Driving for reading outside Wolk Hall: Literacy Volunteers of Rochester

Driving for reading outside Wolk Hall: Literacy Volunteers of Rochester

site of Literacy Volunteers of Rochester, 100 South Avenue 10/08/16 [Photo: David Kramer]

Cycling around Rochester, you come across some inspiring sights. Just last Saturday, a cold and rainy day, I discovered Literacy Volunteers of Rochester and Cortese Ford teaming up to raise money for the cause of literacy. LVR is located in Wolk Hall on 1600 South Avenue near the intersection of Elmwood Avenue.

Susan Brayer, Development Director.

Cortese Sales Manager Darren Sneddon 10/08/16Couldn’t resist the opportunity to stop and learn more. With photo-ops.

Cortese Ford was offering LVR supporters the chance to take a test drive in a 2017 model car. In turn, Cortese was donating $20.00 per ride to LVR. Dozens of people took part in the event.

While Cortese certainly hoped to make sales from the rest drives, manager Darren Sneddon said the primary purpose was to raise money and awareness for LVR: “We are thrilled to support this important organization. Their work is essential to making our community a better place.”

Darren added that Cortese always tries to make a difference even in small ways. On days when employees are offered free Saturday lunches, leftovers are taken to the local food bank.

(l-r) Aley Cespedes, Laura Rivers, Taylor Roth, Jeannette Garbanzo 10/08/16

Drive 4 UR Community is a program of the dealership and Ford Motor Company that backs the work of nonprofit organizations. This time around, they chose the accomplished literacy organization to support. LVR has programs that include English language, math, family and digital literacy. About 74% of its English and math students make positive gains every year. Over 95% of its digital customers learn new computer skills, complete urgent computer-related task or become more marketable for employment. LVR accomplishes all of this with a small staff and a core of more than 300 volunteers.”I love the work I do with Literacy Volunteers,” agreed Ginny Rizzo, who volunteers to assist with small group math classes that Literacy Volunteers provides.


Inside Wolk Hall [Photo: Susan Brayer] 10/08/16

I’m often out cycling through the community, and it’s such a rich experience. You frequently see things you might not otherwise see driving in a car. More information on how to volunteer or support this great organization can found at literacyrochester.org.

And today I went back to see how the afternoon went. LVR Executive Director Robert Mahar said about 1,000 dollars was raised. That’s about 50 test drives. Not bad for a cold and drizzly day.

10/08/16 Outside Wolk Hall


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About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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