Wyoming First Lady Carol Mead will host a community literacy forum Friday, March 8, at 11:45 a.m. at the Albany County Library Meeting Room. The meeting is free and open to the public.

She will lead discussions about local literacy initiatives and the planned University of Wyoming Literacy Research Center and Clinic (LRCC) scheduled to open during January 2014. The LRCC represents a major step forward in one of Mead’s primary areas of focus -- children’s issues. She has worked with the UW Foundation to raise private support for the campaign, and with the university as a major spokesperson for literacy initiatives.

The LRCC will serve as the epicenter of literacy expertise in Wyoming, offering professional development for teachers; literacy education for pre-service teachers and graduate students; research on literacy education; and service as a statewide clinical resource. The center will build upon a number of statewide partnerships already established by the UW College of Education, along with two Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chairs in Literacy Education established at UW, with funding from the Wyoming Legislature.

Friday’s community forum is an opportunity to bring multiple stakeholders together to discuss literacy issues specific to the Laramie community along with local initiatives. Mead says the forum and others planned around Wyoming will promote literacy initiatives in the state, foster broader community conversations about literacy and, at the same time, let community groups learn about the resources that will be available through the LRCC.

The UW Libraries and Albany County Library host Friday’s forum.