February 20, 2015
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
Book Fair Benefits Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center, Runs Feb. 23-27
Valdosta State University’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center will host a Scholastic Book Fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, through Thursday, Feb. 26, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, on the first floor of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education. The semi-annual fundraiser is open to faculty, staff, and students, as well as the general public, and will feature lots of affordable, high quality books for school children of all ages. Pictured are VSU students shopping at the fall 2014 book fair.
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center will host a Scholastic Book Fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, through Thursday, Feb. 26, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, on the first floor of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education. The semi-annual fundraiser is open to faculty, staff, and students, as well as the general public, and will feature lots of affordable, high quality books for school children of all ages.
Dr. Gina M. Doepker, who serves as director of the Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center and associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education at VSU, said that the Scholastic Book Fair provides funding for a number of campus-based literacy initiatives, including the following:
• Read Fest: VSU’s Odum Library and Student Council of the International Reading Association host this event on the West Hall front lawn each April. During the 2014 event, some 276 prekindergarten students from area schools spent the morning on campus participating in everything from music, games, crafts, and coloring to read-along stories and puppet shows. The 2015 event will be held Friday, April 17. A portion of the funds raised during the Scholastic Book Fair will be used to purchase a book for each child to enjoy at home.
• Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl: VSU’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center welcomes an estimated 300 to 400-plus elementary, middle, and high school students to campus for the annual Southern Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl each spring semester. During the 2015 event, which was held on Saturday, Feb. 7, participating students tested their knowledge of books from a list of nominees for either the Georgia Book Award or Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers. Over the course of several fast-paced rounds, two teams went head to head, answering 10 questions using a quiz show-style system to “buzz in” with the correct answer the earn points. A portion of the funds raised during the Scholastic Book Fair will be used to purchase healthy snacks and drinks for all of the children participating in the 2016 event.
Funds from the Scholastic Book Fair have also been used to purchase motivational “I Love To Read” wristbands for children participating in the various programs offered through the Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center and to support members of the Student Council for Exceptional Children and the Student International Reading Association at VSU attending professional conferences.
Contact Dr. Gina M. Doepker at firstname.lastname@example.org, (229) 333-5625, or (229) 333-5645 for more information.
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About the Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center
The Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center serves an average of 100-plus students in prekindergarten through fifth grade each semester, helping them build literacy skills, gain confidence, and be more motivated to want to read for both pleasure and study. Several programs are available.
• Literacy Education Assessment Program (LEAP): This is a literacy tutoring program that involves VSU pre-service teachers assessing the community children’s current literacy skills, developing specific literacy goals, providing one-on-one research-based literacy instruction and intervention, and monitoring the children’s literacy development progress. Students in LITR 4120: Literacy Assessment and Applications work with the children, gaining experience in assessing and planning appropriate literacy remediation.
• Blazing Through Books Program: This feeder program for LEAP pairs VSU athletes and students with community children in one-on-one and small group literacy skill-building activities, such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
• Reading is RAD! (Radiant, Aromatic, Delicious): Pairs of students from LITR 3110: Emergent Literacy work with all of the children in the Blazing Through Books program during the fall semesters. They specifically promote reading through small group interactive read-alouds, comprehension-building strategies, and extension activities, such as writing, drama, art, music, and so on. The purpose of this program is to get the children excited about reading, work on basic literacy skills, and expose the children to different genres.
• Multidisciplinary Child Advocacy Team (M-CAT): Through this program, any and all departments at VSU, as well as interested community organizations, provide identified services for the community children and families, such as comprehensive assessments, health screenings, family support and therapy, content area tutoring, shadowing opportunities, adult literacy, and much more.
• Dear Blazer Buddy: This is a pen pal program that pairs community children with VSU athletes and students. It is designed to get the children involved in a reading and writing activity that is fun and motivating.
• Blazer Books Television Series: This is a developing program that gives all VSU faculty, staff, and students, as well as area public schools, organizations, and others, the opportunity to read their favorite childhood book on camera.
• Reading Enrichment Club (REC) Center: This group was formed for those children who exceed their grade-level reading proficiencies but still want to participate in literacy center programs. It focuses on helping them extend their literacy competencies by providing more challenging reading and writing experiences. Participants have worked their way through the Blazing Through Books Program and the Literacy Education Assessment Program (LEAP).
• Blazing LitES: Pairs of students from LITR 3120: Early Literacy lead the children in this focus-guided reading program designed to improve their literacy skills in a way that is meaningful, relevant, and purposeful. Participants receive reading instruction with pre-service teachers in small groups based on their instructional reading level and fluency, word attack, comprehension, vocabulary, and writing strategies.
VSU has had some sort of literacy outreach initiative since 1989.
The Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center is located on the first floor of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services.
Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.
Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.
The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:
Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.
Goal 2: Increase financial support for the institution.
Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.
Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.
Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.