If this message is not displaying properly, click here to launch your browser.
Literacy Coalition News
January/February 2019


Our Founding Chair, Joel Delmonico, Retires!

Over the years, we have been inspired by Joel Delmonico’s many contributions to our community. He enjoyed a long and influential career in Syracuse as the Vice-President and Market Manager for Clear Channels (now iHeartMedia) retiring with more than three decades in the local radio business. He would readily admit that his most rewarding work has been on behalf of many non-profits in our community, such as the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center, Salvation Army, Elmcrest Children's Center and the National Eating Disorders Assoc.

He once said: “Probably the biggest thing for me, and I wouldn’t have stayed this long if we didn’t, is that we have been able to use the radio stations to help the community.” Lucky for us, his passion for the well-being of children drew him to also deeply support the Syracuse City School District, Say Yes to Education and the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County (LCOC).

In his capacity as founding Chair of the LCOC, Joel’s outstanding leadership was instrumental in our launching Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in 2010. Currently almost 16,000 children (birth-age 5) are receiving free age-appropriate books mailed to them each month that now totals over 1/2 million books distributed countywide!

Joel was a tireless advocate on our behalf and was instrumental in promoting all our community events, especially our Stories of the Seasons held at Clinton Square during the Christmas Tree lighting. That event has transitioned over to Destiny USA with close to 3,000 children and their families attending our recent Summer Learning Day with Daniel Tiger, setting a mall record with the largest crowd EVER in their Canyon Area.

What sets Joel apart from our other volunteers at this time is his recent retirement after 10 years as our Chair. In a word, it is Joel’s passion for improving the lives of children and understanding that early literacy is a key ingredient for the future success of our children that best expresses his dedication to our community.

Joel also could have not left us in more willing and capable hands. Join us in welcoming our new Co-Chairs: Kevin Schwab, VP of Member & Community Engagement at CenterState CEO; and Debbie Stack, Senior Director, Education & Community Engagement at WCNY. We look forward to an exciting and productive year ahead!  

‘Help Me Grow’ website launched in Onondaga County

By Marnie Eisenstadt | meisenstadt@syracuse.com
Posted Jan. 15, 2019

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Families with young children in Onondaga County who are struggling with health or developmental issues have new help available starting today.

The Early Childhood Alliance, a nonprofit group focused on helping children who are not yet in the school system, has begun a new program called “Help Me Grow Onondaga.”

Laurie Black explains why it is critically important for parents to talk, read, and sing to children in the first months of life. She is speaking at the community launch of “Talking is Teaching” in 2017. Today they are launching "Help Me Grow," which will work with the other effort. Photo by James Peluso, Early Childhood Alliance

It will put all of the information parents need about health and developmental screening and assistance in one spot: 211CNY. This number already provides assistance for people struggling with homelessness and mental health problems.

Dr. Paul Dworkin, who started the “Help Me Grow” model and has overseen the launch of programs in 99 communities, is in Syracuse helping with the launch of Onondaga County’s program.  Learn more »

#SCSDReads100 Millionth Book100 Millionth Book#SCSDReads100 Millionth BookImagination LibraryJoin Us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter!100 Millionth Book