Education Champion, Brent Cooper, Wins Literacy Award

KCPL board with BCBrent Cooper, president/owner of C-Forward, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Kenton County Public Library Foundation’s Mary Ann Mongan Literacy Award. The award is given to an individual or organization that has shown outstanding service in literacy in Northern Kentucky.

Click here to see the award video.

Cooper sits on several boards including Gateway Community and Technical College Board of Directors, the NKY Education Council Board, the Covington Partners in Prevention Board and is immediate past chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. His company C-Forward, an information technology services company with locations in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and Columbus, Ohio, has also been the recipient of several awards including the Excellence Award and Community Involvement Award from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and has been named as one of the area’s “Emerging 30” companies on four occasions.

He was nominated by the award by Dale Silver who stated, “I can think of no one who deserves this award more than Brent Cooper. Brent has been extremely active over the years. In addition to the many boards he serves on, he is current co-chair of the Greater Cincinnati early childhood reading campaign “Read On!” As last year’s chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Brent led a number of efforts to encourage businesses to engage with the education sector. He is also very involved in the Chamber’s BEST (Business Education Success Teams) program and serves as a mentor to a middle school student. Additionally C-Forward is a BEST partner with James E. Bigg preschool. The C-Forward staff regularly donate time, clothes, toys and books to the school. Brent is passionate about supporting education efforts in Northern Kentucky.”

When Library Director Dave Schroeder contacted Cooper about receiving the award he stated how honored he was. “ I’ve been passionate about improving education in Northern Kentucky for some time now because I believe it is the single best way to improve our economy and get us the workforce we need for the future,” stated Cooper.  “Research shows, getting kids to read by the third grade is a critical.  I strongly support programs like United Way’s Success by Six and organizations like James E Biggs pre-school in Covington, who work hard every day to get our kids prepared for kindergarten.”

Cooper goes on to state that the community overall plays a big role in the advancement of education. “I’m proud to be a part of organizations like Covington partners, the STRIVE Partnership, the NKY Chamber and the NKY Education Council.  These organizations connect kids with mentors and tutors, get them the wrap around services they need, and focus on Education initiatives that have the greatest impact.  The work these organizations are doing is critical to education and to our long term economic vitality.  I am grateful to the Kenton County Library not only for this recognition, but for the work they do every day to improve the lives of our kids, families and businesses.  Together, we can make a difference and improve early childhood literacy in our community.”

The Mary Ann Mongan Literacy Award was created in honor of Mary Ann Mongan. Ms. Mongan was the original executive director for the Kenton County Public Library district. She started her library career in 1958 as the manager of the Covington Library. When the Kenton County Public Library District was formed in 1967, Ms. Mongan was selected as the director. Ms. Mongan retired from this position after 41 years of service. Her dedication to literacy and libraries made her an inspiration for this award which was created in her honor in 2009.

Former recipients of the Mary Ann Mongan Literacy Award are state librarian Wayne Onkst, Kenton County School District’s Sara Callahan and HealthPoint Family Services.  Cooper will receive his award at the Covington Business Council’s monthly luncheon on Thursday, January 24.