Sparklight Awards $1,000 to Ontario resident building A Stronger Connection in her community

Sparklight® recently awarded $1,000 to Ontario resident Sherri Hironaka for making a difference in her community as part of the internet service provider’s “A Stronger Connection” social media campaign.

“Sherri is not afraid to ask anyone for time, money, or talent for projects that benefit children,” wrote Kelly Poe, who submitted the nomination. “Her passion for serving children in some of the highest poverty areas in the country shows through her community events.”

Hironaka established a reading intervention program at a local school and using her connections to the Friends of the Library, she also helped set up and maintains a local Dolly Parton Imagination Library affiliate where all local children from birth to their fifth birthday can receive a new book in the mail every month. More than 800 children currently participate in the program.

I spent over 30 years in public education as a teacher, academic coach, administrator and consultant, mostly in low socio-economic schools, and have a deep-seeded belief that literacy is the key to overcoming poverty,” said Hironaka. “When I retired, I knew I couldn’t retire from the community. My hope was to find ways to make significant contributions toward community literacy while maintaining a balanced and joyful life, which I have found in all that I do for Ontario.”  

Hironaka said her greatest joy has come from the annual Storytime kindergarten project and with the Dolly Parton Imaginary Library program. For that reason she will donate the $1,000 award from Sparklight to support the Dolly Parton Imaginary Library program in Malheur and Payette counties.

“It’s inspiring to see what Sherri is doing in our Ontario community to advocate for literacy programs in the schools and areas that need it most,” said Cheryl Goettsche, Sparklight Sr. General Manager. “We’re honored to recognize her for building strong connections in different organizations to ensure her efforts benefits children throughout Ontario.”

Individuals throughout the 21 states Sparklight serves were nominated by fellow community members who shared how the nominee works to build connections in their community.

Sparklight awarded $1,000 each to 12 individuals through its “A Stronger Connection” social media campaign. Winning individuals are highlighted on Sparklight’s social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram.