University of Akron receives $950,000 Third Frontier Research Initiative award to establish accredited Center for Structured Literacy


The University of Akron (UA) has been awarded a $950,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) through the Third Frontier Research Initiative. This funding will support the establishment of a new Center for Structured Literacy (CSL).

The CSL’s core mission will be the translation of scientific research on reading instruction, intervention and dyslexia for educators. It will also provide professional development to help pre- and in-service K-12 teachers throughout the state understand the science of reading, structured literacy and dyslexia, identify its characteristics and provide appropriate instruction and intervention.

The CSL aims to become an accredited International Dyslexia Association (IDA) center, making it the sole public university in Ohio offering this prestigious accreditation and certification and a highly desirable resource for educators seeking expertise in evidence-based reading instruction, intervention and dyslexia.

“The LJFF School of Education in the Buchtel College of Arts and Science is excited for the opportunity to establish a Center for Structured Literacy. The Center will have a profound impact on our mission to empower undergraduate students in the teaching of reading. By equipping future educators with the tools to become exemplary reading teachers, we are not only investing in their professional development, but also contributing to a brighter future for the students they will teach,” said Lisa Lenhart, director of the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education. “This grant underscores our commitment to fostering literacy and educational excellence, and our team is eager to embark on this journey to shape the future of education, creating a ripple effect of positive change in classrooms and communities.”

UA’ s grant was one of $3.3 million in Third Frontier Research Initiative awards announced by ODHE) Chancellor Randy Gardner for projects demonstrating the real-world impact of higher education. UA was one of four institutions to receive funds, in addition to Ohio University, The Ohio State University and Wright State University.