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College of Mass Communications and Information Studies


2013 Literacy Leaders Awards

The School of Library and Information Science presented the 7th Annual Literacy Leader Awards to celebrate those who have “gone above and beyond” in the quest to eliminate illiteracy.

The school's own Reading Rooster, Helen Fellers, was recognized for her dedication to the library profession and for her work in local pre-school literacy programs. Jane Thomas, who recently retired as executive director of the Greenville Literacy Association, was honored for helping the association earn a rank in the top three percent of adult literacy programs nationally. The Trident Literacy Association received an award for its work in helping students achieve both academically and in their jobs.


More About the Recipients

Helen Fellers
Helen Fellers is the personification of literacy. With her characterization as the “Reading Rooster,” she has spread the message of reading and quality children’s and young adult literature for years. As a life-long librarian, she has driven a bookmobile and managed a branch library for the Richland Library system. She was Library Director at both the Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter and the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort. In 2001, Helen came to work at the South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy at the School of Library and Information Science at USC. At the Center, she manages the collection, leads story times for neighborhood pre- schools and teaches a Children’s Materials class.

Jane Thomas
Recently retired as Executive Director of the Greenville Literacy Association, Jane Thomas led her organization to unprecedented success. The Greenville Literacy Association is the leader in delivering basic literacy instruction to adults in Greenville County. Each year, at five learning centers and other sites, 400 trained volunteers tutor over 1,800 adult learners who wish to strengthen their basic skills, acquire computer knowledge, earn GEDs, learn English as a Second Language, and prepare for U.S. citizenship. As a result of Jane’s leadership and her successful fundraising initiatives, Greenville Literacy ranks nationally among the top 3 percent of adult literacy programs.

Trident Literacy Association
Since 1972, the Trident Literacy Association has served 2000 students annually in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties. Some of their programs include Adult Basic Education, Computer Skills, ESL, GED Prep, Civics Classes, WorkKeys Job Skills, and Special Programs in Family Literacy, including Workplace Literacy, Health Literacy and Financial Literacy. As a result of the Trident Literacy Association’s efforts, their students have succeeded in educational advancement, employment and job advancement and retention.