The Literacy Coalition of Madison County NY (LCMCNY) partnered with the Upstate Institute of Colgate and members of Professor Ellen Percy Kraly’s GEOG 250 Research Methods class last spring to measure shared reading habits between parents/caregivers and pre-kindergarten children within Madison County.

This project provided valuable information to the Literacy Coalition about how parents/caregivers perceive their child’s kindergarten readiness, and it also pointed to additional data collection needs about reading habits in the county. The coalition hopes to work with the students this fall to collect more information about ideas that emerged through the initial project.

“The Colgate students are eager to contribute to this project, and over the next several weeks will be honing their skills in interviewing. They come from all over the U.S. and have sought to learn as much as they can about Madison County and its communities,” said Kraly.

The LCMCNY was founded in 2009 by over 50 community organizations committed to improving child, family and adult literacy throughout the county. In 2012, the coalition implemented the Dolly Parton Imagination Library throughout the county by providing free books to children birth to age five every month. Currently, over 1,400 children are receiving a book a month, and over 16,000 books were distributed to children this past year.

The stakeholders identified for the ongoing research this fall include representatives from the county’s school districts, daycare centers, libraries and not-for-profit organizations who are best able to share their ideas about these themes. The students anticipate the interviews will take approximately 30 minutes.

The Literacy Coalition anticipates that this research may identify how they can address issues of accessing or using the books at home and then use this information to seek funding to enhance the impact of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

For more information about coalition programs, or to make a tax deductible donation, visit literacycoalitionmadisoncountyny.org or email Elizabeth Crofut, interim executive director, at elizabethcrofut@gmail.com. Checks can also be mailed to LCMCNY, 1081 Northside Plaza Gorman Foundation Center, Oneida, N.Y. 13421.