conference in Africa

UTSA president, professor visit Africa for education project

By Leigh Anne Gullett
Public Affairs Specialist

(Jan. 31, 2006)--Misty Sailors, UTSA assistant professor of interdisciplinary learning, recently traveled to Ghana, Africa, along with President Ricardo Romo where they met with First Lady Laura Bush.

Five other university presidents joined Romo and Sailors to unveil the Textbooks and Learning Materials Program, which links minority-serving colleges in the United States with institutions in Africa to provide textbooks and school supplies for African students.

Pictured at left are (from left) Romo, Sailors, an Ethiopian researcher (name unavailable) and Mary Spor, Alabama A&M University researcher. In the lower photo, a display at the conference podium represents the 25,000 children's book that Bush brought with her to Africa.

Sailors earned a spot in the program during the fall semester, landing more than $2.5 million in grant money to fund the project.

Sailors and her colleagues will produce 600,000 textbooks for African children grades 1-7. The books, written in three languages, will address an alarming illiteracy rate in underserved communities.

The project, which has the larger goal of addressing social problems such as the HIV crisis in Africa, is currently funded for three years. As part of the project, UTSA will form the Academy for International Text, Literacy and Health under the auspices of the UTSA College of Education and Human Development.

The group also hopes to raise enough funds to send local elementary teachers to Africa so they too may share in mentoring teachers.

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