The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy presented the 2012 Community Literacy Award on Wednesday at the Learning Place at City Hall.
This year’s winner is Judy Runions, a grandmother committed to helping her grandchildren read.
Runions began reading to her grandson, who lives in Grand Prairie, by phone as a means to help him with his reading skills.
Her grandson was born with a genetic marker missing that hinders his language skills.
Both grandmother and grandson would have a copy of the book and would read back and forth on the phone.
Runions said on Wednesday when they started reading together, it was hard to understand what her grandson was reading and he would often use invented words. Now she reads to all eight of her grandchildren, and her grandson is reading at grade level and they are currently reading The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
After his classmates heard about how he reads with his grandma, many began doing the same.
The other nominees for the Community Literary Award were Joe Woodward, Kelvin Ward, Nancy Radonich, the One to One Reading tutors at Hume School, Wendy Simpson, Robyn Simard, Kathy Speirs, Daniel Blanchet and Cheryl Grant.