The organizations also honored Becky Zalesnik for her commitment to children's literacy. The award recognizes stand-out educators from across the country who have shown excellence in supporting their student’s literacy and learning, and have demonstrated meaningful impact implementing RIF programmatic efforts through Macy’s past funding.
Zalesnik was chosen based on her ambition to make reading fun, including dressing up as The Reading Astronaut. She’s also used books previously donated by RIF and Macy’s to create an outdoor reading center at the district’s Pre-K – Kindergarten STEAM garden which is outfitted with a weather station she helped build. In addition to the Educator Appreciation Award, Zalesnik received a $50 Macy’s gift card and an in-store styling session with Macy’s Personal Stylist, customized school supplies, a new book collection for the school’s library and 125 literacy kits (tote bag, three books, three bookplates and a bookmark) provided and assembled by local Macy’s colleagues. The kits were distributed to all H.M. Carroll Elementary School second graders by RIF’s President and CEO Alicia Levi and Macy’s colleagues during the ceremony.