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November 14, 2008

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

UT Tyler Collaborating with Local Organization to Help Elementary Children

UT Tyler students teaching in a classroom at the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas Youth Center in Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler is collaborating with the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas to aid local elementary children, Dr. William Geiger, College of Education and Psychology dean, announced.

Through an after-school tutoring program started in August by the Boys and Girls Club of East Texas, qualified UT Tyler students teach basic reading skills to students from three Tyler Independent School District elementary schools.

About 15 UT Tyler undergraduate students currently are involved with the program, which provides reading intervention assistance to children in Tyler’s at-risk communities.

“The after-school program provided by the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas offers a great opportunity for UT Tyler students to have responsibility for providing reading instruction to a group of children,” said Geiger. “I think also it’s a wonderful opportunity for the boys and girls going through the reading program. I hope the children all come out better readers.”

Lori Fos, UT Tyler lecturer in reading, serves as liaison between the university and the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas.

“Dean Geiger and Lori Fos have been tremendous advocates for our program, and we would not have the quality of the student-participants without their support,” said Ron Vickery, Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas chief professional chair.  “Also, Dr. Rodney Mabry has been very instrumental in helping us get this program off the ground. His leadership at the top of UT Tyler has made the beginnings of this program very successful.”

Children in the classroom at Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas Youth Center
Tyler community leader and entrepreneur Robert Peltier also contributes by providing scholarships to the university student-tutors.

“Mr. Peltier is providing limited scholarships to a number of local college students – many of whom are UT Tyler student-participants focused on this reading intervention program here,” Vickery added. “He is a very successful businessman, who also happens to be very generous. Mr. Peltier is passionate about improving the quality of education in Tyler.”

UT Tyler participant Krista Feigel of Flower Mound said she hopes to gain valuable experiences while making a difference in the children’s lives.

“After graduating, I want to work with children with various learning differences, so it’s good to get working experience,” the UT Tyler junior psychology major said. “I really love it, and all the kids love it. It’s a good environment for us to teach them and help them with their reading skills.”

The Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas is committed to replacing negative influences in the lives of children and youth with definitive positive actions that encourage self-esteem and a sense of belonging. 

To apply or for more information, contact Fos, 903.565.5560 or lori_fos@uttyler.edu or visit http://www.bgcet.org/.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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