Each year, Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) presents the Golden Apple Award to honor educators who have gone above and beyond to strengthen young people’s connections with books, reading and libraries.
The 2013 Golden Apple award was presented to vice principal Molly Mitchell-Mumma and teacher Dawn Cottnair of Blaine Middle School at the recent All Friends Gathering in Ferndale.
WCLS teen services co-coordinators Aubri Keleman and Tamar Clarke had high praise for the work of these two educators.
“You have opened classroom doors and students’ minds to the importance of reading and the power of a good book. You have enthusiastically promoted the Teen One Reads program, balanced busy class schedules so that we can book talk and carved time out of packed school calendars to assure that students visit the public library. You do all this and more with enthusiasm, passion and a true commitment to the idea that reading really does make a difference in students’ lives.”
Mitchell-Mumma believes books can be a great equalizer for young people. “A book doesn’t care where you live, what your parents do or what clothes you are wearing,” she said. “Any young person can go to Hogwarts or start a revolution with Katniss Everdeen.”
Cottnair uses books to uncover and discuss the issues her students deal with every day. The students work together to design a project that helps create the culture they want to see at their school. “Books have the power to change the world, and it is my hope that students see the difference they can make in the world around them,” said Cottnair.