Wachovia Supports Reading Program at The Citadel
With $250,000 Gift
The Wachovia Foundation has authorized a grant of $250,000, payable in five
annual installments, to The Citadel in support of the Wachovia Reading Program
conducted through The Citadel’s School of Education.
A free outreach service to the Charleston community, the program is designed
to provide remedial reading assistance to elementary school students who lag
behind their peers by two or more years. Wachovia’s participation will
enable The Citadel School of Education to expand significantly the scope of
this 25-year-old program, conducted by graduate students pursuing the Masters
of Education degree in Reading or School Psychology, as well as those seeking
their South Carolina state teaching certification.
“The Citadel is deeply grateful to the Wachovia Foundation for expanding
a program so vital to our community outreach,” said Citadel President
Major General John S. Grinalds, USMC (Retired). “The benefits for program
participants and the graduate students who are mentor-educators will positively
impact the lives of Lowcountry children and their families for years to come.
The Wachovia Foundation, through this grant, is demonstrating corporate concern
that exemplifies the concept of leadership through service to others.”
Approximately 25 graduate students currently participate as mentor-educators
in The Citadel Summer Reading Program, working one-on-one with community children
requiring assistance. The gift from the Wachovia Foundation will allow the program
to expand, offering nearly twice as many students the opportunity to participate.
After two initial weeks of intensive instruction and training, the degree-seeking
students offer individualized counseling and generate, as the basis of their
coursework, a case study detailing the youth’s reading difficulties, diagnosis
and progress over the course of the program. The profile of the tutored student
is then made available to the youth’s family and teacher for the next
Colonel Dan T. Ouzts, a professor of education who was recently named interim
dean of The Citadel School of Education, founded this community outreach initiative
at the college in 1978. The Wachovia Reading Program, he observes, significantly
enhances a “program that has afforded many children and their families
an opportunity to develop and acquire the most vital function in our world –
the ability to read well and to see the value of reading in one’s life.”
According to Col. Ouzts, the case studies indicate that it is not atypical
for students to show a seven-month gain in reading comprehension achieved over
the course of the program. Perhaps most importantly, the children learn that
their reading and learning skills are not beyond improvement, that their individual
academic success is valued, and that many educators in the system are, in fact,
deeply committed to their intellectual development.
For his efforts in promoting mentorship and remedial reading assistance for
youth, Col. Ouzts was recently recognized with the 2004 Friend of Reading Recovery
Award by the Charleston County School District. He is also a recipient of the
coveted South Carolina Literacy Award and currently serves as president of the
Bibliotherapy and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading
Association. As interim dean of The Citadel School of Education, he will continue
to coordinate the Wachovia Reading Program.
The Wachovia Foundation is a private foundation funded annually by Wachovia