TAMIU's Hinojosa Reading Center Dedication Set Saturday

On Saturday, April 12, 2003 a new opportunity for area children will be celebrated at Texas A&M International University with the official ribbon cutting and reception for the Eduardo M. Hinojosa Reading Research Center to be held on the lawn in front of Dr. Billy F. Cowart Hall at 3:30 p.m.

The ceremony is open to the public and will include noted children's author Monica Gunning as guest speaker. An immigrant from Jamaica, Gunning's books include Not A Copper Penny in Me House: Poems from the Caribbean, which received the National Council of Teachers award in 1994, and Under the Breadfruit Tree.

Gunning received her Master's in Education from Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles and her Bachelor of Science in Education from City College of New York. She taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for many years and was involved in teacher training for the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. She was named one of the Outstanding Elementary Teachers in America and was included in Who's Who of American Women. She began her writing career after retiring from teaching.

Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, dean of the College of Education, was instrumental in naming the Reading Center after retired TAMIU professor Dr. Eduardo M. Hinojosa.

"For many years, he assisted area children at the University's reading clinic, helping them learn to read or even become better readers. He was always there for his students, helping them realize their dreams. He opened minds and hearts making sure that our education students were well-prepared for the challenges of the classroom," said Dr. Vida.

Dr. Barbara Greybeck, director of the Reading Research Center and associate professor in TAMIU's College of Education, explained that the Center has a variety of goals.

"First, we want to enhance the research related to linguistically and culturally diverse students' reading abilities. We also want to determine teaching strategies which will assist students in becoming skillful readers. Finally, we plan on developing and disseminating effective teaching models, which will help children learn to read effectively," explained Greybeck.

She said that the Center uses unique instructional approaches for students facing literacy obstacles.

"It is the Reading Research Center's greatest hope that by making literacy accessible, it will inspire students to realize the Center's guiding philosophy - 'Open Books, Open Minds, Open Hearts,'" Greybeck said.

For more information about the Center, please contact 326-2923, visit the Center's offices in Cowart Hall, room 122 or e-mail the associate director of the Center, Gloria Canseco, at gcanseco@tamiu.edu.

University office hours for the Spring 2003 semester are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu