Skip Navigation Links

Colvin Center

Building Literacy In Our Local Community

photo colvin center computer lab

Every day, in our own community, we see the pressing need for adult literacy resources. And with the Ruth J. Colvin Center for Innovation and Excellence in Adult Literacy, we're putting these vital services and tools into the hands of adult learners in our own backyard.

The Center was created in 2010 to increase our organization’s contributions to our community and to increase the depth of our work through hands-on staff involvement. It is located on the first floor of ProLiteracy’s headquarters in Syracuse’s Near West Side neighborhood.

The Center’s goal is to work with service organizations to improve literacy in Central New York by:

  • Providing resources to help local organizations increase the quality and availability of literacy services for adults and families.
  • Providing services such as digital literacy instruction and professional development directly to community members and practitioners.
  • Researching and testing new methods and materials for replication throughout ProLiteracy’s International member network.
  • Applying best practices gained from more than 50 years of experience in the adult literacy field to engage the community in our effort to improve local literacy levels.

photo ruth colvin

Named after ProLiteracy co-founder and Presidential Medal of Honor recipient Ruth Johnson Colvin, the Center aims to contribute to the sustainable increase in the ability of disadvantaged Central New Yorkers with limited literacy skills—especially low-income families, unemployed and displaced workers, seniors, at-risk youth, and immigrants and refugees with limited English proficiency—to achieve economic, educational, and life goals. We believe that this is an essential feature of strong, vibrant communities in the 21st century. Research and best practices developed through the Colvin Center will be shared with ProLiteracy’s member network, creating national and international impact and contributing to Central New York’s growing reputation for innovation.

The work of the Colvin Center is made possible with generous support from the Central New York Community Foundation, the Allyn Foundation, and the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation.

Explore other
| New Readers Press International Programs Ruth J. Colvin Center ProLiteracy Education Network