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Cooper Learning Center Summer Program Promotes Early Reading Skills

Anne Koons, realtor for Prudential Fox & Roach and trustee of The Cooper Foundation, with children in the Cooper Learning Center Summer Reading Program.

Developing a solid early reading foundation is directly linked to better communication and logical thinking skills, and opens the door to opportunities.

Fifteen students, grades K-3, from the Lanning Square section of Camden, had the opportunity to enhance their reading skills during the Cooper Learning Center Summer Reading Program.

“Research shows when you target children’s skills early, it prevents reading problems in the future,” explained Richard Selznick, PhD, director of the Cooper Learning Center.

Primarily sponsored by Anne Koons, realtor for Prudential Fox & Roach, along with The Cooper Foundation and Jeff Brown, President and Vice Chairman of NFI Industries, the Cooper Learning Center has offered the six-week remedial program for the past eight years at no cost to the participating families. Koons and Brown are also trustees of The Cooper Foundation.

Pamela Goldberger, Educational Coordinator for the Cooper Learning Center and director of the summer program, said the groups are led by teachers employed by Cooper and provide specialized instruction to the children. In addition, a volunteer college student lends an extra pair of hands.

“The students learn in a very caring and supportive environment,” Goldberger said.

Last month, the Cooper Learning Center held an open house where the parents and Cooper staff were able to observe firsthand the small student groups. The teachers practiced phonics, vocabulary and comprehension strategies. Later, Koons spoke to the children and explained the importance of reading.

“If you can read – it can take you a lot of places,” Koons said. “The more you read, the more you learn.”

By supporting the summer program, Koons said she is able to give back to the community.

“I feel really strongly about it,” she said. “If they develop a good reading foundation at a young age, it will help them with the rest of their life.”

As the region’s only child-learning program affiliated with a university-level medical center, the Cooper Learning Center at the Children’s Regional Hospital, offers parents and children the most advanced methods and expert clinical consultation for treating learning difficulties.