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Literacy Coalition News
July/August 2016

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Video: Watch How A Baby Discovers Reading

By Julie McMahon
on July 14, 2016

CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- At just 8 months old, Caroline Hofmann is well on her way toward learning to read.

View video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wbVDhoNUnYQ

After Caroline was born at St. Joseph's Hospital on Oct. 25, her parents Bill and Kimber Hofmann, of Camillus, signed up for the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. They are mailed one new book each month until the little girl goes to kindergarten.

Syracuse.com has been allowed to join Caroline on her journey to literacy. We've also consulted Caroline's pediatrician, Dr. Cindy Bright, to learn about the baby's development and why reading at a young age is important for literacy.

This is an opportunity to see how a baby can develop lifetime skills through reading. Even without understanding the words, an infant of just a few weeks can learn from books. We'll show you how through our occasional videos. Stay tuned.

Reporter Julie McMahon covers Syracuse University and Syracuse city schools. She can be reached anytime: Email | Twitter | 315-412-1992. Learn more »

Central Library Holds Grand-Opening Ceremony

By Casey Rose Frank
on August 24, 2016

The Central Library of Onondaga County Public Libraries hosted a grand opening Wednesday morning to officially usher in a new era of library culture in Syracuse.

The morning began with a reception where library board members and staff, community business leaders and politicians on both sides of the aisle, were able to come together to celebrate what their combined efforts had created. Following the reception, Executive Director Susan Mitchell and Joanie Mahoney spoke about the team effort that brought on the project's success.

Ribbon-cutting at the Central Library included (from left) Assembly Members, Pam Hunter and Al Stirpe; Susan Mitchell, OCPL Executive Director; County Executive Joanie Mahoney; Virginia Biesiada, OCPL Board President; and Congressman John Katko. Photo credit: Kathy Coffta Sims

In true local spirit, the ribbon was a bright Syracuse orange. Once the ribbon was cut, all attendees were invited to go on tours of the three-floor facility and learn more about the 11 special stations set up for an Open House, which will continue over the course of the day. Learn more »

Celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

The upcoming Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy in order to leverage resources to support access to basic education programs for the 36 million U.S. adults with low literacy skills. More than 60,000 adults in Onondaga County have only the most limited literacy and English Language skills. Advocates across the country use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.

For 2016, National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week will be celebrated September 26th – October 1st. Learn more »

Locally, planning is in the works to highlight the role of adult education in reducing poverty in partnership with Greater Syracuse HOPE, an anti-poverty initiative, which stand for Healing, Opportunity, Prosperity and Empowerment, and was created last year in response to a study showing that Syracuse has the highest rate of extreme poverty concentrated among blacks and Hispanics out of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. More details to come about this event!

Grassroots group working 'nonstop' to address Syracuse poverty

By Tim Knauss
on August 19, 2016

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A grassroots Syracuse effort to fight poverty is gaining momentum and now has roughly 200 people working in five committees to find solutions, the coordinators of Greater Syracuse HOPE said today.

Born in response to Syracuse's "shameful'' poverty ranking among U.S. cities, HOPE continues to recruit volunteers in an urgent search for new ideas and policy initiatives, said Sharon Owens, a co-chair.

"I will come out and talk and meet with anyone,'' Owens said. "This is nonstop for us.'' Learn more »

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