Wyoming’s efforts to help children succeed in school and careers will receive a major boost with the opening of the University of Wyoming Literacy Research Center and Clinic next year. During a press conference today (Monday) at the State Capitol in Cheyenne, First Lady Carol Mead was joined by Gov. Matt Mead, university and UW Foundation officials to announce the success of a fundraising campaign for the Literacy Research Center and Clinic (LRCC). It will be located in the UW College of Education Annex Building in Laramie, following renovations totaling $3.8 million. The work will be funded by private donations matched by state appropriations. The campaign continues with an ongoing emphasis on technology advancements and programmatic support for literacy initiatives statewide.

Mrs. Mead,  said the LRCC represents a major step forward in one of her primary areas of focus -- children’s issues. She has worked with the UW Foundation to raise private support for the campaign, and with the university as a major spokesperson for literacy initiatives.

The LRCC will serve as the epicenter of literacy expertise in Wyoming, offering professional development for teachers; literacy education for pre-service teachers and graduate students; research on literacy education; and service as a statewide clinical resource. The center will build upon a number of statewide partnerships already established by the College of Education, along with two Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chairs in Literacy Education established at UW, with funding from the Legislature.

The College of Education has received lead gifts for the facility renovation from Mickey and Jeanne Klein, the Joe and Arlene Watt Foundation, Thea Stidum, and Don and Betty Walters. The campaign also has raised several endowment gifts, most notably from the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, for the ongoing support of the LRCC’s activities.