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Literacy Coalition News
January/February 2015



Before elementary school.

Before kindergarten.

Before preschool.

Children are learning.

And not just learning; they are building the foundations that will support their education for years to come. Science has proved that birth to age 5 is perhaps the most important period of development in a child’s life.

That’s why we have joined the Read Aloud 15 MINUTES National Campaign. Starting on Monday, March 2nd and throughout the month of March, we are calling upon all our community partners to use this celebration of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday to focus on what parents can do to promote literacy and learning with their children by uniting behind this simple, powerful message that 15 minutes of daily reading aloud from birth to age 8 can change the face of education, locally and nationally.

We know that parents are their children’s first teachers and their most important advocates. And we know that the back-and-forth we can bring to reading, talking and singing to children in the critical early years can help them develop the vocabulary and word sense they need to master reading by the end of third grade.

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As one of the “Pacesetter Communities” for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, we also know that grade level reading by the end of third grade is a critical predictor of school success and high school graduation. As such, we launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library as the centerpiece of our early childhood literacy efforts that are targeted and measurable. To date, we have enrolled 4,545 children and distributed 68,598 new, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age 5 in the City of Syracuse.

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!

A Tale of Friendship With A Perfect Ending

Eric Carle's 'miracle' reunion: After 82 years, legendary author embraces long-lost friend

Children's author Eric Carle and Florence Trovato, the inspiration for his book "Friends." Photo credit: Sean Kirst.

He didn’t write the ending this time, but it was the kind of ending that his readers would find satisfying. Children’s book author Eric Carle is usually the one developing the story, creating bright imagery and polishing phrases to keep readers turning the page. He did just that in his 2014 “Friends,” a tale inspired by a snapshot from his childhood. The photo shows him, at 3, with a small girl in a white dress. At the end of the book, he wrote: I often think about my long-ago friend, and I wondered what happened to her.” With the help of Post-Standard columnist Sean Kirst, he was treated to his own real-life ending when he met up with that little girl, now 86.

By Sean Kirst | skirst@syracuse.com
February 12, 2015

Flo Trovato paused, not far from the front door. Palm trees swayed last Sunday in the Florida breeze, a different world and more than 80 years away from a redbrick hill where she'd often visit her immigrant grandparents on the North Side of Syracuse.

She gathered herself, buoyed by the presence of her son Charles and her daughter Angela. They punched a button to announce their arrival. Bobbie Carle hurried out to greet them, wrapping them in hugs, and then they all made their way to the main door ....

Where Eric Carle, Bobbie's husband and the legendary children's author and illustrator, embraced Flo as they'd embraced in 1932, when they posed for the childhood photograph that led to this reunion.

"You haven't changed at all!" Eric shouted, before they held each other for a long time. Flo brought a bottle of champagne and a loaf of bread, which to Eric carried powerful symmetry: Flo's grandparents were landlords to Eric's family on John Street. When Eric was 6, and the Carles returned to Germany - a departure he always equates with sorrow - Leila Barresi, Flo's grandmother, gave the child a loaf of warm, fresh bread to take on the trip.

Almost 83 years later, another loaf became a symbol of reunion. Read more »

Children's author Eric Carle and Florence Trovato, the inspiration for his book "Friends." Photo credit: Sean Kirst.


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