Dec 02, 2010 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
You’ve got to appreciate a lady like Kelley Romano.
The wife of one of Central New York’s best dentists, the mother of a happy handful of accomplished kids and the owner of one of the village’s most historic homes, Kelley seems to live a charmed – albeit busy – life in Liverpool.
While family is her priority, Kelley pays it forward, as they say. She applies her energies not only to her loved ones but also to the betterment of the entire community.
I first met her a decade-and-a-half ago when she worked on a committee which eventually achieved the repeal of the village’s ill-advised consolidation with the Syracuse Police Department.
Later, she was instrumental in our successful effort to prevent a Wal-Mart Supercenter from ruining Liverpool. In 2008, Kelley was part of Promoting Action and Accountability in Liverpool schools, a group which monitored the management of the troubled Liverpool Central School District.
Now, continuing on the education theme, Kelley has helped establish the Drop-In Tutoring Center at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1001 Tulip St., here in the village. The center, which opened Nov. 23, mentors learners of all ages from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays.
As she attended a recent meeting of St. Joseph’s Parish Council, Kelley said, “I heard that the church is looking for new ways to reach out to the community.”
So she suggested an academic tutoring center, and all agreed it was a great idea.
“I wanted to do some volunteer tutoring along with the actual teaching I do on Mondays, teaching a writing course to a group of high-school students at a home-school co-op,” she said. “The church has the space for teaching, the food pantry which serves the local community, and it’s convenient to many families.”
Kelley put a notice in the church bulletin seeking tutors, and in a few weeks she received commitments from about a dozen adults and a few high-school students to tutor math, reading, writing, homework, study skills and English as a second language.
“Many of our volunteers are retired teachers or teacher assistants or folks who have worked in the various local literacy programs,” Kelley said. “Most of the tutors are parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker, and they will all need VIRTUS training within two months if they are going to be working with children.”
VIRTUS is the brand name that identifies best-practices programs designed to prevent wrongdoing and promote “rightdoing” within religious organizations. The training programs were established about ten years ago in response to revelations about church-related child abuse.
But the Drop-In Tutoring Center isn’t only for school-kids. Adults – especially immigrants studying English as a second language – will surely benefit from the tutoring.
Because of budget cuts, BOCES no longer hires tutors for English as a second language, but those adult learners will be able to easily access the St. Joe’s location because it’s on the same CENTRO bus line as BOCES.
“We don’t really know what’ll happen,” Kelley admitted, “but we believe that over time, the word will get out and the students will come.”
No appointments are necessary and there is no cost for the tutoring services.
Meanwhile, the center could use a few things to support the project such as calculators, rulers, colored pencils, picture books, a dictionary and thesaurus, hand sanitizer and tissues.
If you can help, or if you or someone you know could use some tutoring help, contact Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Terry Cardinal at 457-6060.
Freedom soon, Lizard in 2011
Seems as though everyone’s craving hot joe and spicy barbecue. I must’ve had a dozen people ask me last week when Freedom of Espresso and the Limp Lizard Lounge will open their Liverpool locations.
Insiders say Freedom will ring sometime this month at 401-403 First St., while the Lizard should start grilling in January at 201 First.
Meanwhile, remember: patience is a virtue!