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'The Village Project' receives $4,000 gift

The generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous will help the program as it serves a growing number of children in need of reading assistance.

Associate Professor Jean Rattigan-Rohr, right, has brought together Elon students, local school children and their parents into "The Village Project," which helps kids struggling to read by partnering them with a tutor.

The Elon Village Project, a literacy tutoring project offered through the School of Education, has received a donation of $4,000 through The Alamance Foundation by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The donor told the foundation that through his regular visits to the May Memorial Library, he has witnessed the tutoring that takes place there between Elon students in the School of Education and local children with difficulty learning to read.

He said he was both impressed and distressed by what he has been witnessing: Impressed by the number of parents seeking literacy help for their children and distressed that the need is so great.

"It is an honor to help speed this outstanding program on its way!” the donor said when making the gift.

Associate Professor Jean Rattigan Rohr, director of The Village Project, said she is extremely grateful to the Oak Foundation for the funding, which allows for the replication of the Village to additional sites. 

"There is something very powerful when someone from the community recognizes a community need and decides for him or herself that he or she is going to become a part of the solution,” Rohr said. “On behalf of Elon University and all our parents and children in the Village, I thank you for your generosity and your silent partnership with us.”

The Village Project each semester assists young children who are struggling to read. Education majors at Elon work with the children’s parents and teachers to devise strategies and lessons for overcoming some of the common obstacles to reading success.

For the past several years, The Village Project has taken place in the May Memorial Library directly across the street from the new building. It recently expanded with a new initiative to assist students with science lessons, and this spring marks the first time music has been introduced into the initiative.

The program has since been replicated at colleges in North Carolina and Oregon.

Eric Townsend,
4/18/2013 10:35 AM