Mercyhurst, BTWC partner to provide children with literary assessments

Mercyhurst has teamed up with the BTWC to provide one-on-one literary assessments for children.
Mercyhurst has teamed up with the BTWC to provide one-on-one literary assessments for children. | shutterstock
Mercyhurst University has announced a partnership with the Booker T. Washington Center (BTWC) that will allow children in Erie, grades pre-K to 4, to receive literacy assessments.

The assessments will be conducted one-on-one.

The Uncommon Individual Foundation recently donated funds to the BTWC to provide its after-school program with a new Language and Literacy Lab. Mercyhurst pre-service teachers will work in the lab when it opens next week. Special Education Professor Phillip Belfiore and Assistant Professor Susan Johnson will direct the students.

“Our Early Childhood and Special Education programming at Mercyhurst promotes evidence-based early intervention practices and robust literacy opportunities as critical to the academic success of children,” Johnson said. “This partnership will allow our pre-service teachers to work one-on-one with students who may be at risk for academic failure.”

The program is designed both to help support at-risk children and give Mercyhurst students -- who will be made up mostly of sophomores -- experience working in urban education.

“That is what is unique about Mercyhurst’s education department; while many schools don’t provide clinical experiences until student teaching, we facilitate student engagement as soon as possible,” Johnson said. “We believe that helps to foster more culturally responsive and reflective teachers.”

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