Literacy Hero Award 2014 Winner – Sally Hale




Each and every day, ordinary people do extraordinary things to promote literacy in our communities. With these awards, we celebrate the selfless acts of regional heroes who champion the cause of literacy in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.




Sally Hale is a passionate literacy advocate who spent 28 years in public education as a classroom teacher, mentor teacher, curriculum consultant, and staff development leader. Since her retirement, Sally has filled many important roles in local schools and nonprofit programs.

Through her involvement in Great Valley Writing Project at California State University Stanislaus, Sally organizes professional development events to help classroom teachers increase their knowledge, and she shares instructional resources to help teachers plan more effective lessons.

She voluntarily provides one-on-one coaching to help teachers improve reading and writing instruction in their classrooms. Last year, Sally made weekly visits to a sixth grade Manteca classroom, bringing in novels and supplementary materials to lead student literature groups. According to teacher Michelle Dow, “Sally took my students on a new kind of reading journey that improved attitudes and inspired them. During this time, I observed, participated, and received many great ideas for addressing the new standards through literature groups. Sally’s ongoing collaboration has renewed my passion in the classroom, and that energy transfers to my students.”

At Sequoia Elementary in Manteca, Sally helped create and enrich an after-school literacy program to help students master English as their second language. Working with other teachers, she helped these young “Tiger Writers” write and publish an award-winning book.

Sally provides additional learning opportunities for regional youth through GVWP Writing & Technology Workshops, a series of summer writing programs for K-12 students. “Without Sally’s help and leadership, workshops that served dozens of children wouldn’t have left the drawing board,” says co-coordinator Melissa King. “Sally took over some of the most difficult administrative tasks, and she encouraged us to tackle bigger challenges than we would ever have tried alone.”

She contributes many hours to the Escalon Public Library; she also volunteers at the Escalon Historical Society, where she has arranged classroom presentations and field trips for local students.

As a founding member of Great Valley Bookfest, Sally helped establish Bookfest collaborations with public libraries. She organizes many important Bookfest activities, including workshops for teachers, programs for aspiring writers, and recognition for student authors.

Sally’s countless hours of volunteer work have created unique learning opportunities for children, teachers, and adult citizens in south San Joaquin county. She exemplifies the spirit of a Literacy Hero, and we are proud to be able to honor her with this award.

To contact Sally Hale, send an email to