Mercier Literacy Program Fact Sheet
The literacy program is available to children for free and accessible in schools and at childcare centers in Rochester’s poorest neighborhoods. School 9 and 46 are currently the chosen locations for the program. School 9 Principal is Ms. Sharon Jackson. School 46 Principal is Ms. Thani Pantoja Children can attend the program after school, Saturday mornings during the school year or in the summer. Teachers are NYS certified, with many of them having specialized in Special Education or Literacy. The program relies on teaching strategies that have been proven to improve a child’s reading level. Individual evaluations are conducted throughout the program to follow every child’s progress and to determine what adjustments need to be made, if any. Children are taught in a safe and nurturing environment and given a healthy snack. Free books and writing supplies are provided to each child every week. Transportation is provided to all students. The program puts an emphasis on trying to build a connection between a child’s home and school. Parents are strongly encouraged to participate. Dr. Naomi Erdmann is the Director of the Graduate Literacy Program at Nazareth College. Dr. Erdman is the proud recipient of the Lifetime Commitment to Children and Education Award. (Please see write up below.) This partnership provides the program access to the latest research and teaching strategies. In addition, Nazareth graduate students conduct fieldwork to support and enhance the program. Children are taught on an individual basis and in small groups, depending on their level of reading. During the summer program, every student who has participated has improved their level of reading in the majority of their assessments. George Mercier pays for the majority of the program with his own money. The program needs donations to pay for teachers and supplies.