Literacy for Life Executive Director Wins Statewide Literacy Award is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Literacy for Life
Patti Donnelly, Executive Director, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia; Dr. Mark Emblidge, Founding Director, VLF; Elizabeth Creamer; Joan Peterson; Troilen Gainey Seward, community leader and retired superintendent. (Courtesy Literacy for Life)

Literacy for Life Executive Director Joan Peterson was recently named the winner of the Virginia Literacy Foundation’s 2016 Nancy Jiranek Award.

The Virginia Literacy Foundation, which provides funding and technical support to private volunteer literacy organizations throughout the state, issues this award annually to individuals who exemplify the best in nonprofit management.

Recipients are judged not only by their contributions to the field through their own programs but also by their collaborations with other organizations and “the strong impact of their work on their clients and within the community,” according to a recent news release.

Peterson was selected as this year’s recipient because of her work with Literacy for Life, an adult literacy program based out of the College of William & Mary’s School of Education building.

During her eight years with the organization, Peterson has grown Literacy for Life from about 370 learners to nearly 750, the release went on to say. She has also tripled the progam’s revenue through grants, donations, sponsorships and special events.

Peterson has also piloted several significant expansions in Literacy for Life’s offerings, including helping to develop the award-winning health literacy initiative “the HEAL Program” and to establish a tutoring and mentoring partnership with local at-risk high school students called “Destination Graduation.”

“Joan has elevated the profile of her organization with programming that is essential to meeting the challenges and demands of the 21st century,” the press release said.