Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of the City of Orlando's "Dr. Timothy Blair Day." On March 25, 2013, Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized Dr. Blair and his contributions to the Parramore community, a historic neighborhood in Orlando where residents are succeeding against many social and economic challenges. Seventy-three percent of the children in this community live in poverty.
For more than 13 years, Dr. Blair led the UCF Saturday Reading Camp at the Dr. J.B. Callahan Neighborhood Center and John H. Jackson Community Center. He touched the lives of more than 2,500 K-6 children along with their parents through his reading program. Elementary children received free personalized reading instruction by UCF teacher education students. Dr. Blair's program also provided the children's parents with workshops on how to support literacy at home.
In 2013, Dr. Blair stated that "The Reading Camp Program has been the most meaningful, beneficial venture I have had in my 38-year career in higher education. For everything that the students and parents have gained, I have gained tenfold. Saturday is the best day of the week for me."
Dr. Blair's legacy continues under the leadership of Dr. Taylar Wenzel and Ms. Dana Samuel, faculty members in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership. The Reading Camp Program is now offered at the John H. Jackson Community Center on Saturday mornings during both the Fall and Spring semesters. The program is available for elementary children and their parents. Dr. Blair's life mission to help all children become readers lives on in the lives of numerous children, parents, and families in the Orlando area.