Campus News

SU Literacy Corps receives $700,000 grant for local education programs

SU Literacy Corps receives grant for education programs

The new grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is allocated to hiring new tutors, purchasing school resources and funding research.

Two students at a desk receive help from a tutor.

The Shaw Center for Community and Public Service recently received a $700,000 grant to expand SU Literacy Corps. The grant will allow the center to hire more undergraduate students, paving the way for more connection between the campus and broader Syracuse community.

The program focuses on bringing SU students to tutor throughout the Syracuse City School District in reading and math in a one-on-one setting.

The grant, allocated in January, has immediately been put to use by the SU Literacy Corps team. The program hired 69 new Literacy Corps tutors in addition to the 23 returning tutors, according to program director Carla Ramírez.

The newly received funding allows the program to offer employment to students without Federal Work Study grants, which was not previously the case. 

“Here on campus, the biggest impact will be that we’re hiring almost 100 tutors,” Ramírez said. “We’re offering jobs to SU students and giving them an opportunity to engage in the community, to get to know Syracuse.” 

The students who were hired as a result of the grant received letters of acceptance by Feb. 6 and will undergo training by HR professionals and the City of Syracuse School District. Following training, new tutors will begin to make an impact during the week of Feb. 26, where they will travel to schools and learning centers to begin tutoring. 

While the effects on campus are important, the program and many of its tutors are more focused on the impact the grant will make in the Syracuse community. 

Nadia Lyngdoh-Sommer, a junior sociology, law, society and policy major, started at SU Literacy Corps her first year. 

“There have been times where I’m working in a classroom with seven or eight people on different assignments at one time because they don’t have that many tutors,” Lyngdoh-Sommer said. “It’s super important that we’re able to hire more people. It really opens doors for us.”

In addition to the new hires, the grant will be used to buy new resources for city schools. It will also fund research on the results of tutoring, according to Carla Ramírez. 

“We know that schools are struggling,” she said. “So part of the grant will help us cover materials such as flashcards, pencils, pens, books, dictionaries and any material that the school may need.”

The Literacy Corps program has expanded to more than triple the amount of tutors and will be able to help Syracuse schools with its larger numbers and new resources. For long-time employees, this means spending more time doing what they love. 

SU junior Erin Adams said she made many fond memories during her two years as a tutor at Dr. King Elementary School.

“I love the job, it’s very rewarding,” Adams said. “There’s a gap between the campus and the community and what Literacy Corps is doing is very important because they are bridging that gap.”