The McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Center, a literacy research institution based in the Gevirtz School of Education, is set to open in September 2011.

The center will provide tutorials and assessments for kindergarten to middle school students who are experiencing reading and language difficulties. The facility, which will rely on service fees as well as donations and research grants, will focus especially on children diagnosed with or at risk for learning disabilities.

The program was made possible by a donation from University of California, Santa Barbara alumna Tina H. McEnroe and her husband Paul V. McEnroe.

Dean of Gevirtz School Jane Close Conoley said the McEnroe Center will partner with UC Santa Barbara’s Hosford Clinic Psychological Assessment Center and the Koegel Autism Center to train educators to teach special needs students.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to enlarge our service mission on the central coast to families who are struggling to understand and improve their children’s reading and language difficulties,” Conoley said in a press release. “The gift also supports cutting edge research into the causes of and solutions for language disabilities.”

Tina McEnroe said she hopes heightened reading and writing abilities will encourage future generations to pursue a higher education.

“Paul and I are thrilled to lend a helping hand in jumpstarting a most valuable cornerstone of education, the Reading Center at the Gevirtz School,” she said in a press release. “It is our hope that hundreds of children and adults will enter the open doors of this future clinic, and leave, full of reading knowledge and confidence, to become contributing members of society.”

—Staff Report