Kreilkamp named winner of 2012 Social Innovation Prize

Marlene Doerr Kreilkamp, Executive Director of Milwaukee-based SHARP Literacy, Inc., has been recognized with the 2012 Social Innovation Prize in Wisconsin for her creative efforts in improving students’ reading skills throughout Milwaukee schools.

Doerr Kreilkamp’s nonprofit uses visual arts to engage students in learning and develop their reading, writing and vocabulary strengths.
She established SHARP Literacy 16 years ago at age 50 while working as a docent at the Milwaukee Art Museum. With a sincere belief in the potential of art to drive student achievement, Doerr Kreilkamp teamed up with Milwaukee educators to structure an art and art history program in line with Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and one that would help build on students’ study of science, math, history and ecology.
SHARP Literacy’s education efforts support routine student tours of the Milwaukee Art Museum and provide students books and supplementary education materials.
The education program also publishes a series of books titled “We Love to Learn” that compile both prose pieces and artwork of students in grades five through nine.
The organization has helped more than 70,000 at-risk students and currently serves 32 schools in Milwaukee afflicted by low performance rates and truancy.
The Social Innovation Prize in Wisconsin awards individuals over the age of 50 who leverage their talents to find solutions to social problems locally, regionally or nationally. The award also includes a $5,000 investment in the recipient and an additional $5,000 to be contributed to the award winner’s organization of choice.
Doerr Kreilkamp will be honored for her impact on Milwaukee students at an awards ceremony Thursday, Nov. 15.

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