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Literacy Coalition News
January/February 2011


Help us Build a Nation of Readers!

From coast to coast, more than 45 million readers, both young and old, are gearing up for the nation's largest reading celebration--the National Education Association's (NEA) Read Across America Day on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, March 2nd.

Dr. Seuss

At last year's celebration, from left, Ariannie Romano, 9, Adaycha Medina, 4, and Ivanescha Robles, 4, listen to the Dr. Seuss story, "Yertle the Turtle" at Mundy Branch Library. Photo credit: Gloria Wright, Post-Standard

Here in Onondaga County, parents, teachers, librarians, volunteers and elected officials are doing their part to deliver the very important reading message: Kids who read, and who are read to, do better in school and help build great schools.

The Literacy Coalition and the Onondaga County Public Library's White Branch Library will host a press event on Wednesday, March 2nd at 3:30 pm at the White Branch Library, 763 Butternut Street, Syracuse.

Bookmarks, stickers and hats will be given to the children that participate, and Dr. Seuss's Cat-in-the-Hat is scheduled to make a guest appearance too! The Literacy Coalition encourages everyone, schools, libraries and bookstores to organize local celebrations with the goal of increasing the number of children who read or are read to daily. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at info@onliteracy.org or 428-8129. Learn more

Geneva Hayden, Light a Candle for Literacy Founder, receives Peace Award

Geneva Hayden

Geneva Hayden teaches Jayla Mitchell, of Syracuse, about the Underground Railroad during an after-school study session at Beauchamp Library in Syracuse. Photo credit: Mike Greenlar, Post-Standard

Geneva Hayden has always taken the time to care for kids. Whether through reading to children in her afterschool library or giving free books instead of candy on Halloween, the grassroots organizer makes children a top priority.

"Helping our kids is helping our community," Hayden said. "If we teach, love, and support them, they can make that connection."

It's this commitment to youth education that has earned Hayden the 2010 Peace Award, an annual award given to local residents who strive to make their community a better place. Read More

Partnering for Literacy -- Groups to Promote Family Literacy

The Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County recently announced $50,000 would be awarded in grants to eight programs that promote literacy in families in North Side of Syracuse. The money comes from of the Central New York Community Foundation and will enhance the impact of the children's reading program, Imagination Library.

There are more than 700 children in Onondaga County enrolled in the Imagination Library program, said Virginia Carmody, executive director of Literacy Coalition. The program provides each child with one age-appropriate free book a month. It was founded by country singer Dolly Parton.

Asli Daat

Asli Daat, of Somalia, follows along with English as a Second Language teacher Maria Zapf as she reads "The Little Engine That Could" in an adult English class at the North Side Learning Center, 808 N. McBride St. The center was recently awarded a $9,000 grant. Photo credit: Mike Greenlar, Post-Standard

Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse teamed up with the North Side Learning Center to secure a $9,000 grant. The money will be used to help refugee parents read the Imagination Library books to their children.

The Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse help adults 16 and older with their literacy and English language skills through the help of volunteer tutors, Marsha Tait, the executive director said. They partnered with the North Side Learning Center for the grant.

"We teach family literacy and English skills to newly arrived refugees," said Yusuf Soule, director of the North Side Learning Center. Read More.


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