Library of Congress Literacy Award Winner 2023 - Successful practices honoree

Success Story

Success for Ako Aotearoa in 2023 Library of Congress Literacy Awards

11 September 2023

The Library of Congress in the United States has selected Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, as an honouree in their 2023 Literacy Awards.

Ako Aotearoa is being recognised for “Successful Literacy Practices” provided through its Manako programme. Manako provides language, literacy, numeracy (LLN) and cultural capability professional development services for educators who work with adult learners.

The Literacy Awards — established by the Library of Congress and made possible through the generosity of philanthropist David M. Rubenstein — were first conferred in 2013 to honour and support organisations that provide exemplary, innovative, sustainable and replicable strategies to promote literacy and reading, both in the United States and abroad. The Awards encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for promoting literacy and the dissemination of the most successful practices.

Ako Aotearoa is one of 15 organisations from around the world to be recognised for implementation of Successful Practices in literacy promotion.

“We are thrilled that the Library of Congress award recognises our achievements in the promotion of literacy. The award noted our success in the development of innovative methods and effective practices in the field,” said Helen Lomax, the Director of Ako Aotearoa.

The announcement was released in Washington D.C. last Friday to coincide with International Literacy Day. The Library of Congress will present the awards for successful practices and contributions to expanding literacy and promoting reading at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

The award acknowledges the Manako programme as a:

“… fascinating program that provides training for adults on language, literacy, numeracy, and cultural capacity, specifically incorporating Māori values and references to Te Tiriti, the Treaty of Waitangi”.

Annette van Lamoen, who has led the Manako Programme for the past five years, said, “It’s a real honour and privilege to receive this award and to be acknowledged for the work we do. All of us at Ako Aotearoa are committed to doing the best we can to support organisations and educators for improved learner success. It’s very rewarding to have our efforts recognised through this award.”

“Our work aims to strengthen how educators, trainers and their organisations deliver high-quality teaching and learning to all learners. We advocate for learners with diverse learning needs to be valued as partners and leaders in their education journey.”

The Manako team has researched and developed innovative approaches to supporting education providers with professional development opportunities, practical frameworks, tools and free resources to support their provision. Examples of these include the New Zealand Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark for organisations and the Tapatoru Ako Professional Practice Award for individuals and organisations.

Ako Aotearoa has been developing and delivering work under the Manako programme and other cultural capability and literacy and numeracy contracts with New Zealand’s funder, the Tertiary Education Commission, since 2015. It is hosted by Massey University, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa.

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