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Parkland's Project READ Receives 2021 Spotlight Awards
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Parkland's Project READ Receives 2021 Spotlight Awards

Project READ Recognized with State Award

Project READ at Parkland College has won Spotlight Awards from Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jessie White.

White's office announced the awards Thursday during the Spotlight On Literacy Awards for Outstanding Literacy Students and Tutors, a virtual ceremony honoring 10 volunteer tutors and 10 learners in Illinois literacy programs.

Project READ graduate Belinda Guillen received the Spotlight on Achievement Award, and tutor Linda "Penny" Lopez earned the Spotlight on Service Award.


"Two years ago, I could not construct a complete sentence in English," Guillen wrote in her application essay. "Now, I can communicate better, and it has had an impact on my life. Project READ has been very helpful to me, due to the excellent tutoring I received."

Guillen works as an outreach team leader at the New American Welcome Center for the University YMCA. She serves as a trusted link between various organizations and Spanish-speaking community members to help address their needs. 

For Lopez, the win is all about love and acceptance.

"As a team, we have added to our understanding and acceptance of the people around us," she shared in her essay. "I learn so much from my students. I am honored as they share their lives and customs. I am awed at the effort they put into learning a new language.

"It is a reason to get up in the morning and make a difference. I believe that what the world needs now is love, and understanding each other is part of that path."

For more information about Project READ, please visit parkland.edu/projectread, email projectread@parkland.edu, or call 217/351-2580.

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