants to recognize. They have purposefully put literacy skills into caring action, while developing international friendships and chains of communication around concern for environmental awareness and responsibility.
These exemplary young award winners were honored at our annual meeting in Orlando on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, where we celebrated their work and presented them with an engraved plaque and certificates. Mrs. Charna was present to receive the award on behalf of her students and shared their work through a brief video allowing us to meet the winners as they described their experiences.
Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy, who played a significant role in launching this award, were part of the recognition ceremony.