Hardin-Simmons University has announced the awarding of a $600,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., for HSU's campaign to construct a new facility for the Houston-Lantrip Center for Literacy and Learning.
Terms of the challenge grant issued by the Mabee Foundation require HSU to raise an additional $900,000 by Oct. 10, 2018. If the fundraising requirements are met so that the grant is funded, it will complete the projected $3.2 million needed to build the facility.
The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation has been a generous supporter of HSU in the past, providing resources for the construction of two other campus buildings - J.E. and L.E. Mabee Athletic Complex and Mabee Hall, which currently houses the university's Physical Therapy program. The Mabee Foundation exists to aid Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals, and other organizations of a general charitable nature.
"This new facility will make a significant difference," said HSU President Eric Bruntmyer. "In addition to becoming a hub for preparing current and future educators who will ultimately serve children with dyslexia and autism, this is a needed resource for families throughout the Big Country and all of West Texas."
While the facility will be new, the Houston-Lantrip Center is not.
For more than 20 years, HSU has provided therapy, training, and resources for children, families and teachers in the area of dyslexia. In 2004, the Dodge Jones Chair in Literacy and Learning was established to help support a director of the Houston-Lantrip Center. Because of an increasing demand for services and the need to expand the program to include autistic children, a new facility is crucial.
The new building will have separate areas for the dyslexia program and the autism program, with spaces designed specifically to meet the distinct and differing needs of these two populations. A larger, dedicated space will enable more teachers and students to be trained to help dyslexic and autistic children.
The Houston-Lantrip Center for Literacy and Learning is already a valuable resource for children, families and educators in Abilene and the Big Country. A new facility will result in impacting the lives of even more children with unique needs.