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Literacy Coalition News
Nov/Dec 2012



Once Upon a Time in Syracuse...

3 kids at holiday

The McCrary-Salley children of Syracuse read one of the Imagination library books together (from left) Talivo, Robert and La’Lazia. (Photo by Noelle Snyder/Clear Channel).

Thanks to the creative and talented team at Clear Channel Media + Entertainment Syracuse, the “Once Upon a Time in Syracuse...” media campaign has been launched this holiday season to support Imagination Library.  Joel Delmonico, VP and Regional Manager of Clear Channel, is also the Chair of the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County and continues to be an inspirational leader in support of children in our community. 

In particular, Joel has joined many other community partners in support of Imagination Library, the centerpiece of our school readiness and family literacy initiative. Studies have shown that children who develop literacy skills before age 5 have better success in school and beyond. For only $30 per year, a child will be mailed an age-appropriate book monthly in 3 zip codes - (13203, 13204 & 13208) half of the City of Syracuse - from birth until age 5.

Increased school readiness, better educational outcomes, and increased high school graduation rates have benefits that last a lifetime to not only each child but the community as a whole, providing a sound economic investment. There is nothing sustainable about the unacceptable levels of educational outcomes in our city’s urban core.

To date, we have enrolled 1,850 children and 24,720 books have been distributed. But, Imagination Library depends upon your support to continue and expand! Go to www.onliteracy.org or call us at 315-428-8129 to give a holiday gift that will last a lifetime and... they’ll read happily ever after.      

Why is Family Literacy so important?

According to the National Center for Family Literacy: “Our emphasis is on family literacy for a simple reason - study after study shows that family, home and community are the true drivers of a child’s education. In other words, literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed, and the family is at the heart.” Today, we also know that the first early years are the most crucial learning period in a child’s life. Actually, 75% of brain development and 85% of intellect, personality and social skills develops before a child even enters kindergarten.

baby and turtle

Aiden Caza-Taylor, 8 months old, looks at a turtle shown by Rosamond Gifford Zoo literacy program director Kim Taylor during Animal ABC’s at the White Branch Library. Aiden is sitting the lap of his parent April Taylor. (Photo by Frank Ordonez/The Post-Standard).

As such, we’ve sharpened our focus on school readiness and family literacy. Through the work of our Measurement Action Team, especially an extraordinary research group at Le Moyne College, we’re engaged in a rigorous evaluation of our local Imagination Library program as well. Over the last two years, the Central New York Community Foundation and the Sociological Initiatives Foundation have also funded Literacy Champion Grants that supported family literacy programming that generates more excitement about reading, increases the frequency that parents read to their children and, ultimately, builds skills in young children for school readiness.

In addition, The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has provided us with the opportunity to join a national movement that targets the most important predictor of school success and high school graduation, grade level reading by the end of third grade, that critical pivot point between learning to read and reading to learn, in the areas of school readiness (too many children are entering school not ready to learn); chronic absence (too many children missing too many days of school); and summer learning loss (too many children are losing academic ground over the summer).

RFP for Round 3 of Family Literacy Grants Announced! 

Due to a tremendous response, another RFP has now been issued for up to $50,000 to further support family literacy programming with funding from the Central New York Community Foundation, Reisman Foundation and Snow Foundation.

The deadline for grant application submission is January 15, 2013 at 4pm. To learn more, go to the grants section of the Literacy Coalition’s website at www.onliteracy.org for instructions and application form.

refugee families

Also supported by one of our Literacy Champion Grants, InterFaith Works of CNY developed a family literacy program called "Jumpstart!Story Circles" with refugee families, Barbara Schloss is pictured. (Photo credit: Diane Parr)

A rich variety of family literacy programming has been offered this year by our 2012 Literacy Champions: Child Care Solutions; Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo; InterFaith Works of Central New York; Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse at the Northside Learning Center; Open Hand Theater; The Children’s Consortium; and White Branch Library. We salute all of our Literacy Champions and thank each of them for their passionate work on behalf of children and their families.

As we look forward to 2013, we also deeply thank all of our community partners and supporters for helping us reach towards our vision of 100% Literacy though 100% Community Engagement.

Wishing Everyone A Happy & Healthy Holiday Season Too!

Join Us on Facebook Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - Sponsor a Child Today! 3rd Grade Reading Success Matters ProLiteracy Literacy Powerline Child Care Solutions 2012-2013 Gifford Lecture Series 40 under Forty Scrabble Mania Books