Teacher Awards for Lifelong Readers & Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry - National Council of Teachers of English


  • 1 (one) $10,000 Penguin Random House and NCTE Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers grant award for use by the winning teacher, made payable to Awardee’s school.
  • 1 (one) $10,000 Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry designated for programs specifically centered around poetry, made payable to Awardee’s school.
  • $2,500 in Penguin Random House titles for Awardees’ respective schools.
  • Transportation, lodging, and conference registration for the two Awardees to attend the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention.
  • Select honorable mentions received Penguin Random House books for their classrooms.
  • Multimedia coverage of the winning teachers and schools via the Penguin Random House and NCTE websites, press releases, and newsletters.


These awards were available to full-time or part-time teachers in grades K-12 in the United States.

Criteria (must meet all or some)

  • Teachers who foster a passion and love of reading in students through programs and curricula that are innovative, original, and have measurable success. Innovative can be defined as, but not limited to, multimedia, interdisciplinary, or interactive.
  • Teachers who take risks in presenting books and literature or poetry to students in a unique way.
  • Teachers who are committed to reluctant readers and are visionary in their methods of reaching them.
  • Teachers who create distinctive programs and activities that support and promote a community of readers beyond the classroom, such as parents, community groups, and nonprofits.

Application Process

  • Closed


  • An evaluation committee of NCTE educators/members as well as selected Penguin Random House staff and authors reviewed all applications and determined the final award winners.
  • Official winners’ announcement and press release for 2019 were posted on Penguin Random House’s website and NCTE’s Awards page.