Thanks to a generous gift from UC Santa Barbara alumna Tina H. McEnroe and her husband Paul V. McEnroe, the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education is establishing the only university and research-based center for literacy and reading assessments and interventions on California’s Central Coast. The new Tina Hansen McEnroe and Paul V. McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Center will open in September 2011 to serve kindergarten to middle school students who are experiencing reading and language difficulties. Associate Professor Mian Wang from the Department of Education will be the McEnroe Center’s first Faculty Director.

“Tina and Paul McEnroe have given us the opportunity to revitalize an historic strength with our School – evidence-based approaches to eliminate reading and other language (e.g., writing) difficulties,” says Gevirtz School Dean Jane Close Conoley. “We are grateful for the opportunity to enlarge our service mission on the Central Coast to families who are struggling to understand and improve their children’s reading and language difficulties. Close cooperation with our other centers (for autism, Asperger’s, mental health, and assessment) will allow us to offer comprehensive assessment and intervention services. The gift also supports cutting edge research into the causes of and solutions for language disabilities. ”

The McEnroe Center will provide a positive tutorial environment and continuity of learning experiences that nurture students to become life-long readers while helping develop their skills to meet increased reading demands in secondary school. It will also be a vibrant site for training and supervision for pre- and in-service educators in the use of evidence-based practices to teach reading to students with or at risk for reading disabilities. The ultimate goal will be to help not only local students and teachers, but also to establish an exemplary clinic/center that will serve as a model for other universities and an incubator for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research programs.

The Center will also bring a special focus to young children diagnosed with mild to moderate learning disabilities or at risk for learning disabilities by sharing resources of the Hosford Clinic’s Psychological Assessment Center and the nationally renowned Koegel Autism Center to provide educational and neuropsychological evaluations of clients.

“Paul and I are thrilled to lend a helping hand in jump-starting a most valuable cornerstone of education, the Reading Center at the Gevirtz School,” says Tina McEnroe. “As an active Education Specialist who was trained at the previous clinic in the 1980s, it has been a long-time dream of mine to become deeply involved in such an endeavor. It is our hope that hundreds of children and adults will enter the open doors of this future clinic, and leave, full of reading knowledge and confidence, to become contributing members of society.”

The new McEnroe Center will be located in the Gevirtz School’s Education Building at the intersection of Ocean and El Colegio Roads. Once operational, it will be a fee-for-service facility that will also rely on donations from community members and foundations and research grants to carry out its mission.


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