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Literacy Coalition News
April 2010

Literacy Volunteers Urges Lawmakers: Don't "Close the Book" on Literacy!

Marsha L. Tait, Interim Executive Director, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse

As they are working to close New York State's deficit for FY 2010-2011, Governor Paterson and state lawmakers are considering a 32% cut to community based literacy programs, including funding for Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse.

"More than 20% of New Yorkers and at least 24% of adults in Syracuse do not have basic literacy skills. The current poverty rate is nearly 31%. The economic climate is forcing adults in our community to learn new skills and seek job training, and we have seen an increased demand for our services. This is the wrong time to cut funding for local literacy programs!" said Marsha L. Tait, Interim Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse. Learn more »

Marsha is also Public Policy Committee Chair of the National Coalition for Literacy, advocating for public policies that support adult learners, their Advocacy Clearinghouse and Toolkit is a great resource too. Learn more »

The love of books is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child!

One of the most effective approaches to develop strong literacy skills for a child is to inspire the love of reading and learning at an early age. As a result, the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County is launching an initiative in the City of Syracuse of highly concentrated and collaborative services, and using Imagination Library as the lynchpin to hold it all together. This Imagination Library program, which operates in over 1000 communities throughout the US, UK and Canada, not only provides books to children but also establishes a central data system through which collaborating partners will strategize and mark their progress toward shared outcomes together. Specifically, a new age-appropriate book will be sent monthly to enrolled children ages birth to 5 in targeted zip code areas.

The project will serve families in the initial zip code target areas of 13203 and 13208 in the Syracuse City School District's North Literacy Zone, with plans to add zip code 13204 from the West Side Literacy Zone as funds permit. In addition to the Dollywood Foundation, our project sponsors include the United Way's Success By 6, the Central New York Community Foundation, Le Moyne College, St. Joseph's Hospital and a growing list of organizations and agencies to register kids into the program. Whatever dollar is spent will be returned in terms of children entering kindergarten ready to learn and having higher rates of success in school. Learn more »

An Idea Born in Syracuse - The International Tolkien Reading Day

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

International Tolkien Reading Day was celebrated locally at the Westcott Community Center. It was a gathering hosted by John Mariani and Sean Kirst of The Post-Standard. Kirst, a Post-Standard columnist, is credited by the International Tolkien Society with suggesting the idea for the first worldwide reading day, held in 2002. Learn more »


Literacy Powerline Summer Adventures in LearningLiteracy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse If you have a literacy event that you would like listed, please contact us at info@onliteracy.org or 428-8129. Thanks! The Great OCPL Read Aloud!OCM BOCES/CNYRIC ConferenceGifford Lecture SeriesCNY ReadsReject the Governor's Proposed Cuts to Adult Education contact Kim Ask Congress to Increase Funding for Adult Education Literacy Powerline