Adopt A Book program started by Hannah & Alex Laman is the winner of the 2020 State Literacy Award by the Library of Congress

NEWS RELEASE: Susanne Quigley, Loveland Schools Chief Information Officer

LOVELAND, OH – The Loveland nonprofit Adopt A Book has been announced a winner of the 2020 State Literacy Award by the Library of Congress. The award is bestowed upon 10 organizations across the country that tirelessly work to mitigate illiteracy throughout communities and the world, and rewards them with grant money for exemplary, innovative and “easily replicable” longstanding initiatives toward this goal.

Hannah and Alex sorting and packing books in Adopt A Book’s storage unit. (Provided)

Started by current Loveland High School Juniors Hannah and Alexander Laman, Adopt A Book regularly provides books for preschool programs, Cincinnati Public Schools, home-based programming, health clinics and even schools abroad to encourage children to read. To date, Adopt A Book has donated over 165,000 books to more than 100 organizations, schools and programs that serve children in need.

“I am very honored and it means a lot to me to be recognized by the largest library in the world for my efforts in making sure as many kids as possible have access to books,” said Alex Laman upon receiving notification about the award.

His sister Hannah agrees: “This award means a lot to me because we were one of 10 recipients from all across the country, so to see that we stood out among many applicants is very meaningful. It is great to not only be recognized for our efforts, but to also be recognized by the Library of Congress, and to think that we have made a large enough impact on the community to be chosen is great.”

Hannah receiving a contribution of books from the West Chester Mothers of Twins Club. (Provided)

Impacting the community is exactly what Adopt A Book has encouraged many others to do. It all started in 2011, when Hannah and Alex as third-graders at Loveland Elementary School decided to “start a business” that would donate reading material after hearing about an elementary school in the Cincinnati area that didn’t have library books or even textbooks for their students. To share their own love of reading, they turned the idea into an incorporated nonprofit with the help of their parents. For Hannah and Alex, the model is quite simple: they involve other students, teachers, churches and charities, and have reached out to numerous businesses in the area for donations over the years. They run book drives and have expanded their efforts to include fundraising for things like bookshelves, furniture for personal reading spaces, and to create “reading buddies” programs for young children.

Adopt A Book was nominated for the State Literacy Award by the Ohio Center for the Book as the one Ohio nonprofit that best exemplifies outstanding and innovative contributions to promoting literacy and reading in the local communities. Library of Congress is expected to announce all winners of the Literacy Awards later in the year and Hannah and Alex will be presented the award of $2,225 in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the promotion of literacy and reading at a formal ceremony.

“Literacy is the ticket to learning, opportunity and empowerment on a global scale,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in conjunction with the awards recognitions in 2019, expressing the honor of celebrating organizations for their efforts to advance reading levels and give people the foundation for a better life.

Alex and Hannah Laman with their parents Brent and Angela at “Fall Feast” on Thanksgiving Day 2019. More than 2,000 books by Adopt A Book found new homes at the event last November. (Provided)

As such successful ambassadors of reading, what are Alex and Hannah’s own favorite reads?

For Hannah, it’s IT by Stephen King, mystery novels, and any books by John Green.

Alex’s favorites include Science Magazine and he reads anything from reference books, Science Fiction and Classics to books on history.

“I always have something on my nightstand, floor or desk,” he said. 

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