OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, award-winning early literacy program Super Stars Literacy (SSL) proudly announces that Board of Directors President Carla Koren has been honored for her volunteer leadership with two awards. Nationally lauded, Koren was selected one of 10 recipients of the University of Phoenix Volunteer Leader Award, which is presented by University of Phoenix and HandsOn Network and includes a $10,000 donation for SSL. Regionally, Koren’s leadership earned her The Volunteer Center’s Nonprofit Board Leader Award of 2010, sponsored by Ascent Services Group. Both awards were announced this month.
“Carla’s commitment to Super Stars and early literacy is inspirational,” commented Super Stars Literacy Executive Director Michael Mowery. “It’s largely thanks to her leadership and drive that we have been able to give hundreds of young people who otherwise were at risk of scholastic failure a solid foundation for lifelong learning and success. I can think of no one more deserving of recognition and congratulate her on behalf of everyone at Super Stars.”
As one of only 10 University of Phoenix Volunteer Leader Award honorees nationwide, Koren now ranks as one of the nation’s top volunteer leaders. Given to those who motivate others and who are catalysts for change in their communities, Koren was selected as a Volunteer Leader honoree because her accomplishments at SSL illustrate how one committed individual has the power to effect lasting societal change. This year’s award celebrates the first anniversary of the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorized the largest expansion of national service in America in decades.
Koren’s leadership also makes her a regional stand-out. Recognizing the achievements of outstanding nonprofit board members, and sponsored by The Ascent Services Group, The Volunteer Center’s 2010 Nonprofit Board Leader Award will be given to Koren this week at The Volunteer Center's annual volunteer celebration, Hats Off: A Celebration of Volunteer Heroes. At this event, Koren will join the ranks of top Bay Area nonprofit leaders and volunteers who inspire and continue to raise the bar in community involvement.
While researching volunteer service projects, Koren was inspired to start SSL upon learning that one of the strongest predictors of academic success is a child’s reading ability in the primary grades. Wanting to make a difference for children who struggle with reading in elementary school and are at greater risk of dropping out of high school, she led the launch of SSL eight years ago. Now that SSL is a successful after-school program designed to give every child a foundation for lifelong learning and achievement, she continues to remain committed to the cause as the president of the board of directors. In her words, “If we invest in our children’s education, the returns are phenomenal.”
About Super Stars Literacy
Dedicated to building early literacy skills in primary grade children in communities with limited resources, Super Stars Literacy currently serves 210 students at five Oakland, Calif., elementary schools: Hoover Elementary, Parker Elementary, Think College Now, International Community School, and East Oakland Pride. The program was originally founded in 2002 as part of the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay, Inc., and earned independent non-profit 501c3 status in 2008. Super Stars Literacy’s board of directors recently completed a year-long strategic planning process, which will guide the organization’s expansion to improve educational opportunities for thousands of additional Bay Area children. For program and donation information, please visit the organization’s website www.SuperStarsLiteracy.org.