Today, at the Lillian Marrero Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, Mayor Nutter named Dr. Judith Renyi as the new Executive Director of the Mayor's Commission on Literacy (MCOL), which is part of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Dr. Renyi received her Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania and has held a number of administrative positions in adult and higher education. She has served as Assistant Dean for the Liberal Education Program at New York University and has served as a Fellow of the New York University Humanities Council. She was also the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Partnership of Education and President and Chief Executive Officer of Prevent Child Abuse America. Presently, Dr. Renyi is Dean, Schools of Graduate and Professional Studies at Rosemont College and a consultant for the Kellogg Foundation.
At the announcement today, both Mayor Nutter and Dr. Renyi stressed the importance of literacy and of tackling Philadelphia's literacy problem; currently, about 550,000 adults in the city cannot read well enough to navigate a simple job application. Dr. Renyi set the ambitious goal of transforming Philadelphia into one of the top 10 most literate cities in the country in three years' time. In addition to helping improve functional literacy, Dr. Renyi and MCOL are also committed to improving and enriching the many other components of 21st century literacy, from helping people become financially savvy to helping them become more civically engaged. Dr. Renyi and the Free Library of Philadelphia are excited to lead the way in spearheading literacy improvement efforts citywide, helping Philadelphians become the citizens they want to be.