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You’re Never too Old to Learn: Alferd Williams Literacy Award

At one time or another, have you wanted to fulfill a dream – earn a degree, run a marathon, visit a distant land – but the thought, “I’m too old,” creeps into your mind?

Well, let me introduce you to Alferd Williams, who will teach you that you are never too old to live your dream.

In 2008, Alferd embarked on a journey to fulfill a lifelong dream to learn how to read.

As the son of sharecroppers, Alferd wasn’t afforded the opportunities that so many of us were as children. At a young age, he worked to help support his family while children his own age were attending school. Determined to keep a promise to his mother, Alferd “enrolled” in Alesia Hamilton’s first-grade class at Edison Elementary School in St. Joseph, Missouri at the age of 70.

One day last year, while researching potential honorees for a literacy award presented by the Toys for Tots Literacy Program (The UPS Store network is the program’s sponsor), we came across Alferd and Alesia.

Once we heard Alferd’s inspiring story, not only did we select him as the first recipient of the award (Aleisia was a co-honoree) but also felt it was appropriate to name the award after him. In order to fully understand Alferd’s commitment and passion to learning and reading, watch the video from last year’s award presentation to witness firsthand Alferd’s remarkable journey toward literacy.

If you know someone like Alferd who has made a difference in the lives of others by doing one or more of the following, consider nominating him or her for the 2010 Alferd Williams Literacy Award:

  • Raised awareness of the issue of childhood illiteracy
  • Inspired a love of reading among children whose lives are touched by poverty
  • Created and/or advanced programs that improve reading skills for at-risk children
  • Demonstrated a commitment to ending illiteracy in our nation’s youth

For more information on the Toys for Tots Literacy Program and the Alferd Williams Literacy Award, including the nomination form, official rules and prizes, please visit toysfortotsliteracy.org. Nominations are open through May 31.

To support the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, donate at participating The UPS Store locations or online at www.toysfortotsliteracy.org.

And the next time you say to yourself “I’m too old to do that,” remember Alferd and all that he has accomplished.

Category: Caring for Communities
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    Comments [3]

  1. Is it supposed to say, you are never “too” old to learn?
    Sound like the Bush sound byte, “how is our children
    learning.”

  2. It’s hard to take a blog post about learning seriously
    when you spell ‘too’ wrong in the title of the post. :-(

  3. Loke 04 and Jacob — thanks for catching my “oops.” Certainly ironic given the topic :-
    ). It’s been fixed. Hope you found Alferd’s story inspirational.

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