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Literacy Coalition News
July/August 2013



Honorary Co-Chairs Named for first-ever "Stories of the Season" Holiday Event!

With the support of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, it is our pleasure to announce the first-ever "Stories of the Season" has been scheduled for Friday, November 29th, a Family Gathering in the Clinton Exchange Building on the same night as the City of Syracuse Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. We are also thrilled that Rob Simpson and his wife, Corinne Ribble, have agreed to be our Honorary Co-Chairs.

Summer Learning Day 2013

Rob Simpson, his wife Corinne, and their son Benjamin reading "The Little Engine That Could" together. This children's classic is the welcome book for each child enrolled in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

Rob serves as the president of CenterState CEO and also serves at the president of Syracuse's business incubator, The Tech Garden. Under his leadership, CEO has received national attention for its innovative, integrated approach to business, economic and community development. Corinne, is a not-for-profit and philanthropic professional with more than 16 years of experience as a social entrepreneur. In 2012, she founded Riverview Strategies, a nonprofit and philanthropic firm with local and national clientele.

Corinne also led efforts to develop a community-wide literacy coalition in Oneida County, New York. In this capacity, she also facilitated the community-led design of two New York State Literacy Zones. She is the past-president of the Literacy Funders Network, a national affinity group of the Council of Foundations. More details to come on the holiday event as well.

President Barack Obama Calls Syracuse An Example for Other Cities

By Douglas Dowty, The Post Standard

IL Conference

President Barack Obama thrills crowd with a speech at Henninger High School on August 22nd in Syracuse. Photo credit: Kevin Tivoli, P-S.

President Barack Obama praised Syracuse's free college tuition program, called Say Yes To Education, during a speech at Henninger High School about access to affordable education.

"You have declared that no child in the city of Syracuse should miss out on an education because they can't pay for it," the president said before an audience of 1,335 in the school gym. "We're hoping other cities follow your example." Learn more »

ProLiteracy Co-Hosts Confidence-Building Makeover for Local Residents

ProLiteracy's Literacy for Social Change initiative is a unique program that enables facilitators within community literacy programs to effectively combine literacy and cutting-edge strategies for human development and problem solving. On July 25, the initiative hosted a makeover event to build the confidence of adults from Huntington Family Centers.

Say Yes Authors

Participants from Huntington Family Center pose for a group photo after a full day of makeovers and pampering with OCM BOCES Adult Education Cosmetology students. This event was organized as part of a larger community project called Literacy for Social Change, coordinated by Kofi Addai at ProLiteracy. Photo credit: Alesha Anderson, ProLiteracy

The makeover took place at the OCM BOCES Lee G. Peters Career Training Center in Liverpool, New York. The participants of Huntington Family Centers' Family Support Network are men and women of diverse abilities who have struggled with social and economic hardships and who now actively participate in groups that promote education, growth, and peer support for parents. It is hoped that the physical transformations will inspire emotional transformations as well, leading to improved outlooks and increased self-esteem. Learn more »

Attendance Counts the First Day and Every Day!

Back to school is right around the corner and the time is right to start preparing our children for the classroom. One of the ways to do this is by starting the school year off on the right foot by attending every day. The Literacy Coalition recognizes that good attendance is essential to academic success. But far too many students are at risk academically because they are chronically absent. Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year — or just 2-3 days every month — for any reason, excused or unexcused.

The research shows that chronic absence predicts lower 3rd grade reading proficiency, course failure and eventual dropout. The impact hits low-income students particularly hard, especially if they don't have the resources to make up for lost time in the classroom and are more likely to face barriers to getting to school, such as unreliable transportation and chronic health issues.

"This matters to all of us, not just those with school-age children," Virginia Carmody, Executive Director of the Literacy Coalition said. "When our schools graduate more students, on time, our communities and our economy are stronger because we have more people who are prepared for the workplace and in our community's civic life." Learn more »

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