The HUB for Community Innovation recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, June 24, and a community celebration Saturday, June 25.
Comprising two buildings on Chafee Avenue, the HUB is an interdisciplinary community center that is the new home to five local organizations, including the Augusta University Literacy Center housed in the College of Education.
The mission of the HUB is to help revitalize the historic Harrisburg and Laney-Walker neighborhoods and improve the community’s access to health care, education, nutrition, literacy and more.
The mission of the Augusta University Literacy Center is to provide free literacy tutoring to children, adolescents and adults in the Augusta community. The center currently sees about 100 students each academic semester, and center leadership expects the new location will facilitate access to even more learners.
“Proximity matters. And the center is right off 15th Street, right in the heart of a community that really needs some support. We’re excited that we’re on the bus line, which is one step in the right direction to be able to provide these services,” said Dr. Judi Wilson, dean of the College of Education at Augusta University, in a recent podcast interview.
Reaching more students should help combat the county’s bleak literacy statistics, she continued.
“Only 30% of Richmond County School District’s third grade students read at or above grade level. That is a staggering statistic,” said Wilson.
“And we know that number is from a couple of years ago — so with pandemic learning loss, that statistic is even worse. So that’s an alarming and concerning statistic that we want to change.”
Dr. Elizabeth VanDeusen, director of the Augusta University Literacy Center, has lofty goals for the new location. Their success will rely on a strong network in the CSRA.
“We’re in the process of working with our partners in the local and regional education system, and we have to do a lot of recruiting. And that’s something we’re really focused on with our partners from faith communities, from community organizations: Getting the word out about what this is, what’s happening here. Our goal is to double the amount of students that we see. And certainly we want to grow our adult literacy program. So we’re very motivated to increase our access.”
Those interested in volunteering for the literacy center should fill out the volunteer interest form.