The Janet L. Hoopes Legacy Award: Why We Still Honor Dr. Hoopes’ Contributions Today and a Call for Nominations for this Year’s Hoopes Award

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By Jessica McKee


April 13, 2023


Like myself, many of you may not have known Dr. Janet Hoopes, or know little about why the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association presents an award in her honor each year. Janet L. Hoopes was a dyslexia champion whose tenacity and vision influenced PBIDA’s creation and development. 

Dr. Hoopes was a Pennsylvania native, born and raised in Lansdowne, PA. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bryn Mawr College, a masters degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in education and child development from Bryn Mawr College. Janet held many prestigious positions during her lifetime, including Chief Psychologist at the Children’s Aid Society of Pennsylvania. Perhaps her most influential contributions to the dyslexic community were in her training and mentoring of psychologists at Bryn Mawr College over many years and in her participation in founding the Greater Philadelphia Branch of the Orton Society on May 22, 1979. She later aided the organization’s expansion as it eventually became the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. During her lifetime, Dr. Hoopes served as a tireless advocate and volunteer for PBIDA. She offered free dyslexia screenings to adults, planned conferences, and for nearly 20 years managed the office and trained office assistants, with her last trained assistant becoming the first office manager hired by PBIDA shortly before Janet passed away in 2002. 

Outside of her volunteer work with PBIDA, Janet led an amazing life. She served a crucial role in the development of PBIDA, her work as a founding board member of the Hill Top Preparatory School, and her creation of a graduate program in education focused on multisensory instruction at Penn State University’s Great Valley Campus. While Dr. Hoopes passed away in 2002, I was struck by the legacy she left behind. We are most fortunate to be a part of Dr. Hoopes’ rich history of service to those with learning disabilities and dyslexia, which is why we continue to honor her each year. For a more detailed history of Dr. Hoopes’ life, please visit our website and read the article Celebrating Janet L. Hoopes and 30 Years of PBIDA.

The 2023 Call for Nominations for the Janet L. Hoopes Legacy Award is now open. All current PBIDA members may nominate any individual or organization from Pennsylvania or Delaware that has made a significant contribution to those living with dyslexia or learning disabilities. Eligible nominees cannot be a current member of the PBIDA Board of Directors. Eligible individual nominees may include educators (i.e. teachers, tutors, school administrators, reading specialists, speech/language pathologists), researchers, psychologists, medical professionals, attorneys, advocates, an individual living with dyslexia, or another individual whose work aligns with PBIDA’s mission. Past award recipients (list available on our website) were individuals or organizations that upheld PBIDA’s mission statement to increase awareness about dyslexia, provide education and resources, and promote best practices for teaching reading based on scientific research. 

Please submit your nominations by June 15,  2023. Current PBIDA members may choose to nominate more than one individual or organization that meets the criteria for eligibility. Once submitted  you will be notified of the receipt of your nomination,  and someone from the Awards Committee may contact you for further information. We welcome the nomination of anyone who champions dyslexia through their career or philanthropic efforts, as Dr. Janet L. Hoopes did during her lifetime. 


Jessica McKee is the current President of the Board of Directors for PBIDA.

The Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association is pleased to present a forum for information to benefit its constituents. It is IDA’s policy to not recommend or endorse any specific program, product, institution, company, or instructional material, noting that there are a number of such that present the critical components of instruction as defined by IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. Any program, product, institution, company, or instructional material carrying the IDA Accredited seal meets the IDA Standards.