Saturday, December 20, 2014

Coalition announces plan to increase literacy in Oneida and Herkimer Counties

The Literacy Coalition of Oneida and Herkimer Counties has created a plan, after months of discussion, to make sure everyone in the area can read.

According to statistics, twelve percent of adults in the two counties are lacking basic literacy skills, meaning they are on the educational level of a third-grader or below.

Dozens of local leaders from across the region publicly endorsed the document on Wednesday and pledged their support to help bring the literacy plan to fruition.

The basic goals include increasing family literacy programs , working to decrease chronic absences from school, and creating a family, youth, adult, and health action team to tackle literacy issues in those areas.

"What we want to see over the years is literacy as an institutionalized thing people talk about all the time," said Lara Sepankski Pimentel, Executive Director of the Literacy Coalition.

Local organizations are already pledging support. The Community Foundation is donating thousands of dollars, the United Way is offering space and bodies to help, and Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri's office is working to secure more funds for the public library.