Literacy Project’s outgoing executive director honored by statewide coalition

  • Judith Roberts, outgoing executive director of The Literacy Project, has been recognized by a statewide coalition of educators and adult students. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ


Staff Writer
Published: 6/20/2023 12:33:00 PM

GREENFIELD — Judith Roberts, outgoing executive director of The Literacy Project, has been recognized by a statewide coalition of educators and adult students.

“I was really thrilled,” Roberts said of receiving the Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Education’s Outstanding Educator Award. “I feel like I’m always going to think of this as the most rewarding work I’ve ever done in my more than 50 years of work life.”

The award comes as Roberts, who was nominated by her staff, prepares to retire at the end of this month after 16 years as The Literacy Project’s executive director. She previously worked for the Care Center in Holyoke and the Center for New Americans in Northampton

“They make The Literacy Project the success that it is,” she said of her staff. “It’s our incredible teachers and advisors and students — they’re responsible for the success.”

The Literacy Project offers free adult basic education classes at its five locations in Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, Orange and Ware. More than 200 students ages 16 and older study with The Literacy Project each year to complete their high school education and prepare for college and careers. Having earned their HiSET (High School Equivalency Test), 18 graduates of The Literacy Project were celebrated earlier this month.

The Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Education (MCAE), which gives out the Outstanding Educator Award, is a statewide organization dedicated to championing the right of all adults to acquire 21st-century literacy, English language and numeracy skills to build economic prosperity, support their families and create vibrant communities. According to MCAE, the award recognizes an individual’s “exemplary achievements and commitment to lifelong learning.” The organization mentioned that, as an adult learner herself, Roberts “embodies the hard work that adult students do every day to transform their lives through education.”

“I went to school late in life and graduated from college when I was 50 years old,” Roberts said previously. “It had a very transformative effect on me. … I’m standing here holding the door open, and it’s been very rewarding.”

For Roberts, learning is indeed a lifelong process.

“At The Literacy Project, we all learn together,” she said. “I have learned so much from our dedicated teachers and our courageous adult students. It is the most rewarding work I have ever done.”

Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, also recently presented Roberts with a citation from the state Senate “in recognition of more than 16 years of leadership, dedication to and excellence in the field of adult education.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.


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