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A Message from the Director

Dear Born-To Read (BTR) Parents,

Welcome to the BTR program!!!

As we begin the fourth year of the BTR program, I want to thank the families and their children who have participated in the program since its inception in 2017, and to welcome our new cohort of families and their children who will start the program in 2021. I have been at UT Tyler for ten years now and I can say without any reservations that BTR has been a highlight of my career and one of the most rewarding programs in which I have participated. In 2017, I was approached by Dr. Muthukrishnan Sathyamoorthy, UT Tyler professor of mechanical engineering and past president of the Tyler Sunrise Rotary Club, about forming a Born to Read program at the University to promote early childhood literacy in East Texas.

In 2019, Mrs. Betty Rose, a children’s author, and retiree, joined the BTR family as the K-16 Literacy Coordinator. She brings an array of skills and talents that have helped enrich and strengthen the program, whose objective is simple: Empower and support families to raise children as readers.

Parents or guardians of children up to age 5 are provided free training, resources, and ongoing support. In return, they read to and with their children for 15 minutes a day and keep track of their progress throughout the year. Parents who participated in the program in previous years reported significant improvements in their children’s literacy behaviors such as awareness of print concepts, interest in reading and word recognition skills.

Research shows that exposing children to books at an early age has long lasting positive effects on brain development. A great way to set the stage for children’s learning is to read to and with them frequently starting at birth.

As we begin a new BTR program year, I want to invite you to browse through our BTR website, which has more information about the program as well as access to resources, tips, and guidelines to support your children’s early language and reading development at home.

I would like to also encourage you to visit the and the websites to view thousands of children’s books organized by topic, interest, and age groups, and access free activities and resources to support your children’s reading.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Tyler Sunrise Rotary Club, the K-16 Literacy Center for their sponsorship and support of the program.

White Structure


Kouider Mokhtari, Ph.D

Anderson-Vukelja-Wright Endowed Professor

Director, K-16 Literacy Center

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