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Literacy Coalition News
May/June 2013



School is out, but keep reading!

By Paul Riede, The Post Standard (June 21, 2013)

Syracuse -- Today is the first day of school vacation throughout Central New York, so literacy advocates gathered to send a clear message to kids: Pick up a book and read.

Summer Learning Day 2013

Elizabeth Dailey, Executive Director of the Onondaga County Public Library, speaks at the White Branch Library on Butternut Street in Syracuse June 21, 2013, during an event celebrating Summer Learning Day. Standing near her is Clifford the Big Red Dog. Photo credit: Lauren Long.

Virginia Carmody, executive director of the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, appeared with a slew of others at the White Branch Library on Butternut Street in Syracuse to declare today Summer Learning Day -- and to kick off the county library system's Summer Reading Program.

"To succeed at school and life, we know that children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn during the summer," said Carmody, who was flanked at the podium by a waving Clifford the Big Red Dog. The National Summer Learning Association says "summer slide" -- the learning loss that occurs when children are not engaged in school -- disproportionately affects low-income children, who on average read only a third as much as their middle-income peers.

Parents and children can learn more about the programs in their neighborhoods by calling or visiting their local branch library. Read more »

Local Research presented at Imagination Library Conference in Tennessee

PIGEON FORGE -- Every two years, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Affiliates and potential champions from around the world convene to experience four days of professional development, networking opportunities and much more!

IL Conference

Dolly Parton speaking to affiliates from across the USA, UK & CA during Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Homecomin' 2013. Photo credit: Jacob Timmons.

Dr. Frank Ridzi, Director of Research and Community Initiatives at the Central New York Community Foundation and Associate Professor at Le Moyne College, presented on the work of the research team from Le Moyne College's Center for Urban and Regional Applied Research (CURAR), they concluded that the longer a child is enrolled in the Imagination Library the more likely there will be an increase in the frequency of reading with the child.

We're very proud that their work is the first peer-reviewed research article based on DPIL that has been accepted for publication in the journal, Reading Psychology. The article, "The Imagination Library Program: Increasing Parental Reading through Book Distribution" by Drs. Ridzi, Sylvia, & Singh, marks the first publication of empirical research assessing the impact of this international program in an academic, peer-reviewed journal. Read more »

Syracuse Schools' Young Writers are now Published Authors

By Paul Riede, The Post Standard (May 31, 2013)

SYRACUSE -- Scores of young authors gathered in the auditorium of Dr. Weeks Elementary School in Syracuse today, basking in the glory of their first published works.

Say Yes Authors

Meachem Elementary school students Jordynn Collie, left, and Khanimambo Cossa talking about the book they wrote at "The Young Authors Series" at Dr. Weeks Elementary School, Syracuse, NY. Photo credit: Dick Blume.

The 161 students were part of the fourth annual Say Yes Young Authors Series. Each of the books features the writing of students at one of the participating schools -- Van Duyn, Meachem and Dr. Weeks elementaries, H.W. Smith K-8 and Danforth Middle School.

The books contain everything from haikus to short stories to non-fiction pieces. One book, "We Are Syracuse," by students at Van Duyn, features profiles of community figures including Mayor Stephanie Miner, former news anchor Jackie Robinson and former Syracuse University basketball star Lazarus Sims, all of whom were present. Learn more »

Symphony Space's All Write! Celebrates the Writing of Adult Literacy Students

SYRACUSE -- Actors from New York City's Symphony Space performed a professional reading of original stories and poems written by local adult education students on May 21st at the Central Library.

All Write!

Two of the local adult learners, Farah Sirad and Muna Mohamed (from left to right) participating in the Syracuse All Write! Program. Photo credit: Amy Thorna, Literacy Coordinator, Onondaga County Public Library, also Program Coordinator of Syracuse All Write!

Symphony Space is a performing arts center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan offering programs in theatre, film, literature, music, dance and family. Its adult literacy program—All Write!—was expanded this season to Upstate New York.

The program is modeled on Selected Shorts, a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 130 National Public Radio stations to about 300,000 listeners. The student writings reflect the ambitions and dreams of adult learners, their rich cultural heritage, and a strong sense of family and community.

It is hoped that this unique program will be continued and expanded with local support! Learn more ».

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