Literacy Coalition News

Josiah Brown, a volunteer member of the board of the Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven, submitted this report.

The Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven is welcoming a new colleague to its volunteer board of directors: J. Gregory McVerry, assistant professor of education at Southern Connecticut State University.  Having earned his Ph.D. at UConn in Educational Psychology, Cognition Instruction and Learning Technologies through a program recognized for “new literacies,” Greg McVerry is a former K-12 public school teacher, including five years teaching sixth grade.  He characterizes himself as “a teacher and researcher interested in the intersection of literacy and technology.”  At Southern, he says, “I teach early reading, children’s literature and new literacies classes.  I was also the literacy and technology coordinator for Gear Up.”

New Haven Reads was featured in Connecticut Magazine this spring, when the organization marked its 15th anniversary with a celebration at Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library.

ConnCAT celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, when it also opened a café and culinary arts program, to join its medical coding, phlebotomy, and youth education offerings. 

LEAP earned the “Hi-5 High Impact Literacy Award” from the NewAlliance Foundation, due to this youth organization’s increasing focus on promoting reading skills and habits among young people.

The New Haven Public Library embarked on a campaign for its “next Stetson” branch, to be located in the new Dixwell Community “Q” House.

At the Public Library’s main branch, Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven concluded the academic year with the June 2017 publication of “Hear Our Voices,” a compilation of student work that recognizes their collaboration with volunteers who help these adults develop their English reading and writing skills.

Read to Grow continued its “#BooksForEveryBaby” effort and hosted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for a New Haven benefit.

New Haven Promise recognized its scholars at SCSU on August 17, and Junta for Progressive Action held its 48th anniversary gala September 7.

Fall Events

The Jewish Coalition for Literacy (September 26 volunteer information session/orientation), Concepts for Adaptive Learning (September 27 wine-tasting benefit), and New Haven Reads (October 27 spelling bee) all have major events this fall.  In addition, “READy for the Grade” in partnership with NewAlliance Foundation is likely to host – with the Literacy Coalition – a program featuring Ralph Smith of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, tentatively on October 24.

The Literacy Coalition, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with a mission to promote, support, and advance literacy in the region, was established in 2003 by a board led by the late Christine Alexander, who also founded New Haven Reads.

The Coalition sponsors events such as this Literacy Forum and has a LiteracyEveryday website with portals to Get Help, Volunteer, Donate, and Learn More, as well as a listing of News/Events.  The Coalition invites inquiries and announcements at this email address.

September 28 Literacy Forum: “Language and Learning–Home, School, and Community”

The next Literacy Forum is Thursday, September 28 at 5:00 p.m. (program begins at 5:30), on “Language and Learning: Home, School, and Community.”  Hosting the event will be the New Haven Public Schools (NHPS), at the Dr. Reginald Mayo Early Childhood School, 185 Goffe Street.
Part of a Literacy Forum series, the discussion will feature panelists:
  Ann Anderberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, Eastern Connecticut State University
  Marilyn Calderón, M.Ed., Executive Director, Connecticut Parent Power
  Luis Chavez-Brumell, Manager, Young Minds & Family Learning Department, New Haven Public Library
  Coral Ortiz, Hillhouse H.S. valedictorian 2017, former member of New Haven & CT Boards of Education

Moderator: Abie Benítez, Ph.D., Director of Instruction & English-Language Learning, NHPS; opening remarks by Madeline Negrón, Ph.D., Director of Instruction & Early Childhood, NHPS.

All are welcome and admission is free, with light refreshments provided, but seating is limited.  Please register:

Sponsors of the September 28 Forum are the Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents and Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven, as well as the New Haven Public Schools.  Thanks also to district colleagues for Spanish translation of the poster, to Coalition board member Rob Coro and Marcum LLP for donating promotional design/printing services, and to other board colleagues including Susan Holahan (a teacher of ESOL in the NHPS) for helping to organize the event.

The Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven – sponsor of the Literacy Forum series – is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization with a mission to promote, support, and advance literacy for people of all ages.  Visit LiteracyEveryday to share or obtain information on free events, resources, and ways to get involved in pursuit of a region of readers.
The LiteracyEveryday site has portals to Get Help, Volunteer, Donate, and Learn More, as well as a blog, News/Events calendar, and presence on Facebook and Twitter, @LiteracyGNH.

There is a need for additional volunteer tutors and mentors at such organizations as the Boys and Girls Club, Jewish Coalition for Literacy, Junta for Progressive Action, LEAP, Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven, New Haven Public Schools, New Haven Reads, and Solar Youth.

Neighbors are invited to visit the Literacy Resource Center on Winchester Avenue, in space at 4 Science Park donated by Science Park Development Corporation.  The Literacy Resource Center, or LRC, represents a partnership among Concepts for Adaptive Learning, the Coalition, New Haven Reads, Literacy Volunteers, and the Economic Development Corporation.  In the same building at 4 Science Park are the offices, classrooms, kitchen, cafe, and art gallery of ConnCAT.

You can help by:

  • Reading in the home, promoted by libraries such as the New Haven Public Library—and involving grandparents as well as parents, and free books from sources including Read to Grow and New Haven Reads;
  • Encouraging friends, family, and others to seek literacy assistance whenever useful;
  • Volunteering as a tutor or mentor;
  • Bolstering literacy in other ways, such as through donations of money—whether directly, via the Community Foundation or the United Way—or of books and by advocating and voting.

For more information:

Articles on the Coalition and Its Events:

“Philanthropy, Literacy, and Youth Development Explored”

“Language, Bilingualism, and Literacy – in School and Beyond”

“Literacy Coalition Welcomes New Colleague, Previews Forum”

“Early Literacy Experiences, the Brain, and Child Development”

“Literacy Coalition Welcomes New Board Members; Forum Approaches”

“Why Is Math Important?”

“Libraries in the 21st Century”

“Literacy Coalition Welcomes New Board Colleagues”

“Why Read?”

“It’s about WORDS”

“Literacy Paths Plotted”

“Literacy, Every Day”

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“Reading, Culture, and ‘Quality Time’ at Home”

“‘Empowering Teachers,’ Reading Research, Instruction, and Supports”

“Margie Gillis Discusses Using the Latest Research on Reading”

“Early Reading, Community Action, and Catalytic Philanthropy”

“Literacy Coalition Forum: State Legislative Update and the Big Read”

“A Day for Literacy”

“Commissioner Ted Sergi: Their ‘Second Chance’ Starts with Reading”

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