About the Program
Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein since 2013, and through the generosity of the Kislak Family Foundation in 2023, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program honors organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States or abroad. The awards also encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for combating illiteracy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices.
The Library of Congress Literacy Awards are intended to draw public attention to the importance of literacy, and the need to promote literacy and encourage reading.
Since 2013, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program has awarded more than $3 million in prizes to more than 180 institutions in 39 countries. By recognizing current achievements, the awards seek to enable any organization or program that does not operate on a for-profit basis to strengthen its involvement in literacy and reading promotion and to encourage collaboration with like-minded organizations.
The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) is awarded for an outstanding and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels to an organization, based either inside or outside the United States, which has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy. The organization will meet the highest standards of excellence in its operations and services.
The Kislak Family Foundation Prize ($100,000) is awarded to an organization based either inside or outside of the United States with an outsized impact on literacy relative to its size and/or years of operation.
The American Prize ($50,000) is awarded to an organization based in the United States for making a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in the U.S. or the national awareness of the importance of literacy.
The International Prize ($50,000) is awarded to an organization that is based either inside or outside the United States for their significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in a country other than the U.S.
Successful Practices Honorees ($10,000) are recognized for their successful implementation of a specific literacy promotion practice. Up to 15 organizations that apply in the major prize categories will receive $10,000.
Emerging Strategies Honorees ($5,000) are recognized for a literacy initiative in its early stages of development (5 years or fewer) that demonstrate significant creativity and promise in their approach to literacy. Up to 5 organizations will receive $5,000.
- Receive a cash prize to further your mission and program goals.
- Gain public recognition for your work.
- Join a growing network of past winners and honorees.