Letter from the President 21/22 Program Year

Dear Supporters of Literacy Rochester,

2020 was a year none of us will ever forget. The coronavirus has turned Rochester and the world upside down and the year has also brought into focus other major challenges just – think climate change or geopolitical tensions. Despite the difficulties the year posed, I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. For everyone impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, my sincerest thoughts are with you.

At Literacy Rochester, we live by our mission to improve reading, mathematics, English language, and digital literacy skills of adults in Monroe County. So, as the pandemic took hold, in addition to supporting our community, our priority was to ensure the safety of our employees and those we serve, while continuing to provide adult education and digital literacy instruction to our students.  We moved nearly all our interactions with students, staff, and the board to a virtual context. 

In the 2020/2021 fiscal year, through support from people like you, Literacy Rochester achieved some amazing results in spite of the challenges associated with COVID-19.  From an adult education standpoint, 65 students received a total of 1,830 student hours of English and Math training through the hard work, support, and dedication of 52 of Literacy Rochester’s volunteers.  Literacy Rochester’s Digital Literacy program continues to grow.  In the 2020/2021 fiscal year, Digital Literacy provided basic computer skills in 6 locations throughout the City of Rochester, Monroe County, and virtually in a Live Chat.  Our 35 dedicated volunteers accumulated 3,332 hours assisting individuals complete computer based tasks.

As I look to Literacy Rochester’s year ahead, I am excited about what’s to come. 

  • First, the board has welcomed two new members with various business backgrounds who I’m sure will be bring a fresh perspective to the Literacy Rochester board.  Throughout the next year we will continue to recruit and look for new board members who are representative of those we serve.

  • Next, I’m pleased to announce that Joshua Stapf has been named Executive Director effective July 1, 2021. Joshua has years of not for profit experience and for the past 12 months has served as a co-leader along with Jennifer Eaton running the day to day operations of Literacy Rochester.

  • In April of 2021, Literacy of Central New York have signed a management agreement with Literacy Rochester. As such, Literacy Rochester will provide the daily operations of Literacy of CNY, but also facilitates growing and expanding the services Literacy Rochester offers to the Syracuse, NY region.

  • The board and staff are also busy planning for our major fundraiser, the 2021 Brain Game to be held on October 21, 2021. Due the success if last year’s virtual brain game, and the continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we will be conducting the Brain Game virtually. 

I am truly optimistic and deeply excited about the future of Literacy Rochester. I am convinced that, together, we can continue to help improve people’s lives through literacy

All the best,
John G. Roman, Jr.
President and Chairman of the Board of Directors

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