Senator John W. Mannion secures $10,000 to help reboot the Light a Candle Literacy Parade and Children’s Book Festival

John W. Mannion

September 10, 2022

The festival increases awareness of the importance of literacy and returned to Syracuse for the first time since 2015

SYRACUSE, NY – Senator John W. Mannion today announced $10,000 in state funding for the Light a Candle Literacy Parade to help reboot its annual festival. Senator Mannion marched in the parade and toured the festival. 
Senator John W. Mannion (SD-50) said, “The Light a Candle for Literacy Parade and Children’s Book Festival opens the wonderful world of reading to the youth of Central New York and I am proud to have secured resources to help bring back this important event.”

"Senator Mannion’s offer of financial support was committed early and crucial to our event. After a pause in the event that was held for 10 years his funding assured the revival. Covid and distanced learning took a toll on urban children. This event demonstrates how much parents value learning, support for their children and providing books for their children." said Ed Kochian, Committee Member of Light a Candle for Literacy
The Light a Candle for Literacy Parade and Children’s Book Festival included a celebratory procession, followed by a festival designed to promote literacy and community. The event featured local children’s book authors and illustrators.
The festival is a reboot of the annual celebration that took place from 2005 to 2015 with the continued purpose of increasing awareness of the importance of literacy, counteract the summer reading loss in children, and help parents understand the importance of reading to their children daily.
Light a Candle for Literacy (LACFL) is a volunteer-run after-school and summer literacy program founded by longtime Southside community and literacy advocate, Geneva Hayden.  Based on Syracuse’s Southside in the Brighton neighborhood, LACFL serves school-age youth in Kindergarten-5th grade. 

Nancy Kern Eaton, president of the United Way of Central New York said, “We are grateful for Senator Mannion’s strong commitment to children and families, and his support of literacy as a critical pathway to success. We believe in the importance of literacy for people of all ages and are proud to partner in Light a Candle for Literacy, continuing the wonderful work begun by Ms. Geneva Hayden decades ago.”

“In honor of National Literacy Month, the Literacy Parade and Children’s Book Festival presented by Light a Candle for Literacy is an important community event dedicated to investing in future generations,” stated Camille Coakley. “We are grateful to New York State Senator John W. Mannion for his support and for seeing value in what our organization is seeking to accomplish. The grant from Senator Mannion is a great example of how elected officials creating policy at various levels can partner with local organizations to effect change on the ground, impacting the people who need it most.”
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