The Education Website Brings Eye-opening World Literature into the Classroom
WWB Campus, the education initiative of Words Without Borders, has received an honorable mention for the 2018 Innovations in Reading Prize, the National Book Foundation (NBF) announced today.
The Innovations in Reading Prize is awarded annually to an individual or organization that has developed an innovative project which creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading in the community they serve.
Launched last May, WWB Campus (wwb-campus.org) is a free website that connects classrooms to contemporary international literature, multimedia cultural resources, and standards-aligned teaching tools. Through in-depth engagement with contemporary stories from around the world, WWB Campus enriches students’ global understanding and inspires empathy across cultures.
“This honor from the National Book Foundation is a tremendous affirmation of the goals of WWB Campus,” said Alane Salierno Mason, founder and president of WWB. “It is a wonderful way of broadcasting the resources WWB Campus offers educators, students, and readers to get to know the world—and themselves—through literature.”
The WWB Campus website currently features writing by more than 80 authors from five countries, including “godfather of Japanese manga” Osamu Tezuka, Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi, and bestselling Mexican novelist Aura Xilonen. In the past year, the program has reached over 5,000 students in a range of educational settings, from some of the country’s most elite high schools and colleges, to a program for deported youth in Mexico City and a youth correctional facility in Virginia. Baruch College professor Cheryl Smith, a user and advocate of the program, says: “These are some of my students’ stories. This is a way for them to see themselves in literature.”
The winner of the 2018 Innovations in Reading Prize is the Academy of American Poets for its “Teach this Poem” program. The Appalachian Prison Book Project, Friends of the Homer Library, and Jewish Women International’s National Library Initiative also received honorable mentions. WWB Campus will present at the NBF’s annual Why Reading Matters conference featuring the honorees on June 7 in Brooklyn, New York.