• 1964 Under the leadership of Ruth Colvin, the Literacy Volunteer Program becomes a standing committee of New York Church Women United, to help spread the effort state-wide.
  • 1964 The Literacy Project awards graduate certificates to its first 12 “pupils”.
  • 1965 Ruth Colvin is named a Post Standard Woman of Achievement for her literacy work.
  • 1967 Marianna Robinson serves as initial executive for Literacy Volunteers, Inc.
  • 1969 A pilot program is launched, to bring literacy teaching into the workplace, beginning with Oberdorfer Industries at their Thompson Road factory.
  • 1970 Joseph Gray, a business graduate of Syracuse University and Air Force veteran is appointed executive director of Literacy Volunteers, Inc.
  • 1970 With increasing interest from other states. Literacy Volunteers prepares to go nation-wide, if funding can be secured.
  • 1971 Literacy Volunteers receives a $113,000 federal grant to allow their training program to go national. Regional offices are established in New York City, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
  • 1972 Marianna Robinson continues as Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse.
  • 1972 Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse (LVGS) relocates to 3049 East Genesee Street. It continues as the local affiliate of the new national organization that it spun off, Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA).
  • 1974 The group is awarded $2500 by Gifford Foundation for operating expenses.
  • 1974 Its 250 volunteer tutors, ranging in age from 18 to 80, take 18 hours of training and give freely of their time, but 25 local students still wait for tutors.
  • 1975 Literacy programs are expanded by LVA into correctional institutions and in developing English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring for new immigrant and refugee groups.
  • 1975 LVGS offers teacher training workshops for the first time in ESL.
  • 1975 LVGS awards its 100-hour teaching pin to 19 additional volunteers at its annual meeting in June.
  • 1975 LVGS receives grant from the Community Foundation to cover the cost of ongoing teacher training workshops.
  • 1976 LVGS is accepted as a member agency of the United Way, eligible for annual funding support
  • 1977 Rapha Johnson, a maintenance worker at the Everson Museum, is in his 4th year as a LVGS pupil. He grew up in the South and never learned to read. He is most pleased with his ability to now read the Bible.
  • 1977 General Electric Employees Federated Fund provides LVGS with a donation to support training workshops. LVGS receives its first grant from the United Way campaign.
  • 1978 The national conference of Literacy Volunteers of America is held in Syracuse, the city where it was founded and still headquartered. Over 300 attend from 20 states.
  • 1978 Bette Lyon is Executive Director of LVGS.
  • 1979 LVGS relocates to 620 South Salina Street. This central location, offers better access for tutors and pupils, both by bus or for those working downtown.
  • 1980 Annual learners served through LVGS programs reach 269 adults and 27 youths, through more than 21,000 hours donated by committed volunteers.
  • 1980 LVGS begins pilot “Teen Tutoring” Program, training high school students from the Syracuse, Fabius-Pompey and Tully school districts to help teach reading, spelling and comprehension skills to elementary school students.
  • 1991 Acknowledging that 11 local agencies have various programs aimed at improving reading skills – from public libraries to social service agencies – LVGS encourages the concept of forming a local “literacy coalition.”
  • 1993 Mark Cass is appointed Executive Director.
  • 1994 An LVGS volunteer, Rocki Malmund of Dewitt, is awarded the Ruth J. Colvin Award by LVA as the national English as a Second Language “Tutor of the Year.”
  • 1996 Katherine Scholl is appointed Executive Director of LVGS, replacing Mark Cass who had served in the position since 1992.
  • 1996 LVGS launches a public awareness campaign to support its work called “Throw the Book at Illiteracy.”
  • 1997 LVGS reports that its volunteers provided more than 17,500 hours of service over the last year. Its tutors are nationally certified with over 20 hours of training.
  • 1999 LVGS’s annual fundraising breakfast draws 240 supporters to the Hotel Syracuse. John Fernandez, president of a human resources and marketing firm, is guest speaker and announces a surprise $5000 donation from his company.
  • 2000 LVGS reports that its staff of four oversees 325 volunteer tutors, helping 375 people, mostly speakers of other languages, master English.
  • 2001 Shiann Brown is appointed Executive Director of LVGS.
  • 2001 Laubach International and Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA), two of the nation’s largest literacy organizations (both headquartered in Syracuse) begin merger discussions. Each has a local affiliate, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse (LVGS) for LVA and The Learning Place for Laubach.
  • 2004 LVGS receives initial grant from the Community Foundation which is funding a multi-year effort to improve family literacy in Central New York – a program called Read Ahead.
  • 2005 LVGS receives second, multi-year grant of $50,000 from Community Foundation of CNY to support its family literacy initiative called Read Ahead; especially to help tutor parents toward the goal of improving childhood literacy.
  • 2007 LVGS receives the first portion of a four year ADVANS grant from the Gifford Foundation, a program for strengthening operational capacity of area non-profits in order to sustain their mission-critical programs.
  • 2008 Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County is launched: an association of over 200 partners in business, education, government and the non-profit world involved with improving local literacy. LVGS is a key collaborator.
  • 2008 LVGS partners with the SUNY Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center to help students gain skills necessary for admission to SEOC programs.
  • 2012 LVGS celebrates its 50th anniversary. It is providing instruction, information, and referrals to more than 500 adults per year in Onondaga County.
  • 2012 At its celebration, Theresa Holden and Mahamund Sheikh are recognized as “Students of the Year.” Holden is quoted as saying, “The best thing is to be able to read a book.”
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