Tag Archives: Literacy Center

GRU Literacy Center to open two satellite centers

AUGUSTA, GA. – Just in time for the school year, the GRU Literacy Center announced that it will open two new locations to serve the community. On Sept. 8, the Augusta-Richmond County Library on Telfair Street and Paine College will both open satellite locations for the GRU College of Education to address illiteracy rates in the CSRA.

“We have simply outgrown our current location,” said Dr. Paulette Harris, founder and director of the GRU Literacy Center. Harris is the Cree-Walker Endowed Professor of Education for the GRU College of Education.

The current facility only allows them to reach about 1,000 people a month, but Georgia’s Task Force on Adult Literacy estimates that one out of three adult Georgians is functionally illiterate. In the Augusta area alone, there are more than 65,000 adults whose basic educational levels are less than those of the average eighth grader. And so Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System and Paine College have offered space in partnership with the center, with Paine College focusing on mathematics literacy, also known as numeracy.

“Literacy is the foundation for civilization,” said Russell Liner, assistant director for public services for the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System. “Throughout history, the ability to read was power. In the Middle Ages, the nobility kept education from the masses to protect their power. And in American history, we disenfranchised certain groups because we were afraid they’d use their knowledge against us. The purpose of the library system is to bring access to knowledge to the public. So offering facilities for the GRU Literacy Center just dovetails with our larger mission.”

Paine College’s Department of Mathematics, Sciences and Technology will foster mathematics literacy with volunteers from students in their upper-level classes and faculty and alumni. The volunteers will help ensure that students have a basic competency in algebra and in the standards set in local school systems and in the colleges.

“Mathematics is as crucial to success in life as reading,” said Dr. Raul Peters, chair of the department. “Early math mastery is predictive of success in high school and college and also impacts adult lives. Career-wise, algebra is used by a wide range of professionals, from electricians to computer scientists to architects. But even in our personal lives, we use math – from calculating the best price on a sale item to figuring out an appropriate tip at a restaurant to higher-level life choices like understanding compounding interest or financing the purchase of a house.”

Both of the satellite center openings are part of the center’s celebration of International Literacy Day, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which highlights the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

The importance of literacy is that it impacts everything from poverty and income level to incarceration rates. Nearly two-thirds of illiterate adults are employed, but most struggle to find stable employment at a family-sustaining wage, according to the most recent data from the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). A low ability to read leads to limited opportunities for employment or income generation, higher chances of poor health, propensity toward crime and dependence on social welfare. For example, 70 percent of prison inmates cannot read.

Research makes it clear that we must do everything in our power to ensure that children do not fall behind in their reading skills,” Harris said. “With the help of our volunteers, most of whom are certified teachers, we are privileged to work on everything from born-to-read to lifelong literacy.”

All students start by getting evaluated so they can get a personalized learning experience. The center addresses learning differences like dyslexia and other problems that may not have been fully addressed in a student’s educational experience. And the staff works hard to provide a safe space for older adults, including later hours and providing additional options.

“And we will continue to work with them as long as they would like to continue to grow,” she said.

The GRU Literacy Center is located at 1401 Magnolia Dr., Augusta. Call 706-737-1625, or visit gru.edu/colleges/education/lcenter.

Reading to your child really matters

Written by: Dr. Paulette Harris, contributing writer and Director of Georgia Regents University’s Literacy Center.

Brain research findings indicate that early reading to your child promotes early literacy development. Of course, you want your child to develop a lifelong love of reading, and it is best to start early by reading to your young child from birth.

Picture books are great for the first books that you share with your child. Books with bright, colorful pictures are perfect for early sharing. In addition, black and white photos are even better for attracting very young readers to the page. However, feel free to change the words in the story to match the age of your young child. Keep in mind when selecting stories that certain stories are excellent for lulling the young child to sleep (e.g.,Goodnight Moon).

Your goal is for your young child to grow up loving books. Reading with your child is one of the best ways to raise readers. It is important to continue to read aloud to your child long after the child has learned to read. It is also critical that your child has books that he owns and can read and reread as he becomes a proficient reader.

The thrust of the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy is to provide families with young children books that truly belong to the child. From the time the first book arrives in your mailbox to the last time the child has that book read to themselves  or is able to read the book on their own is when remarkable growth occurs.

As stated at the beginning of this article, brain research findings substantiate that the child who is read to becomes the lifelong reader. Let’s read to our children so that they will always read!

National Family Literacy Celebration 2014

The Literacy Center at Georgia Regents University will host its 2014 National Family Literacy Celebration on Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1.

On Oct. 31, at 4:30 p.m. in University Hall room 170, the center will host a free movie night showcasing the film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” The first 50 people who arrive will receive popcorn and meatballs. Costumes are welcomed, but not required.

The celebration will culminate on Saturday, Nov. 1, with a night of entertainment at the Julian Smith Casino in Augusta, Ga. Activities will begin at 6 p.m. with an information session on family literacy. After which, dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by a live musical performance and dancing at 8 p.m. However, to attend this portion of the program, attendees must pay $20. The evening will also include a silent auction.

For more information, call GRU’s Literacy Center at  706-737-1625.

 

Literacy summit shines light on the effects of autism, ADD, and ADHD

By: Stacey Hudson,  Coordinator of Communications, Planning, and External Relations for the College of Education

In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that one in 68 children is born with an autism spectrum disorder – a rate 30 percent higher than previously thought.

In response to this growing rate of children with autism, the College of Education’s Literacy Center and the CSRA Reading Council will co-host a Literacy Summit to discuss the three A’s that experts say impact literacy learning: autism, attention deficit disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This year’s summit will be held Sept. 12 and 13 in GRU’s University Hall on the Summerville Campus. Friday’s sessions will be held 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in room 170, and the events on Saturday will be held from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in room 350.

This year’s summit will feature two nationally renowned speakers. Friday’s keynote speaker, Kerrie Powell, is a highly acclaimed advocate for those with autism disorders, and  Saturday’s keynote speaker, Dr. Joel Sussman, is a physician who built his practice around ADD and ADHD.

Powell  will discuss her journey with her own autistic son, and Sussman, who has ADHD himself,  will share how he went back to school after completing his medical degree and earned a master’s in learning disabilities to better understand the needs of patients struggling with ADD and ADHD.

Other summit activities include presentations on the National Reading Styles Programs and a panel discussion featuring local school officials discussing how they’re responding to the needs of students with learning differentiations .

Registration is $10 before Sept. 8 and $20 after Sept. 8. This fee includes membership in the CSRA Reading Council. GRU students may apply for scholarships to attend.

To register, download an application form and return it to the CSRA Reading Council with check or money order.

For more information, contact Dr. Paulette Harris at pharris1@gru.edu.

Grant will boost technology at GRU Literacy Center

The Creel-Harrison Foundation has awarded Georgia Regents University’s Literacy Center a $15,000 grant for technology improvements.

”The  grant will be used to purchase Power Reading Pro software, Lenovo ThinkPads, Nook Tablets, and several Apple computer products, including iPads, iPod Touches, iPad Minis, and iPad Airs,” said Dr. Paulette Harris, Cree-Walker Professor in GRU’s College of Education and Director of the Literacy Center. “We were delighted to receive this award, because we actually requested $10,000, and the Foundation thought the project was worth more.”

“All of this new technology will change the nature of the Literacy Center and bring us in line with the National Reading Styles Institute,” Harris said. The center is currently under review to receive certification as an NRSI Exemplary Program.

GRU’s Literacy Center offers free, year-round individual tutoring to children and adults throughout the area from certified teachers and GRU students. It also provides training and consultation services to community organizations.

For more information, visit gru.edu/colleges/education/lcenter.

Grant will boost technology at GRU Literacy Center

Georgia Regents University Logo

AUGUSTA, Ga.- The Creel-Harrison Foundation has awarded Georgia Regents University’s Literacy Center with a $15,000 grant for technology improvements.

”The  grant will be used to purchase Power Reading Pro software, Lenovo ThinkPads, Nook Tablets, and several Apple computer products, including iPads, iPod Touches, iPad Minis, and iPad Airs,” said Dr. Paulette Harris, Cree-Walker Professor in GRU’s College of Education and Director of the Literacy Center. “We were delighted to receive this award, because we actually requested $10,000, and the Foundation thought the project was worth more.”

“All of this new technology will change the nature of the Literacy Center, and bring us in line with the National Reading Styles Institute,” Harris said. The center is currently under review to receive certification as an NRSI Exemplary Program.

GRU’s Literacy Center offers free year-round individual tutoring to children and adults throughout the area from certified teachers and GRU students. It also provides training and consultation services to community organizations.

For more information, visit gru.edu/colleges/education/lcenter.

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Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally-ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution.  http://www.gru.edu