The TAMIU-LBV Literacy Partnership is a community engagement initiative of TAMIU funded by the Lamar Bruni Vergara Charitable Trust.
With a joint effort from the university, the LBV Trust, Laredo ISD, and United ISD, the Partnership has established a total of nine Literacy Centers at eight elementary schools, in order to promote grade-level reading in early elementary years. With a research-based intervention model, the Partnership has served thousands of struggling young readers, who were generally 1.5 or 2 years behind their peers in terms of literacy development, to close the gap and achieve significantly improve literacy development since 2015.
Current Partners Schools: Our current partner schools include five Lamar Bruni Vergara-prioritized elementary school campuses and several additional partner campuses. LBV-prioritized schools are Cuellar and Veterans Memorial (UISD); Ligarde, Macdonell, and Bruni Elementary Schools (LISD). In addition to these five LBV-prioritized schools, the Literacy Partnership includes Bonnie Garcia (UISD); Daiches, Leyendecker, Sanchez/Ochoa, Santa Maria, and Zachry (LISD)
The Literacy Centers: A Literacy Center is a dedicated classroom and staff for early intervention of reading difficulties in a partner elementary school. Our first literacy center was established in 2011 as a field experience at Dr. Henry Cuellar Elementary School for College of Education students. Dr. Philip Roberson, the previous executive director of the Partnership, along with the principal, Ms. Melissa Shinn, opened the first Literacy Center to bring talented TAMIU tutors together with emerging readers who needed intervention to meet reading goals. In the Center, emerging readers grow their literacy skills in one-on-one tutoring sessions. Centers are furnished by the school with simple, organized stations so that each tutor and student always have a place to work comfortably. The literacy centers also have a rich library of books organized by reading level so that students and tutors are always working at the student’s “just right” reading level. We currently established a total of nine literacy centers in both Laredo ISD and United ISD.
Beginnings: Dr. Roberson designed the first Center based on his experience in Metropolitan Nashville (TN) Public Schools. Nashville’s Reading Clinics used an adaptation of the Reading Recovery intervention. Dr. Tammy Lipsey created the Five-Part Lesson format used by the Partnership from 2011-2018. In 2011, Laredo’s first Literacy Center opened at Cuellar Elementary School (UISD) in the fall of 2011. It subsequently served over 100 emerging readers each school year. As success drew attention, the service was extended to four additional schools beginning in February, 2015.
Expansion: With generous financial support from the Lamar Bruni Vergara Charitable Trust, the TAMIU-LBV Literacy Partnership expanded to multiple schools in both Laredo public school districts, with five Centers operating in 2015. Subsequent federal funding allowed for expansion to additional schools in later years.
Tutors at the center: Tutors come to the Partnership from several different avenues. Some are students working for course credit; others are employees of TAMIU, Laredo College, or Laredo ISD. The Partnership proudly hosted AmeriCorps members as tutors from 2016-2018. Visit the Become a Tutor page to find out how to become a tutor!
TAMIU-LBV Literacy Partnership
Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library 415