Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara (LNYBN) knows a good thing when it’s spelled.
Today (February 2, 2017) marks the kick-off a nearly three month session of Scrabble play among Western New Yorkers. Scrabble enthusiasts throughout area will commence with game play at home, in coffee shops, and anywhere else opponents can be faced and conquered.
From now until April 27, players will host Scrabble “parties”, where the winner of the match will move forward to the next round, ultimately making it up a ladder towards being crowned Western New York Scrabble Champion. Anyone is welcome to play. The tournament is meant to raise awareness of a problematic issue that faces the entirety of the region – widespread illiteracy. It’s also a three month fundraiser.
Word by word, we can change lives. LNYBN provides free, one-on-one adult and youth literacy services.
“The way we raise funds to fight illiteracy is, the money raised by people having house parties (Scrabble parties or even other games too) with pizza, beer, snacks and charging their friends to attend. Then they donate the proceeds from the party,” explains Tracy Diina, a longtime advocate for LNYBN. “Most people do $15-$30 parties, but we have had some stalwarts that do $50 every year and serve dinner, $75 brunches etc. It’s such a great project and February and March are perfect for it. This year we extended it through April. We have the finals at the end of April and all the winners from the house parties compete. It’s awesome!”
All are welcome to attend the kick-off – play as much as you want for two hours. Guests are asked to make a $20 donation which will go directly toward literacy programming in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
Players looking to learn more about these Scrabble matches can do one of a few things. First, they are invited to attend the kick-off this afternoon at Buffalo EXPO Market (617 Main Street, Buffalo 14203 at The Market Arcade) from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
Or, if you are interested in hosting a Scrabble party at your house (or at a café, etc), then you can contact Anna Nawojski at Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara: 716-876-8991, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 in 5 residents of Erie County is functionally illiterate. (Source: National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) 1992 and National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) 2003)
- 1 in 3 residents of the City of Buffalo is functionally illiterate. (Source: National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) 1992 and National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) 2003)
- On a national level, for every $1 spent by Literacy Volunteers to tutor adults, $33 in economic benefit is returned to the overall economy. (Source: Economic Impact Analysis conducted by AT Kearney, 1999)
- Parents who can’t read are likely to have children who can’t read well.(Source: Kids & Family Reading Report, 2008)
- Reading aloud is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading. (Source: Reach Out and Read, Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook, 2007)
- 61% of low-income homes have no books in them. (Source: Reading Literacy in the United States: Findings from the IEA Reading Literacy Study, 1996.)
- Between 41-44% of adults with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty. (Based on federal poverty guidelines)
- 70% of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency (Source: http://www.proliteracy.org/the-crisis/adult-literacy-facts).
- 85% of juvenile offenders have reading problems. (Source: National Center for Adult Literacy, ProLiteracy Worldwide, U.S. Department of Labor, National Institute for Literacy, National Bureau of Economics, American Medical Association, U.S. Census, National Assessment of Adult Literacy)
- 76% of adults on public assistance are illiterate or unable to read more than the simplest of texts. (National Center for Adult Literacy, ProLiteracy Worldwide, U.S. Department of Labor, National Institute for Literacy, National Bureau of Economics, American Medical Association, U.S. Census, National Assessment of Adult Literacy)
- Welfare recipients with the lowest educational skills stay on welfare the longest. (Source: National Institute for Literacy)
- For the first time ever, nearly one-fifth of America’s children speak a language other than English at home. (http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2006/IntheNewsSpeakingEnglishintheUnitedSt)