Awards & Grants


IACEA – The Voice of Adult Education in Illinois values the adult education and literacy practitioners in this state.  We affirm their dedication, their hard work, and the heart they have for the people they serve.

We also recognize the strength and perseverance of our adult learners.  It is a highlight of our annual conference to demonstrate our appreciation by honoring those who have been selected through our nominations process at the Awards Luncheon.  Each year we spotlight an administrator, an instructor, a support services staff member, and an adult learner.

If there is someone with whom you work who every day does the ten things that are needed and then one more.  There are adult education students whose accomplishments exceed everyday expectations.  Please consider placing their names before the Awards Committee for consideration.



The Davidson Memorial Fund is named for David and Mary Helen Davidson, two adult education practitioners in Illinois.  Mary Helen taught at the Eldorado Adult Center and the Lawrence Adult Education Center.  She served as President of IACEA.  David was in the adult education section of the Illinois State Board of Education.  He served as the coordinator of the Work Incentive Program (WIN).  After their untimely deaths in 1983, IACEA sought contributions for a memorial fund to honor the couple.

Originally the  Venture Grant was created from those contributions.  In later years, the Davidson Memorial Scholarship and most recently the COABE National Conference Grant were incorporated into the Davidson Memorial.  When Will Leinicke lost his courageous battle with cancer in December of 2004, his wife, Kris, and son, Sam, generously named IACEA as his memorial, knowing how important the association and the enterprise of adult education was to him.  In appreciation of Will’s service to the field and the contributions to the association, the IACEA board voted to rename the Venture Grant the Will Leinicke Memorial Grant and to add his memorial contributions to the fund.  Currently the Davidson Memorial is the umbrella for IACEA’s two grants – the Will Leinicke Memorial Grant and the COABE Grant and one scholarship –the Davidson Memorial Scholarship – all of which are available to our members.