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Literacy of NNY says $8,000 more will go a long way

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POTSDAM - Literacy of Northern New York Executive Director M. Cecilia Brock said an additional $8,000 or more in state funds will help many north country adults become literate.

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell announced Wednesday that the agency will be granted more than $40,000 in funding she helped secure in the 2012-13 state budget for one-on-one reading and writing tutoring for adults who need help.

“Teaching someone how to read is one of the best ways to help them empower their lives and continue making positive changes,” Mrs. Russell said in a news release. “This funding is critical to provide individuals in our community with the skills they need to succeed.”

Mrs. Brock said the agency, which serves adults in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, typically receives the adult literacy education state grant each year, but for the past few years the amount had been decreasing steadily.

“ALE’s been cut, and it’s been chopped and chopped statewide,” Mrs. Brock said Wednesday. “We used to get $52,000 a couple of years ago, but the current year we got around $32,000.”

The extra funds this year will help the agency significantly, she said, since there is a constant stream of tutoring inquiries and a growing waiting list of people to be tutored.

As of Wednesday, she said, the agency had 270 adults who have asked for literacy help. Literacy of Northern New York’s fiscal year ends June 30, so a few more may be added to that total. Last fiscal year, the agency helped 235 people.

Mrs. Brock said the state was able to award some literacy agencies more money since the ALE program received $1 million more statewide. ALE funds represent nearly half of Literacy of Northern New York’s annual operating budget of about $100,000.

To learn more about the agency or become a volunteer one-on-one literacy tutor, call the agency at 265-0194 in Potsdam .

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