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Literacy Coalition News
March/April 2015


Read Across America Day at the Zoo - Literacy Champions Excite Children about Reading

On Monday, March 2nd, the birthday of author Dr. Seuss, children from PEACE, Inc. Head Start celebrated Read Across America Day at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. They read The Foot Book with Congressman John Katko, met the Cat in the Hat, and visited the animals. PEACE, Inc. and 8 other community agencies also received grants from the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County for family literacy programming and outreach to local Imagination Library families.

U.S. Rep. John Katko with Head Start children at the Literacy Coalition's recent awards ceremony at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Photo credit: Chuck Wainwright

All infants, toddlers and preschool age children residing in Syracuse are now eligible to enroll in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides a specially selected, high-quality, age-appropriate book every month until a child’s fifth birthday.

The following “Literacy Champions” were awarded a rich variety of grants to support families using the resources of the Imagination Library thanks to the continued support of the Central New York Community Foundation. To date, 73,801 Imagination Library books have now been distributed to 4,930 children in Syracuse:

  1. Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Tadpole Academy: $10,000
  2. MANOS Intergenerational Learning Circles: $10,000
  3. The Newland Center for Adult Learning with PEACE, Inc.: $8,750
  4. Northside Learning Center’s Parents Reading with Children: $8,250
  5. LCM/STEP Center’s Learning to Read; Families Together: $6,750
  6. Redhouse Arts Center: Dramatized Readings of Imagination Library books: $6,250
  7. WCNY: Imagination Library Media Marketing Campaign: $5,000
  8. Lit' for Life: Imagination Library Outreach: $2,750
  9. PEACE, Inc/Head Start.: Imagination Library books for 41 classrooms: $2,665
  10. Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo: Family Engagement Group: $2,000

Through a series of roundtable workshops with key players of the community, the Family Engagement Working Group will strive to strengthen family programming and build partnerships.

Learn more about these "Literacy Champion" grants »

Join us in building a nation of readers. Learn more about our work in the community, visit us at www.onliteracy.org, follow us on Twitter, or friend us on Facebook too!

Adult Education Student Named Student of the Year for 2015

March 10, 2010 is a significant date for Jayne Helyer. On this day, Jayne began a journey down a long, winding and hilly road that has led her towards a better quality of life. This road also led her to the doors of the Syracuse City School District’s (SCSD) Adult Education program where she gathered up the strength and courage to enroll in an evening High School Equivalency (HSE) class and pursue a high school diploma.

The culmination of her hard work and determination was realized this past June when she received her HSE. She has now been chosen as one of the New York Association for Continuing and Community Education Students of the Year for 2015 and she was also recognized March 10th in Albany along with 13 others.

Although life is still challenging for Jayne she has a determination and a spirit that shines through in every conversation and interaction. She continues on that long, windy and hilly road, head held high, looking towards the horizon and a brighter future.

Congratulations on a well deserved honor!

Learn more about Jayne’s inspirational journey »

WCNY’s Makers: Women Who Make America Honorees

In the last half-century, women have fought their way into nearly every sphere of American life, from the battlefield to the comedy club, the soundstage to the Senate. Expanding on the critically acclaimed PBS documentary, Makers: Women Who Make America, which told the story of the modern American women’s movement, WCNY, Central New York’s public-media company, recently recognized 14 women as regional “Makers: Women Who Make America” honorees.

WCNY held the event March 6 at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. The 14 honorees, including the Literacy Coalition’s Executive Director, Virginia Carmody, are part of WCNY’s 19-county broadcast area. Nominees were evaluated on how they impact their communities and shape today’s America in arts, business, community activism, education, communication, medicine, politics, religion, science and technology, sports and volunteerism.

Read Rep. John Katko’s Congressional Record tribute to Virginia Carmody »

Meet all 14 women from the Central New York region who are making remarkable contributions to their communities »

Watch an episode of WCNY’s Insight, a weekly public affairs show, with interviews of all the honorees »


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