Local Family Establishes Learning and Literacy Center at Florida Southern College
Program provides resources for recognizing and assessing
LAKELAND, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2006) — Florida Southern College President Anne Kerr has announced the establishment of the Roberts Learning and Literacy Center, made possible through a gift from Hal and Marjorie Roberts of Lakeland. The Roberts Center will provide specialized instruction and seminars in the early diagnosis and intervention for students with dyslexia and other learning and literacy challenges.
“The Roberts Learning and Literacy Center will have a far-reaching, positive impact on the reading and learning skills of our local school children,” said Dr. Kerr. “Florida Southern students will receive specialized instruction in the latest developments in identifying and addressing the learning needs of student populations through both required coursework and a series of annual lectures by nationally renowned educators in the fields of learning and literacy. Marjorie and Hal Roberts have been longtime advocates for education, and I am honored they have chosen Florida Southern College as the home for the Roberts Center.”
The Roberts Center was established in response to an urgent need for targeted teacher training programs focused on professional development in reading instruction. The need for well-trained teachers is critical in a rapidly expanding student population and especially for students with learning differences that often remain undetected by classroom teachers and other educational professionals.
“Reading is one of the most important learning skills we develop in our early school years. Between kindergarten and third grade, children learn to read so that for the rest of their lives they can read to learn,” stated Marjorie Hollis Roberts. “We firmly believe that the learning needs of all children should be addressed. Teachers must learn to identify learning differences in their students, especially in the areas of reading and literacy, at the earliest possible age so that appropriate interventions can be implemented before they reach the third grade. It is our hope that the Roberts Center will allow Florida Southern College to become a national leader in addressing the needs of young students with learning differences.”
The Roberts Center will present annual seminars by leading national authorities in the fields of dyslexia, sensory integration disorders, and other learning differences. Educators from the area school systems will also be invited to participate, along with FSC faculty and students, in seminars, special lectures and workshops.
The first seminar to be held at Florida Southern College on October 25 will feature Carol Kranowitz, author of “The Out-of-Sync Child.” FSC students will attend a seminar and book signing at 2:00 p.m.; an evening seminar and book signing for area school teachers will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Honeyman Pavilion.
The Roberts have three children who have graduated from Florida Southern College. Mrs. Roberts is a member of the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees. The Roberts family has been actively involved in the support of educational excellence for many years.
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