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Literacy Coalition News
March/April 2011


Challenge Grant Issued... and 100% of our Goal has been Reached!

The Central New York Community Foundation issued a challenge grant to the Literacy Coalition that they would match dollar-for-dollar all contributions received by us and up to $50,000 by March 31, 2011. We are thrilled to announce that we have reached 100% of our $50,000 match goal with cash donations and pledges from both organizations and individuals! Some of those leadership gifts include support from the following:

Thanks to all for the generous donations, enthusiastic support and, especially, the vote of confidence in our efforts!

"We're all pulling in the same direction," said Joel Delmonico, Chair of the Literacy Coalition and VP & Regional Manager for Clear Channel in Syracuse. "It's not all these separate literacy efforts. We are working together, and it's all about the kids and their futures." Read more

Family Literacy Events and Programs at White 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.

Dr. Seuss

Joanne Trask, the children's librarian at the White Branch Library, during our Read Across America Day celebration. Photo credit: Stephen Cannerelli, Post-Standard.

This year, the Literacy Coalition collaborated with White Branch Library, 763 Butternut Street, Syracuse, on a press event to celebrate the importance of regular reading to children as a means to develop the skills needed to enter kindergarten ready to learn. The annual event hopes to encourage all members of the community to read every day and, ultimately, improve literacy levels across the lifespan in Onondaga County.

Dr. Seuss

Jesse Campbell from SU's Literacy Corps joined us as the "Cat in the Hat" and cut the birthday cake with participating children. Photo credit: Chuck Wainwright, Wainwright Photo.

Thanks to all that helped make our event a great success, especially Renate Dunsmore, Branch Manager, and our celebrity readers: Bill Fisher, Deputy County Executive; Joel Delmonico, Clear Channel; David Harvey, ProLiteracy; Matthew Rayo, Syracuse Common Councilor; and Elizabeth Loftus, OCPL. Special thanks to Jesse Campbell "The Cat in the Hat" from SU Literacy Corps for joining us too!

Monthly "Animal ABC's" by the Rosamond Gifford Zoo Staff

Kids under age 5 and their parents have been invited by Rosamond Gifford Zoo staff to monthly "Animal ABC's" at the White Branch Library and McChesney Community Center for fun and exciting free programs focused on storybooks and animals. With music, reading stories, meeting a live animal up close and refreshments, "Animal ABC's" was developed in partnership with the Onondaga County Public Library and the City of Syracuse, Department of Parks and Recreation. The programming intends to promote family literacy and enhance the impact of the early children's reading program, Imagination Library.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Nathan Keefe, Director of Education, Rosamond Gifford Zoo, with "Max" a Red Lored Amazon parrot. April's theme was "Feathers, Beaks & Feet." Photo credit: Rosamond Gifford Zoo


Funded with the support of the Central New York Community Foundation, eight "Literacy Champion" grants were awarded funding, such as "Animal ABC's" which will continue monthly throughout 2011. There are more than 800 children enrolled in the Imagination Library program, said Virginia Carmody, Executive Director of Literacy Coalition. The program provides each child in the North Literacy Zone with one age-appropriate free book a month from birth until age 5. It was founded by country singer Dolly Parton.

More "Literacy Champion" projects are also now underway, including workshops by Child Care Solutions for child care providers; family literacy classes by Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse at the North Side Learning Center; bilingual story circles by InterFaith Works with refugee families; and the White Branch Library now has their two, new computer literacy stations for use by preschool children. Stay tuned for more exciting updates to come. Read More


National Coalition for Literacy Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series Duck Race Light a Candle Literacy Tutor Training WorkshopsFederal Budget Imagination Library Visions for Change Join Us on Facebook The Puck Hog US Conference on Adult Literacy

Syracuse University ProLiteracy America Le Moyne CenterState National Grid Clear Channel Cowley Associates, Inc.