New Literacy Center opens doors
Posted March 3, 2006
Nancy Dyleuth
Attending the Literacy Center for more than five months, 8-year-old Spencer Gunn ended the ribbon cutting ceremony with a welcoming applause. The center offers help in reading and writing, and provides tutoring by ULV graduate students for K-12 students as part of the University’s College of Education & Organizational Leadership. The new center is on the corner of Third and E streets.

Andres Rivera
Web Editor

Following the move from the second floor of the University of La Verne Bookstore, the Literacy Center unveiled its new facilities at an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 23.

The new facilities, located at 2215 E Street, gives more room to accommodate children and to better organize the materials used in the clinic.

“Before we were squished in the one room, now we can spread out,” said Jessica Decker, Literacy Center coordinator.

The ribbon cutting ceremony began with opening remarks by Dean of Education and Organizational Leadership Leonard Pellicer, Literacy Center Director Janice Pilgreen and President Stephen Morgan to an audience of about 40.

After Morgan, Spencer Gunn, a third grade student from Upland, spoke of his experience in the new facilities. Following Gunn, Sherri Saddoris, Gunn’s tutor, and Anne Marie Gunn, the mother, said a few words on the center’s benefits.

Gunn and Saddoris demonstrated how the tutoring sessions are performed.

Representatives Gary George, from the Verizon Foundation, and Matt McDonald, from the Starbucks Foundation, were present for recognition during the ribbon cutting ceremony where a plaque was presented baring the names of those who contributed a significant amount to the center.
“We invited the ULV community to see the furniture and booths and to see what we are all about,” Decker said.

A total of $240,000 was raised to improve the center through ULV alumni and employees as well as organization and corporation donations from the Rose Hills Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and others.

After the ribbon cutting, Pellicer invited those present to look around and have lunch. Informal tours were given and further demonstrations were made.

“I love the way everything is so accessible,” Academic Adviser Lawrence Gaona said.

New to the facilities are three observation booths used during study sessions.

Each observation booth is soundproof and is equipped with a video camera and microphone.

During a session, the video camera is able to transmit video to the main study area so that others may view the pair in the observation booth.
This is a useful tool for the tutor, Decker said.

Since the tutors are graduate students in the education program, these observation booths help them.

The instructor can communicate with the tutor through a headset that the tutor wears while in the booth.

The Literacy Clinic currently? works with six different school districts providing tutoring programs for students from kindergarten to the 12th grade from Fontana to El Monte.

Established in 2001, the center has helped over 400 students and has 35 currently enrolled with applicants being referred often.

During the touring portion of the day, a mother came by and was given the information needed to enroll her son in the summer program for 1st graders.

The Literacy Clinic provides students strategies that will motivate them to read, said Tammy Rummel, student worker.

Andres Rivera can be reached at

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