Eventful Spring for Literacy

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.

May 4: Forum on “Philanthropy, Literacy, and Youth Development”

April 13th, 2017

A Literacy Forum on Philanthropy, Literacy, and Youth Development will be held Thursday, May 4 at 4:00 p.m. (program begins at 4:30).  Hosting the event will be the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, 2319 Whitney Ave #2B, Hamden, CT.

As part of a Literacy Forum series, the discussion will feature panelists:

   Carlton Highsmith  Entrepreneur, Executive, Philanthropist; Founding Chair, ConnCAT; Director at boards including the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

   Laura McCargar  President, Perrin Family Foundation

   Jessica Sager  Co-Founder and CEO, All Our Kin

Moderator: Lee Cruz, Community Outreach Director, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Admission is free, with light refreshments provided, but seating is limited.  Please register: info@literacyeveryday.org

Sponsors of the May 4 Forum are the NewAlliance Foundation and Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven.

The invitation below is courtesy of Marcum LLP, which donated professional design and printing services.

FLYER - Literacy Forum 2017-KIDS

Benefits for Public Library, Literacy Volunteers, New Haven Reads

February 26th, 2017

At least three important local organizations have benefit events approaching.

February 28 brings the annual Mardi Gras fundraiser for the New Haven Public Library, at its main branch downtown.

March 30 will see major events for two organizations:

     Literacy Volunteers of Greater Haven will hold its annual Scrabble challenge, at Hopkins School.

     New Haven Reads will celebrate its 15th anniversary at Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library.

Neighbors across the region are invited to join in supporting these worthy causes!

Mentoring, in January and Beyond

January 3rd, 2017

With President Obama’s latest proclamation of National Mentoring Month, the occasion is underway for 2017 — with My Brother’s Keeper a way that Barack Obama himself will continue to promote mentoring around the country.

As January 2016 and other prior posts have noted, mentoring — like literacy — happens in a variety of settings, on a daily basis.

Still, the month and an annual National Mentoring Summit (this year technically February 1-3 in Washington, DC) offer opportunities to raise awareness and expertise around this cause.

According to the event’s website, “The theme for the 2017 National Mentoring Summit is ‘Building Relationships, Advancing the Movement.’  The National Mentoring Summit is the only national convening of youth mentoring professionals, researchers, philanthropic investors and government and civic leaders aimed at collectively strengthening and expanding quality mentoring relationships for young people across the country.”

Resources range from Serve.gov/Mentor to the National Mentoring Partnership, from the Connecticut Mentoring Partnership to New Haven’s Citywide Youth Coalition and LiteracyEveryday.

Taking Action for Literacy, Every Day

December 10th, 2016

As the name of this website suggests, literacy affects lives every day.

The site includes a list of news and events around literacy, not only locally but beyond.

As 2017 approaches, among the events is National Literacy Action Week, in February.  This special week is an occasion to call attention to what students, educators, parents, neighbors, taxpayers, and citizens can do year-round to advance learning.

Volunteering, donating, informing, voting, mobilizing — there are many ways to take action to improve educational opportunities for people of all ages.


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