Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award is named in honor of the late Jan Jones who served the Foundation since 1998. Jan joined the Board of Directors in 2006 and served as the Vice President of Awards and Recognition. Jan was a tireless advocate for excellence in local education. She led a successful career in education where her numerous accomplishments resulted in tangible progress for our community’s children. She was a mentor to many educators and community activists. When something needed to be done, Jan Jones did not wait in hope for someone else to do it; she lived the realization that she was that someone while inspiring others to do the same.

Each year the Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award will be presented to an individual, couple, organization, or business for demonstrating a deep commitment to Excellence in Education in Winnebago and/or Boone County through volunteerism. 

This year we congratulate Meg Hodge, the 2015 Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service Award recipient!

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Meg Hodge founded Andy’s Books for Kids in 2007 to bring about positive change in remembrance of her late son Andy whose favorite pastime was reading. In his memory, Andy’s Books provides books for children who do not have the same access to them that he did. Meg serves officially as the executive director although she does it all for this organization that employs no staff.

She is responsible for the donation of books to thousands of children in areas with low literacy levels. Studies have indicated that the only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. Andy’s Books for Kids has completed numerous projects resulting in thousands of books in the hands of thousands of kids and teens. A number of these projects have included community building and/or mentoring resulting from her skill at collaboration with area organizations.

It is remarkable to see something so profoundly impactful, yet simple, grow out of one woman’s love for her late son. In his memory, thousands of our community’s children have been introduced to a love of reading and a better shot at equality through literacy.

Meg Hodge will be recognized for her service to education at the 19th Annual Excellence in Education Banquet on May 1, 2015 where she will receive an award designed by the late Jim Barbagallo. 

Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in our community.