LOGAN, W.Va. — The Penguin Random House Foundation, which administers the Creative Writing Awards and other programs dedicated to nurturing the next generation of writers and readers, has announced the recipients of its 2015 Teacher Awards for Literacy and also its creation of the Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry.
Local teacher Laura Tracy Baisden, from Logan High School, is a runner up winner of the Penguin Random House Foundation grant.
These awards recognize the nation’s most dynamic and resourceful teachers who use their creativity to inspire and successfully instill a love of reading in students. They are open to full- and part time teachers in public schools across the United States. Winners are awarded grants to help further their innovative reading programs and to disseminate them to other teachers around the country.
Melanie Fallon-Houska, director of Corporate Giving for Penguin Random House, announced this year’s 2015 recipients at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention during its November 19 opening session, in Minneapolis, Minn. The 2015 awards consist of a $10,000 first-place grant; $5,000 second-place grant; and a $2,500 third-place grant award, payable to each teacher’s respective school. In addition, book donations will be made to these winners’ schools. Ten additional runners-up will each receive $500 grants and book donations.
Baisden’s application was recognized as one of the ten runners-up; she was awarded a $1,000 classroom library from Penguin Random House, as selected by her students. Additionally, she was awarded a $500 stipend to use to continue to develop the new Logan High School Book Club.
In April, LHS book club members who have participated in this year’s meetings and community service activities will enjoy a day studying the intersections between art, creativity, and literacy, as they will enjoy a field trip to Pottery Place, Books A Million, and a chance to purchase their own books.
Laura Tracy Baisden is a 26 year veteran teacher at Logan High School. She is Language Arts Department Chair. She is president of Theta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. She is the former co-director of Coalfield Writers Satellite Site of the National Writing Project. She is an experienced presenter of teacher inservice in the field of Literacy. Baisden encourages her students to read daily, and shares her own passion for great books with her students on a regular basis. This is the second literacy and book grant Baisden has been awarded during the 2016 school year.