Recognition & Awards

February, 2021: UW LRCC Announces Recipient of 2020 Carol Mead Leaders in Literacy Award

John Jorgensen, of Casper, founder of the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and Wyoming Reads Program, is the recipient of the 2020 Carol Mead Leaders in Literacy Award by the University of Wyoming Literacy Research Center and Clinic’s (LRCC) Outreach Advisory Board.

Jorgensen has demonstrated a passion for promoting literacy not only in Natrona County, but also across Wyoming and outside the state. Each year, the program gives the state’s first graders the opportunity to choose one of six hardcover books free to take home. Nearly 7,500 Wyoming first graders received a book in 2019, and the program has grown to include other states, including Oregon and Minnesota.

LRCC Outreach Advisory Board Co-Chair Judy Catchpole and Sen. Jeff Wasserburger will present the award to Jorgensen May 18. Jorgensen will receive a plaque and $4,000 to continue his efforts to improve literacy across the state. He was nominated for the award by the executive director of the Natrona County Library, Lisa Scroggins.

“The Wyoming Reads program ensures that every student in Wyoming has access to books that can be read to them or that they can read themselves,” says LRCC Executive Director Dana Robertson. “This exposure is fundamental to students having a hopeful and positive spiral of experiences with literacy that leads them to more reading, greater academic achievement and personal fulfillment in their lives.”

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April, 2020: Wyoming Reads Recognized with National Award for Literacy

John Jorgensen and Wyoming Reads have been awarded the Library of Congress State Literacy Award, along with 9 other recipients from across the country. The Library of Congress State Literacy Awards Program recognizes organizations or programs that have made outstanding contributions to promoting literacy and/or reading in a state or local community.

The Learning and Innovation Office, a division of the Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement at the Library of Congress, announced the winners of the 2020 State Literacy Awards last month. Wyoming Reads, which was nominated by the Wyoming Center for the Book out of Cheyenne, will receive an award of $2,225 to put towards literacy efforts for our state’s first graders.

The Library of Congress State Literacy Awards Program is made possible through the generous support of David M. Rubenstein. To see the complete list of this year’s winners, visit

August, 2019: Wyoming Reads Recognized by AASL for Impact

Congratulations to John Jorgensen and the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation! The Foundation was recently recognized by the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) for the impact Wyoming Reads has had on the children of Wyoming.

In memory of his late wife, John created the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation in 1996 “to benefit libraries and advance the cause of childhood literacy.” The Foundation later narrowed to a singular focus – Wyoming Reads.

For the past 20+ years, Wyoming Reads has supported early literacy by creating a reading celebration during which 1st graders are each given a beautiful hard-back book they can keep and use to start their at-home libraries.

Jorgensen’s passion for promoting a love a reading is contagious, and he has been instrumental in helping others replicate the program several other states.

AASL is a subgroup of the national American Library Association, and is selective in choosing honorees. Mr. Jorgensen is one of approximately 12 national honorees this year. (Quite impressive!)

Thank you Mr. Jorgensen for caring about our kids!

john jorgenson