Grant brings Southern Learning Resource Center to Rowan’s College of Education

Grant brings Southern Learning Resource Center to Rowan’s College of Education

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South Jersey educational professionals and parents of children with disabilities have a new resource at Rowan University, thanks to a three-year, $1.2 million per-year grant from the New Jersey Department of Education.

The new Southern Learning Resource Center (SLRC), which officially will open on Monday, Oct. 8, will serve teachers and parents of children with disabilities, ages 3-21, as well as other educators who work with them.

Housed on the ground floor of James Hall in the Center for Access, Success and Equity (CASE) in the College of Education, the SLRC  will offer a resource library, a workspace for the production of learning materials, and professional learning workshops and webinars for educators and family and community members.

Membership is $2 annually.

“With our focus on equity and social justice and a philosophy for meeting the needs of all students, the College of Education is poised to successfully maintain the SLRC at Rowan,” says Lisa Vernon-Dotson, a professor of special education and co-principal investigator of the grant. Jenny Murphy, CASE program developer, is the grant manager and liaison to the SLRC, while Shelley Zion, executive director of CASE, is the co-principal investigator.

“The CASE team, along with our colleagues in our College, particularly those in the special education program, have the expertise to support positive outcomes for students with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them.”

Beginning Oct. 8, SLRC hours are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and 9 a.m.-noon on the second Saturday of each month.

Monthly events, such as “Make it and Take it” workshops, family and community events, educator workshops and webinars, will begin on Monday, Oct. 15. More than 100 events will be held each year.

The SLRC is led by an advisory board that includes representatives from seven South Jersey counties. The board consists of educational leaders, pre-service teachers from Rowan and community, parent and family representatives.

SLRC’s location in CASE, a center formed to address issues facing underserved populations, makes perfect sense, Vernon-Dotson notes.

“The SLRC at Rowan is committed to serving historically marginalized populations receiving special education services, their families and the professionals working with them by making resources and information fully accessible by addressing barriers such as transportation, communication and language, childcare and other issues,” says Vernon-Dotson, a former special education classroom teacher.

“We welcome the opportunity to further engage our communities in order to provide critical high quality learning opportunities for all students.”

Previously, the SLRC-South was housed at both the South Jersey Technology Park and at Camden County College.

For additional information about the SLRC, email slrc@rowan.edu.