What does Amy Merrill, a third grade teacher in Fairmont and a Marion County Read Aloud board member, have in common with 29 other individuals from places like Nigeria, Haiti, Spain, New York, Canada, Nepal, California, and India? The answer is that she, like them, was recognized in September in the International Literacy Association’s “30 Under 30” list as an innovative young leader helping to transform literacy world-wide.
The International Literacy Association (ILA) is a global advocacy and membership organization dedicated to advancing literacy for all. Its inaugural “30 Under 30” list represents 13 countries, according to the ILA’s press release, with each honoree creating and implementing an initiative that “directly improved the quality of literacy instruction or … increased access to literacy tools.”
In addition to her classroom work, Merrill coaches a Lego robotics team, and helps coordinate projects like keeping “Little Free Libraries” stocked with books, providing large print books to nursing homes, and giving gift bags to children admitted to hospital cancer units. While she only recently joined the board of Marion County Read Aloud, she is in her third term on the Marion County Reading Council, and is a member of the West Virginia Reading Association Executive Board.
Merrill is humbled by her nomination, but passionate about literacy, which comes through clearly in everything she does. Aletta Moffett, Marion County Read Aloud chapter president, noted that, while she has not yet had the opportunity to work much with Merrill, she is “very impressed with her. I see [her recognition] as a sign of good things to come.”
Congratulations, Amy! To read the article in the September/October issue of Literacy Today featuring all 30 honorees, visit www.literacyworldwide.org/30under30.