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Literacy Coalition News
Jan/Feb 2013



Literacy Coalition named... one of the innovators creating change in Central New York

By Charles McChesney, The Post Standard

In a late December episode of "Jeopardy," host Alex Trebek offered this "answer," worth $1,000 if it prompted the correct question from a contestant: "Orange you glad to know this city in Central New York supplied most of the salt needs of the U.S. until 1870."

Nobody replied. No one even rang in with a guess.

The correct response was, "What is Syracuse?"

The lack of response might be disheartening to those who cherish the Salt City's history, but it highlights this fact: Things change.

For some, change is what happens to them. For others, change is what they create. Here, more than a century after salt's heyday, are some of the innovators creating change in Central New York.

(The complete article spotlights: RB Woodcraft, Polaris Library Systems, Onondaga Community College and the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County) Read more »

baby and turtle

Funded by one of our Literacy Champion Grants, Amy Thompson (left), a literary coordinator from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo reads a book about owls to a group of children and their parents at White Branch Library. At right are Linsey Holst and her son, Trent (age 4). Photo by David Lassman / The Post-Standard

"100% Literacy through 100% Community Engagement Award" presented to County Executive Mahoney

3 kids at holiday

Joel Delmonico, VP & Regional Manager, Clear Channel Syracuse and the Chair of the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. (Photo by Kristine Marane Gongora / ProLiteracy).

The following is the award statement made at the Literacy Coalition's Annual Meeting:

We, the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, are proud to take this opportunity to recognize someone who has made literacy a top priority in her administration. She is invested in our future and wants to make Onondaga County a great place for not only current residents but also our children's children. She believes in the importance of looking further down the road and considering the effect of our decisions on the Onondaga County of tomorrow. Through her leadership, the Onondaga County Sustainable Development Plan includes the plight of urban education and she has guided the County in a partnership with Say Yes to Education, which will help increase graduation rates and make college a possibility for many city students. She is among the first elected officials in the country to publicly acknowledge that investing in early childhood education is an economic development strategy that works. In particular, she has also established a Literacy Fund which has helped support Imagination Library and encouraged others to make donations as well. For these reasons, on this day, December 14, 2012, we hereby present the first-ever "100% Literacy through 100% Community Engagement" Award to Onondaga County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney.

Business leader speaks on importance of early education in Syracuse

By Paul Riede, The Post Standard

3 kids at holiday

Bill Millett is joined by (from left) Virginia Carmody, Executive Director, Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County; Joan Royale, VP of Community Impact and SB6 Director at the United Way of CNY; and Peggy Liuzzi, Executive Director, Child Care Solutions. (Photo by Kelly Gaggin / United Way of CNY)

Syracuse -- Bill Millett, founder of the business consulting firm Scope View Strategic Advantage in Charlotte, N.C., spoke in Syracuse Friday morning (February 1st) on the importance of early childhood education to a strong regional economy.

Millett, who has worked with early childhood initiatives across the country, was the guest of Success By 6 and Child Care Solutions. He addressed business leaders, educators, law enforcement officials and legislators at LeMoyne College's Grewen Hall.

The Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, the Syracuse Association for the Education of Young Children and Royal Treatment Day Spa were co-sponsors.

The Post-Standard caught up with Millett in a telephone interview. Here is some of what he had to say. Read more »

Professional Development with Ruth J. Colvin a Huge Success

The Syracuse City School District, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, and the New York State Central/Southern Tier Regional Adult Education Network held a collaborative in-service training for almost 100 literacy professionals at ProLiteracy's headquarters.

Ruth and Bob Colvin

Ruth and Bob Colvin with a map of the places they have visited from her recent book, Off the Beaten Path. Photo by Nancy T. Stewart.

The training was be led by Ruth J. Colvin, co-founder of ProLiteracy and author of 10 books including Tutor and I Speak English, two of her seminal adult literacy publications. Colvin also talked about and signed copies of her newest book, Off the Beaten Path, after the training.

Participants, who gave her a standing ovation, were from the Syracuse City School District, including those working in local hubs of the state-wide Literacy Zones; OCM BOCES; New York State Central/Southern Tier Regional Adult Education Network; and Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse.

The event was coordinated by Kathy Lent, Coordinator, Adult & Continuing Education at the SCSD and Mari Ukleya, Coordinator, Adult & Family Literacy Programs at OCM BOCES. Read more »

National Family Literacy Conference... And they're off!

The "most exciting two minutes in sports" (also known as the Kentucky Derby, the most prestigious American horse race) is following closely on the heels of the "most exciting conference in literacy." Of course, that's the National Conference on Family Literacy, which is now held in partnership with Literacy Powerline on April 29-30th in Louisville, Kentucky, to highlight the power of community coalitions! Rest assured that while the conference is just as exciting as the Derby, it is longer than two minutes – it's two and a half days of energy, knowledge sharing, and strategizing on how to reach 100% community literacy through 100% community engagement.

Here are a few of the session highlights for why you, as a coalition leader, will want to participate:

  • In Sunday morning's first session, Dr. Frank Ridzi of Central New York Community Foundation and LeMoyne College will present national research findings on how literacy coalitions are more effective (than community agencies working alone), and how they attract more financial support. And speaking of financial support, the session will conclude with a panel sharing how they are "bringing in the resources" to sustain their coalitions and work.
  • In a joint session with the Literacy Funders Network, you will be the first to hear about a national initiative to develop a shared data platform which will benefit coalitions across the country. Just as importantly, you will have opportunity to give your input to the process. It's kind of like being at the "starting gate," if you will.

So hey, what a great time to be in Kentucky! Don't delay, register now! Learn more ».

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