A research-based clinic to serve first-, second-, and third-grade students who have reading and language difficulties has opened at UCSB thanks to a gift from a Santa Ynez Valley couple.

An opening ceremony for the new Tina Hansen McEnroe & Paul V. McEnroe Reading & Language Arts Clinic at UCSB's Gevirtz Graduate School of Education was held Oct. 13.

UCSB officials called it the Central Coast's only university- and research-based clinic for literacy and reading assessments and interventions.

The McEnroes own and operate Rancho La Purisima, a horse and cattle ranch in the Buellton area.

Tina McEnroe is a UCSB alumna and has worked as a special-education teacher and reading specialist at Vista de Las Cruces School. Paul McEnroe led the team that developed the Universal Product Code (UPC), or bar code, in the late 1960s.

Also on their ranch property is the Pleasant Valley Schoolhouse built in 1869, which has been designated as a Building of Historic Merit by Santa Barbara County.

The one-room school, Santa Maria's first schoolhouse, closed in 1935, was abandoned, and was moved from Santa Maria to the ranch in 2006.

Using the structure and historical furnishings, Tina McEnroe teaches living history days and programs.

"We are here to celebrate the launching of a special place where children, and eventually adults, will come to ‘explode the code' of learning to read and write," Tina McEnroe said at the opening ceremony. "One of my favorite quotes comes from Gabriela Mistral who stated, ‘Many things we do can wait; the child cannot.' I have always placed great value on the education of children and believe it is among the most important tasks we can do as adults."

Associate Professor Mian Wang from the UCSB Department of Education will be the center's first faculty director.

 

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