Monday, November 29, 2010

Madison County Literacy Coalition Seeks Volunteers

Volunteers who are interested in getting involved with the Madison County Literacy Coalition are invited to attend the Literacy Planning Meeting on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 8:30 am – 11 am. The group will be meeting at the New Beginnings Church on Genesee Street in Wampsville.

The Madison County Literacy Coalition is committed to assist 100% of literacy providers to collaborate in achieving the vision of 100% access to literacy services in Madison County. The coalition was formed after results from a Literacy Needs Assessment for Madison County done by Kim Scott of Literacy Powerline. In the assessment, it was discovered that Madison County is challenged by a silent crisis: 5,520 of Madison County adult residents live with low literacy skill. This crisis severely limits Madison County's potential for future growth and prosperity.

The U.S. Census Bureau (2006) estimates the current Madison County population as 70,107. Sixteen percent of that population has not yet completed a high school diploma or its equivalent. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy Report (2009) estimates 10% of the Madison County adult population functions below the basic level, which indicates they have only the most simple and concrete literacy skills. These 5,520 individuals need adult literacy services. Thousands more individuals need continued skill development to advance in the workforce.

The Literacy Planning Meetings are being held the first Wednesday of every month through March 2nd of 2011. For further details or additional information on how you can become involved in this community movement, please plan to attend the meeting on December 1 or contact Carolyn Gerakopulos at the Oneida Public Library, 315-363-3050.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rebecca Eddy Memorial Writing Contest Awards Ceremony

More than fifty children and adult contestants entered their original poetry and short stories in the Canastota Public Library’s 10th Annual Rebecca Eddy Memorial Writing Contest this year. One surprise this year was the announcement of several drawings for all participants who attended the Annual Awards Ceremony. A laptop computer and various raffle basket winner’s names were drawn from those participants who attended the awards ceremony.

Drawing Winners
Dell Laptop: Donna Walrath
Raffle Baskets: Madelyn Milligan, Tricia Green, Marleah Roseman and Jeffery VanLiew
The contest was organized by Joan and Doug Eddy as a memorial to their daughter, Rebecca Eddy, a local Canastota woman who died at a young age in an automobile accident. Ms. Eddy was a graduate of Canastota High School as well as a graduate of John Hopkins University. She was an athlete, an artist, a thespian and a scholar. Eddy felt a passion towards writing and also towards her community. Joan and Doug Eddy were on hand to congratulate the winners and to encourage them to continue writing.

The winners of this year’s competition were named at a special awards ceremony at the library on Thursday, November 18.

The winners included the following:
10 and under Short Story
1st Place Kacey Cashel
2nd Place Megan Cretaro
Honorable Mention M. Loryn Wilcox
11-14 Poem:
1st Place Stephanie Seitz
2nd Place Harley Whitmeyer
Honorable Mention M. William Milligan

11-14 Short Story:
1st Place Sarah Cretaro
2nd Place Lydia Scheuermann
Honorable Mention Holly Popple
Honorable Mention Allie Cretaro

15-18 Poem:
1st Place Melissa McGovern
2nd Place Cassidy Backus
Honorable Mention Chris Bradley

15-18 Short Story:
1st Place Jessica McCallops
2nd Place Ryan McDowell
Honorable Mention Marleah Roseman

18 and over Poem:
1st Place Bernie Conklin
2nd Place Margaret LeBlanc
Honorable Mention Michael Seagriff
Honorable Mention Anne DeFrancisco

18 and Over Short Story:
1st Place Michael Seagriff
2nd Place Pam Maihafer
Honorable Mention Olin Davis
Honorable Mention Rachael Ikins
All contestants received a certificate for entering the competition. First and second place award winners also received a cash prize of $25 and $10 respectively. Every participant also received a bookmark of one of Rebecca’s poems. After the awards presentation, writers were encouraged to read a portion of their work to the audience.
The contest is coordinated each year by the Canastota Public Library at 102 W. Center Street in Canastota.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Swamp Snappers Display Work at Library

November's Art Display at the Canastota Public Library is a new photography group organized for the purpose of enjoying nature while learning about their craft of photography!
The Great Swamp Conservancy "Swamp Snappers" are a group of photography buffs that regularly meet every second Saturday of the month at the Great Swamp Conservancy to share their enthusiasm about outdoor photography. There are workshops, speakers, field trips and experienced photographers mentoring beginners. The group offers an opportunity for experienced & beginning photographers to share and critique their images with the community.
The photos of the Swamp Snappers are available for viewing and purchase at the library in the lower level Lawson Community Room. The pictures are breathtaking and amazingly were taken in our own backyard of Canastota! Members of the newly formed group include Peter Cann, Mike Clouse, Nancy Grabow, Eleanor Jones, Barbara Lindsley, Hayley Patane, Rusty Patane, Cheri Sassman, Donna Ward and Sherry Wright.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


When I was growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I was one of the “middle” children in our neighborhood. Those older than me were five or ten years older than me. And, those who were younger than me, also seemed to be at least five years younger than me. I spent a lot of time by myself or with my Mom. I don’t remember playing with toys or dolls at all. I must have had a Barbie or two, but I just don’t remember them. I remember reading. I can remember Mom taking me to the Grants store and buying me coloring books and reading books. I was enchanted.

As I grew older, I continued reading Little Women, The Little House Series, Trixie Beldon and more. Books were friends. They took me places and allowed me to see more than the tree in my backyard. At about twelve, I discovered romance novels and I devoured them. How glorious, to always have a happy ending! I loved it that true love always won out. Then, I started reading Mary Stewart and Mary Higgins Clark. From Mary Higgins Clark, I learned that I loved a mystery and if there was a love interest involved, so much the better. Sometimes I wondered if I would have become a different person, if I had read non-fiction. I might have been a little more cynical, a glass half empty sort of girl.

The fiction novels allowed me to find a world were happy endings were always possible—no matter the odds. I could become the heroine and save the day, whether putting out a fire, assisting a homeless pet or loving a child that wasn’t my own. Those novels made me believe that reality could be what I wanted it to be.

Somewhere along the way, life can really get us feeling down. And, we think that we can’t reach our goals. We can’t find our way in the storm. We will NEVER be able to try something new with our lives. Every negative thought that comes our way stops us in our tracks. We settle for the lives we think we were meant to live.

I think that our lives should be more like those fiction novels. Where the evil is always triumphed against and the demons of life are slain. Like those books, we should be able to find our way in the storm. We should be able to change our lives in mid-stream, to find a better way for us and for our families. Books offers us hope and the challenge to overcome obstacles; we need to accept that challenge.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Make Potato Chip Scarves for the Holidays!

There is still time to sign up for a special evening presentation of "Creating Potato Chip Scarves" at the Canastota Public Library! If you are planning to make some of your holiday gifts, why not consider learning to make these attractive scarves?

On Thursday, November 11th at 7pm, the Library Knitters will host a special instructional program on knitting potato chip scarves. If you are interested, you will need to bring 8 oz of a sport yarn as well as #4 knitting needles. Please call the library at 697-7030 to let them know that you will be attending so we can be sure that we have enough instructors available!


Monday, November 1, 2010

The First of November

I'm still not sure how November got here so quickly but I know it is here.  We had some of the white stuff blowing around in my yard last night and this morning and there is definitely a November chill in the air!  I guess just due to the chill, I am already thinking about getting my holiday shopping started this week.  I do have my wreath out and ready to go on the front door, but I've hesitated to put it up.  My husband won't be in the holiday spirit until December 1st or so!  I guess I've always felt the holiday spirit about a month earlier than him--probably because the holiday shopping is done by me.  If we waited for hubby to get it done, we would have our gifts purchased on Christmas Eve just as the mall is getting ready to close!  This year, I'm trying to get some gifts made and am trying to find really unique gifts for family and friends!  And, I am looking for warm, indoor activities to keep me busy!  This week at the library, we've got two very warm evenings planned for patrons!

This Wednesday,  November 3 at 7pm, The Great Swamp Conservancy Photographers will open their November Show in the Lawson Community Room.  We invite the entire community out to view this great photography show.  This group of photographers is a newly formed group and is sure to be a great treasure to our community!  Light refreshments will be served!

On Thursday, November 4 at 7pm, the library will host Julie Rimmel for a wonderfully warm presentation of "Holiday ABC Books".  Mrs. Rimmel has a collection of alphabet groups through the ages and she will share some of her favorites.  While children are welcomed, this program is designed for an adult audience.

If you have been thinking about making some of your holiday gifts this year, there is still time to sign up for our special evening presentation of "Creating Potato Chip Scarves."  On Thursday, November 11 at 7pm, the Canastota Library Knitters would be honored to help you!  You will need to bring 8 oz of a sport yarn, as well as #4 knitting needlesPlease RSVP by calling 697-7030 so the Knitters will know how many people to expect!

We hope to see you this week at the Library!