News Release: Valdosta State University
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center will host Family Literacy Night: Spring Into Reading from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24. Community families with children in the elementary grades are invited to attend.
“The purpose of Family Literacy Night,” explained Dr. Gina M. Doepker, director of the Sullivan Literacy Center and an associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education at VSU, “is to get the children and parents excited about reading through interactive read-alouds and a lot of free literacy materials. If we can get the children excited about reading, then they will want to read more and their skills, confidence, and motivation to read will increase.”
Following an opening ceremony, Family Literacy Night attendees will participate in breakout sessions. In their respective sessions, the children will have fun with books through interactive and engaging comprehension activities, while their parents will gain knowledge regarding how to get their children actively engaged in reading. The evening will conclude with a closing ceremony and “a festive reception with a lot of food, food, food,” Doepker said.
“They should come ready to read, write, listen, and laugh,” she continued. “They will leave with a lot of free literacy materials — books, books, books — great memories, and a full stomach.”
Family Literacy Night is a partnership between the Sullivan Literacy Center and TTL Inc., a 45-plus-year-old company with locations in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, including an office in Valdosta, that provides geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, analytical laboratory testing, and environmental consultations.
Doepker was contacted by Keith Reaves, vice president and principal engineer for TTL Inc., about forming a community collaboration between his company and VSU’s Sullivan Literacy Center. His son is among the many children who have benefited from the services provided by the literacy center, she said.
“I was thrilled when Mr. Reaves initiated this partnership with the primary goal being to support and serve the community families of Valdosta,” she added. “After much consideration of possible community service projects, the TTL executives and employees voted to host a family literacy night at the Sullivan Literacy Center.
“Family Literacy Night will be an amazing community service event for TTL, the Sullivan Literacy Center, and the community children and their families.”
The Sullivan Literacy Center’s mission is to be an integrated system of care for the children and families of Valdosta and the surrounding area with a focus on building children’s literacy skills, motivation, and confidence. The center now serves children in kindergarten through fifth grade, and programs are currently being developed for prekindergarten, middle school, and high school students, said Doepker.
VSU has had some sort of literacy outreach initiative since 1989.
The Sullivan Literacy Center is located on the first floor of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services.
Contact Dr. Gina M. Doepker at firstname.lastname@example.org, (229) 333-5625, or (229) 333-5645 for more information.
Special Note: The Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center will host a Scholastic Book Fair from:
There will be books and other reading materials for kids of all ages.
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:
PHOTO CAPTION: Pairs of students from Dr. Gina Doepker's LITR 3120: Early Literacy class at VSU work with community children in kindergarten through fifth grade at the Sullivan Literacy Center. The after-school tutorial sessions are designed to improve the children's literacy skills.