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Valerie Koehler

November 6, 2008

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."

{Emilie Buchwald}

In conjunction with National Family Literacy Day, Literacy Advance honored Valerie Koehler, owner of Blue Willow Bookshop and family literacy enthusiast, as the 14th Champions of Literacy recipient on Thursday, November 6, 2008. The Honorable Jim Murphy, Texas State Representative, District 133, served as emcee for the event.

"Valerie became an obvious choice... she is passionate about family literacy," stated Jane Holston, Executive Director of Literacy Advance.

Koehler has owned Blue Willow Bookshop for a dozen years. One of a handful of remaining independent bookstores in Houston, Blue Willow has become a neighborhood institution on the city's west side.

The Champions of Literacy Series event included a buffet luncheon and silent auction at Lakeside Country Club. All those in attendance received a free book courtesy of Bright Sky Press. Joining Valerie as guest speakers were tutor Kay Bergen and student and tutor Sahar Kadoura.

Event sponsors included: BMC Software, LyondellBasell, Kinkaid School, E2Specialty, Page Turners, Barnes Mills Family, Charlie Rhoads, McFarland Grossman, Read It Or Not, Sarah's Florist, Memorial Grill, Bright Sky Press, Innovative Images, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Beth Anderson, Anthony's PoBoys & Deli, Bella Jewelers, Blue Willow Bookshop, Bradley's Art & Frame, Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood, Larry Dierker, Becky Finch, Grateful Images, Judy McFarland, Michael Kleins Jewelers, Sonia Miller, Office Effects, Edna Sadhat, Marjan Safatzadeh, Spa du Village, Jim Wells, Whataburger and Whole Foods Market.

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