Today literacy advocates around the country are celebrating Ruth Colvin’s 100th birthday. Ruth has worked tirelessly to advance literacy since 1961 when she read a newspaper article that noted 11,000 people could not read in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. That news led her to start Literacy Volunteers of America, which later merged with Laubach Literacy International in 2002 to form ProLiteracy. Ruth currently serves on the board of directors for ProLiteracy, Literacy New York, and Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse, and she is still an active adult literacy tutor and advocate.
To celebrate Ruth’s legacy, ProLiteracy asked adult literacy advocates, tutors, donors, and friends to send us photos and to sign Ruth’s birthday card. Here are a few of the photos and messages we received.
Tri-County Literacy toasted Ruth at its final tutor gathering of the year. Each tutor had a fact about Ruth on the back of their training session agenda to share a sliver of her life with the group. Everyone was excited to be a part of her 100th celebration.
Weirton Area Literacy Council
“On behalf of our Weirton Area Literacy and Lifelong Learning Council, I wish you health and happiness on your birthday! God bless!!” —Pamela Makricosta
Read Santa Clara Adult Literacy Program
Read Santa Clara Adult Literacy Program threw a party honoring Ruth Colvin with more than 30 tutors and learners.
“We all admire you so much at Read Santa Clara and join with many others in wishing you the happiest of birthdays!”
Anne Arundel County Literacy Council
“Dear Ruth, Happy 100th Birthday! Thank you for changing lives through literacy. You are a champion for every struggling adult reader in America. God bless you.” —Lisa Vernon, Executive Director, Anne Arundel County Literacy Council
Fox Valley Literacy Council
Tutors and learners at Fox Valley Literacy designed a hand-made birthday card for Ruth.
Waubonsee Community College
“Dear Ruth, Happy Birthday and thank you for your commitment to adult literacy! I’m only 24, but I’m happy to be part of the tutoring efforts at Waubonsee Community College as the tutor coordinator. You inspire me!” —Amanda Munoz
Livermore Public Library
The literacy tutors at Livermore Public Library made this birthday card for Ruth.
Oswego County Literacy Volunteers
“Happy 100th Birthday. Your inspiration has lead me to the field of adult education as well. Thank you from Oswego County Literacy Volunteers!” —Beth Kazel
Congressman John Katko
On December 6, New York Rep. John Katko spoke on the floor of the House to honor Ruth Colvin.
“Ruth Colvin has dedicated her entire life to teaching, assisting, and empowering adult learners. Please join me in wishing her a happy 100th birthday!”
Help us celebrate Ruth's milestone birthday! Sign her card.