Friday, February 11, 2011

Adora Svitak to Receive the NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education

Washington, DC (February 8, 2011) – On February 11, when Adora Svitak walks on stage at the NEA Foundation’s annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala, she may be smaller in stature than the other awardees. But she will take home one of public education’s highest honors, The NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, which recognizes a commitment to advancing public education. And she will be accompanied by one of her favorite teachers, Julie Vindivich, who couldn’t be prouder of her star student.

Svitak is a child prodigy from Redmond, Washington, who could read and write simple words at age two and a half, wrote short stories at age four, and, at 13, is a published author and an accomplished speaker.  Described as a “tiny literary giant” for her work to promote literacy and learning, she will be the youngest individual to receive this prestigious award. Past recipients include former President Bill Clinton, Title IX advocate Billie Jean King, and Sesame Workshop.

“Hoping to instill her love of reading and writing in other children, Adora became a teacher and an author when she was just seven years old,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “At 13, she remains committed to her cause, inspiring her peers and adults worldwide with her message of literacy and learning. She is not only very gifted, she is a generous, caring, and effective advocate for education, and for these reasons we are so pleased to present this award to her.”

She promotes four causes: literacy, learning, youth leadership, and world hunger. She has shared the spotlight with celebrities such as James Earl Jones at the National Center for Family Literacy’s annual convention. She has presented to thousands of students and 400 schools and classrooms around the world, presented at the TED2010 Conference and was a Youth Ambassador for Save the Children and a Youth Ambassador for the UN’s World Food Program. 

At the NEA Foundation gala, which attracts more than 800 leaders from the education, business and philanthropy sectors, Svitak will be honored along with 31 of the nation’s top educators, recipients of the NEA Foundation’s Awards for Teaching Excellence, and President of the Pearson Foundation, Mark Nieker, who will accept The NEA Foundation’s Award for Philanthropy in Public Education.

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About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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