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Literacy resources a major focus in HUB for Community Innovation



AUGUSTA, Ga. – The groundbreaking for the HUB for Community Innovation took place Tuesday as part of a project to revitalize the Harrisburg and Laney Walker neighborhoods in Augusta.

Revitalization of a community can take many forms, including healthcare, nutrition and education. The latter is an issue one of the nonprofits plans to tackle while calling the HUB home.

RISE Augusta, previously known as Communities In Schools of Augusta Richmond County (CISARC), is an organization focused on providing educational resources to those in the community who need it. Services include remediation, mentoring and basic needs and services to students in the community. RISE Augusta also offers a broad range of literacy services.

“RISE Augusta believes that education is the key to unlocking successful futures and breaking the cycle of poverty, but that literacy is the key to unlocking education,” RISE Augusta Executive Director Laurie Cook said. “We are committed to supporting children, schools and educators to create a culture of success and expectation that every student – no matter their circumstances – deserves to be prepared, encouraged and equipped to be successful in life.”

According to its website, 80 percent of RISE Augusta’s K-5 students have raised their reading level through its remediation tutoring program. Likewise, 72 percent have improved their math skills.

“There is a great need to address the issues of low unemployment, underperforming schools and food desert conditions, which place families and young people at risk for continuing the cycle of generational poverty that has plagued the area for decades,” Boys & Girls Clubs of the CSRA CEO Kim Evans said.

In addition to RISE Augusta, the Augusta University Literacy Center will also call the HUB home. Originally formed in 1990, the center provides literacy-related educational experiences to both children and adults through tutoring, workshops and events.

Augusta Locally Grown and Harrisburg Family Health Care round out the tenants for the development.

The HUB, a joint project among the Community Foundation for the CSRA, Boys & Girls Clubs of the CSRA and the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, is expected to open in spring 2022.