If this message is not displaying properly, click here to launch your browser.
Literacy Coalition News
July/August 2010


Allyn Foundation Awards $10,000 to Imagination Library

The Allyn FoundationJoining a growing list of partners, the Allyn Foundation has awarded the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County $10,000 to support Imagination Library - the centerpiece of a broader community literacy plan that is targeted and measurable. With a focus on the importance of regular reading to children as a means to develop skills needed to enter kindergarten ready to learn, our efforts also seek to fully involve the parents - a child's first and most important teacher.

Four-year old, Kumar Stewart of Birmingham, Alabama, receives the 25th millionth Imagination Library Book.

Children from birth until their fifth birthday, in the NYS designated North Literacy Zone (zip codes 13203 & 13208), are mailed a new, age-appropriate book each month to their homes. After only a few months, we already have 507 children enrolled with over 40% of referrals from St. Joe's Hospital - that's way ahead of projections!

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched this program in her hometown county in East Tennessee. Including Syracuse, New York, it's now in over 1200 communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Another milestone was also marked as the 25 millionth book was recently presented. Locally, with the support of the Central New York Community Foundation, the United Way's Success By Six, Clear Channels, ProLiteracy, St. Joe's Hospital and many others, plans are to sustain and expand this exciting program to the NYS designated West Literacy Zone (zip code 13204), then to other areas of the City and, ultimately, the entire County.

We need your help too! Donate today and make a difference in the life of a child. To learn more about our Imagination Library project go to www.onliteracy.org or call 428-8129.

Literacy as Lifeblood: Scaling walls on the Near West Initiative

By Sean Kirst, The Post Standard (Friday, August 20, 2010)

For Ruth Colvin, Thursday's event was a way to close the circle. She sat on an outdoor stage at Skiddy Park, where speaker after speaker praised her lifetime mission. When state Sen. John DeFrancisco described her as "royalty," hundreds burst into applause. They were part of the celebration as ProLiteracy, a global organization that Colvin helped to found, announced its impending shift from Jamesville Avenue to the Near West Side.

David Harvey, chief executive officer of ProLiteracy, celebrates at Skiddy Park Thursday with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. ProLiteracy officially announced that it will move its headquarters to the Near West Side.

The move was engineered by David Harvey, chief executive officer of ProLiteracy, which teaches reading skills to adults in many countries. Harvey recalled taking a drive through Syracuse after arriving here three years ago from Washington D.C. He was startled by the way healthy city neighborhoods so abruptly descended into neglect and poverty. It was as if an invisible wall split the city, Harvey said, and it became increasingly clear to him that ProLiteracy had unfinished business in its hometown.

"We want to make a difference in this community," Harvey said. Read more »

Right to Literacy Scroll Goes to the White House

Modeled after the historic Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention in 1848, literacy advocates and community leaders convened last year at the Right to Literacy Convention in Buffalo, where they boldly stated that low literacy is more than a tragedy -- it is a fundamental injustice. Led by Literacy Powerline, they crafted the Declaration of Literacy and Justice for All, which puts forth specific commitments to improving literacy nationwide.

Since then, this scroll has travelled across the country to gather signatures of those dedicated to reduce illiteracy. The ultimate goal is to collect one million signatures before it's presented to President Obama in September. Both our County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and many others signed the scroll at the Near Westside Neighborhood Block Party celebrating ProLiteracy's move to the neighborhood.

Make your voice heard too and show your support for the right to literacy! Sign the scroll online at ProLiteracy's website.

Also check out these wonderful videos on YouTube made in support of the 1,000,000 for Literacy campaign:


Trivia Night at the Dino Children's Book Fest Meet Flossie Turner Lewis Economic Champions Luncheon Hollywood's Golden Age: An Evening of Glitz & GlamourSign the Declaration for the Right to Literacy Imagination Library Celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week Join Us on Facebook Literacy Tutor Training