Volunteer Spotlight: Richard Dardano
Over the past two years, I have had the pleasure and honor of working with LiteracyCNY. I began this journey working as a volunteer for the organization. I helped stuff envelopes, produced a SCRABBLE Mania event video, and served on various committees. Last June, I was asked to join the Board. Literacy has always been an important part of my life and I wanted to share why with you.
My fondest memories revolve around reading. I love talking about what I am reading or what my wife’s thoughts are on what she is reading. Both of us have families that stressed the importance of reading for pleasure and made reading a part of our childhood routines. For me, some of my earliest memories are of my mother reading to me nightly. My favorites were Most-of-the-time Maxie, The Giant Jam Sandwich, The Little House, or The Giving Tree. I still have them all in my bookcase and I hope to pass them on someday to someone else who will cherish them.
My father is a natural-born teacher and delights in sharing what he has read with those around him. Reading isn’t just his hobby, it is his passion. I’m always looking for new books that I think he will find interesting and that will spark a conversation. I’ve already got some in mind for the upcoming holidays, but I’m always taking suggestions. I keep a list of potential titles because I know how much joy it brings him when his family finds something that we think he will enjoy.
Both my sister and I spent time in the film industry in Los Angeles. She worked as a development executive and evaluated scripts. When she moved back east, this experience helped her transition to a new career: librarian. We love to talk about story and character and books and comics and scripts, what we are currently reading and what recommendations we have for each other. Literacy is more than a bridge for us, it is the foundation of our adult friendship.
My family is lucky to have two adopted children a part of our lives, one from China and one from Haiti. I have seen firsthand the direct impact literacy has in someone’s life. Watching them learn a new language and having a whole new world open up in front of them is incredibly inspiring. From sounding out words, to sight-reading, to asking questions about what they are reading I am reminded of how far they have come and how important reading is in personal development.
There is more to literacy than reading for pleasure. Literacy helps people make informed decisions and broadens their world. The benefits of literacy are measurable. There are proven links between literacy and health as well as literacy and poverty. On a purely economic level, it is estimated that illiteracy costs taxpayers $20 billion annually . And that’s just one of the reasons that organization like LiteracyCNY is so important to our community.
Over the past month, we’ve shared stories of students, volunteers, and our founder Ruth Colvin about how this organization transforms lives and provides assistance to those in need. LiteracyCNY works with people who want a better life, who want to be informed, and who want more for their families. Your support keeps adult literacy classrooms open, supports our volunteers with training materials, and enriches the community. When I was asked to join the board, I enthusiastically said, Yes! . It filled me with pride to be able to give something back. A donation to LiteracyCNY on #GivingTuesday is a small way that we can all give back and support this fantastic organization with an impact that is felt throughout the community.
I hope you feel the same way about LiteracyCNY and our service to the community. If you’d like to learn more about the work we do, please ask! I love talking about the impact we have in the community and how you might get involved.
You can reach Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult literacy makes our community stronger! The possibilities are endless for an adult learning to read, write and speak English. Getting involved with LiteracyCNY promises to be one of the most fulfilling experiences you will ever have.
LiteracyCNY offers training for volunteers to work with adult literacy students:
* In one-to-one tutor-student pairs
* In small group classes taught by credentialed instructors
* In oral English conversation practice groups
* In OCM BOCES and Syracuse City School District adult classes helping struggling students
LiteracyCNY Tutor Training Workshop Schedule 2017/2018 Academic Year
Wednesdays January 10th 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
January 17th “
January 24th “
January 31st “
February 7th “
Wednesdays March 6th 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
March 13th “
March 20th “
March 27th “
April 3rd “
Tuesdays May 9th 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
May 16th “
May 23rd “
May 30th “
June 6th “
For more information about volunteer training opportunities, call LiteracyCNY Volunteer Coordinator Caroline Bianchi at 315-471-1300 X177 or email her at email@example.com.
Office and Event Support
Provide assistance with preparing bulk mailings, data entry, answering the telephone, compiling workshop manuals, copying, and updating mailing lists. To inquire about volunteering in our office, call LiteracyCNY Operations Manager Betsy Lang at 315-471-1300 X172.
Do you have a special technical skill (e.g. Human Resources, Legal, Information Technologies) or talent (e.g. Graphic Arts, Writing and Editing, Fund Raising)? We are always looking for capable and interested people to join our Board of Directors to lend their expertise to our staff. To express interest, please send an inquiry and resume to our Executive Director, Marsha Tait, at mtait@LiteracyCNY.org.
LiteracyCNY is looking for a social media professional to join our Marketing and Communications Committee! Do you love social media so much that you’d be willing to extend your talents to our nonprofit board? If you think spending a few hours per month managing, analyzing and optimizing social media content (owned and paid) for three channels (not to mention building your network and boosting your resume!) sounds like fun, please contact LiteracyCNY’s Marketing and Communications Committee Chair @DanielleGerhart for more information! (You don’t even need to be in Syracuse!)
Save the date for 2018 LiteracyCNY SCRABBLE Mania!
SCRABBLE Mania is an evening of food, fun, music, local celebrities, and competitive team SCRABBLE playing — all for the great cause of promoting adult literacy in our community.
When: Friday, February 2, 2018. Doors open at 5 p.m. All volunteers will be required to arrive by 4 p.m.
Where: Sky Armory, Syracuse NY. Parking will be available at a reduced rate in the adjacent garage.
To volunteer for SCRABBLE Mania: Contact Operations Manager Betsy Lang by email at info@LiteracyCNY.org or 471-1300 X172 by Dec. 31, 2017. All event volunteers will be required to attend event training.