60 Years of Literacy: Mary and Rose

LiteracyCNY is celebrating six decades serving Syracuse and Central New York. Founded in 1962, Ruth Colvin’s literacy program was incorporated as Literacy Volunteers in 1967. The program went national as Literacy Volunteers of America in 1972, with Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse as the local chapter. In 2014, the organization was rebranded as LiteracyCNY.

An early student of Literacy Volunteers, Mary Stewart (left) was born in Alabama and did not learn to read or write. As an adult, now living in Syracuse, she was unable to advance in her career. Over four months, Mary and her tutor Rose Rouse (right) worked on reading and writing skills. Mary was proud to write her first letter, which she sent to her son.