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Literacy Coalition News
March 2010

State of the County Address on Read Across America Day!

Joanie Mahoney

Onondaga County Executive
Joanne M. Mahoney

Excerpts from County Executive Joanie Mahoney's State of the County Address on March 2 at Onondaga Community College: With my commitment to keeping a focus on literacy, I was pleased to learn that this year's State of the County address also happens to be "Read Across America Day."

There are few activities more important than reading to a child and our literacy efforts are paying off. The Literacy Coalition is well established with 2 Literacy Zones, the Imagination Library is about to take off, and our partnership with Say Yes to Education will serve as the catalyst for increasing graduation rates and making it possible for more youth to attend college. As I have said so many times in so many ways, "If we invest in our children now, it will pay dividends long into the future."

Schools and Libraries Across CNY Celebrate Read Across America Day Too...

 Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat joins children from the Reader's Theater Program at Mundy Branch Library.

The National Education Association's Read Across America Day is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.

In conjunction with many schools and libraries, the Literacy Coalition and the Mundy Branch Library held an event highlighted by a performance of Dr. Seuss's Yertle the Turtle, given by their Guest Stars, a Reader's Theater Program in which children ages 6-11 give performance readings. Bookmarks, stickers, balloons and hats were available for all the children, with Dr. Seuss's Cat-in-the-Hat making a special guest appearance.

An important aspect of the Literacy Coalition's campaign is an Early Childhood Literacy Infusion Strategy, which encourages parents of children ages zero through five to make reading a priority for their families. These events hope to encourage members of the community, children and adults, to read with the goal of increasing the number of children who read or are read to daily. "Oh the places you will go," when you read!

Joel Delmonico

Joel Delmonico, Clear Channel VP & Literacy Coalition Chair; Virginia Carmody, Literacy Coalition Executive Director; Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat; Jane Fahey-Suddaby, OCPL Board of Trustees President; and Janet Park, Mundy Branch Manager.

Prominent Speakers and Advocates at COABE/ProLiteracy Conference in Chicago

More than 1500 attended the first-ever joint national conference, "Coming Together in Chicago," March 16–19 at the Chicago Hilton. Education experts; political leaders, including representatives from the Obama administration, literacy coalitions and adult learners convened to discuss strategies to address funding shortages, increase collaborations and share best practices as the demand for services and support continues to increase across the country. An estimated one in seven American adults lacks basic literacy skills, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy.

The prestigious lineup of national speakers included:

  • Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of the Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Byron Pitts, Chief National Correspondent for the CBS Evening News, "60 Minutes" contributor, author and champion of personal literacy struggles
  • Scott Simon, NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host, author and adult literacy advocate
  • David Harvey, President and CEO, ProLiteracy

"This inaugural joint conference marks a historic milestone in adult education, when we bring together top political and industry advocates to try to open America's eyes to the crisis of adult literacy, which affects 32 million adults and their families," said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy.

Also presenting at the conference were Virginia Carmody, Literacy Coalition Executive Director; Frank Ridzi, Program Officer, Central New York Community Foundation; and Gail Tauber, Literacy Liaison, Adult and Continuing Education, Syracuse City School District.

Step Out On NothingParticularly moving were the remarks of conference closing speaker, 60 Minutes Correspondent, Byron Pitts. In his recently published memoir Step Out on Nothing, Pitts chronicles his astonishing story of overcoming illiteracy and stuttering. His triumphant and uplifting story resonates with anyone who has felt like giving up in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardships.

Thank you COABE/ProLiteracy for a most worthwhile and informative conference in the Windy City!


Precious ProLiteracy’s National Book FundChildren’s Consortium Ready, Set, ParentConnect2WorkJobs plusOCPL’s National Library Week- Community Quest!Gifford Lecture SeriesCNY Reads 4th Annual Essay & Poetry Contest Presentation ProLiteracy Conference SAdvocacy Clearinghouse toolkit