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Literacy Coalition News
Mar/Apr 2017

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Lions and Tigers and Books...oh my!

The Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County and our community partners joined millions across the country to celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2nd at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

The event had a Dr. Seuss theme, as Read Across America Day is celebrated in conjunction with the birthday of the beloved children’s author. In addition, thanks to the Central New York Community Foundation and the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, we announced the winners of the 2017 Literacy Champion Grants, totaling $65,000, that support family literacy programming.

Joining us at the Zoo was County Executive Joanie Mahoney, as our celebrity reader, refugee families from InterFaith Works, along with the agencies being awarded grants, including Children’s Consortium; Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo; LCM/Step Center; North Side Learning Center, Partners in Learning (MANOS), The RedHouse Arts Center; Salvation Army; Onondaga County Public Library and WCNY.

County Executive Joanie Mahoney reading to refugee families and volunteers at the Read Across America Day event at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. (Photos by Juliet Maloff/Central New York Community Foundation).

Learn more about each of the grants awarded »

Why is Family Literacy so important?

According to the National Center for Families Learning: "Our emphasis is on family literacy for a simple reason - study after study shows that family, home and community are the true drivers of a child’s education. In other words, literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed, and the family is at the heart." Today, we also know that the first early years are the most crucial learning period in a child’s life. Actually, 75% of brain development and 85% of intellect, personality and social skills develops before a child even enters kindergarten.

Aiden Caza-Taylor, 8 months old, looks at a turtle shown by Rosamond Gifford Zoo literacy program director Kim Taylor during one of our Literacy Champion funded events at the White Branch Library. Aiden is sitting the lap of his parent April Taylor. (Photo by Frank Ordonez/The Post-Standard).

Syracuse receives top honor for literacy programs, vies to be 'All-America City'

By Julie McMahon | jmcmahon@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse's community literacy efforts received top honors this week from the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

The Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County was named a "Pacesetter" for its work on helping children from low-income families learn to read.

The Coalition puts on reading events, works with city schools and mails books every month to children under 5 years old throughout Onondaga County through the Imagination Library.

Executive Director Virginia Carmody said an "indisputable momentum" is building in Syracuse to combat concentrated poverty through education and literacy. She cited rising graduation rates and the closure of achievement gaps as evidence for a shift.

Read full Syracuse.com article »

Read full Onliteracy.org Press Release »

New Syracuse superintendent wants every kid reading by end of 2nd grade

By Julie McMahon | jmcmahon@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse Superintendent Jaime Alicea wants every kid in city schools to know how to read by the time they finish second grade.

The Syracuse City School District Board of Education has voted to formally name Jaime Alicea Superintendent of the SCSD. Mr. Alicea has served the District for more than 30 years and has been acting as Interim Superintendent since August 2016. He is a life-long educator who has worked on behalf of the students of the SCSD as a teaching assistant, teacher, vice principal and principal. (SCSD Photo).

Alicea said boosting literacy rates among young children in Syracuse was one of his biggest priorities as superintendent. He outlined his goals for the district in an editorial board meeting with Syracuse.com.

Learn more »

Is funding Adult Literacy programs worth it? Can you prove it?

ProLiteracy’s new report, The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education, provides the evidence for supporting a very critical education segment in America.

Historically, there has been limited research that demonstrates the positive impact that literacy skills have on social issues facing all adults. The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education discusses recent research by Dr. Stephen Reder, which examined the correlation between participation in adult basic skills programs and future increases in income, literacy levels, high school equivalency attainment, and postsecondary engagement.

Junior Alphanso Powell

This new report outlines the results and implications for changes in policy related to investment in adult literacy and education. Stakeholders of all types will now have the data needed to prove that support of adult education results in a strong return for adult learners and society as a whole.

Now, more than ever, is a critical time to share these findings with legislators, policy makers, and funders in order to encourage their support of adult education. Learn more »

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