Augusta University Literacy Center and RISE Augusta Host Back-to-school Celebration

Kevin Faigle

Friday, July 29th, 2022

The Augusta University Literacy Center and RISE Augusta hosted a back-to-school celebration at the HUB for Community Innovation Saturday, July 23. During the event, local students enjoyed activities and received free backpacks filled with school supplies.

Around 160 families with nearly 400 students attended the celebration. In addition to receiving school supplies at the event, guests could listen to local celebrities read to students, enjoy the book fair and reading rooms, and visit tables to learn more about local resources — including information on a new program called “The Basics” that will support infants and toddlers.

The Augusta University Police Department, Prevent Blindness Georgia, the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority, the Augusta Public Library, Augusta Partnership for Children and the Harrisburg Family Health Center were on hand to lend resources to families looking for information.

“We were thrilled with the turnout at the event!” said Dr. Betsy VanDeusen, director of the Literacy Center. “We met students of all ages along with their families and caregivers. We did a lot of outreach with schools and organizations in the area along with great marketing support from the HUB. It’s very satisfying to know we reached our intended audience, and then some.”

VanDeusen said this will be an annual event so people in the area can count on support from the Literacy Center on a year-to-year basis.

“With the move to the HUB, both the AU Literacy Center and RISE Augusta look to expand community engagement events and collaborations to open the doors and the services of the HUB to the community.”

VanDeusen added, “We are starting to see good traffic here at the HUB as we balance the ongoing move-in process with the preparations for service starting in August. We have had walk-in community members wanting to know more about services the HUB will offer. We are also seeing traffic from staff and faculty from Augusta University as we build awareness and leverage opportunities to connect with our incredible students.”