TAMIU-LBV Literacy Partnership

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About the Partnership

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 thirteen Literacy Centers at eleven 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.

  • Lamar Bruni Vergara Charitable Trust
  • Laredo College
  • Laredo Independent School District
  • United Independent School District

Our current partner schools include nine Lamar Bruni Vergara-prioritized elementary school campuses and several additional partner campuses. LBV-prioritized schools are Bonnie Garcia, Cuellar, Octavio Salinas and Veterans Memorial (UISD); Bruni, Ligarde, Macdonell, Sanchez-Ochoa and Santa Maria Elementary Schools (LISD). In addition to these nine schools, LBV-Literacy Partnership has served Daiches, Leyendecker, and Zachry (LISD)


Hundreds of Children are Served in our Literacy Centers in Laredo Every Year

The Literacy Centers: A literacy center is a dedicated classroom dedicated 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 service three Laredo ISD campuses and three United ISD campuses with a total established a total of eight literacy centers.

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. Thereafter, it has 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.

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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!

Contact Info

TAMIU-LBV Literacy Partnership
Anthony J. and Georgia A. Pellegrino Hall 215

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