Olympia’s CIELO wins Library of Congress State Literacy Award

cielo sewing project
CIELO Project programs help immigrants from many different countries gain their footing in an unfamiliar culture.

Submitted by the Secretary of State

CIELO, a nonprofit organization in Olympia that provides literacy support and resources to immigrant and refugee communities in the South Sound, recently received a Library of Congress State Literacy Award for their contributions to the promotion of literacy and reading in the state. The organization was nominated by the Washington Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and a partnership between The Seattle Public Library (SPL) and the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

“I enthusiastically applaud all of the staff and the more than 150 volunteers at CIELO for receiving this well-deserved award,” said Cindy Aden, Washington State Librarian. “CIELO is a bright light in the community, and is the only source for comprehensive all-ages literacy in the entire South Sound region. Even more remarkable is there holistic approach to service, creating strong community bonds and addressing other critical needs for individuals and families.”

CIELO offers free English-language learner, adult basic education, General Education Development prep, sewing, and certified computer courses. During adult classes, preschool activities for ages 3 through 5 and Homework Club for ages 6 through 17 are provided. Beyond literacy and education courses, CIELO also offers free mental health and crime victim advocate services.

“We at CIELO are elated and humbled to be one of the ten national recipients of the Library of Congress Literacy Award! The innovative use of dedicated volunteers multiplied the impact and made the education programs possible,” said Dianna Torres Angulo, outreach coordinator for CIELO. “This really is a testament to what can be accomplished when a community comes together.”

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program honors nonprofit organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States or abroad. Only 10 organizations will be awarded nationwide in 2020. Since 2013, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program has awarded $1.9 million in prizes to 120 institutions in 35 countries.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

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