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Literacy Coalition News
July/August 2017


We "Believe in Syracuse" too!

By Central New York Community Foundation NEWS (August 7, 2017)

One summer afternoon in July, an impressive group of 2,000 people – mostly parents and their children – gathered at Destiny USA for Summer Learning Day. Besides having fun with the interactive crafts and sing-alongs, children chose from thousands of age-appropriate books to bring home. Organized by the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County (LCOC), the event aimed to help address the “summer learning gap” that can be prevalent in young children while on school break.

Believe in Syracuse volunteers collected more than 2,500 books through their Summer Youth Literacy Book Drive.

Distributing free books that day was Believe in Syracuse, an organization that aims to increase positive perceptions in Central New York. Established in 2013, it is a nonprofit at the intersection of civic pride and civic engagement.

“Back when I started Believe in Syracuse I was thinking how cynicism and apathy were really holding leaders back from doing big things and being able to accomplish positive change in the community.” said founder and executive director John DeSantis. “We’ve generated a lot of excitement, a lot of energy and put that to work to try to better the community through our community service program and the neighborhood initiatives we’ve done over the years.” Learn more »

DeWitt, Jamesville communities loving new library

By Spectrum News Staff (August 26, 2017)

DEWITT, N.Y. -- An exciting day for the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville as it celebrates its new home. Officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Jamesville Road building Saturday.

The new 23,000 square-foot building features a community room, a maker space, and dedicated areas for children and teens. The building was primarily funded through a tax levy, library cash reserves and grants.

After being located in a storefront in the Shoppingtown Mall, the library's executive director says the new building is a perfect fit. "We really wanted to be a modern library where there is a lot more people space and activity space, similar to other libraries in the suburban area," said Wendy Scott, executive director.

The library will be open seven days per week once summer hours end. Learn more »

Toward a City of Refuge: Stories from the "Comic Boys"

By Julie McMahon | jmcmahon@syracuse.com (July 6, 2017)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse youngsters who came to America as refugees told their stories of trauma and hope through comic books, displayed at White Branch Library.

Graphic drawings depict the life stories of middle school boys who found refuge in Syracuse. The boys drew images from their past and from their lives in Central New York. The display, "Toward a City of Refuge: Stories from the 'Comic Boys,'" shows the turmoil, war and trauma the boys experienced in Africa.

Northside Learning Center executive director Mark Cass looks at workshop pictures with children at the opening reception.

Librarian Dragana Drobnjak organized the project. Drobnjak herself moved to the U.S. as a refugee following civil wars in Yugoslavia in the '90s. She said she'd always wanted to offer a graphic journalism workshop to refugee youth, as a way of dealing with trauma and post-traumatic stress.

Learn more about this amazing program made possible through the Onondaga County Public Library and North Side Learning Center »

Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises 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. Advocates across the country use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.

For 2017, National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week will be celebrated September 24-30. Learn more »

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