In 2005, the Scott Spino Foundation established the Scott Spino Literacy Program. The program was launched at Lincoln School 22, in September 2005 where our son, Scott, was a teacher, passionate about making a difference in the lives of the children. Scott was killed by a drunk driver on October 31, 2004, and in honor and in memory of his short but extraordinary life, the Foundation was established. The mission of the Literacy Program is to increase students’ access to literature. With this access, the Foundation has seen an enhancement in the students reading skills, an improvement in their word recognition, and the beginning or expansion of their home library. The program has been designed to open the students’ imagination to the world of reading, instilling a love of the written word. This mission is accomplished by pairing students with adults who care enough to share their fluent literacy skills, and who embrace the idea of “today a reader tomorrow a leader.”

The program consists of more than 200 volunteers. Our volunteers read one on one to students in the first grade at School 22.  The volunteers attend the program one day each month. Each month, the volunteers are asked to purchase one or two books to read with their student. At the end of the monthly visit, the student gets to keep the book(s), to enjoy again or to share with a friend or family member. The Foundation also sponsors a monthly Guest Reader Program for the Kindergarten students throughout our community. The Guest Reader(s) reads to one entire class of students.  Each student, within the class, receives a copy of the book being read by the Guest Reader(s). The student gets to keep their book so that they can experience the joy of reading over and over again. We currently have the guest reader program in 22 schools throughout our community. Each month it becomes more and more difficult to determine who has the biggest smiles or is more excited the volunteers or the students.

Jackie Waldman, author of “The Courage to Give” recommends starting simple and small – you don’t have to begin an organization, just try volunteering once a month.

“If you can just put your own stuff aside for a moment – that’s the courage.” Each month, 200 volunteers put their “own stuff aside for a moment” to make a difference in the life of a child. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Geri Spino at [email protected].

A BIG THANK YOU to Howie Beaudrie for 5 beautifully handcrafted outside library boxes.

These boxes will be filled with children’s books and placed in various locations throughout our community.

scott spino outside library boxes

2020 - 2021 School Year Update

As most of you know the City School District has made the decision to go with remote learning for the next 10 weeks. After a great deal of consideration Jerry and I, as well as the board members have made the very emotional and difficult decision to cancel the Literacy Program for the Fall of 2020. Our decision was made on ensuring the safety and the wellbeing of our very generous, caring, committed and kindhearted awesome volunteers as well as the students and school staff.

While the cancellation of the fall program is heartbreaking and disappointing to us and I’m sure each of you but our decision was based solely on the health and safety of those who have supported the mission/goals of the Literacy Program. For the past 16 years each of you were kind enough to commit monthly to make a difference in the life of a child and for that we are extremely grateful.

We are hoping to get new books into the hands of the children but have not yet worked out a plan for distribution We will reevaluate starting up the Literacy Program again in 2021, at the end of December. Our decision will be based on the state of this pandemic.

There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer…

Our Adopt a Classroom Program

Do you have a special child or teacher that you would like to give books to? If so, you can sponsor the class from October – May.  Up to 25 students in Pre-K Kindergarten, 1st for $200.00.  The teacher will read the book during this pandemic and give each child a copy of the book to keep reading over and over again with their family.  The Foundation will purchase the books and get them to school/teacher of your choice.  If you are interested, please send an email to [email protected].

thank you volunteers

Kind Words

Dear Scott Spino Foundation...

Just a quick note to tell you how overwhelmed with emotion I was yesterday standing at the end of the hall and seeing all of the volunteers and children sitting against the lockers, on both sides, heads together, reading the wonderful books that Scott has posthumously provided, through his amazing foundation, founded by his devoted parents. A true gift of the heart.   A true and honorable legacy befitting a fine and beloved young man, and teacher. Your son. Scott Spino.

Thank you for the opportunity to share in it.

Peace and Blessings,

Laure McGinnis

A special Thank You

2023 Literacy Kickoff





Candace Quester

State Road Elementary School

Sponsors Include:

  • Ciccarelli Advisory Services
  • Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Paychex