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Literacy Coalition News
Sept/Oct 2016

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Our All-Seasons Celebrations of Reading!

We're excited to announce our plans to pivot from our highly successful Stories of the Season family event during the tree lighting ceremony at Clinton Square to seasonal themed literacy events for families throughout the year called Stories of the Seasons! We deeply appreciate all of the community's past support and look forward to the following seasonal events-

Winter:
Winter In partnership with WCNY at Destiny USA, we plan to host a FREE family event in January with a PBS Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood theme called the "World's Biggest Daniel the Tiger Bedtime Story Read-Along" that will celebrate families reading together! Just imagine all those kiddies, many in their warm pajamas, interacting with performers and celebrity readers! More details to come...

Spring:
Spring In conjunction with the birthday of the beloved children's author, Dr. Seuss., our Read Across America Day celebration encourages daily reading. On that day, we recommit to getting books into our young peoples' hands early and often with the help of our community partners. All of which complements our Imagination Library book program, with over 11,000 children, birth to age 5 in Onondaga County, currently receiving monthly books mailed to them.

Summer:
Summer In celebration of National Summer Learning Day, we held an annual event over the summer during one of the Tykes Tuesdays at Destiny USA. Over 500 children and their families joined us to help raise awareness about the effects of the summer slide. Research has proven that students lose ground academically when they are out of school for the summer and the problem is particularly acute among low-income students.

Fall:
Fall During National Attendance Awareness Month in September, we help spread community-wide awareness about the importance of school attendance to our children's academic success. This year the Syracuse City School District also launched an ambitious "Attendance Equals Success" Campaign.

These events being planned with our community partners will include free books, educational activities, entertainment, arts & crafts as well as help us promote the themes of school readiness, school attendance and summer learning...all of which is in alignment with our work as our community lead for the nationally led, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

We know those children that have not mastered reading by third grade are more likely to get stuck in a cycle of academic failure and struggle throughout their lives...all at a cost their families and our community cannot afford. Join us as we move forward!

Pathways Towards Literacy: Meet Chol Majok and his Family

Chol-Awan Majok was the first generation of his family to attend school when he immigrated to the United States at age sixteen as one of the 'lost boys' of Sudan. The lessons he learned from his father ingrained in him that learning how to read and write is crucial to being successful in life.

"My father wanted us to do our best, go to school, read and write, and be able to change our country," said Chol. "It is important to me to teach my children how to read and write, and to pursue higher education. I want to change the course of our family history."

Every Saturday morning Chol or his wife took their children to the library. Even when they were too young to know how to read, they wanted to teach their children the importance of learning. When his third child was born, Chol's wife enrolled them in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library through the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County.

Their inspiring story along with a companion video was produced by the Central New York Community Foundation for their Annual Report, learn more and watch the video here »

BOCES Literacy Student Receives Statewide Honor!

OCM BOCESIn 2007, as a high school sophomore, Wilnisha Sholtz Breland became pregnant and dropped out of school. She was doing fine - making decent money -until the unexpected death of her daughter in 2011 dropped her into a deep depression. Later, as she searched for a new job and a new start in life, Breland made a quick discovery.

"Almost all the jobs I applied for required a high school diploma or GED," she said. "I began doing some research online for free literacy programs, and I came across OCM BOCES." Thanks to the caring and support of her BOCES literacy instructors, Breland now has her high school diploma - and a new job. She is also continuing her education at Onondaga Community College.

Because of her amazing perseverance, Breland was honored on Oct. 28 in Albany as the"Outstanding Student Award Recipient for 2016" by the New York Association for Continuing/Community Education. She will treated to a special awards dinner with family, guests and local dignitaries. We would like to congratulate Ms. Breland and all of her outstanding OCM BOCES instructors. Read more »

 
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