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Literacy Coalition News
November/December 2014


The Perfect Gift: Helping Someone Learn To Read The Stories Of The Season

While thousands of people poured into Clinton Square for the annual tree lighting ceremony last Friday, the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County held its second annual "Stories of the Season" event in the stunning Clinton Exchange Building. It was not only a warm place to watch the tree lighting, but to also celebrate reading together as a cherished ritual shared by many families at the holidays and throughout the year. Reading creates special memories, and prepares our children to enter school ready to succeed. In fact, research has proven that reading to children is perhaps the single most important way to prepare them for success in school and in life.

John Eberle, VP of Grants & Community Engagement at the Central New York Community Foundation and one of the Founding Managing Partners of the LCOC, taking a selfie with his wife Pam, as they stepped outside to watch the tree-lighting in Clinton Square during the Stories of the Season event.

We may take the habit of reading books to our children for granted, but not every family has started this important tradition. This is serious. Did you realize that 51 percent of incoming Syracuse City School District kindergartners are not at adequate literacy levels? As a member of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, we also know that students who haven't mastered reading by third grade are more likely to get stuck in a cycle of academic failure and struggle throughout their lives. But the good news is...

Learn more here »

Another Sold-Out Success!

We’re still smiling after our recent Stories of the Season event! We’ve been sharing stories about the wonderful people we met, and the feeling of community, compassion and holiday cheer that was in the air. It was the perfect start to the holiday season!

Rick Shirtz, Regional President of NBT Bank, his wife, Margaret, and their beautiful family -- our honorary chairs -- led the way this year as our presenting sponsors. More of our sponsors will be acknowledged throughout the month of December on our website at www.onliteracy.org. Our deepest gratitude to all those that helped us in writing this latest chapter in our holiday traditions and made our event possible.

Our Honorary Co-Chairs, Rick Shirtz, Regional President of NBT Bank, his wife, Margaret, and their family -- with each of the children sharing their favorite books at the Stories of the Season event. Photo credit: Jason Caruso Photography.

At this time of year, our mission seems especially poignant. It’s hard to imagine the season without the sharing of a favorite holiday story. Imagine being a father who cannot read The Night Before Christmas to his daughter, or a young child struggling to read the words to a beloved holiday song. As you savor a favorite Holiday story or read aloud to a child, be grateful that you were given the gift of literacy. Join us as we work to gift that gift to everyone in our community.

Round 5 of Literacy Champion 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 bringing to a total of $250,00 over the last five years. The deadline for grant application submission is January 15, 2015 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.

Previous winners were announced at our Read Across America celebration last March at Syracuse's Hazard Branch Library with Pre-K children from Porter Elementary School. The day celebrates Dr. Seuss' birthday. Photo credit: Stephen D. Cannerelli / Post-Standard.

An outstanding variety of family literacy programming has been offered by our Literacy Champions over the years, including: Catholic Charities, Child Care Solutions; Children’s Consortium; Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo; InterFaith Works; LiteracyCNY; Onondaga County Public Library; Northside Learning Center; Syracuse City School District/MANOS; and WCNY. We salute all of our Literacy Champions and thank each of them for their passionate work on behalf of the children and their families.

Best wishes to everyone for a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season filled with your favorite stories too!

La’Lazia Daniels and her brother, Talivo M. Salley, Jr. (affectionately known as Buggy) talk to Santa at the Stories of the Season event. Photo credit: Jason Caruso Photography.

NOVEMBER 27, 2015!


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