1990: The Augusta University Literacy Center was formed in 1990 under the administration of Dr. Richard Wallace, the president of the Summerville Campus at that time, and was conceived of by Dr. Paulette Harris. Their vision was to create a center that would reach adults in the community who struggled with literacy. While working with these adults, it was discovered that their children often needed assistance with reading skills. Thus, this vision evolved to include working with children, youth, and adults.
2003: Staff of the Augusta University Literacy collaborated with the McDuffie County Board of Education to open our first satellite literacy center.
2005: Augusta University Literacy Center collaborated with the 21st Century Community Learning Center of East Augusta Middle School to open a second satellite adult literacy center. Temporary satellites locations have been opened in a variety of other schools, churches, and community centers throughout the years.
2019: The Magnolia Drive facility closed due to needed renovations. Tutoring services were continued at the Augusta Public Library satellite location.
2020: In April, the Augusta National, along with IBM, AT&T, and Bank of America, announced a $ 10 million dollar donation to the Harrisburg and Laney Walker Community that supported the building of a new facility called the Hub for Community Innovation. This facility houses the Harris Literacy Center, Augusta Locally Grown, Harrisburg Family Health Center, and RISE Augusta.
2022: The Augusta University Literacy Center moved into the Hub in June 2022.
2023: On August 14, 2023, Augusta University celebrated the visionary legacy of the late Dr. Paulette P. Harris by renaming the Literacy Center in her honor, thanks to the most generous donation of her husband, Steve Ruby. Throughout her life, Dr. Harris passionately advocated for literacy and education, leaving an indelible mark on the community. Her dedication to fostering a literate society and empowering learners of all ages continues to inspire educators and advocates alike. The newly christened "Paulette P. Harris Literacy Center" stands as a lasting tribute to her compassion, vision, and unwavering belief in the transformative power of education. Her memory remains forever intertwined with the center's mission, an enduring source of inspiration for all who carry on her vital work.
Dr. Paulette Proctor Harris
Dr. Paulette Harris dedicated her life to the literacy needs of the children and adults of Augusta. She was passionate about helping others fulfill their desire to learn to read. Dr. Harris created the Augusta University Literacy Center with a limited budget and a dream in 1990 and continued to watch it grow. She tirelessly led the way as she recruited volunteers, wrote grants, and trained tutors. Her soft spoken kindness and service to others encouraged countless students and tutors throughout the years. It would be hard to count how many children and adults she impacted throughout the 31 years that she ran the Augusta University Literacy Center. We will continue to honor her legacy as the Augusta University Literacy Center continues its work in the years to come.