Prof. Robert Rude steps down from Summer Literacy Clinic after 34 years

This year marks a new chapter for RIC’s Summer Literacy Clinic, as the long-time director, Robert Rude will be stepping down. Jennifer Davis-Duerr, RIC assistant professor of elementary education, will be taking over the program as the new director.

Robert Rude and Jennifer Davis-Duerr
“While it’s been one of the highlights of my professional life, a guy needs to start pecking away at his bucket list before it’s too late,” said Rude who is originally from Wisconsin. He became a professor at RIC in 1973 and started teaching the Summer Literacy Clinic in 1976. Rude will remain on the RIC faculty working half time.

The clinic, held annually at RIC’s Henry Barnard School, offers students in grades 1-9 the opportunity to develop new skills to help them reach their potential in reading and writing. The program also gives the graduate assistants who instruct the student’s six credits towards their degree.

The program does not only cater to students in Rhode Island. In the years the program has been around, they have seen children from as far as Japan, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Russia, Germany, Dominican Republic and even a prince from an African tribe.

The literacy clinic was also just granted accreditation this summer by the International Reading Association as well as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

At the end of the six-week summer clinic, each parent is given an evaluation packet of the student’s progress to be given to the elementary- and middle-school teachers.

“What we hope to do is sort of make a bridge between what goes on in the summer and the rest of the academic year,” said Rude, “I think this is a great opportunity for the college to reach out to the community.”

Davis-Duerr, who is originally from upstate New York, went to the University of Northern Colorado for her master’s degree in reading and doctorate in education.

“The clinic will be in excellent hands with Dr. Duerr. Each day she impresses me more and more,” said Rude.