A special education teacher for more than 30 years at Lincoln Elementary School in Jamestown was recognized by the North Dakota Reading Association with its annual Celebrate Literacy Award on Sept. 30 at the NDRA "Herding All Readers" state conference in Fargo.

Rika Quittschreiber was selected by her peers due to her commitment to encouraging literacy within the school and community. She is the Prairie Reading Council recipient, one of six councils around North Dakota.

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"She provides wonderful support for our students and teachers and is a model professional for our school district," said Dina Laskowski, committee chair for the Celebrate Literacy Award.

Quittschreiber was honored in part for presenting at NDRA conferences and being a lead author in a study by the Prairie Reading Council, Laskowski said. She is a also supporter of fellow teachers' learning, she said.

"I feel very honored to be recognized in this manner," Quittschreiber said. "I started reading with the adventures of Dick, Jane, Sally and Spot. Now I enjoy sharing that love of reading with students and colleagues."

Sherry Schmidt, principal of Lincoln Elementary School, said Quittschreiber strongly believes in youth and has worked as a reading advocate for over 30 years in kindergarten through fifth grade. The award is from Quittschreiber's peers and is well deserved, as she has served the NDRA in a variety of capacities over the years and has helped Stutsman County in the process, she said.

"She (Quittschreiber) loves working with the kids and wants to help them read," Schmidt said.

The Celebrate Literacy Award recognizes organizations, institutions and individuals who have made significant literacy contributions at the local, state or provincial level, Laskowski said. The guidelines for recognition are direct teaching, organizing or promoting literacy, producing teaching materials or media for literacy programs, research or surveys for literacy, youth and special population literacy activities and informal literacy activities through social, cultural, economic or political programs.

NDRA President Tara Jordan said anyone may join and become a member of the organization. "This is not just an organization for teachers, but rather an organization for anyone to join who is in support of literacy for all," Jordan said. "We would love to have parents and community members join in our efforts."

Donations can also be made to support North Dakota Reading Association via its website at https://ndra.wildapricot.org.