Literacy Zones

The Literacy Zone is a reform initiative to close the achievement gap in urban and rural communities of concentrated poverty and high concentrations of families and individuals with limited literacy or English language proficiency. Literacy Zones provide a systemic approach to meeting the literacy needs of these communities characterized by significant poverty and deficits in literacy and English language proficiency. Geographically defined as one or more adjacent census tracts using the US Census Bureau data, New York State Education Department has identified over 50 Literacy Zones across the State. Each Literacy Zone can provide pathways out of poverty for individuals and families, in the following areas:

  • A continuum of literacy from early childhood through adult, including strong support for parents’ involvement in their children’s literacy development at home and engagement with the school system
  • Assistance and support for out-of-school youth to enable them to complete high school and succeed in postsecondary education or advanced training
  • Postsecondary transition that enable out-of-school youth and adults to obtain a high school equivalency diploma and succeed in postsecondary education
  • Support services that enable out-of-school youth and adults who are receiving public assistance, or families with incomes of less than 200 percent of poverty, to obtain and retain employment
  • Transition programs for youth and adults returning to the community from incarceration
  • Pathways to citizenship and English language proficiency for limited English language adults
  • Workforce development programs, including apprenticeship, career and technical education, and career pathways
  • Support for mature workers and senior citizens to enable them to stay out of Poverty
  • Support for individuals with disabilities and their families
  • Transition support for returning veterans and their families, including disabled veterans

A continuum of literacy services from early childhood through adult, including strong support for Pathways out of poverty are tailored to meet the needs of individuals and families located within the Literacy Zone community.

Please contact or visit one of our sites to determine which services are available in your community.

Agency Name Literacy Zone Name Contact Information

Greater Southern Tier BOCES
650 Baldwin Street
Elmira, NY 14901


Colleen Hurd

Nicole Elston
(607) 739-7684

Herkimer BOCES
320 Prospect Street
Herkimer, NY 13350


Patricia Wilson

Hanka Grabovica
(315) 867-2079

Madison-Oneida BOCES
Utica ACCESS Site

508 Second Street
Utica, NY 13501

Utica East

Brenda Wolak
(315) 361-5805

Madison-Oneida BOCES
Veterans Complex

726 Washington Street
Utica, NY 13502

Utica West

Brenda Wolak
(315) 361-5805

Madison-Oneida BOCES

266 W. Dominick Street
Rome, NY 13440


Brenda Wolak
(315) 361-5805

Oswego CiTi BOCES
104 Cayuga Street
Fulton, NY 13069


Ami Abold

Oswego CiTi BOCES
10 Bella Road
Pulaski, NY 13142


Ami Abold

Syracuse City School District
Grant Middle School
2400 Grant Boulevard
Syracuse, NY 13208

Syracuse North

John Iorio

Syracuse City School District
Dr. King Elementary School
416 E. Raynor Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Syracuse South

John Iorio

Syracuse City School District
Dr. Weeks Community School
710 Hawley Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13203
Syracuse East

John Iorio

Syracuse City School District
Fowler High School
227 Magnolia Street
Syracuse, NY 13204
Syracuse West

John Iorio

For Immediate Release: 7/14/2016



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