2019 Awards Ceremony

Friends of Literacy
Charter Communications/Spectrum

Action for a Better Community, Focus on Self Sufficiency Program

Chris Edgar, Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County

President’s Award
Kim Emilo, LVR Treasurer

Millie Sefranek, Library Coordinator at REOC

Nancy Bernola, Digital Literacy Volunteer

Going to Bat for Literacy
Paul Burke, Director of OACES

Volunteer Service Pins
Mary June Dowd, 30 years

Cathy Pospula, 10 years

David Heinsler, 10 years

Ruth Colvin Founder’s Award
Dee Jones

Bonnie Martin

Dorothy Holmes

Judy Dauphinee Volunteer of the Year Award
Peg Warrick



Adamaris’s Story

My name is Adamaris Maldonado I am 29 years old, I was born in Puerto Rico and now I live in the United States. I work full time at a manufacturing company. Though I have a few goals to achieve, I am so very proud to announce that I has accomplished one.

Before coming to LVR in 2016, I took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) which is a multiple-choice test, administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM), used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces.  However, at that time, I did not pass the math portion of the test and was unable to enlist in the United States Airforce.

I subsequently enrolled in a few of LVR’s Math classes taught by Jennifer Eaton, and with Dave Pecora in the Literacy Volunteers of Rochester newly designed Spectrum Learning Center. The results of all my hard work, state of the art Spectrum Leaning Center, and instructors, I have moved up four grade levels in my math. And last but not least, I am happy to announce I have successfully passed the math portion of the (ASVAB) and am now eligible to enlist in the United States Army.

-Adamaris Maldonado, LVR learner since 2016

Dave Pecora, Adamaris’s Math Instructor’s comments

Adamaris is an outstanding student. She works extremely hard, and diligently attends class twice a week despite working night shifts at a local manufacturing company.  She brings a lot of energy to our class, helps other students succeed, and is always well prepared.  I am proud of her recent accomplishment, but seeing her intelligence and work ethic firsthand, I am not at all surprised.  She will succeed at just about anything she sets her mind to do.  

Congratulations Adamaris!  

-Dave Pecora, LVR Math Tutor since 2013, and member of the LVR Board of Directors.  

New Executive Director

Charles Reaves

Board President, Rick Nangreave, of Literacy Volunteers of
Rochester (LVR) after an extensive search is happy to announce that the 4th
Executive Director of LVR will be Charles Reaves. Charles Reaves will take over
as Executive Director on Monday, July 1, 2019.

Charles has dedicated his life and work to serving the
not-for-profit community.  When you combine his proven experience as a
leader, education, and the foundation already established, LVR and Charles are
poised for the success in the future.”

Rick Nangreave, Board President

professional work experience is expansive.  Charles has served as the
Executive Director of Children Awaiting Parents, the Operations Manager for
Sojourner House,   Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services for
the City of Rochester, Executive Director of the YMCA of Greater Rochester,
Acting Director of Emergency Services for The American Red Cross, and the
Assistant Director of Emergency Services for the Heating Fund. 
Additionally, Charles holds a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Brockport.

“A strong literate community will
strengthen our economy, improves our educational systems, break down barriers
that divides us, and better prepares us for the future.  I’m honored to be
part of Literacy Volunteers of Rochester and help lead the organization towards
achieving these goals.”
Charles Reaves

To make the transition of leadership as smooth as
possible Charles will work side by side with current Executive Director, Robert
(Bob) Mahar, for a few weeks before taking official control of LVR on July 1,

Bob Mahar announced his retirement from LVR after 17 years as Executive Director on February 14, 2019. Under the leadership of Bob, LVR has gone through a rebranding with a new name and logo, achieved national accreditation, a physical move to its currently location at 1600 South Avenue, and major growth and diversification of programming, funding, and community partnerships. One of the latest expansions under Bob is the addition of the Learning Center at 1600 South Avenue. Through the generous support of Charter Communications/ Spectrum, the Learning Center provides expanded drop in hours for student to receive extra help from tutor and have access to 10 laptops to use online resources.

Please join us in welcoming Charles Reaves to the Literacy Volunteers of Rochester Family!

Census 2020

Monroe County is partnering with Census 2020, the City of Rochester, Literacy Volunteers of Rochester, and RochesterWorks! for another Recruiting on the Road event.

Representatives from the Census Bureau will be on site to screen, interview, and hire job seekers for hundreds of jobs throughout Monroe County with positions including:

– Census Takers

– Field Manager

– Office Manager

– Partnership Specialist

– Recruiting Manager

– Information Technology Manager

– Administration Manager

LVR & OACES will be on site to assist applicants with completing the required online application. Job seekers can also visit www.Census.gov ahead of time to complete the online application.

Attendees are encouraged to bring resumes, dress for success, and be prepared for an on-site interview. The Recruiting on the Road Census 2020 Hiring event is free and open to the public.

100 Years of Literacy!

On May 2, 2019, LVR held the 100 Years of Literacy Luncheon at the Country Club of Rochester. At the Luncheon we celebrates 2 things: 45 years of service to literacy by a dedicated volunteer, Rose-Marie Klipstein and 55 years of LVR empowering members of Monroe County to be fully engaged citizens.

Thank you to our Literacy Luncheon Leaders for your generous support!!!

Lois Benedict

Rochester Public Library and
the Friends & Foundation of
the Rochester Public Library

Cobblestone Capital Advisors

Anne Coon & Craig Zacari

Stewart Davis

Donald & Harriette Ginsberg

Peter Giopulos

Peter & Louise Greaves-Tunnell

Marjorie Grinols

Norman Horton


Nora Jones

Rose-Marie Klipstein

Stephen & Ann Martin

Ray & Jeannie Martino

Dan Meyers

John O’Connor

The Porterfield Family

Margaret Sánchez

Suzanne Spencer

Ray & Peg Warrick

John Williams & Chuck Lundeen

Due to the generous support of the 100 attendees to the Luncheon, LVR was able to raise $12,000 for the newly renamed Rose-Marie Klipstein Fund.

The Rose-Marie Klipstein Fund allows for LVR to invest in itself so it can help adults in Monroe County overcome the many challenges that come with literacy and continue to empower lives through literacy. 

100 Years of Literacy Luncheon

On May 2, 2019 we will celebrating 45 years of dedication to literacy by Rose-Marie Klipstein and 55 years of Literacy Volunteers of Rochester serving Monroe County.

Date: May 2, 2019
Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Country Club of Rochester
2935 East Ave
Rochester, NY 14610

Tickets: Individual Seats – $55
Table of 8 – $400

To purchase tickets or a table, call (585) 473-3030 and talk with
Shelley Alfieri or Joshua Stapf.

Tom’s Big Heart

Tom Weiler is a retired Cornell university professor. He recently became a LVR tutor and Digital literacy volunteer navigator. Previously, Tom served as a board member and tutor for the Literacy Volunteers program in Ithaca, New York. Below, he shares his thoughts about volunteering and giving:

“Experiencing students’ incremental successes, gains in confidence, and engagement in life is what I valued most as a university educator. That same path of accomplishment is true with adult learning, though student and tutor may meet only a couple of hours each week. I have been given the privilege of working with so many wonderful people. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to help a stroke victim realize his math skills were not diminished, just rusty – then pass a tool-and-dye company test and be asked to join the firm; or help a student with health challenges format her life story, “Sarah Never Gives Up” – a title she created; or work for 12 years with a gentleman who did not read or write because of a disability with word memory, as he learned to read phonetically and pursue interest in his family’s history.

Other students want to become digitally literate—learn to keyboard proficiently, navigate websites to search for information, apply for work, learn English-as-a-Second-Language and get news from their native country. Rochester is so fortunate in its new Digital Literacy Program, in which I volunteer, which addresses digital needs at sites throughout the city. I’ve learned to be a better teacher and person from program coordinators, fellow tutors, and the students themselves. The human dimension of tutoring—insights, interpretations, finding practices that work—is surprising and humbling.

Helping, however modestly, to fund adult literacy is another aspect of giving back. Literacy Volunteers is legitimate—certified by the State Department of Education. And, having been a member of a Literacy Voluntees Board of Directors (in Ithaca), I know how limited and fragile annual budgets are – statements of probable hope! Giving annually and at fundraisers helps sustain facility expenses, utilities, lean staffing, training, student intake and testing, education resources, basic supplies, and occasional initiatives.

Those are the reasons I engage with adult literacy—and that turns out to be quite a selfish act. For a few hours a week and some disposable income, I receive back so much more!”

Follow Tom’s example


Ruth Colvin, literacy pioneer, 101 years young

To Family & Friends, Happy New Year & Happy Holidays!

I’m now 101, well into the three digit numbers. I do count my blessings.

I continue my normal activities of being a life member of two boards (ProLiteracy and LiteracyCNY), in three book clubs, active in my church on the Mission Committee, gym twice a week, golf three times a week (when weather permits, higher handicap, shorter ball and even played with two of my doctors – I think they were curious to see if a 100-year-old could hit the ball), still teaching and doing research, travelled to the ProLiteracy national conference in Minneapolis and to California in February and March. And of course, lots of reading and now writing another book, looking back over my 100 Years of travel, my love, my life, and literacy, with hundreds of stories, personal and international.

The 100 birthday celebrations went on even at the ProLiteracy national conference, where I’m so proud to meet with so many dedicated students, tutors, and old friends. A most impressive celebration was when READ Santa Clara celebrated my birthday in California with a big cake, and instead of 100 candles they put 100 pencils in the cake, distributing them to students and tutors – what a creative group. And they skyped me, too, as they used my book “Off the Beaten Path” for their tutor/student book club. I’m delighted other affiliates are starting book clubs for tutors/students and using “Off the Beaten Path” as an opening door to learning of other cultures and people.

I’m working to keep a balanced life, as I write in my new book—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I’ll always repeat “Age is just a number. It’s what you do with your number that counts.” My number gets bigger and bigger, and I’ll continue to do my best to help change lives.

How fortunate I am to have a loving and supportive family, now welcoming my 8th great grandchild. Even though they are “coast to coast,” they insist I email them every morning, and they call me every day. I’m blest to have so many caring friends who not only check up on me but are ready to help me when and if needed. I count my blessings that I have an active mind, that I’m physically fit, and that I can continue to contribute to life.

Happy Holidays, and peace and joy go with each of you, Ruth Colvin

Follow Ruth’s example and DONATE or VOLUNTEER

Rick & Olga


When I joined the LVR Board, I also became an LVR tutor. As rewarding as it is to serve on the Board, for me personally, assisting others and giving back is my true calling. For you see, I always wanted to be a teacher.

Throughout my entire life I have been known as the individual that stands up and assists others. Even today, many describe me as a servant leader.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow up on Webster Avenue in the City of Rochester, surrounded by a diverse group of people who had the ability to speak another language other than English, all who learned the English language upon arriving to the United States.

In fact, as a toddler I spoke Spanish even though my parents only spoke English. In my pre-teen years, I even had the opportunity to learn Greek and Sign Language-experiences I may have not had if I grew up anywhere else. It was through these life experiences, I learned the value of having the ability to read, write, and speak the primary language of the country one lives in.

Fast forward years later, I met my wife, Olga. The interesting thing about our story, we came to realize we grew up blocks apart but never recall meeting until we were adults. Her parents moved into the neighborhood when they migrated to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico. At that time, Olga was only seven years old and did not speak a word of English.

Because my wife didn’t speak English she was placed into English as a Second Language classes (ESL). Throughout the years, Olga and her entire family began to learn the English language. Eventually, she became a “mainstream” English student and today holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, which established the foundation for her very successful career in the field of Human Resources.

Success stories like Olga’s are made possible, in part, through agencies like Literacy Volunteers of Rochester. To offer the greatest possible future for our students we need your support. I ask that you please consider donating to LVR and help our students achieve their hopes and dreams. Through your generosity you open the doors of possibilities for others, which in turn benefit all.

Sincerely, Rick Nangreave

Follow Rick’s example and DONATE or VOLUNTEER