The Miss Rumphius Award

The Miss Rumphius Award was presented by members of the RTEACHER listserv to educators who developed and shared exceptional Internet resources for literacy and learning. It honored teachers who make our world a more beautiful place, like the title character in the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. Although we are no longer accepting nominations for this award, you can view a list of past award winners and links to their projects here.


In Barbara Cooney’s story, Miss Rumphius travels the world, accumulating many adventures. Eventually, however, she returns to her home by the sea and discovers a way to make the world a better place by planting lupines, beautiful wildflowers, wherever she goes. The story illustrates how a committed individual can envision a better world and then act on that vision, transforming all of our lives. The award follows an article in The Reading Teacher and "reprinted" in Reading Online that explores “The Miss Rumphius Effect,” a phenomenon taking place on the Internet as teachers enact new visions for literacy and learning through the curriculum they create and share with others.

The Miss Rumphius Award is presented by members of the RTEACHER listserv, a mailing list of literacy educators run interested in issues affecting learners aged 4 to 12. It goes to teachers who have developed exceptional curricular resources on the Internet and share these with others, making all of our instructional worlds better. Because Miss Rumphius scattered lupine seeds wherever she went, we use this flower as the symbol for our award. We thank Barbara Cooney for granting permission to use this name in our award!

Nomination and Selection

Members of the RTEACHER listserv nominate sites and post their nominations to the list. In order to receive a Miss Rumphius Award, at least two other members of the list must second the nomination. Nomination criteria include:
1. The site provides truly exceptional curricular resources for other teachers and/or students (K-12).
2. An educator has developed the site.
3. The site is not a commercial site.

Exceptional classroom or school Web pages may be included since these provide models for others to follow. After a site has been nominated and seconded by members of the RTEACHER list, a link and brief description will be added to the award page. Winners will receive an image of a lupine to place at their site, indicating they have received the Miss Rumphius Award.

To learn more about the Miss Rumphius Award winners and to link to their online resources, visit Denise Johnson's Miss Rumphius Research Site