Fort Hayes State University Opens Virtual Literacy Center

HAYS, KS – The Department of Teacher Education at Fort Hays State University has developed and opened the Virtual Literacy Center to make the highest quality, cutting edge, scientific-based tutoring services available to the school districts in approximately 25 counties in Northwest Kansas.

Dr. Sarah Miller, assistant professor of teacher education; Dr. Beth Walizer, professor of teacher education; and Hannah Frazer, pre-service teacher/VISTA member, collaborated to develop and pilot the program with USD 407 in Russell, KS.

“In the past, Northwest Kansas has been grossly underserved simply because of logistics and the challenges of physically getting the proper help to the children who need it most,” says Miller. “However, with innovation and technology, the miles between students and tutors has been overcome.”

As literacy professors, both Miller and Walizer have watched young people who struggle with illiteracy encounter roadblocks as they seek to enter post-secondary education, the professional world, or the workforce.

“I have seen first–hand the extremely difficult struggles of children who cannot read,” says Walizer.

The Virtual Literacy Center will equip educators with the latest tools and programs to identify specific reading difficulties in children and develop custom-designed interventions and strategies to help each individual child.

All that is required to use the center is the Internet and a reliable computer with a webcam. These resources can easily be provided by a local school or public library.

If any parent, educator, administrator, or other party is interested in this program or has questions, contact Dr. Sarah Miller at 785/628-4204.