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Literacy Coalition News
May/June 2015


Summer Learning Celebrations – Get Healthy and Get Smart!

As school lets out and summer begins, our message is loud and clear about the importance of summer learning. According to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, "Research spanning 100 years has proven that students lose ground academically when they are out of school for the summer."

One of the explanations for this "summer slide" is that low-income students, in particular, tend to do less reading over the summer. Since one of the best predictors of whether or not a child reads over the summer is access to books, the Syracuse City School District is once again building their students' home libraries by providing summer take home books to all students in grades K-5. Not only will students go home with a bag full of books of their choosing, they will have access to over 300 digital titles, and are also being encouraged to visit their local libraries.

First grade students at Van Duyn Elementary School were given books during the kick-off of the SCSD's "Spring into Summer" reading program.

We can always count on the libraries in Onondaga County to now also start their Summer Reading Programs. This year's theme is "Every Hero Has A Story" and focuses on different types of heroes... from superheroes to young heroes, to heroes in the community! As such, members of the Syracuse Fire Department and City of Syracuse Parks Commissioner Lazarus Sims, former SU basketball player, joined us on Summer Learning Day to also talk about keeping active and healthy over the summer.

Janet Park, Mundy Branch Manager and Lazarus Sims, former SU basketball player and City of Syracuse Parks Commissioner, joined us at our Summer Learning Day celebration.

So be a hero and get involved! We're asking everyone – parents, families, schools, educators, policymakers, businesses – to make summer a season of learning by pledging to #KeepKidsLearning! Learn more »

Speaking of heroes in our community...
the following Sean Kirst column is quite
a tribute to Geneva Hayden and Ed Kochian:

Reading as a direct means of saving lives: In Syracuse, for literacy, the parade goes on

By Sean Kirst | skirst@syracuse.com
June 9, 2015

Ed Kochian made it home a few days before Saturday's literacy walk to Danforth Middle School, in Syracuse. Kochian, a retired deputy Onondaga County executive, had been visiting his daughter, Jennifer, who lives in England. While he was there, he made a pilgrimage to Dunfermline in Scotland, location of the first Andrew Carnegie library.

For Kochian, who loves the written word, the place is a shrine. Carnegie was an industrialist who rose from bitter poverty into massive wealth, then donated a fortune toward building almost 2,000 libraries, including one in Syracuse. Many carry an engraving of a sunrise with blazing rays, accompanied by the words:

Let there be light.

Carnegie's notion, Kochian explained Saturday, was that "if light is knowledge, then libraries – and literacy – can create that light." Even as he spoke, a crowd of children and parents turned the corner behind Danforth, a group led by a woman walking so fast the others often had to hurry to keep up.

The 2015 Light a Candle for Literacy parade - or, officially, a walk - proceeded under the watchful eye of Geneva Hayden, right.

Geneva Hayden, 77, was at the front of the Light a Candle for Literacy parade – or, officially, a literacy walk – that she helped create in 2006, with the support of the county library system, and many groups and businesses. Kochian, who's teamed with Hayden for years on bringing reading skills to city children, jogged down the street to greet her with an embrace.

If you want to talk literacy in the heart of Syracuse, Kochian said:

"She's the one."

Read more »

Welcome to CNYLearns.org – there are no limits to what you can do!

We're proud to announce that an updated and improved version of www.CNYLearns.org has now been released that provides an online adult education and literacy directory for Onondaga County.

Through a special partnership between us and CONTACT Community Services, you can also find the nearest classes by calling the 2-1-1 HELPLINE. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help find ESL, adult basic education or HSE (formerly GED) prep classes.

CNY Learns helps to make connections to local organizations in our community that can help folks get their diploma, career guidance, literacy skills and more. Gain the FREE training and education you need, to achieve the life you want. Start at www.CNYLearns.org and take just one step towards a better life. Learn... and live better, we can help!


Summer Reading Campaign for Grade Level Reading Imagination Library Join Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter! Every Hero Has a Story WIOA ProLiteracy Book Review: Our Kids 2015 Conference