60 Years of Literacy: “I’ve Met ‘Syracuse!” (November 1969)

In the November 1969 edition of Lit Bits, the Literacy Rochester newsletter, Literacy Volunteers of Rochester Director Nancy Oster described a meeting with “Syracuse,” the mysterious organization that, at the time, provided instruction to chapters across New York:

“All of you have heard about “Syracuse” – that vague, nebulous “thing” which is somehow responsible for the program of which you are a part.

The annual Leaders Seminar was held in Syracuse on October 20 and 21, and I was delighted to attend both sessions. Marion Casey went with me on Monday, and Caroline Chasey, Nancy Rickard and Connie Mandelik joined me there on Tuesday. Most of the 23 Affiliate groups were represented.


Now “Syracuse” has a face and a personality! In fact, it has many faces. Ruth Colvin, who is the founder of Literacy Volunteers, and presently in charge of program development, made each of us feel welcome and needed. Many of the Syracuse Board Members were there, as well as Mrs. Robinson, who directs the Syracuse program. As Director of Affiliates, Connie Haendle was very busy, but she had time to talk to each of us as often as we wanted about our problems and program.


I can honestly say that when I reported on our special projects, and listened to reports from other areas, I was proud to be a part of this vital organization! Each of you can personally share my pride in your Rochester group. We are doing more than our share on the State level.


We have new ideas to consider and incorporate, just as others are considering what they heard about our program. It was refreshing to hear constructive criticism and suggestions gratefully received by the Syracuse program committee. The things we do and try do matter.

I thank each of you for your part in making Rochester Literacy Volunteers an organization I am proud to represent!


Nancy Oster

Today, Literacy Rochester and LiteracyCNY work closely together, continuing to share program ideas and learning from each others’ successes.

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