(San Diego, CA) Sept. 1, 2010 – The UPS Store® and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation today announced the five finalists for the second-annual Alferd Williams Literacy Award, which honors an individual who has raised awareness and taken action on the issue of childhood illiteracy.
The five finalists are: Kirsten Bremer, Mich.; KK Cherney, Fla.; Margaret King, N.Y.; Greg Ruiz, Calif.; and Marla Standage, Mo. These finalists were nominated by their peers and chosen by a panel of judges, including representatives from The UPS Store, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Scholastic Inc., and the National Center for Family Literacy.
Now through Sept. 30, 2010, the public may vote online at www.scholastic.com/literacyaward for the finalist it considers the most deserving. The finalist who receives the most public votes will receive an advantage in the final round of panel judging, and the winner will be announced Nov. 1, 2010.
The inaugural Alferd Williams Literacy Award was presented to its namesake in 2009. Williams rose to national attention when he enrolled in first grade at the age of 70 in order to pursue his dream of learning to read.
“While it was difficult to select just five finalists, these five individuals stand out as heroes in the fight against childhood illiteracy,” said Stuart Mathis, president of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. (MBE), franchisor of The UPS Store. “Each has a unique approach to helping children foster a love of reading in his or her community. They are all living examples of the purpose of the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.”
The Toys for Tots Literacy Program offers the nation’s most economically disadvantaged children direct access to resources that will help them read and communicate effectively.
Since the literacy program’s inception in March 2008, The UPS Store network and its customers have raised more than $1 million to purchase books for less-fortunate children around the nation, many of whom have limited access to resources in their schools and communities.
“Over the last two years, the literacy program has seen tremendous success, raising more than $1 million to purchase an equal number of books for less-fortunate children,” said LtGen. Pete Osman, USMC (Ret), president and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “Now, with this award, we are able to recognize those who are on the front lines, fighting to eradicate illiteracy from their schools and homes.”
The winner will receive: a three-day, two-night trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend the U.S. Marine Corps Summer Parade in June 2011; $500 in printing, mailbox or shipping services from The UPS Store; and a set of engraved crystal bookends. The winner will also be able to designate $500 in books from Scholastic to a school or organization that serves less-fortunate children.
For additional information about the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, visit www.toysfortotsliteracy.org. For the official contest rules, visit www.scholastic.com/literacyaward.
About The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots ProgramThe Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 63rd year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. Our gifts offer these children hope, recognition and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the gifts we provide, such as books, games and sports equipment, make a significant contribution to the educational, social and recreational development of these children. In 2009, Marines distributed gifts to 7.4 million children in 691 communities nationwide. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation relies on individual donations from the American public as well as support from corporate sponsors. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.
About The UPS StoreWith approximately 4,800 locations, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc.[regp network comprises the world’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, printing and business service centers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. In the United States and Puerto Rico, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., a UPS subsidiary. In Canada, locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of master licensee MBEC Communications, L.P. For additional information, visit www.theupsstore.com.
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