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Literacy Coalition News
September 2010


RFP Released for $50,000 in Literacy Champion Grants

Central New York Community Foundation, Inc.Thanks to the support of the Central New York Community Foundation, an RFP has been announced by the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County to fund family literacy projects that further leverage the impact of Imagination Library. The Coalition will be awarding grants totaling $50,000.

Lindsey Shirtz, Case Manager from the Syracuse City School District's North Literacy Zone, helps enroll children in the Imagination Library program at our launch event at the White Branch Library.

Wonderful news of success is coming from our launch of Imagination Library, but we need to continue to build momentum and sustainability. Potential projects must align with the Coalition's mission and Literacy Outcome Indicators (#1) Increased number of incoming kindergarteners prepared for school and (#5) Increased number of children who read or are read to daily, and that target families in the Imagination Library program that reside in the North Literacy Zone zip codes of 13203 & 13208.

Please consider this opportunity to become one of our Literacy Champions! The deadline for grant application submission is October 15, 2010 at 4pm. To learn more, go to the grants section of our website at www.onliteracy.org for the instructions and application form.

Highlights of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week!

Congress had designated the week of September 13, 2010 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, supported by ProLiteracy and the National Coalition for Literacy. According to ProLiteracy, the literacy crisis in the U.S. costs the nation $60 billion a year in lost productivity, $73 billion in unnecessary health care expenses, and contributes to unemployment, crime, drug abuse, and homelessness.

"In the U.S., one out of seven adults has below-basic literacy skills," said David Harvey, President and CEO of ProLiteracy. "Making an investment in people's education goes a long way in creating a skilled workforce and we want to use this awareness week to sound the alarm about the growing American literacy crisis."

Linda Cleary, Executive Director, Children's Consortium; Virginia Carmody, Executive Director, Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County; Paula Meseroll, co-author of "Little Hot Mama-The Flossie Turner Lewis Story; Flossie Turner Lewis; and Lynn Redmond, PIRC (Parental Information Resource Centers) Parent Ambassador.

Our special guests of honor for the week were Flossie Turner Lewis and Paula Meseroll, co-authors of Little Hot Mama-The Flossie Turner Lewis Story. Flossie's inspirational journey to literacy and engaging personality deeply touched us all. She lived her life as a performer, a mother, and a woman who could not read or write until age 65. Flossie has lobbied Congress and addressed countless clubs and organizations in her drive to promote the importance of literacy.

One of their first appearances was on Dr. Rick Wright's radio show on POWER 106.9, then visits to ProLiteracy, talking with mothers from the Even Start Family Literacy Program at the Children's Consortium, also an interview on WAER that focused on Flossie's musical background and guests on the Jim Reith Show.

Amy Thorna, Literacy Coordinator at the Onondaga County Public Library welcomes everyone to the Central Library's event.

At the Central Library, they spoke to adult learners, instructors and community members in the Curtin Auditorium. There, our literacy zealot Ed Kochian read the joint proclamation by Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner declaring the week of September 13, 2010 Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. Sally Santangelo, from Rep. Dan Maffei's staff, read a proclamation from his office as well.

Over at the White Branch Library, patrons celebrated with "A Family Literacy Game Day" in lieu of playing games on the computer, parents and children were invited to come to the library to play word games like Scrabble, Boggle and Zingo.

The Newland Center's Executive Director, Linda Green and Board President, Harrison Williams, meet Flossie Turner Lewis and Paula Meseroll, also Director of Marketing and Communications at Syracuse University.

Flossie and Paula also spoke to several classes at Syracuse University, followed by an extraordinary recording by Flossie at the Belfer Archive. Their final stop was at a Literacy Week Picnic hosted by the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse and The Newland Center (formerly The Learning Place). During Flossie's closing remarks, she again reminded us that: "Literacy is the vehicle that moves the obstacles that block our potential." Read more »

A special thanks to Marsha Tait and Robyn Smith of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse for all their effort to make this week's events possible, and Chuck Wainwright for his photography.


Trivia Night at the Dino Children's Book Fest Raising a G-Rated Family in an X-Rated World Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series Economic Champions LuncheonFormation of First-Ever House Adult Literacy Caucus Imagination Library A Child's Right to Read: Global Literacy Campaign Join Us on Facebook Literacy Tutor Training