The Bi-State Literacy Council provides awards each year to outstanding literacy volunteers and supporting agencies from throughout the six counties we serve. In addition to those awards for outstanding service, one volunteer or professional is chosen for his or her exemplary service to be awarded the Sr. Camille Clark Exemplary Service Award.
This award is named after Sr. Camille because she was Bi-State Literacy Council’s model for the type of person who deserves this award. The Council also provides a check for $100.00 to the literacy-related program of the award recipient’s choosing.
Sister Camille was known by several names but one used by Moline Dispatch / Rock Island Argus writer John Marx in an article he wrote seemed to fit very well. The article was entitled, “The Fun Nun.”
Rose Mary Frances Clark was born in Chicago on September 26, 1927. She was raised on the south side of Chicago and attended, and graduated from, The Academy of Our Lady High School in Chicago. In the fall of 1945 she enrolled at Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa, where she became a very active student. At the end of her sophomore year, she made the decision to enter the convent. On September 8, 1947, she entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary (CHM), professing vows on July 19, 1950. She received a BA degree from St. Ambrose / Marycrest College and an MA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Sister Camille was an elementary school principal and teacher. She also taught at the college level and was an addictions counselor. Sister Camille taught and was principal at St. Austin School in Minneapolis, MN. She taught in Ottumwa (St. Patrick) and Davenport, IA (St. Vincent) where she supervised student teachers for 15 years and also in Rock Island, IL (Jordan Schools). Sister was an addictions counselor and supervisor at various locations in East Moline and Aledo, IL for eight years, helping to establish both a women’s and men’s halfway house.
In her later years she taught GED classes at Black Hawk College and classes for the elderly in nursing homes. She prepared for all of these as thoroughly as she had prepared for the demonstration lessons for the Marycrest student teachers. In 2004, the Illinois Lambda State Organization recognized Sister Camille as an outstanding supporter of Literacy Programs. Sister Camille Clark served on the Bi-State Literacy Council Board for a number of years, and was a tireless fighter against illiteracy. This award honors others who embody her spirit and commitment, and have made unique contributions to their community in their dedication to literacy.