New York State Sen. John A. DeFrancisco named Ruth Johnson Colvin as a 2016 New York State Senate Woman of Distinction at an event this week. The Women of Distinction event was launched by the New York State Senate in 1998 to showcase outstanding women living and working in New York State whose contributions have greatly enriched the quality of life in their communities and beyond.
“Ruth Colvin has demonstrated an unwavering passion for helping others advance their skills and a strong will and vision to create positive change on the state, national, and global levels,” DeFrancisco said. “Through her dedicated work, Ruth has helped shape the lives of countless individuals.”
Ruth Colvin is a literacy pioneer. In 1961, after learning that more than 11,000 people in the Syracuse community were “functionally illiterate,” she took a proactive approach and began working with professional reading specialists to develop tutor training and instructional materials. In 1962, Colvin founded Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. With her guidance, the volunteer literacy movement quickly spread across the United States. In 2002, ProLiteracy was formed when Literacy Volunteers merged with Laubach Literacy International.
“I am extremely pleased to call Ruth Colvin a Central New York resident and to honor her as my 2016 New York State Woman of Distinction. Her dedication, commitment, and success are an inspiration for all New Yorkers,” concluded DeFrancisco.
Colvin continues as an active volunteer tutor and life member of the ProLiteracy board of directors. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time with her two adult children, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. She reads and exercises every day, and still enjoys playing 18 holes of golf—all at the age of 99!
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