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New Initiative Calls on Community to Battle Illiteracy

In the United States, according to the Literacy Project Foundation, 45 million Americans, or roughly 14 percent of the population, currently cannot read above a fifth-grade level, and only a third of fourth-graders read at a proficient level.

This figure does not surprise M. Sandra LaManna, a faculty specialist in the Education Department at The University of Scranton, who has spent her career watching this problem linger.

“I worked as a school psychologist in public schools for 31 years, and I’m not seeing major change in the literacy development of the students,” said Professor LaManna.

She and three University colleagues — fellow faculty specialist Sandra Pesavento; Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies; and Teresa M. Conte, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nursing — have teamed with two professional colleagues to rally the community, especially its most front-line professionals, around the problem of illiteracy.

Their efforts are collectively known as the National Reading Crisis Project and will be developed in Northeastern Pennsylvania over a three-year period then extended to other counties in the state. The partnership will target four main stakeholders: health care professionals, educators, families and community agencies.

Read the full article here.

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