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Literacy Coalition News
March/April 2013



Literacy Coalition reaches fundraising 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, 2013. We are thrilled to announce that we have exceeded 100% of our $50,000 match goal with cash donations, grants and pledges from both organizations and individuals. In particular, we salute the following for their leadership support:

Literacy Coalition gives grants to nine groups to promote reading

By Paul Riede, The Post Standard

Syracuse --The Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County celebrated Read Across America Day Friday by giving out $50,000 in grants to promote literacy. The event, at Mundy Branch Library, 1204 S. Geddes St., featured celebrity readers to encourage families to read every day to improve literacy levels across the county. The day is held annually in proximity to Dr. Seuss' birthday. Seuss, a/k/a Theodor Geisel, was born March 2, 1904.

Read Across America Day

Literacy Corps volunteer Alex Mandry cuts a birthday cake for Dr. Seuss during the Read Across America celebration Friday at Syracuse's Mundy Branch Library. Scott Schild / Post-Standard)

The winners of the 2013 Literacy Champion Grants are:

  • Partners in Learning, MANOS: $9,500 to hold intergenerational learning circles for parents, extended families and 4-year-olds to engage in literacy building activities.
  • Interfaith Works of CNY: $9,500 for story circles to increase school readiness for Burmese, Bhutanese and African refugee pre-schoolers and their parents.
  • Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo: $7,300 for Tadpole Academy, a series of pre-k programs focused on early literacy skills.
  • Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo: $7,200 for Animal ABCs, which teams up with libraries to get children reading through their interest in animals and nature.
  • The Children's Consortium: $6,000 for the Ladders to Literacy Program involving parents and young children participating in workshops to enhance their language and reading interactions.
  • WCNY-TV: $5,000 for the Family Literacy Program to increase family literacy on Syracuse's West Side.
  • Onondaga County Public Library: $2,500 for Every Child Ready to Read programs to help families with print and digital literacy.
  • Catholic Charities: $2,000 for materials to help prepare children for kindergarten.
  • North Side Learning Center: $1,000 for children's books.

Read more »

Early Childhood Education subject of community-wide study

The Onondaga Citizens League has selected the topic of Early Childhood Education as the subject of its 2013 Study. The importance of early childhood experiences to school readiness and long-term educational performance levels is generally accepted and expansion of publicly-supported pre-K has been proposed recently at both the federal and state levels. Locally there are many indicatives focusing on early childhood education and literacy improvement.

The purpose of the study is to help survey the current early childhood education landscape in Onondaga County, assess the concerns and challenges, and consider how we could more effectively deploy our existing resources in a way geared toward the goal that all children enter school ready to learn. It is also highly noteworthy that SYRACUSE 20/20 has agreed to join this year's study as well. For more information, or to join the Study Committee, email ocl@syr.edu or call 315.443.4846.

OCL releases 2012 refugee study, The World at Our Doorstep.

The purpose of last year's Onondaga Citizens League study was to develop a clearer picture and understanding of the refugee experience in Onondaga County and examine best practices around the country in order to recommend procedures and policies to make us a more welcoming community.

Ruth and Bob Colvin

Ranjana Chimoriya (center), of the Bhutanese/Nepalese community dances at the World Refugee Day celebration in Hanover Square in Syracuse on June 23, 2012. (Nick Lisi / Post-Standard)

In some ways, the OCL study has already made Syracuse a model for refugee resettlement by convening refugees, stakeholders and community members to discuss the topic. Service providers and concerned individuals, some of whom did not know each other, have networked, shared information and explored ideas that wouldn't have been accessible to them without these dialogues. This networking helped lay the groundwork for Syracuse to become one of only 20 cities nationwide invited to apply for a $1 to $5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. We see this study as a beginning, as the opening of doors to greater possibilities; this is similar to how many refugees view us—Central New York as a region of hope. Read more »

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