Written by Erren Harter
We don’t always agree with Governor Brownback, but we sure did when he declared the first week in September as Kansas Literacy Week.
You see “Literacy” is a big deal in Emporia not only because we have the best Teacher’s College in America here, but also because of two amazing efforts to improve literacy in early age children that are now based in Emporia.
Much like being the “Founding City of Veterans Day,” being home to both the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center and the Kansas Literacy Center is huge.
The Mason’s are investing are investing $4 million here over the next ten years to provide “unprecedented literacy development that will give richer meaning and greater potential to the future of 50,000 children throughout Kansas.”
The goals are: Service for Schools; teachers and students across Kansas, and Service for families and communities and Research for the betterment of literacy development.
This program is in its first year and will benefit children all across Kansas.
The second program at Emporia State is funded by a $330,000 gift from the Jones Trust. It is designed to assist children in being ready for school and the task of reading and writing. Eleven schools in Lyon, Coffey and Osage Counties are the beneficiaries of this effort.
Combined at ESU these programs make our university the hub for improving literacy in Kansas. Children living in the three counties will have the opportunity to be the best trained ever in terms of early childhood reading and writing – provided we take advantage of what is being offered.
Dr. Ken Weaver is Dean of the ESU’s Teacher’s College and Dr. Dennis Kear is the person in charge of the literacy programs. Both are veteran educators and well qualified to lead.
When comes to the Three R’s I’m not certain about arithmetic, but it would appear kids in our area have been blessed with a great opportunity to be really good at readin’ and writen’!!
Thanks for listening, I’m Steve Sauder