Archive for May, 2017

Eventful Spring for Literacy

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Reflecting the need for – and activity around – literacy throughout the year, this is a busy season for related organizations in the New Haven region.

March 30 saw a Scrabble benefit for Literacy Volunteers and a 15th anniversary celebration for New Haven Reads.

ConnCAT launched its café on April 4 and will mark its 5th anniversary in June.

The Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven, collaborating with sponsor the NewAlliance Foundation and host the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, held a forum on “Literacy, Philanthropy, and Youth Development” on May 4.

The New Haven Public Library is seeking matching funds for its new Stetson Branch building, after the leader of that branch – Diane Brown – was recently honored by the Connecticut Library Association.

The Jewish Coalition for Literacy recognized its volunteer reading partners in the morning of May 17, with guest Deborah Freedman, a children’s book author/illustrator.

A “City That Reads”

Later that day, New Haven’s “blue ribbon panel” on reading published its plan, as advanced by Mayor Toni Harp, for a “city that reads.”  With sections on Early Literacy, Grade-Level Reading, Reading Disability, English Learners, Parents and Community, and Adult Education corresponding to six sub-committees, the plan seeks to “establish” a “culture of improvement focusing on reading.”

That same evening of May 17, Read to Grow held a benefit featuring author, activist, and retired basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who earlier was quoted saying “My college education was always just as important to me as my basketball career. When I was at UCLA, I got just as much pleasure and satisfaction from producing a well-written essay as I did from winning a game. Basketball is a temporary vocation, but learning is a life-long avocation. What good does it do to make a lot of money but never progress intellectually?”

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas – following neighborhood mini “pop-up” festivals – begins June 3.  This year, it includes the Big Read: Into the Beautiful North.

Literacy Volunteers will recognize its tutors and students at the 2017 “Hear Our Voices” occasion that includes publication of student work, at the Public Library’s main branch, at 5:30 p.m. on June 14.  (The 2016 version of Hear Our Voices is already online.)

Finally, given concerns about “summer learning loss,” LEAP – which recently earned the NewAlliance Foundation’s “Hi-5 High Impact Literacy Award” of $20,000 – works with students over the summer (and year-round) to reinforce the importance of reading: The organization’s annual “Read-In on the Green” will be held in the center of New Haven the morning of July 14.

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