The Watson Literacy Center is in Park University's Mabee Learning Center, which is located underground on the University's Parkville, Missouri campus. The space includes a large, flexible, comfortable meeting area with completely movable furniture, including round tables and up to 50 chairs, designed to provide a collaborative atmosphere for classes, meetings, small conferences, and workshops. The meeting space features a state-of-the art presentation platform. Directly behind the classroom/meeting area is an area where a collection of literacy resources and electronic equipment are housed. The director's office is located within the resource area, as are several work areas. The Center is completely accessible for those with physical challenges.
A select collection of literacy and educational technology resources are housed in the Center. These include books for teachers, books for children, audiovisuals, software, diagnostic and instructional materials, and other kinds of materials. The Literacy Center will add selected new materials on an annual basis.
The Literacy Center will sponsor various professional development opportunities for teachers each year. These may include workshops, guest speakers, study groups, and support groups. Many of these events will be held in the facility on campus, but some may also be held at other sites such as schools or community centers. Upcoming events will be listed on this website as they are scheduled.
Also through this strand, small annual awards are given to three pre-service students at Park who demonstrate promise in the field of literacy education. In the future, as funding permits, this strand may expand to include small scholarships and grants for Park University students and/or faculty to attend literacy conferences or to conduct classroom action research.
This strand involves reaching literacy educators in schools and in the community. Outreach projects will be designed to meet specific needs of students and teachers who are in all kinds of educational settings within the Kansas City area and the surrounding region. The Center will work with those who teach children of all ages, from birth through high school. The Center's Advisory Board, made up of educators and community leaders from various sectors of the community, will assist in the planning and prioritizing of projects.