September 28, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Book Fair Benefits Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center, Runs Through Oct. 2

Valdosta State University’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center will host a Scholastic Book Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Thursday, Oct. 1, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2.

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center will host a Scholastic Book Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Thursday, Oct. 1, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2. The semi-annual fundraiser will be held on the first floor of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services and will feature lots of affordable, high quality books for school children of all ages.

Dr. Gina M. Doepker, who serves as director of the Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center and associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education at VSU, said that the Scholastic Book Fair provides funding for the Southern Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl.

VSU’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center will welcome an estimated 600-plus elementary, middle, and high school students, coaches, friends, and family members to campus for the annual Southern Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. Participating students will test their knowledge of books from a list of nominees for either the Georgia Book Award or Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers. Over the course of several fast-paced rounds, two teams will go head to head, answering questions using a quiz show-style system to “buzz in” with the correct answer to earn points. The team with the highest overall score in each of the three divisions will represent the region at the divisional bowl.

Funds raised during the Scholastic Book Fair are used to purchase healthy snacks and drinks for all of the students participating in this event.

Contact Dr. Gina M. Doepker at, (229) 333-5625, or (229) 333-5645 for more information.

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About the Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center 

The Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center offers several programs designed to help children in the elementary grades build literacy skills, gain confidence, and be more motivated to want to read for both pleasure and study:

Literacy Education Assessment Program (LEAP): This is a literacy tutoring program that involves VSU pre-service teachers assessing the community children’s current literacy skills, developing specific literacy goals, providing one-on-one research-based literacy instruction and intervention, and monitoring the children’s literacy development progress. Students in LITR 4120: Literacy Assessment and Applications work with the children, gaining experience in assessing and planning appropriate literacy remediation. 

Blazing Through Books Program: This feeder program for LEAP pairs VSU athletes and students with community children in one-on-one and small group literacy skill-building activities, such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Reading is RAD! (Radiant, Aromatic, Delicious): Pairs of students from LITR 3110: Emergent Literacy work with all of the children in the Blazing Through Books program during the fall semesters. They specifically promote reading through small group interactive read-alouds, comprehension-building strategies, and extension activities, such as writing, drama, art, music, and so on. The purpose of this program is to get the children excited about reading, work on basic literacy skills, and expose the children to different genres.  

Multidisciplinary Child Advocacy Team (M-CAT): Through this program, any and all departments at VSU, as well as interested community organizations, provide identified services for the community children and families, such as comprehensive assessments, health screenings, family support and therapy, content area tutoring, shadowing opportunities, adult literacy, and much more.

Dear Blazer Buddy: This is a pen pal program that pairs community children with VSU athletes and students. It is designed to get the children involved in a reading and writing activity that is fun and motivating.

Blazer Books Television Series: This is a developing program that gives all VSU faculty, staff, and students, as well as area public schools, organizations, and others the opportunity to read their favorite childhood book on camera.

Reading Enrichment Club (REC) Center: This group was formed for those children who exceed their grade-level reading proficiencies but still want to participate in the program. It focuses on helping them extend their literacy competencies by providing more challenging reading and writing experiences. Participants have worked their way through the Blazing Through Books Program and the Literacy Education Assessment Program (LEAP).

Blazing LitES: Pairs of students from LITR 3120: Early Literacy lead the children in this focus-guided reading program designed to improve their literacy skills in a way that is meaningful, relevant, and purposeful. Participants receive reading instruction with pre-service teachers in small groups based on their instructional reading level and fluency, word attack, comprehension, vocabulary, and writing strategies.

VSU has had some sort of literacy outreach initiative since 1989.

The Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center is located on the first floor of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services. 

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