WMU News

New reading center opens at Muskegon regional campus

Nov. 2, 1999

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- People of all ages and especially children will get help with their reading through a collaborative effort between Western Michigan University, Muskegon Community College and Muskegon Area Intermediate School District.

The Muskegon Reading Center and Clinic is set to open this winter at WMU's Muskegon Regional Campus at Muskegon Community College. The center is the result of talks that started last spring between Dr. Frank Marczak, Muskegon Community College president; Dr. Michael Bozym, superintendent of the Muskegon Area ISD; and Joe Chapel, director of the Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo.

The new center will be patterned after the very successful reading clinic in Kalamazoo. It will provide individualized diagnostic services for reading and learning problems, as well as internship opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students involved in all levels of diagnosis and therapy.

"This is an exciting new development for services for our community," Marczak says.

The center will expand upon a summer reading clinic already offered at WMU's Muskegon Regional Center that provides diagnosis and treatment for elementary-age children, says Deborah Newson, regional center director. It will start out with about 15 clients working with four therapists.

People with reading and learning difficulties won't be the only ones who benefit.

Future teachers and reading specialists will receive solid practicum experience in diagnosis and treatment of reading and learning problems with actual testing in a clinical setting. As clinicians-in-training, students will gain valuable hands-on experience under professional supervision.

Services will combine one-on-one reading therapy with small group instruction. A highly trained staff of therapists will supervise student tutors, who will meet weekly with their clients throughout the semester.

Through referrals from counselors, reading specialists, school personnel and parents, clients will receive the intensive therapy required to truly make a difference in reading proficiency and enjoyment.

"There are problems in all school districts with children who have trouble reading and are reading below their potential," Newson says. "Improving their reading skills will benefit them in their personal life as well as in their education."

For more information on the new center, call Newson at (231) 777-0500.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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