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Literacy Coalition News
March/April 2012



Literacy Coalition Exceeds 2012 Challenge Grant Goal!

The Central New York Community Foundation again this year issued a challenge grant to the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County (LCOC) that they would match dollar-for-dollar all contributions received by us and up to $50,000 by March 31, 2012. We are thrilled to announce that we have exceeded 100% of our $50,000 match goal with cash donations and pledges from both organizations and individuals!

According to John Eberle, Vice President, Grants & Community Initiatives, Central New York Community Foundation: "Literacy is everyone's concern...a worthy investment with many happy returns. The ability to read - to learn and grow - transforms and gives hope to people. It's an honor for the Community Foundation to work side-by-side with so many committed community partners who know and understand the impact literacy has on a child, a family, and a community."

Read Across America Day Celebrated at White Branch Library

Little Free Library

Our Le Moyne College Research Team: Drs. Monica Silvia, Sunita Singh & Frank Ridzi join the "Cat in the Hat" from SU Literacy Corps, Amanda Rockwell, on Read Across America Day 2012 at the White Branch Library. Photo by Ali A. Rehman.

The LCOC and OCPL's White Branch Library hosted a press event celebrating the National Education Association's Read Across America Day on Friday, March 2, 2012, at the White Branch Library, 763 Butternut Street, Syracuse, NY. The event had a Dr. Seuss theme, as Read Across America Day is celebrated in conjunction with the birthday of the beloved children's author and this year's celebration showcased Dr. Seuss' book, The Lorax, and environmental sustainability.

Also announced were the winners of our 2012 Literacy Champion Grants, through the support of the Central New York Community Foundation and the Sociological Initiatives Foundation, to provide family literacy programming for our Imagination Library families. Awards were made to the following: InterFaith Works; Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse with North Side Learning Center; Rosamond Gifford Zoo; Child Care Solutions; The Children's Consortium; White Branch Library; Open Hand Theater; and Reach Out & Read. The Literacy Coalition has now distributed over 20,000 books in the North Literacy Zone.

Little Free Library

Joel Delmonico, Regional Manager of Clear Channel and Chair of the LCOC and Virginia Carmody, LCOC Executive Director, join staff from the Children's Consortium, winners of one of our 2012 Literacy Champion Grants for their "Ready Set Go" workshops for parent and children. Photo by Ali A. Rehman.

Literacy Grants Aim to Prepare Preschoolers on Syracuse's North Side

By Maureen Nolan, The Post-Standard (April 14, 2012)

For the second year, the local literacy coalition has sprinkled $50,000 in grants across the North Side community, and today at a public library pre-school children were the beneficiaries of some of that money. Children and their families showed up at the White Branch Library on Butternut Street for another chapter in the "Animal ABCs" project. In Animal ABCs, children read a story about animals together with staff and a guest of honor from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, say an Eastern box turtle, hissing cockroach, snake, bird or hedgehog.

Today's theme was "Animal Eats," with a turtle. The event happens each Saturday at the library, paid for by a $9,000 grant from the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County. The grant went to the project developer, the Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. This year's award, announced recently, is the second year the coalition has funded Animal ABCs.

Little Free Library

8-month old Aiden Caza-Taylor looks at a turtle shown by Rosamond Giifford Zoo literacy program director Kim Taylor during pre-school program at the White Branch Library. Aiden is sitting the lap of his parent April Taylor. Photo by Frank Ordonez / The Post-Standard.

The grants and the zoo reading program aim to build on "Imagination Library," a coalition push to make sure each child in two slices of the North Side enters kindergarten with the literacy skills needed to succeed. Imagination Library provides free books to every pre-school child in the two North Side zip codes.

Animal ABCs usually draws a big crowd, in fact, sometimes an overflow crowd, White Branch librarian Joanne Trask said. Animals and kids go together like cookies and milk. "Animal ABCs was created based on preschool kids innate curiosity about animals and natural environment," zoo Director of Education Nate Keefe said. "You know that's common among most young children, especially children under five, so we're sort of capitalizing on that curiosity," The plan is to expand Animal ABCs to the Mundy Branch Library on the Near West Side, he said.

Here are the 2012 grants awarded by the coalition with the support of the Central New York Community Foundation and the Sociological Initiatives Foundation. Read more.

Join Us on Facebook Campaign for Grade Level Reading Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - Sponsor a Child Today! Issue Alert National Week of the Young Child 2012 Achievements in Caring Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series Light a Candle for Literacy Parade & Festival 1st Annual CNY Book Awards Ruth Colvin Superintendent Sharon Contreras